Happy Hour In The Heptarchy: Sinister Minister & The Omni Hut
It’s five past 5 across Conference III (leave work early, Colorado — you have our permission), time to hit bricks and get that freakin’ weekend started, am I right?
Of course I am.
It’s been a tough week for some of you so loosen your belt, pop a top, grab a spoon and stop being such a sourpuss. III Communication’s got good news for everybody.
What We’re Drinking: My grandmother — we’ll call her “Jo,” because that’s her name and it’s a perfect name for her — grew up in Tennessee and, except for a few years when my grandfather was in the service, never left. She drinks Jack Daniel’s. Black label mostly. So devoted is she that all of her of-age descendents are Tennessee Squires. Gentleman Jack is, to her, “whiskey for other people” (other people being people not from here) so smooth “you’re already there before you knew you got on the bus.” She’ll drink Single Barrel if someone’s got it, but at $60 a bottle…well, a fifth of Old No. 7 does the trick, too. She also doesn’t tarry to people putting things in their Jack Daniel’s, especially not Coca-Cola, because it’s “the sugar that gives you the hangover.” I’d explain to her that’s not true, but my grandmother is not a woman you argue with. There are two things she’ll put in her Jack Daniel’s — ice and Sun Drop, the latter only if the temperature is on the wrong side of 90 and the humidity is higher than her age (she’s 78). She’ll let people add ginger ale in her presence, but they’ll get a suspicious look — the kind of look she’d give a yelping dog or, perhaps, a Communist. So the first time I made a sinister minister — whiskey and cream soda — she immediately called her attorney — her brother, Uncle Bill — and had me removed from her will. This story has a happy ending, by the way. She wrote me back in when I warned her — no one else did — that Uverse didn’t carry the channels she needed to watch the Braves.
What We’re Eating: Nashville, to our great civic shame, has no Benihana. But Smyrna — town motto: “At least we’re not LaVergne” — has The Omni Hut, what in most towns would be called a tiki bar, but Smyrna doesn’t have liquor-by-the-drink, so the Omni Hut, a perfectly encapsulated piece of post-World War II Polynesian kitsch, is just a restaurant (they will bring mixers to your table if you BYOB). If you go, always order The Tahitian Feast, because it is miles of food and you’ll have leftovers (Bora Bora is a wonderful midnight snack). So beloved is this place, there’s a legend that said when the Tennessee Legislature was asked to lay out the path Interstate 24 would take through the state, the original plan had I-24 connecting with South Lowry Street in Smyrna, then continuing to pass Murfreesboro to the east. But that path would have resulted in the destruction — or at least relocation — of the Omni Hut, so I-24 stayed east, passing Murfreesboro to the west instead. If you look at a map, you see a little wobble in the road as it passes LaVergne, like it wanted to head for downtown Smyrna, but then it eases back the other way.
Reasons To Celebrate
Chicago: You make one little mistake on TV and then people find old YouTube videos of you and then you get fired. We’ll miss you, Susannah. Maybe the good news is you can get a job in the White House like every other Chicagoan.
Your Weekend Jam: “Let’s Talk About Sex” by Salt-n-Pepa
Colorado: You guys won the lottery, so I don’t know what all the complaining is about. Maybe you’re glum because it’s May 4 and it’s still snowing, but isn’t that normal? At least the herons are flying into Aspen.
Your Weekend Jam: “Me and Mrs. Jones” by Billy Paul
Your Weekend Jam: “The Syndicate” by Ice-T (NSFW)
Minnesota: Tough loss before the game and a tough loss afterward, Wild fans. But isn’t Josh Harding a good enough story for you? No? It’s snowing again, and that’s just bizarre, but at least your local governments are getting a boost from the state! Stanley Cup, schmanly scup.
Your Weekend Jam: “Joshua” by Dolly Parton.
Nashville: It was a hard week in the Music City, saying goodbye to George Jones. Your famous folks are out there “obstructing your justice.” But it sounds like the Predators are going in the right direction. And thank heavens, the Broadway McDonald’s is going to be rebuilt.
Your Weekend Jam: “The Man Comes Around” by Johnny Cash
St. Louis: Heroics have ruled the day for you in this series so far, but are you worried about luck running out? You shouldn’t, as you are the home of this great citizen. Still no Benihana, though.
Your Weekend Jam: “Original Sin” by INXS
Winnipeg: It’s a cold winter when there’s no playoffs and you live in Manitoba and winter lasts all year and you’re perpetually stuck in between seasons. Someone left their gym bag downtown but, good news!, it’s just a gym bag.
Your Weekend Jam: “In Between Days” by Superchunk