We were ready for some simple fun after a month of international rivalries during which we'd suffered through: more than 1.2 trillion scoreless minutes; 6,752 totally wrong goalie guesses on penalty kicks; 800,967 unnecessary instances of a goalie leaving his feet for an easy save or an obvious wide shot; fewer than 25 cries of "GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL!"; two real injuries and 8,798 dives that should be nominated for the next round of ESPY, Emmy or Academy awards. (On second thought, soccer players don't deserve anything more than a Tony for their pathetic displays of writhing pain whenever somebody breathes hard on them.) During this same time, we came up with a new drinking game, with shots required every time a Latin player tripped over his own feet, rolled around on the ground crying for his mother, then hopped up to see if the guy who breathed on him was going to get a red card. But even that wasn't enough to make us like the World Cup.
A few days ago, we demonstrated far more testicular fortitude than shown by most soccer players just trying to hold on to a really good rooftop spot at The Tavern Downtown (1949 Market Street). When you secure prime, overhead-heckling real estate like we had that night, you don't let go even if a hurricane hits Denver for the first time. At least, that's what I think hit Denver. When the first band of rain slammed onto the deck, it was transformed from a great open space for enjoying a profound buzz to the Weather Channel. The Redneck Liaison, his wife and I tried to stick it out, but finally gave up after our server removed the table's umbrella, fearing that it -- and we -- might end up in Oz. Before we headed indoors, though, we did manage to inhale an excellent, if soggy, Philly cheesesteak.
Inside, the former Soiled Dove has been transformed to conform with the "Tavern" line: lots of TVs, pretty bars (with fast service and stiff drinks), good seating areas and loads of entertainment in the form of video games, pool tables and bowling lanes. But usually, people-watching from the patio is all the entertainment we need.
Here are a couple of tips for anyone heading out on the town. First, if you're going to wear a white T-shirt emblazoned with ultra-patriotic themes and roll up the sleeves, you'd better have served in the military, be playing Danny Zuko in Grease or be Toby Keith. Second, the only approved excuse for whipping out your palm pilot in a bar is to consult the Palma Sutra in preparation for making a young lady regret those drinks you bought for her. Third, if you're a cast member with the Real World (they're filming right across the street), come sit by us. I have to admit that we here at the Institute are fascinated by this group: It's the ultimate in people-watching, an activity God created so that you can be irrationally judgmental yet still socially acceptable. We'd love to come across these amateurs, have a few friendly cocktails, drink them under the table, pull their jerseys over their heads and then beat the snot out of them.
The summer nights are counting off, so we encourage you to head for the Tavern Downtown and what may be the best rooftop patio in town. While there, you can enjoy whiskey and Coke (once you start, stick with it; there's no reason to throw a penny on that track), some wings and the never-ending stream of buffoons on Market Street. If you see the ones with a camera crew in tow, tell them we're waiting.
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