12:28 PM, Jun 28, 2007
McDonald and Schlafly
I drove home in the rain yesterday. It would seem that rain has an adverse effect on Kansas City's stoplights, because I sat impatiently idling at Swope and 59th, and again at Swope and Benton for minutes longer than usual. It almost made me angry. Almost.
I got home, hastily changed into shorts, broke out my umbrella, and joined up with Jeff and Chris. I would never have had the common sense to purchase an umbrella on my own. I got it for making a lucky shot in a golf tournament last year, and never used it until this year when it started raining enough for me to say, "oh! I have an umbrella!"
Anyway, it was in sodden conditions that the three of us walked up to the Central Library on 10th Street, and therein met Josh, who had enthusiastically decided to join us. We were there to see Tom Schlafly, the founder of the excellent St. Louis
Brewing Company, speak before about 200 people about operating a brewery in the 50%-nationwide-market-share behemoth brewery that's also located in St. Louis, pursuant to the selling his book, A New Religion in Mecca
. In the hour preceding the event, the folks from St. Louis had set up a buffet line of cheese and giant pretzels, seasoned ribs, various flavors of sausage, and of course, beers from Schlafly.
We helped ourselves to the favors and made banal smalltalk with the others in attendance. After a short time, the crowd was unmistakable. A lot of people were apparently interested in small breweries, and more specifically, good beer. I remarked, "look at these people, they look normal."
founder John McDonald, who was accidentally introduced as local kadrillionaire Tom McDonald, formally introduced Schlafly, and noted that if it hadn't been for a nick-of-time request for beer in the early 90s from Schlafly, Boulevard would probably had gone out of business. Tom Schlafly spoke for about 45 minutes or so, and fielded questions for another half hour or so.
We ran into Matt as we were leaving the library, and he rebuked us for not having attended the Downtown Neighborhood Association
meeting. These things happen, of course. We walked over to 12Baltimore for some proper dinner, and to enjoy the fact that they had Schlafly APA on tap. Josh bade us a good evening, and went to catch his bus. That left Chris and Jeff and me, exiting the sauna-like humidity and entering the hospital-approved air conditioning of the Hotel Philips. We sat at a table and waited for perhaps ten minutes before we decided we didn't want to wait anymore, and went to Grinders instead.
When we sat down at Grinders, we had a waitress at our table in under a minute, without any hand-waving, eye-contact, or signaling of any kind. She took our food orders when she brought our beers soon after, and within five minutes, we each had our food. After an evening eating smoked meats, drinking beer, and then eating a grilled-cheese sandwich and tater tots, my plumbing announced that a call of nature was in order, and it was relatively urgent. The men's room at Grinders has a stool on the floor, and a urinal on the wall, but the door locks.
It's terrible to monopolize a bathroom at a bar, but a colon's a colon. As I walked toward the bathroom, a man that looks like a woman stood up and followed me in. I went to the urinal and waited for him to finish, but whil he was going, two more people walked in, and then two more. It was not going to work out. I miserably walked back to the table, my face turning green, and patiently waited in quiet agony for the checks to be paid and for the ride home to be done.
Anyway, we made it home and I went to bed early. Now get back to work.