TIM LAWRENCE, Columnist
I am a Chicago Blackhawks fan because my father is, and when I play hockey or watch this hockey team I am reminded of him. I watch the Blackhawks at Tad’s Sports Bar and Grill because there are one dollar twelve ounce tap beers, because they show the games and because of Beth, Chico and Tim.
Several weeks ago I decided to watch a Blackhawks game at Tad’s. I went alone, friends having other engagements taking priority. Sitting at the bar, drinking a dollar beer (the Tuesday Special), I was in the company of two men and the bartender.
The man next to me was watching the game, complaining about the Blackhawks’ slump. He sipped a dark mixed drink and his main attention was on the horse races. An array of televisions behind the bar showed a variety of horses and horse-drawn carts. Bold colors and numbers down the side of the screen, the names of the casinos and tracks along the top. The second man at the far end of the bar also focused on these races, his tickets crumpled in front of him, his dollar bills fanned out to the side on the bar. He was drinking a Budweiser shorty.
The game ended, the Blackhawks had lost and I decided to leave once I finished my beer. The first man and I got to talking as the bartender began making him another drink.
“Fancy meeting another Tim here. And the Hawks are still crapping out,” he said.
“Was that a white or black, Tim?” The bartender asked him.
“One Black Russian.”
“What’s in a black Russian? I’ve only heard of a white one, ‘The Big Lebowski’ and all,” I asked.
“A White Russian has cream, the black does not. Other than that its vodka and Kahlua.” The bartender instructed. “Wanna try? I’m Beth by the way.”
“Why hello Beth! I’m Tim, and I’d love to try some.”
“Take a sip of that. I see you’ve met Tim, and that man at the other end is Chico.”
I tried my first sip of a Black Russian. I sat and talked with these fine people for a good while. Tim bought me a beer, Beth bought me one. Beth has a thirty-year-old daughter. Tim has a family of his own. They told me about their lives, they discussed boundary lines for the elementary schools. They went over the $6 minimum at the bar, how it was used to keep betters off the bar who only would buy soda all day. They told me about the old bartender who was ‘well-endowed’ and would get all the good tips.
After a while I got a call from a housemate. A few minutes later a carload of them show up to drive me and my car home. Just to be safe. I gave Beth a hug and headed home.
I have been back every week since. Sometimes Chico and Tim aren’t there. Sometimes there’s no hockey. Sometimes Chico and I talk. Sometimes more than just Will Ksander’13 come along; sometimes it’s just Will and I.
I might now, in conclusion, talk about expanding outside of the Beloit College community. I might talk about the importance of a different age perspective when I’m about to graduate. I might give you a good or practical reason for going to Tad’s, somehow put it down as the liberal arts in practice. But that’d all be a fabrication.
What I get out of Tad’s is good company and cheap beer. What else do you need in life? What more on Tuesday night?