Ode To The 'Lanche
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Here's a lovely poem about the beloved 'Lanche, sent to me by Linda in Philadelphia.

Cliff Notes courtesy of The Mark Mathu Party Page.

Ode To The Avalanche Bar

Lines written in Washington DC a few months after graduation.

According to MapQuest!, it's 798.5 miles from the White House to the door of the Avalanche Bar. In DC I stand
Too many a mile
From where beer is served cold
With a slide and a smile.
Instead of loud music
And students without books,
I'm surrounded by lawyers
and political crooks.
I pay too much money,
And I can't understand,
People here don't socialize
With a beer in each hand.
"Blues" are a reference to Red White and Blue Beer, the cheapest beer money could buy at the 'Lanche. Drinks here are imported,
They are premium brews,
But they don't quench my thirst
Like a dozen cold Blues.
Rick and Mitch were the bartenders. Rick isn't here
Dressed in tube socks and shorts.
Mitch can't be heard
Lending wise-ass retorts.
And of course Dan was the bouncer (which was added after the drinking age in Wisconsin was raised above eighteen in 1986). I can't find a Dan
Solemnly guarding bar doors,
Kicking punks to the street
Claiming "This ID ain't yours."
Spilled beer remainded on the floor until closing time. Plastic cups were added after smashing empty beer bottles on the floor was discouraged. Where are the foul smells,
Sticky floors, plastic cups?
The bouncers out here
Kick me out if I throw up!
I long to return
To that greatest of spots
And quaff dirt-cheap beer
And drink hideous shots.
How long will it be?
What suffers is my condition.
I can imagine myself
In only one quaint position.
Of course, if your elbow was on the bar top, that meant that your elbow was stuck on the bar top. With my elbow on the bar top,
A Blue in my hand,
Watching people stream into
A bar already jammed.
I'm chugging cold beers
With my friends, and we all
Will continue to drink
Until Rick gives last call.
Real Chili is the greatest late-night bar food in the world, and the cracker fights could get phenomenal at times. As Blondie the waitress would say, "Mix 'em up good, boys!" Then we'll hit after-bars,
Or walk home for the night,
Or go to Real Chili
And start a food-fight.
But our  thoughts will be tuned
To the next time we make haste
To the tavern whose misfits
Don't feel out-of-place.
I need a night now,
I've too much getting and spending.
A tap has my name;
My sanity's pending.
"Red arrow" is a reference to sign outside of the bar, a huge arrow pointing down at the door with the letters A V A L A N C H E running down it. This drought must surcease,
Throw miles to the winds,
I can see that red arrow
As it slowly descends
Taking me to the door
Behind which lies the lair
With the solitary table
And nary a chair.
My dissonance will end
As I enter the place,
But my liver will purr
At a furious pace.
The night won't cost much;
This bar's not out for wealth,
But when you enter you
Can't be much concerned about health
Since the bathrooms aren't clean,
And the air has the smack
Of a billowing dark cloud
From an industrial smoke-stack.
I will not give two thoughts
To fashion or attire;
My clothes will repel
All the muck and the mire.
Euphoria will be found,
No face will be dour.
With just a couple of bucks
I'll wile away untold hours
* sob * With good cheer and fine drink.
Contentment is not far
From a stool near the tap
At the Avalanche Bar.


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Updated September 13, 2014
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