But this is no ordinary bar. Not anymore. This was ground zero of the District Attorney's Office sex scandal, the one that culminated in a desk-assisted dalliance, a firing, and a subsequent lawsuit, the one that gave us yet another reason to read the name "Hallinan" in print and had busybodies across the country whispering gossip both heinous and hilarious.
Fueled by such hype, a visit here should mean a pilgrimage to the legal profession's sacred Shrine of Scrump. And yet the tavern deliberately downplays its role in the affair. No memorial barstool carries a plaque saying "Birthplace of a Tryst." No signs offer drinks named Sex on the Desk. No beanbag chairs, no zebra rugs, no Esquivel. According to the bartender, that fateful evening in question was just another night at the lawyers' watering hole. The couple sat at the bar. They sat at a table. They danced to the jukebox. In other words, the only scandal here is the mail-order brochure for an elixir that prevents aging.
AOL Dot Sucks
Six million people stared at their computer monitors last week in disbelief. Not just because America Online went off-line for 19 hours and disrupted the lives of all of us who are signed up for the service. What's most depressing is that we all realized how dependent we are on the computer.
There we were, nerds seething at this ridiculous, tricked-out appliance, denied access to important Internet updates such as "Clownscope horoscopes: Your daily diary of destiny at Ringling Online!" Nobody ever gets this mad at their bread-maker. But when you find yourself using AOL as part of your daily little coal-miner work routine, and it's taken away, you actually miss it.
You even long for those cheesy sign-off reminders like, "What's Molly Ringwald up to? Find out tonight at 8 p.m. in the Coliseum." You call up your friends and have those wimpy "Geez, kind of weird, isn't it?" conversations. You rediscover the miracle of stamps. AOL has thrown us all a bone by prorating everyone a free day of service, and offering price discounts. But it's not enough. Nothing will ever replace that missing day when six million people could have had a conversation with Molly Ringwald.
In keeping with the theme of disappointment, cut to an opening party at the Edinburgh Castle for the Scottish Cultural & Arts Foundation's upcoming Fest on the Fault Line performance series happening Aug. 23 through Sept. 1. Artist Winston Tong will appear in a spoken-word show on the 24th and 25th of this month at the Cell, along with Monique Mariquisa de Magdalena, Avrille Godchaux, and some guy named Kevin who is going to ignite a contraption called the Flame Tornado.
But the other night, Tong told a story of several years ago, when he was staying at the New York apartment of William Burroughs. Burroughs had left for the day, which meant Tong was home alone. He couldn't resist snooping, and began a thorough, surreptitious search.
What would turn up? Unpublished manuscripts? A smack stash box? A closet packed with dusty dildos? Tong moved from room to room, carefully replacing everything he moved. He found nothing out of the ordinary whatsoever. "But, my god," he thought, "this is Burroughs -- there's got to be something really weird here." He kept poking around, and finally he stumbled upon the most bizarre and frightening possession he might have discovered: Burroughs' personal collection of greeting cards from friends and family -- all with cutesy illustrations of Keane-eyed kitty cats.
Call the Edinburgh Castle (522-9621) for more details on the festival, which will be presenting events all over the city.
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By Jack Boulware