If you're going to stick with the maxim "Liquor then beer, never fear," there are few better places to get stuck than at Las Margaritas. First, the restaurant serves up good, greasy Mexican food that helps reduce the number of free radicals that destroy your brain while you drink. And second, since for much of the night Las Margaritas features a beautiful happy hour with two-for-one margaritas that may well be made with diesel and gasoline (if the way I feel the next morning is any indication), you're going to need every brain cell you can save.
The Old South Gaylord neighborhood is a favorite with our crowd of young, irresponsible medical professionals, and we found ourselves there again one recent Thursday. The margaritas were wonderfully toxic, as always, and the guacamole provided enough ballast for our otherwise empty stomachs. As we prepared our minds and bodies for an evening that, with any luck, would end in homes other than our own, we had the patio largely to ourselves. But as the hours progressed, the place began to fill up -- and unbelievably, the newcomers were almost exclusively women. Now, we'd noticed this phenomenon before -- in fact, its high percentage of females is another reason we keep coming back to Las Margaritas -- but this time, I also noticed that the majority of these women were very, very young. Which isn't a bad thing, either, until you realize that you're too old to have anything in common with 90 percent of them. I heard myself making hugely dad-like observations: "What is the point of wearing your hat backward?" "I don't know about you, but the girls I knew in college did not look like that!" And worse: "Yeah, she's cute, but I think being able to see her thong above her pants is slutty."
About the same time I started humming that line the Who sang before I was born ("Hope I die before I get old"), I remembered a piece of mail I'd received recently. The first nail in my coffin. Tabak's Health Products wanted to give me a free sample of its revolutionary new product, SuperAmore, and started right off by inquiring if I'd ever felt "age-related" deficiencies in stamina, performance and, God help me, libido. Granted, a teenager has more testosterone in his veins than everyone in the U.S. Senate combined, but if you ask any man, he is going to deny any problems in that area. For me, of course, that's the fortunate truth, but I have heard that some guys aren't able to step up to the plate quite like they did in the past. Luckily, these guys are much older than I am -- forty, at least.
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1066 South Gaylord Street
True, I can't do some of the things I used to do. I pause for at least a minute before going down a ski slope so steep that the only thing holding me to the mountainside is fear. I won't stay out all night drinking only to pass out in a bathtub full of cold water -- and when I do, it takes me way longer to recover and get through the "dumb phase" of my hangover. Still, not even the gray hair I found on my head a couple of weeks back had me questioning my image as an indestructible young man.
At Las Margaritas, the combination of young, attractive women who probably needed fake IDs to get in and slavering, immature guys who were falling all over them made made me feel just a little aged. Honestly, though, it didn't bother me much. I was confident in the knowledge that with a few more margaritas under my belt, I could act just as immature and anti-social as any college kid in that bar. And better some Las Margaritas margaritas under my belt than SuperAmore.