Park Tavern

It's been more than a month, but we here at the Institute are still bitching about the Snickers Super Bowl commercial. That's the one in which two guys accidentally touch lips and have to atone by doing several manly things, including ripping off chest hair and kicking each other in the groin. As someone who sports an all-season sweater, let me tell you: Ripping off chest hair is not manly; it just hurts.

Besides, I honestly don't know what the big deal is. Guys aren't really homophobic; they just don't want to be thought of as less than manly, and kissing a guy puts you at the top of that list, way above passing out on the pull-out couch with two other guys after you've been overserved, which is okay as long as you don't ask how those pillows got so warm. ("Those aren't pillows!")

We gave the subject a good workout during a recent jaunt to the Park Tavern (931 East 11th Avenue), because that bar is not manly. I know this, because I'd called to make sure the Air Force basketball game would be featured that afternoon. Assured it would be, we gathered forces and descended on the Tavern, in dire need of a few beers. We settled in, ordered some apps and our first round of drinks. I chose the Arrogant Bastard, mainly because the beer boasts an 8 percent alcohol content; unfortunately, that led a lippy wife to make biased and inappropriate comments about my character. After a couple of these beers, though, I didn't care what the hell she said. In fact, I was too busy running back to the bathroom to have much of a conversation. Good thing the Park Tavern easily has the best-smelling can in town -- and that includes the facilities at most Institute members' dwellings.


Park Tavern

While we were enjoying the libations, game time snuck up on us. Upon our arrival, we'd told our waitress we'd need to switch to the AFA channel at the appropriate time, but it's hard to be vigilant during a happy hour like the Tavern's. Most happy hours that offer twofers just plop two tankards in front of you, so that you must plan your consumption to avoid hitting warmish beer at the end. But at the Tavern, you get happy-hour tokens that you can cash in at your discretion, which means you can let down your guard and enjoy yourself.

Which we were doing, so when game time was upon us, we had to first find our server, then hunt for the channel. We couldn't find it. Our server even gave us the remote, but we still came up short. After a couple more beers, we realized that we'd been duped by the management, who thought that the "AFC" of the Pro Bowl was analogous to the "AFA" that we were actually looking for -- which was just more evidence that women don't have the genetic makeup to be true sports fanatics.

So our conversation turned to the Snickers commercial that was not shown during the game we were forced to watch; complaints had already pulled it off the air. And after lengthy debate, we reached a consensus: The Institute, and guys like us everywhere, are being discriminated against. We are being deprived of our right to be indignant or disgusted -- our choice -- by this commercial. Gay-rights activists need to treat us more like adults. After concluding this, we joined in the conversation that the girls were having about bras -- although we found the discussion far less titillating than anticipated.

Despite all the dilemmas we encountered at the Park Tavern, we had a good time -- but it was a near thing. Without the Arrogant Bastard, being stiffed on the game might have led me to the nearest bridge. Then again, Volkswagen already has enough trouble after its Super Bowl commercial.


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