Slap Shots

Dave's on Third Street, however, is packed with drunk sports yahoos. Your first image is of a blonde in her 40s, enjoying both cigarette and cocktail, wearing gold lamŽ moose antlers. The bartender is resplendent in Niners colors. A suit-and-tie tells you loudly, "The Miller Lite girls just left! They're on their way to the Pierce Street Annex!"

He shows you his booty, a Miller Lite button and key ring/opener. His name is Lyon, he represents artists at the nearby Stones Gallery, and he is particularly excited the two Miller Girls actually bought him a drink, an Irish coffee split three ways among them.

The Niners are now up 30-27. Jerry Rice catches another pass, and the TV flashes his reception yardage for the game thus far: "Two hundred and fifty -- holy fuck!" screams Jerry the bartender. "Six, baby, SIX!" Another Niner touchdown, to much whooping. Two fans in little Viking hats sit silently at a table, eyes glued to the tube. A dog with a 49er vest and wacky glasses trots off the field carrying a Frisbee in its mouth. The Vikings kick a field goal and it's suddenly 37-30. A good Samaritan stops people headed into the bathroom and offers, "There's a urinal and a toilet in there, but the toilet looks pretty rough."

"All right, seal the deal, baby!" shouts the bartender. "Oh God, my heart!" There is so much tension that people have even stopped taking advantage of the 50-cent hot dogs in the back. The Niners run out the clock, the gun goes off, and the place goes nuts. The Vikings fans quietly leave. It's time to go back to Cuddles.

The crowd has thinned out, and things are quiet. Even the little hippie guy is gone. Two female bartenders are wiping up the damage. How was the game?

"It was too loud," says one. "Wish I wasn't a bartender sometimes."
You ask her to describe Cuddles in one word.
"Shit." She laughs. "No, not really."
By Jack Boulware

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