Last Call: Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Saved by the Buzz

Three weeks on the job and Last Call feels like shit.

Already contemplating blood transfusions, your columnist decided to slow down a little this week. Like by not chasing shots with shots. Thankfully, a couple of sports fans insisted on beer and billiards at the University Pub (3019 S University Dr), a college bar covered in neon beer signs, pointless Polaroids of patrons, and purple. Gag me with a monkey wrench, I know. But how bad could a couple-a bottles of brew and a little nine-ball be?

As for the place itself, imagine an alcohol-fueled submarine. Dim lighting. Limited seating. Lots of backward baseball caps. But this isn’t to say the pub was that frat-infested. Twentysomethings, for sure, but not Stan and Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds. The only problem: LOUDNESS!!!

The stereo, fitted with speakers that were each the size of R2-D2, blew out Last Call’s eardrums. Worse were the smashed Izod boys singing along to Dave “NERD!” Matthews. Worst was the loudmouthed ID checker/”bouncer.” Example: Her drill on billiards to some uppity yups in the back game room. “You’re the 1 to 5 balls! He’s 6 to 10! And you’re 11 to 15! No! No! No! You’re 1 to 5!”

Last Call’s head was thumping, and it was about this time that a sloshed cohort rang the cell (on vibrate, of course) and informed your columnist that some celebrities were lurking downtown in one of Last Call’s fave joints. See ya, Mouth. ...

A bunch of New York Yankees, in town battling our beloved Rangers, kept the kitchen open at Blade’s Chophouse (600 Houston St) for at least an extra hour, wolfing down monster slabs of beef and gulping quarts of wine (six bottles of cabernet, actually, in addition to a few vodka martinis). And did the staff mind the midnight hour? Last Call surely didn’t. Not because your columnist’s a Yanks fan but because Blade’s rules.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Joe Torre, Derek Jeter, and about 10 other pinstripe ponies were yanking around the place, but big whoop. They were in the dining room, leaving the lounge open for yours truly. Ah, a nice stogie with a vodka-tonic. Last Call’s hearing even returned a little. I was ready for Round Three. ...

The destination a few days later was the Black Dog Tavern (903 Throckmorton St) to lavish money and love on that handsome fridge filled with at least 50 different beers. Last Call walked in on what it thought was a random eve but which was actually (gulp!) poetry reading night. New-school bohemians and old-school beatniks sprawled on couches, sipping coffee and wine. Way too hip for this low-rent drunk. But your columnist stuck around and even ended up raising an eyebrow to a reading by spoken-word performance artist Antwaun “Twain” Davis (

The 24-year-old has vital talent. But writing poetry and hustling Cowtown venues for 10 years hasn’t been the easiest route to success, so he’s working on recording his first poetry compilation. “The c.d. is just a start, but I just want poets to do what they want,” he told Last Call. “If rappers can go platinum, why not poets?”

You can catch Twain at the Black Dog Poetry Slam every first and third Thursday night of the month.

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