Feature » Eat and Drink

ST. JOHNS

Always a Trip

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When we pulled the car up to park on North Lombard, one blind drunk Native American was helping another one—equally wrecked—puke. This scene nicely set the tone for a Friday night in St. Johns, before my friend Sarah and I had even allowed booze to touch our lips.

It was maybe 9:30 pm, and we started out at the legendary St. Johns bar Dad's (8608 N Lombard). There was some mismanaged construction project going on indoors, and the huge space was divided up with "Caution" tape and sheets of plastic. A group in the corner cackled loudly, while Sarah and I gossiped over $2.75 well drinks.

We approached Slim's (8635 N Lombard) with trepidation, knowing that terrible karaoke lurked inside, but our hesitation backfired. As Sarah went to pull on the door handle, a drunken guy stumbled across the threshold with incredible force, nearly knocking her unconscious. "Ow—I think I broke my wrist," Sarah cried. "Ooops, sorry," he slurred. On that note, we did a lap at Slim's, but the karaoke was too pervasive, and we weren't nearly drunk enough to join the dirty-dancing crowd. On to the Blue Bird (8734 N Lombard).

This long, narrow divey tavern—which used to be called Blue Balls—boasts the least fucked-up drunkards in St. Johns, probably due to the fact they only serve beer. Here, Sarah and I chowed some Doritos and two Mexican cousins, both named Carlos, bought us a round of drinks. We gulped them down and—wanting to be unencumbered by the shackles of men—made a run to the Wishing Well (8800 N Lombard) when the guys weren't looking. And here, as usual, is where it all gets nuts.

One vodka tonic, two vodka tonics, and suddenly the two Carloses are back on our trail, one of them professing his love to me, the other trying unsuccessfully to molest Sarah. They asked us to dance, and I yelled to the gentleman performing the live music, "Play some rock!" After shaking a leg to "Sweet Home Alabama," I retired to the bar where I chatted with a well-dressed older guy. "Whaddya do for work?" I slurred. "How long have you been married?" "Do you two still have sex?" "Want to buy me a shot of Maker's?" Jerky behavior? Yes, but I guarantee this guy wasn't hurting for dough—plus, once I was shit-faced, I made out with him, so it's not like the favor was unreturned. Afterward, well... I'd love to tell you what happened, but if I put it in print, I'd probably end up in jail.

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