Charlie Browns Bar and Grill
When a guy wants to enjoy a productive relationship with a woman (meaning sex with some regularity), he sometimes has to do things he normally wouldn't do. Things like going to a shopping mall for a non-specific purpose, or watching a Lifetime movie that leaves you feeling like you need to take a shower and soak up some porn -- not necessarily in that order -- in order to reclaim your manliness. Or you watch a show like Girls Next Door with your significant other and have to lie through your teeth and swear that you're not watching for the titillation of the scenery, but for the life lessons of three bimbos.
Through no fault of my own, I recently found myself roped into going to the Tim McGraw/Faith Hill concert. I made several efforts to skate out on this marital deal, including starting a moronic fight the day before so that I could threaten to not attend and net the desired response of being uninvited. Sadly, cooler heads prevailed, and I ended up going merely to save my life. All the guys involved in similar failed negotiations planned to sit together and enjoy Ms. Hill but were vetoed by the wives, who wanted to sit next to us, hold our hands and tell each of us how much they wish we looked like Mr. McGraw.
To endure this mental abuse -- as well as three hours of country "music" -- we knew that a high level of pre-lubrication would have to be achieved. So we grabbed a table on the patio of Charlie Brown's Bar and Grill (980 Grant Street), conveniently located right across the street from where the Professor Emeritus for Stereotypical Wisconsinites was staying, and were amazed to be served even though the staff had observed a loud verbal exchange between me, down on the street, and the professor, on the balcony of his fourteenth-floor room.
Throughout the two-for-one happy hour, our friendly server accommodated our need to mentally prepare for an evening out with our wives, keeping the strong drinks and bottled beer coming at a rapid pace. I never had to wait for a drink at Charlie Brown's; before I'd even started the second half of each tandem order, our waiter was there, loading us up again. Between gulps, we sampled from a good selection of greasy bar appetizers to make sure our stomachs could balance the increasing blood-alcohol content of our blood.
Charlie Brown's saved my sanity -- and probably my marriage -- that night. Thanks to the great equalizer of a killer buzz, I even had a good time at the show. So next time you get saddled with the responsibility of being a good boyfriend and/or husband, see if you can recommend a pit stop on the patio at Charlie Brown's. With a few happy-hour rounds under your belt, you'll be able to endure just about anything.
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