Thursday, March 26, 2015

Pauly Doesn't Read My Blog Anymore

               The second debate in Chicago's mayoral election is going to be tonight at nine. It seems a bit late but maybe that's intentional. The Chicago Machine politicians have been using government as their private piggy bank since the city was first incorporated in the Nineteenth Century. They are clever at protecting their ill gotten gains and have figured out how to restrict the number of people voting in city elections. It's not accidental that both the mayor and alderman run in off-years. Not only do they not run during big presidential turnouts, they run in February when Chicago weather is at its worst. The Machine can turn out their people no matter what the year or what the weather. It's the Chicago way.
            Mayor Emanuel is very unpopular. He's not warm and cuddly and seems politically tone deaf. Richy Daley left the city on life support and Rahm doesn't seem to know what to do. He was ripe for the pickings if a credible candidate had challenged him. Unfortunately, there are no credible candidates in Chicago. Not one. The same thing happened in the recent governors race. You would think in a state as big as Illinois or a city with a population as large as Chicago's somebody electable might have emerged but alas, the situation seems more hopeless than ever. I've been receiving some heat from the anti-Rahm Emanuel people that are supporting his opponent, Jesus Garcia. Why? Because I've been demanding that the meek, milk toast Jesus give me a reason to vote for him. His campaign strategy seems to be simply, "I'm not Rahm."
           I've told people close to Jesus that he should go populist. And I've given them ten populist causes that would go over big with the non millionaire voters. It's clear now that Jesus is not going to shake things up. I really don't think he's got it in him. He's an old time hack and has basically been a coat holder most of his career. He could have won had he had a strategy beyond - I'm not Rahm.
           Nobody hates Rahm more than Officer Bill but even he's fed up with Jesus.  "I think the fix may be in. At this point I wouldn't be surprised if Rahm  brought Jesus in to shut out the other candidates. " 
              If Rahm is that clever he gets a  tip of the hat from me.
           A real Jesus supporter would be yelling and screaming by now for Jesus to take off the gloves. Maybe he'll grow a set of balls in the debate tonight but I'm not holding my breath.

          Last night The Actress and I walked over to the Kyoto Restaurant on the 2500 block of Lincoln Avenue. The food was not only good , but reasonable. I would definitely go back again. 
          Early in the day The Actress auditioned for a play at Chicago Shakespeare. While we were eating she got a call telling her to comeback on Thursday for a second audition. Acting is tough racket and there's a lot of rejection along the way. She seemed happy to get the call back.
            After we ate we stopped by the Red Lion to say hello to Colin, the owner. I hadn't been in the Red Lion since the place was remodeled. Colin did an amazing job. The place is huge and he really captured the classic British pub look. His very extensive library is on full display along with some marvelous art.
           The Actress knew Colin from her days of doing theater on Lincoln Avenue. I first met Colin on Rick Kogan's radio show last fall. When he suggested that the two of us visit Jeff at the Billy Goat some Friday I told him to count me in. Rick said that I should have Jeff call him the next time I'm at the Goat so maybe Colin and I  can lure him over from his paper for a drink. 
           The Actress got into a conversation with a middle aged man sitting next to her who was visiting from Maine. After she described the Ale House we hopped in a cab and took him there.
           While we were chatting at the Ale House Pauly A. made a  rare appearance. Pauly's been on the wagon for over ten-years  and tends to avoid saloons. He said he rarely reads my blog because he's says there is too much Street Jimmy. It turns out that Pauly was an understudy in a play the Actress was in at the North Light Theater.
            The Defense Attorney and Hawkeye got into another squabble while I was talking to Pauly. It brought back memories of our trip to Scotland.
            Speaking of Street Jimmy, he's still AWOL. 

            Fancypants was irate this morning. He said that he stopped by a restaurant called Boni Vino on W. Van Buren Street for a sandwich and a beer. 
            "This huge, gross fat slob owns the place. He's even fatter than Ruben. He's so fat he has to wear sweat pants. I wanted a grilled cheese sandwich and a beer. He charged me eight fifty which was two more dollars than it was supposed to be. When I told him this he yelled and said he could charge anything he wanted. He yelled at his employees too and wouldn't let a bus boy have a glass of soda. I want you to write about him."

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Was It Street Jimmy's Body They Found On The Green Line?

               Gracie has launched an investigation to determine whether it was Street Jimmy's body that was discovered on the Green Line train four days ago. Officer Bill said the morgue photo's from four days ago aren't available yet. Hawkeye checked County Jail and he's not there. I still think he had himself committed but one never knows what the thrill seeking scamp might be up to (or past tense, might have been up to.) If he is in one of the local nut houses I'm going to scold him when he reappears for not having the hospital alert us as to his whereabouts. Jimmy likes to keep his stays in the loony bins on the down low. I guess he feels that people might have doubts about his sanity if they knew about his frequent visits. I told him the last time we discussed the subject of mental health that those doubts about mental well being have long ago been dispelled. 
            "Jimmy, what possible evidence could there be that you're crazy? Just because you smoke a hundred dollars worth of crack a day, spend all your time begging on the street, sleep on the El and behind garbage cans, and are prone to irrational temper tantrums doesn't make you crazy - it just makes you a fucked up street bum."
           "I ain't crazy."
            "I just agreed with you, you silly goose."
            When Jimmy asked me if I talked to myself I asked him for a more detailed explanation of what exactly he meant by talking to myself?
             "You know, like when you be walkin' down the street an' you talk to yourself."
             "Out loud?"
             "Sometimes."
              "Not really, how about you, do you talk to yourself?"
              "Yeah, if I see somethin' I tells myself, hey, watch out for tha' guy, you know stuff like tha'."
               I really don't think it was Jimmy's corpse on the Green Line. I'm betting that he'll show up shortly all fresh faced and all ready to get back to his old crack smoking ways.
              Speaking of crack heads, Don is back on the street. Don was arrested three years for robbing the head of Moody Bible Church's office. The head preacher had taken Don under his wing and gotten him a job and a place to live on the South Side. Don repaid him by sneaking into the preachers office and stealing a couple hundred dollars. Unbeknownst to Don there was a camera and the video made it clear who the culprit was.
             Don is an odd case. For about  five years he was a very passive street beggar and then about two years before his incarceration he became aggressive. Jimmy told me Don was out on parole about a  week ago and was begging in front of the Ale House.
             "I tol' him you didn' wan' him hustlin' in front of your lounge an' he say fuck Bruce."
              "Jimmy, you don't need to speak for me, why don't you just worry about Jimmy."
              "I don' wan' him around here."
               "Then you tell him Jimmy doesn't want him around."
               I saw Don Monday in front of  McDonald's begging. At first I didn't recognize him. He's aged considerably and had a scruffy beard. I only gave him a brief nod because the light was changing from red to green.
               
               Tuesday night there was a going away party for Jacob. He's moving to New York to pursue his acting dream. He's got talent and tenacity and so I think he'll make it. We all wished him good luck.
              
               Ruben Four Toes has become the de facto leader of his old folks home. He's had time to scrutinize both the staff and his fellow residents by now and has found a number of them wanting. Four people in the building croaked in the last couple of weeks and he's worried about the quality of the people who will be replacing them. 
             "I don't want too many Mexicans or anymore Chinese either."
             "What about Little Gandhi, he's Asian and he's one of your best friends in the building?"
             Ruben frowned, "he's unreliable."

              I'm going to have to say something to Jenny The Mooch about her constant mooching for drinks. She's out of control. She insinuates herself into other peoples conversations and then says why don't we have a drink? As soon as the drinks arrive she picks hers up and departs without paying. The bartenders are hip to her by now.  She has large intense eyes, and while she stares at you a smile continuously flits across her round face. The regulars are  increasingly annoyed by her constant attempts at mooching so it's time for me to have a chat with her. I will attempt to  jar her conscience. Stay tuned.

          Tobin bought Ruben several packs of Oreo cookies. Just what his toxic waste dump of a body needed.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Susan McDougal Was A Stand Up Broad

            Monica Lewinski is going around the country giving speech's about redefining herself as she attempts to change  her current victimhood persona. She has also written a book describing her legendary skills at fellatio and I'm sure she's getting paid reasonably well for her speeches. I wouldn't be surprised if there was some Republican cash in the woodpile helping  finance her reappearance back into the pop culture arena. Hillary looks invincible now (unfortunately) and so the Republican piggies are going to throw everything they have at the old stone-faced harridan. I suppose the Republican rat bastards think Monica will rub off negatively on Hillary although I think by now they may have overplayed their Monica card. As we know, these shit for brains Republicans have never been known for moderation. You can hardly blame Monica for trying to cash in on her celebrity, it is  what we American do which is why we are the greatest country in the history of the world.
         In spite of her current PR campaign Monica Lewinski is a pathetic figure and will remain so. She will forever be a punch line and an object of derision. It didn't have to be this way - she could have been a feminist icon had she played her cards differently. A little background: One of the problems with being a post JFK president is that you can't publicly chase pussy. A president now needs to exercise discretion when banging chicks.  Bill had a few regular chicks on the line like Eleanor Mondale that he knew would keep  quiet, and rumor has it he was nailing Barbara Streisand occasionally. You couldn't blame Bill because let's face it, Hillary seems about as sexual as frozen water pipe. Monica was an intern when Newt shut down the government. When she showed Bill her thong his dick got hard and she willingly blew him. They were both adults, but Bill should have known better than to stick his dick in the mouth of a flighty young girl. He had to know that she'd tell her pals. Unfortunately the ditzy Monica had an old hag pal named Linda Tripp. When she started telling Tripp about blowing Bill , Tripp taped their conversations. (Some pal) and then when Monica told Tripp that she'd saved a cum stained dress that she wore while blowing Bill, Tripp persuaded her to not get it cleaned. 
            After Tripp ratted out her gullible little friend to Special Prosecutor  Ken Starr the jig was up for Bill and the Republican shit eating maggots came after him with everything they had. Of course they overplayed their hands and eventually Bill managed to get up off the canvas and TKO the Gingrich led slime balls in the final round. 
           
             While all this was happening there was a second front attack on Clinton by the Republicans and Ken Starr. The White-Water real-estate deal was an attempt to nail Bill and Hillary on a fraud beef. An asshole named Jim McDougal and his wife Susan were pressured by Starr to testify against the Clintons. Jim didn't hesitate to cooperate with Starr but his ex-wife, Susan McDougal, told Starr to go fuck himself. The Fed got nasty with Susan McDougal and she ended up doing 22 months for being a stand-up broad. (She's a personal hero of mine.) Starr wanted her to lie and say she'd a sexual relationship with bill.
            Had Monica Lewinski been a stand up broad like Susan McDougal and told Starr to go fuck himself she would have done maybe five-minutes time and become a true feminist hero. But of course she was a spineless air head and willingly spread her legs for Starr and his scum sucking cohorts. 
            Just before he left office Clinton pardoned Susan McDougal. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Butcovich Stops The Beeping Sound

                 Fancypants scoffed at the weather reports yesterday. "They say three inches, what a laugh, maybe a slight dusting at most."
       Well, I just shoveled a hell of a lot more than three inches of snow.  When he showed up for work today I reminded Fancypants of his incorrect snow prediction. "Danny, you have a tendency to overestimate or underestimate pretty much every prediction you've ever made. You also overestimate the merits of your friends and associates, and underestimate the strengths of your enemies. You are a very poor prognosticator."
               The snow was dashing against the windows. Fancypants smiled, "it's actually quite beautiful. It's swooping off the lake, I think it's kind of awesome."
             Because it was snowing Fancypants mom wouldn't drive him to the train and he had to take the bus. 
            "Just before the bus pulled up this car drove by and splashed me with slush and it got all over my pants. The bus driver was very angry and he said, 'some people don't think about anyone but themselves.' I'm glad I wasn't wearing really good pants."
            When he asked me if there'd been any Street Jimmy sightings I said no.
              "How long does it take to  shower and get your clothes cleaned?"
                "If he signed himself into the nut house I think he has to stay 48 hours."

                 The Actress had a problem with a dead smoke detector on Saturday. It was beeping every two minutes and it was driving her nuts. Her security people said they couldn't get to her house until Monday so I volunteered to look at it. 
               "I'm admittedly the last person in the world that should be trying to help you, but I did have a  similar problem at the Dunes last year and perhaps I can remember how I fixed it."
                The Actress and I share a form of non-utilitarian knowledge that could best be described as  technical dyslexia. When she pointed at the offending detector which was on the top floor of her four story townhouse I told her that it didn't' sound like the beep was coming from the detector she was pointing at. Because she's been doing commercials for so many years she's developed a very authoritative style of conversing. When I checked the other detectors in the immediate area I conceded that it must be coming from the detector she insisted it was. It took me forever to take it apart and when I finally succeeded there was not only no battery in the plastic casing, but the beeping continued. I called Butcovich. I needed him to fix some plumbing problems at the condo and so I thought he could also take a look at her alarm problem. 
              Butcovich had knee replacement surgery six weeks ago. As a result of the surgery he now has one straight leg and one badly bowed one. Over the years his legs became extremely bowed from the amount of physical labor he was doing. The problem with one straight leg and one bowed leg is that now his back is hurting. If he gets his other knee replaced he'll probably be about three inches taller. 
             After walking up the four flights of stairs Butcovich climbed the step ladder and disengaged the wires from the detector. The beeping continued. Butcovich surveyed the room, got down from the ladder and walked over to a large floor plant next to the wall (The Actresses townhouse is filled with plants) and pulled the plant to the side and removed a plug in smoke detector from the wall.
             Both the Actress and I were understandably embarrassed at the discovery of this smoke detector. She said she'd forgotten it was there. I admitted that I could have been a little more diligent in trying to locate the beeping sound. In five minutes Butcovich had replaced the battery, and then climbed back up the ladder and reassembled the detector that I'd butchered. Ten or twenty years ago my mechanical incompetence would had caused me to become dejected, but no more. I've learned to live with my technical disabilities and no longer let them cause me to fall into a state of gloomy despair.

             Last night The Actress wanted to go with me to the Ale House and watch the Wisconsin Badgers plays The Oregon Ducks in the NCAA basketball tournament.  Although I've had no interest in the tournament thus far I had no problem with watching the game with her. I thought Wisconsin was her alma mater but on the way to the bar she reminded me that she graduated from Northern Illinois. "My son attended Wisconsin."
           Although I couldn't imagine getting excited about a college team just because your kid went there I was vaguely interested in seeing their star player who's name is Frank Kaminsky. Lee was sitting at the end of the bar closest to the TV. When I pointed out to Lee that the Badgers had an all white team on the court he nodded.
            "Yeah, I noticed."
            The Actress is not a rabid fan and only paid casual attention to the game. She told me about a cabaret skit she did with some young actors at an Irish joint called Mrs. Murphy's on Saturday Night. She said she thought it turned out well although she didn't think script was that strong. During the course of our conversation she once again  pointed out how inappropriate some of the things I say are. Gracie was bar tending and I think The Actress was shocked at how I conversed with my daughter When I told her that I had no intention of changing my behavior she compressed her mouth into a very serious pout. The Actress occasionally over dramatizes situations which I imagine is an occupational hazard. 
             I was too tired to walk home and so we took a cab. We're going to a Japanese restaurant on Wednesday. Tobin gave me a Groupon half price coupon to use at the restaurant which is almost expired. The restaurant is near the Red Lion so we can stop off and see Colin after dinner.
                

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Red Connolly Was A Mope

                Street Jimmy hasn't been seen for two days. My guess is he took my comments about his smelling funky to heart and signed  himself into one of the local nut houses. They'll clean him up and he enjoys playing ping pong with the more functional patients. Jimmy rarely pays attention to most social norms, but when it comes to smelling bad he seems to draw the line. Underneath that rough exterior still lingers a modicum of vanity. He won't wear certain items of clothing if he doesn't consider them manly,  nor will he totally disregard personal hygiene for an extended period of time. If he threatens suicide the nut houses are obligated to admit him. 
            Last night an old guy came in the Ale House and asked me about O'Rourke's. He'd been living in Minnesota for the last twenty-five years and didn't know O'Rourke's was no longer in existence. When he said he was a friend of the late Red Connolly's, an alarm bell went off in my frontal lobes. Red Connolly was the no account brother of a famous right wing gossip columnist named Mark Connolly. Red made sure everyone knew about this sibling connection. Red drove a Sun Times delivery truck and used to hang out at O'Rourke's and the Ale House. He had a wife and three daughters. The wife hung out at the Saddle Club, which was a neighborhood bar located between the Ale House And O'Rourke's. Everyone liked the wife and when she was stricken with cancer Red dumped her. The deserting of the sick wife did nothing to enhance Red's already marginal popularity.
           Red was a seedy fellow with chalky white skin and  reddish-orange hair. He was a racist and approached whatever subject he discussed with a remarkable poverty of knowledge. I alway took great delight in making fun of him whenever the opportunity arose. 
           After he broke up with the dying wife one of his daughters named Barbara used to come into the Ale House and regularly beat him up. This was always fun to watch and nobody would come to Red's assistance during these attacks. Barbara was a big, tough girl and was a better than average car thief.  Red would shrink nervously at the sight of his daughter entering a bar. There was a wheedling tone to his voice as he begged his bruiser daughter to stop hitting him. Barbara didn't fight like a girl, when she punched she kept her elbows in and used her formidable weight to add power to her blows. Red's glasses would often be broken during these familial get togethers and he invariably suffered black eyes, bloody noses or bruised lips. 
           The last I heard of Barbara she'd slashed the throat of her live in boyfriend. He didn't die. Barbara said that he'd hit her so when he fell asleep she cut his throat to teach him a lesson. The guy didn't sign a complaint, but did get an order of protection. This was about twenty years ago. I always liked Barbara Connolly.  
            Ruben said his diabetes continues to be in check after his leg amputation. "My blood pressure is good too, and I don't bother to take my blood pressure pills anymore. I'm down from 22 to 4 pills a day."
           We were out of paper towels in the mens room. When I went in to replace them a hot looking brunette in a tight black dress was just squatting down on the toilet. Her vagina was winking at me innocently as I evaluated the situation.
           "Oh, I'm sorry, " she said getting up and smoothing her dress.
            "You probably should close the door when you use the mens room. The ladies restroom is unoccupied."
            "Thanks," she said sashaying past me.
             When I told Ruben about this he scowled. "I wish I woulda seen that."
              About twenty minutes later the same girl came up to the bar to order a round. Ruben entreated her to at least show her tits. She smiled evasively, "I work at the Virgin Hotel and so I can't get too crazy."
            A few minutes later she came back with the drinks she'd bought and said to Johnny Ale, "I was sitting downstairs with my friends and now I can't figure out where the stairs are."
            "We don't have a downstairs," pointing his arm in the direction of the back wall, " your friends are in the back corner where you just were."
            "Thanks."
             The consensus among the boys was that she was either Hispanic or as Ruben phrased it, "Mediterranean." When Ruben said he found her "doable" no one argued.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Return Of The Frog Man Of Schiller Woods

               You can imagine my surprise when I walked in the Ale House last night and saw the Frog Man Of Schiller Woods sitting at a table with his lovely wife Audrey, The Inventor and the Defense Attorney. There was a very sarcastic expression on his Swedish face when he saw me. I've known Frog for almost forty-years. He  stopped drinking about twenty-years ago and if he hasn't quite achieved the fresh faced innocence of a young choir boy, he no longer possess his former deathly hue. Frog was a prominent character in my first book, "Last Night At The Old Town Ale House." The shrewish lawyer from Harper Collins that pulled the plug on my marvelous book told me before we started discussing the book on the phone that "in a perfect world all of the characters in your book would sign releases or be dead. " And then she cited two characters in particular as major problems: "You describe Fatal Attractions vagina as having labia's that resemble black worms (I didn't describe them that way, her former lover John Fox did) and the Frogman of Schiller woods. There is no possible way you could get him to sign a release."
           I knew it wouldn't be easy to get Frog to sign a release because at the time we were estranged. We'd been engaging in political warfare on Facebook for a couple of years when in a particularly evil mood Frog made fun of Roger Ebert's disfiguring illness. He did this because he knew Roger was a Facebook friend of mine and would read his unkind comments. I felt this crossed the line and unfriended him. When I needed him to sign the release I had the Inventor mediate our dispute. 
            With an air of bemused neutrality the Inventor assured me he'd try. When the Inventor contacted me he said, "Bruce, Frog said 'tell the cocksucker that he needs to call me if he wants me to sign his fucking release."
             When I called him in California Frog admitted that his judgment was not always perfect and apologized for insulting Ebert on my Facebook wall. I then conceded that I had also been guilty of improper behavior during our spat. I tend to call people I'm quarreling with silly names and at times I become almost petulant. 
            With remarkably little coaxing Frog agreed to sign the release. While Frog and I were discussing our previous spat  Audrey asked what was in the book that was so controversial?
            "Audrey, I'm sure Frog wouldn't mind me telling you, would you Frog?"
             Frog smiled in a graceful, easy way but made no reply.
            "Well," I continued, "Frog is probably the most chivalrous man I've ever known and I'll explain why. Do you by any chance know Lois?"
            "I think so."
             "Well, years ago  Frog was hitting on Lois. Frog has always liked older women..."
              "I'm older than Frog."
              "How old are you?"
               "74."
                "How old is Frog?"
               "64."
                "I find that hard to believe. You look at least ten years younger than him." And I meant it. Audrey must've had some work done because she looks stunning. "Well, Frog was hitting on Lois and Lois asked me who he was and whether it was safe for her to take him home? I assured her that he was a gentleman and I whole heartedly vouched for him as a man of character and discretion. About two days later I ran into Lois and asked her how her evening with Frog had gone? She frowned, her face became tense and she was unusually silent. I demanded that she tell me what he did. 'Lois, if he didn't something I need to know because I vouched for him.' Finally, after a great deal of prodding,  Lois said: 'Bruce, he shit in the bed!" (This seemed to shock Audrey.) "So I said, 'he what?' and Lois repeated, 'he shit in the bed.' Now you can imagine how upsetting this was for me to hear. When I saw Frog a week later I demanded an explanation for his shitting in Lois' bed. 'Bruce, ' Frog's demeanor was one of affected solemnity, ' I did not shit in Lois' bed, that shit was there when I got in the bed." (Audrey, although a women of learning and experience, and knowing full well that her husband was a man of the world, seemed to be having trouble comprehending this unusual romantic tale.) And so I said, 'Frog, you mean you crawled over a pile of pre-existing shit to fuck Lois, and then after you fucked her you spent the  rest of the night in bed with both Lois and the shit?' Well, Frog simply nodded and then added, 'and I can prove it wasn't my shit because I haven't taken a solid shit in two years." 
           Although Audrey smiled, it was a repressed smile; The Defense Attorney and The Inventor, however, were laughing audibly. 
           " Audrey, it was the greatest act of chivalry that I am personally aware of. Most men would not have spent the night in a shit filled bed."
              After I completed my story of chivalry Frog reminded me of the time I introduced him to Bonnie the journalist groupie one night in O'Rourke's. "Unbeknownst to me Bruce told her I was Jim Warren.  Warren was a newspaper reporter. Because my name is Jim I was none the wiser. And so I went to her apartment and we spent the entire weekend in bed together. And so while I'm in bed with her on Sunday she calls Pat Colander up and tells her she's in bed with Jim Warren."
             I still find this story immensely funny.
             Frog is in town for a funeral. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Another Reason Why I Love Opera

             I'm presently dealing with what should have been an avoidable plumbing problem. It's a distraction. I hate distractions. 

           Last night when I walked in the Ale House there was a lively crowd. What caught my immediate attention was a group of mostly men sitting at the tables beside the juke box. They were all pretty buzzed; there were three women with them that were equally shit faced and rowdy. What made this a potential problem was the size of the guys. Anya was perplexed - if you cut them off they might become belligerent. After considering the problem for a few minutes I decided that it was a perfect time to implement the Ale House opera crowd control tactic. A little background:
           When I first arrived at the Old Town Ale House in 1961 the bar music was entirely classical except for Saturday nights when musicals were allowed. The music was played by the bartender on a hi-fi record player behind the bar. It was no coincidence that the crowd that hung out in the Ale House in those long gone days was an eclectic mix of artists, academics, musicians and dilettantes. It was mostly an older, well behaved crowd. Lowell and Lee were the bartenders. Lowell was a very boyishly handsome man of thirty, and Lee was middle aged and sported a mustache. They were both excellent bartenders as well as classical music devotees. 
          I remember well walking into the Ale House one rainy afternoon. I had planned on playing golf but because of the rain thought I'd have a few beers instead. (In those days a stein of beer was only a quarter.) A group of construction workers in hardhats had quit working because of the rain and were sitting around a table getting drunk. They were loud and abusive and making anti-gay and racist remarks. Lowell, who was bar tending winked at me as he put La Boheme on the hi fi. The effect of the opera on the construction workers was magical. They immediately  started fidgeting in their seats and pulling on the collars of their shirts uncomfortably. Finally, one of the construction workers shook his head with an angry snarl and said, "let's get the hell out of this faggot joint." He had a large round head and mere chinks for eyes, " I hate this shit music." The other construction workers rose from their chairs mechanically,  picked up their gear and followed him out the door.
            There was more than a trace of roguishness in Lowell's smile as he watched the construction workers march out the door. 
             With that delightful incident in mind I punched in nine operatic arias on the juke box and told Anya to turn up the volume. Within minutes the rowdy group were loudly discussing where they should go next. By the time the ninth aria was beginning they were filing out the door.
            I have made few demands on Grasshopper, who is the juke box czar, on what music should be played on the juke box, however, I have insisted that there should always be at least one opera CD. Music is extremely important in defining what kind of cliental you wish to attract. If you want the assholes with turned around baseball caps you only need to have rap and hip hop music playing. Asshole kids hate jazz and blues, and despise classical music. Normally the Ale House attracts an older crowd and the music on the juke box is an important reason why. 

         *

          This morning Street Jimmy chastised me as I unlocked the front gate.
            "I can't come in 'cause I smells?"
            "What are you talking about?"
             "Johnny Ale say I can't come in 'cause you says I smells bad."
             "You can work, but I don't want you coming in when there's customers until you take a shower and wash your clothes. People are bitching to me."
             "Who?"
             "I'm not naming names."
              While we were talking Jimmy was smelling his armpits.
             "Well," he said tossing his back pack on the bench, "I jus' took a shower a couple of days ago an' I always wash my ass at Starbucks."
               "It might be your clothes, however, I really don't want to spend a lot of times discussing your personal hygiene, you're an adult, you need to take care of your business."
               "I do take care of my bidness."
                Fancypants said he was feeling better. He said he's seriously thinking about getting a job close to where his mother lives. "It's time I get a regular job. Maybe I can get a job at a grocery store."
               "Well, maybe you should. This job was always supposed to be a temporary until you found something better. You're just going to have to accept that you're not going to be making seventy grand year again. I'm sure you'd like working in a high end grocery store."
               Erica the Nurse came in with her dog Jaeger. She said she was running late. While Fancypants gave Yeager his dog treats Erica told us about the crazy stuff that happened in the emergency room on St. Patricks day.
             "The doctor told me that the young ones come in early and then in the evening the older ones that have been in fights start coming in. Onc  girl was carried  in with green pants and only green pasties on her nipples. It's really a waste of resources. There are seriously injured people and we're dealing with all these drunks."