Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar

Coming into turn three on Good Friday, the Mormon Representative and I effectively distanced ourselves from the pack of the damned. Devout types that we are, we decided there was no more fitting way to reflect on our blackened souls than to brew a batch of beer while barbecuing some pork. The only thing that would have torn the tapestry in the Temple more dramatically was if the Jewish Representative to the Institute of Drinking Studies had been there with us. As the Mormon Representative quipped at the end of the night, "The elders would have been proud."

At least our salvation barbecue did not inspire any complaints from nearby residents. A close colleague of the Institute recently received an anonymous letter from a neighbor who obviously took time off from his busy schedule of molesting squirrels and reading TV Guide to send an inflammatory missive all the way across the street bitching about how our friend's dogs bark "incessantly" at "inappropriate hours." Our colleague was so rattled that he gathered a few other representatives at Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar (8255 South Chester Street in Centennial) to watch one of the worst college basketball games of all time and hear his appalling story.

On a certain level, I can relate to the anonymous complainer, because I've had experience with those little rats that disguise themselves as "lap dogs" and whose high-pitched "barks" can shatter glass -- or a person's sanity -- in seconds. But our friend's dogs are the big, or "real," type, with normal barks that they use indiscriminately to ward off molested squirrels, the mailman, psychotic neighbors, random oxygen molecules, their own tails and their owner. While loud, these barks don't make you cringe the way that fingernails on a chalkboard would.

Any real guy -- even any real guy who'd had a few beers -- would have gone across the street and enlisted his dog-owning neighbor in a rational discourse about the problem and potential solutions. Only after that would both parties have descended into the usual bitter, immature war of ever-earlier wake-up times for the dogs and flaming pet poop on the front stoop.

Above all, a real guy would end his grievance with a more eloquent tag than "BARK, BARK, BARK. NOT!"

We'd hoped that after consuming piles of BWW's flavorful wings, we'd understand the meaning of the letter's last line, but no such luck. After a few more orders, though, we didn't care about its meaning. This is because alcohol consumption always increases logarithmically with the spiciness of wings -- and the BWW chain specializes in fourteen sauces you can choose for your chicken, ranging from "Skirt Wearer" to "Mango and Garlic" (for those of you who drink mojitos and/or Greyhounds) to "Manly but Stupid." This last choice requires a large beer for every three wings just to prevent spontaneous combustion.

That's not the only precaution that "Manly but Stupid" eaters should take at Buffalo Wild Wings. They also need to remember to wash their hands before and after using the facilities; otherwise, they could suffer unduly from sauce transfer between appendages. And they need to remember this often, because they're renting beer at an accelerated rate. On one of my every-ten-minute trips, I was so busy smugly congratulating myself for remembering to wash in advance that it took a while before I focused my wing-singed eyes and realized that all of the urinals had suddenly disappeared from the facility. For the sake of all the other users of this women's room, I'm glad I hadn't performed any additional masculine maintenance prior to realizing where I was.

Still, one faulty restroom stop should not be too big a hurdle on my path to salvation. Certainly it's not as insurmountable a sin as sending an anonymous letter.


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