My son, being the fine Irish soul that he is, enjoys planning Pub Crawls so he and his friends can enjoy an afternoon and evening of sampling the many varieties of brews in the world. Sometimes he invites me and my beer-drinking friend along. Just after the Light Rail opened for passengers in Phoenix, Scott organized a “Light Rail Pub Crawl,” complete with times and scheduled stops at the bars along the route. My husband dropped Mary and me off where the rail begins, and we enjoyed some beers at Wineburger. After a few drafts under our belts, we hopped on the rail at the first station. I noticed Scott had Durant’s on his list. Durant’s is an upscale, old-fashioned lounge that caters to the steak and lobster crowd. The booths are black leather, the walls are papered with black and red velvet, and the lighting consists of a dim lantern on each table – just the sort of place where Don Vito Corleone would plan his next hit.
“They’re never going to let your crew in Durant’s, Scott.”
“Watch me,” he replied.
When my friend and I arrived, his gang was gathered around the bar laughing, patting each other on the back, and telling loud stories and lewd jokes. The bar maids were catering to every whim, while the dining patrons in their diamonds and pearls eyed the noisy bar hooligans with disgust.
“Give my mom a martini, Sue,” Scott said to the bartender. Sue complied immediately.
I think a very large tip was involved for Durant’s to put up with his sleazy crowd for an hour.
We hopped back on the rail and enjoyed several more pints along the route. When we approached Mill Avenue, Mary and I were ready to hop off.
“Oh no, we’re not getting off here,” my son informed us. “There’s another place in Mesa.”
The rail took us to the end of the line in East Mesa to a bar with a pool table, a Karaoke machine, and several sleazy characters hanging on the bar. I would have preferred the piano bar on Mill Avenue, but I discovered Scott wanted this to be our last stop because he could stumble to his friend’s house and crash in a drunken stupor on his couch.
I was just in the middle of harmonizing “Sweet Caroline” with my new slut friend, when someone asked about the last train back to Phoenix. “11:00,” was the reply. We all looked at our watches, “Oh my god, it’s 10:55.”
Mary grabbed my hand and we sprinted down the street in our sexy stacked-heeled boots and barely made it inside the train car’s closing doors. The Light Rail pauses for no one. If we had missed the last train, Mary’s husband would have had to drive 35 miles to pick us up – a divorce-paper-filing event for sure.
We made it, pretending to be sober, and starving.
Names have been changed to protect the guilty.