Crashing With Father After a Night at J. King Neptune's

Taylor Hamby
Editor's Note: We all know local music and dive bars go hand-in-hand. So in the interest of merging the two together on Heard Mentality, we bring you our nightlife column Dive, Dive, My Darling. Read as our bold web editor Taylor "Hellcat" Hamby stumbles into the dive bar scene every week to find crazy stories, meet random weirdos and guzzle good booze.]

Let me start by apologizing to my mom. I can already hear her lecture about how I should know better. Sorry, Mom, just doing my job.

It was a Friday. I had just finished eating chicken fried steak at Harbor House when I decided to stop in at Mother's Tavern solo for one beer. There was just one stool--at the corner of the bar, right by the door. As fate would have it, it was next to an old dude with a white horseshoe mustache that would make Sam Elliott quiver. He's the type of guy next to whom I prefer to NOT sit unaccompanied. I counted down the moments it would take for him to strike up a conversation. Five . . . four . . . three . . .

"Hey, dear, so is this your first time here?" he asked.

"Uh, no. It's my second." I took a swig from my Mason jar.

On the other side of him was the most beautiful woman I've ever seen at a dive bar. The man introduced the thirtysomething beauty as a fine lady he had met in the bank line. Yeah, okay, Stranger. And she laughed right on cue.

I tried my best to keep my eyes forward and avoid conversation. I was halfway through my beer when the Stranger stood up and approached me. "Hey, come with us," he said. "We're going down the street to King Neptune's to listen to some real rock & roll music."
"I'll meet you there, friend," I said, tipping my jar toward him.

"Bullshit," he shot back. "You won't come."
"Nah, man, I will. I just have half a beer here that I'm not gonna abandon," I explained. "I'll meet you there."

"I'll buy you a new one there," he persisted. "Just come with us."

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