The Best of Gut Check: The Dive Bomber

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Robin Wheeler writes the blog Poppy Mom. She also has a strange attraction to drinking establishments with jars of pickled -- or possibly fossilized -- eggs. She reports on these dives for Gut Check every Thursday.

While Gut Check is on vacation this week, check out some of Robin's best work:

The Dive Bomber Believes in the Office (April 3, 2009):
Gruff bartender. A leering pool player who snuck up behind me and told me to put his digits in my phone and call him later. A steady stream of people coming in to buy cold tallboys and pints of liquor packaged in reused Shop n' Save bags. I thought I'd drain my bottle of Bud (poured in a tiny glass, all ladylike) and scram.

But then the only other woman in the bar hit the jukebox and played Fantasia's "I Believe," followed by a Mariah Carey song about believing in something.

Here we were, strangers in a dark, dusty tavern with a long crack down the middle of the floor, being uplifted by modern R&B. It got to me.

I believed.
Save Screamer's (April 24, 2009):
I busied myself with drinking my beer and counting pennies. The top of the bar is covered with them, epoxied long ago. Some have been chipped away. One of the patrons kept asking if anyone had change for a one hundred dollar bill. No one did, but if he had a putty knife, he could have made change from the bar.

A man named Grandma often hangs out at Screamer's, I was told. No one know why he's called Grandma. One of the bartenders sometimes brings her tap-dancing daughter to visit. She used to dance on the pennies as a toddler.
Social Networking at Jodi T.'s (June 5, 2009):
Later, I got to watch as the man next to me unwound the gauze from his finger to show it to another patron. He'd disregarded the warning on his lawnmower about where to not place his hands while the motor was running.

As for the patron who wanted to see the remains of the finger, he was on his way home. Two bartenders had refused to sell him more drinks because he was having trouble with enunciation and staying upright. He was still capable of hauling out the bar's trash, though.
Want to dive-bomb more dive bars? Visit the complete archive.

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