Barstool poetry 101: Parting words for 2006

The end is nigh. The year is fading. This was a great one for me, all told. I saw the grave of Andy Gibb, my guinea pigs had babies, Trader Joe's brought back its great deal on uncooked jumbo shrimp, and, to top it all off, I got The Golden Girls on DVD for Christmas. God bless us, every one.

I can't help but be a little thoughtful at this time of year, and what better place to be chock full o' thoughts than a bar. You'd think I would choose a place with tinkly piano music, soft lighting, and infused vodka for such ruminations, but nah. I went to Double Dutch on 16th Street in the Mission instead. Fact is, the staff is really nice there and usually plays interesting soul music and hip hop. It is a bit cold and sterile inside, however, especially if the room isn't full of people. The design involves cement and metal and not much else, except for some cool '70s-inspired murals of peeps who could be dancing to Frankie Smith's "Double Dutch Bus."

The real reason I chose this particular bar, though, is that this year I found out I have Dutch roots. Before that I thought I was just English all the way back. (Once I learned that my great grandfather was from Holland, I wasted no time in changing into clogs and a pointy white hat.) And family is always a good reason to drink.

When you are sitting at Double Dutch, eating the complimentary dry-roasted peanuts, you cannot help but recall those jump-rope songs of your youth. You know, "Cinderella, dressed in yella, went outside to kiss a fella ... " I quickly pulled out my pad and put pen to paper:

Ladysmith

Ladysmith

Black Mambazo

How many 'tini's

to get me schnozzled?

One for my mama

One for my dad

One for the road

No I think I'll take a cab

"Hee hee," I chuckled to myself. This was fun.

Gavin Gavin Newsom

May-or of the town

So many ladies

Flocking all around

I'd take you in the Mission

I'd take you on the ferry

I'd take you in the Tenderloin

Even tho your hair be scary

The bartender made me another martini. I had to watch myself because this Double Dutch rhyming took skill and all the brilliance of a sharp mind. One sip over the line and all could be lost. Already I was drawing looks from people who were wondering about the wacko at the end of the bar who was singing to herself and chuckling whilst chewing a pen.

Osso Buco

Osso Buco

Pudding in a pie

Stav-ros Ni-archos made a Paris cry

Tears for her trust fund!

Tears for her pooch!

Tears for the rest of us

Who saw Britney's cooch!

It was time for a stretch, maybe some air. Double Dutch is just one part of a series of bars that wind down 16th, if you hop from Mission to Valencia to Guerrero streets. It's great for people-watching, or if you really like to buy third- and fourth-hand paperbacks from some guy's grocery cart. I just happen to like to do both. One seller was set up on the street, with his books laid out on a beach towel from John Ascuaga's Nugget. He had Alvin Toffler's Future Shock,some Grishams, What to Expect When You're Expecting, and Dr. Phil's Love Smart. Jesus, it was like my entire 2007 was laid out there for me. First, I'll love (not so) smart and get pregnant, thereby overpopulating the Earth still more, thereby fulfilling Toffler's prophecy. Things were definitely looking up.

Bouncer Bouncer

Sitting in a tree

K.I.S.S.I.N.G.

First comes a roofie

Then comes a sleep

Then comes a burning

When you take a leak

Well, let's hope that's one prophecy that doesn't come true. At least the roofie part. I don't want to miss a thing.

I went back inside and paid my tab. The bartender had the same hipster hair that the guys in the Small Faces did. I liked him. I almost left my rhymes as a tip, but thought better of it. Better to publish them and share my gift with the world, one beatitude at a time. Here's to 2007! —Katy St. Clair

 
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