The usual things happened. I’m not ready in time. My jeans are tailored way too short for wearing heels which means I am wearing terrible high waters and the babysitter is making fun of me for being stressed about it. Bryan’s annoyed I’m not ready. We walk out the door.
Arrive at MEATliquor. A potential oasis of cool in the midst of our very fabulous but totally not hip neighborhood. For four years we’ve been walking by this parking garage just a few blocks away. Previously known for (1) being ugly, (2) housing the strip club SophistiCats, and (3) having a boarded up restaurant at street level – Palmisano’s. Then out of nowhere we saw mad queuing outside. Then Bryan read this in Time Out magazine.
Bryan leaves the queue to go get beer. As I’ve mentioned, no drinking in public prohibitions in the UK. GOD BLESS THIS COUNTRY. He asks me what I want and I say, I don’t know, you know what I like. Something light?
I’m pretty bummed Bryan is gone because I am sandwiched in line between a hipster nerdy American/Canadian couple in front of me who are peppering their very animated but boring conversation with kisses – who does that?? who just keeps kissing every fifth word? – and two loud British girls who are doing that weird thing where when one person says something moderately funny/sarcastic in response to a topic of conversation and they laugh but then the other person repeats the funny phrase and then they laugh again. No fair, the repeater can’t get credit for being hilarious!
A man from the restaurant comes outside and yells something at the queue. He’s British, so by yelling I mean talking very maturely and articulately and calmly. He is saying that if anyone has friends come to meet them while they’re in line, the whole group has to move to the back of the queue. Even their website is serious about this rule.
Bryan returns with four cans of Kronenberg 1664 in a Tesco bag. If I was British I would have typed it Tescos. I love Kronenberg but on this night I declare that it tastes like French Budweiser. I feel sad that my taste buds have improved just that much so now I have to nix it off my short list.
Babysitter calls me to ask how she can access the latest Bachelor episode on our iTunes. I got her hooked on the show. I am like an American ambassador for culture.
We’re halfway there. Bryan is getting drunk on Kronenberg and yelling about things he doesn’t like.
I already like this place because they are officially open later than every other bar/restaurant in the entire United Kingdom. I then get homesick for New York. Even though I am not from there. Is there a word for that kind of homesick?
We’re in! This place is hella cool. Graffiti. Crazy shite. Mad people. Super dark. Some serious bartending and the #1 tipoff it is styled after a New York joint: the servers are nice!
The last rule says “No ballet pumps.” Marry me, MEATliquor.
We order burgers, chili cheese fries, deep-fried pickles and onion rings and I have key lime pie all to myself. You know how cool this place is? There are ten desserts on the menu but they tell me only one is available. BALLS.
No more French Budweiser for me.
Bryan is wasted off Baker’s bourbon.
We leave and since we are five minutes from home, I am feeling pretty proud that we are relieving the babysitter early. We need cash to pay her so we walk towards the closest cash point. We’re one foot away and Bryan says, I bet you it’s not working. I laugh as my heart simultaneously sinks. He is making a joke but we both know he will be right. In the UK there is an 85% probability the ATM you need is out of service. No one has yet been able to crack this mystery of why such an advanced nation can’t keep up with the 3rd grade level technology involved in running an ATM.
We see this and laugh/cry hysterically.
We’re drunk so we run to the next one.
Then this. And we laugh even harder.
Now we’re pretty far from home but in some kind of divine intervention, a British bank has one working machine. I can’t believe it either.
I see this on the way home and it rubs me the wrong way. Is it a pygmy dwarf on board or a baby or a child? Be specific!
We’ve been diverted but still make it home for 11. That’s the way you say it in England. Home for [time] not by [time]. Bryan passes out cold on the couch while I watch the original Jaws on tv. I am pretty sure I see a mouse. It’s all really romantic.