oldschool CxC

Thursday, June 19, 2003

This, from this week's San Francisco Bay Guardian, leaves me incredulous: "Walking into Merchants' (401 Second St., Oakl., 510-465-8032), you'll have no idea you're experiencing a piece of living history. It just looks like a good dive bar: three pool tables, cigarette machine, pinball, one of those tabletop-style Pac-Man games. But step closer to the bar and glance down after you order your shot (which you must have because they come huge and with an automatic free beer back), and you will notice a tavern relic. Back in the good old days when women weren't allowed in bars and a man used a rat for a pillow, your standard good-timing, chair-smashing waterfront dive didn't have a bathroom per se. Instead it had a tiled trough running under much of the bar in between the wood and the little railing where you put your foot. This is a urinal. And at Merchants', it's still there. Although today we waste our nights trekking back and forth between bar and bathroom, time at the bar was once valuable and couldn't be squandered on trips to the toilet. If you had to go while standing at the bar, you just let fly – trying, if you had any shred of politeness, to aim away from your neighbor's feet."


Post a Comment

<< Home