Fuck Man Law.
You know what I'm talking about: those now-canceled Miller Lite commercials where a panel of dudes drunk on their own testosterone decided what was manly and what wasn't. Examples: When toasting with beer, the bottoms of bottles should be clinked because clinking the tops would swap saliva and qualify as kissing; under no circumstances can wives and girlfriends store items other than beer in the garage fridge; and crushing beer cans on your forehead is no longer cool because cans aren't as thick as they once were.
The Man Law that really bothered me, however, was the one declaring fruit off-limits in beer. The rationale? If you're going to put fruit in beer, you might as well call it a "beera colada." This, quite frankly, is bullshit, not to mention heresy: Every tenured beer drinker knows that wheat beer is better with fresh orange or lemon, that Coronas need lime. The same goes for Tecate, the Blue Ribbon of Mexican beers, which, in this beer drinker's book, is the deciding vote for abolishing (and never again speaking of) Man Law.
So when Jen, the bartendress at the Lion's Lair (2022 East Colfax Avenue), serves my second Tecate with a wedge of lime the size of my big toe, I take serious pleasure in cramming it through the mouth of the can — even when I squirt juice in my eye. Ten minutes later, I order another. But there's a problem.
"I'm going to have to really bum you out right now," Jen says with her best sad face. "That was the last Tecate."
Stunned, I say nothing and flash back thirty minutes to when I first slid onto the backless bar stool, gazed up at the giant, chalk-scribbled booze board and noticed that Tecate cans were just three bucks. "I'm going to drink ten of those," I thought at that moment. "Ten ice-cold Tecate cans with big, beautiful limes." I was the happiest man on Colfax. Was.
"I know how you feel," Jen says sweetly, snapping me out of my stupor. "That's what I drink, too."
"It's okay," I tell her, feigning nonchalance. Then I get over myself and switch to $3 Shiner Bock cans. Seven of them over the next four hours. Victory is still mine.
This won't be the only time the well runs dry. Sometime around 11 p.m., Chris tries to order a Jack and Coke and is met by Jen's now-signature sympathy. "Wait," another friend jumps in from behind. "They don't have Jack, or they're out?"
"They're out," Chris assures him, "which is a lot cooler than not having it, but still not cool."
Yet somehow we persevere, spiraling mouth-first into bacchanalian bliss. We laugh at how '90s Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton look on the Twister pinball machine tucked against the sound booth, squint to read the dozens of stickers — "I (heart) Mormon Pussy," "My kid sells dope to your honor student at Get High School" — covering the rails and beer coolers behind the bar, scratch our heads at the oh-so-out-of-place flat-screen TV above the door. Jen takes care of us the entire time, often shaking my can as she passes by and tapping me on the shoulder to see if I want another when it's empty. "Yes," I tell her the first time she does this. "The answer will always be yes."
At the end of the night, after she accidentally runs my card for $48 when it should have been $42, it's my turn to show sympathy face. "Don't worry about it," I insist, cutting her off mid-apology. "I would have tipped you more than $6 anyway." And not just because I'm drunk.
Because that's real Man Law.
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