BAR BELLE: I WILL drink and I WILL love it

Sign of the Whale
1825 M St., NW
Carded: Somewhere in between the door and the bar
Dress: Sweatpants are fine for a weekday

When I was a freshman I had no problem going out Thursday, Friday and Saturday, resting Sunday, then going out Monday and Tuesday night. I could still wake up for class and function without being in a permanent state of exhaustion. Over the last three years though, I’ve felt myself losing that drive to be permanently drunk. I feel washed up, like I’m too old for this. And to think, I’m barely legal.

But I do have my honor and by God, I will not stand for it. I will go out. I will drink. And I will love it. I will reclaim that youthful vigor and not be one of those people that only has “a glass of wine with dinner, please.” I will get drunk!

With my new manifesto in mind and two friends also eager to reclaim their status as alcoholics, I headed to Sign of the Whale Monday night. Originally owned by Jane Fonda, the Sign of the Whale is a cozy bar with mahogany wood paneling and a fire place, nestled in between two strip clubs. On the weekends it’s packed, but during the week it’s the bartender, a few regulars and some seniors desperate to deny the signs of aging.

I was a little full from dinner so I didn’t want to drink to much, but a generous bloody Mary and an eager bar tender took care of that. It was hard to resist the $2.25 Bud/Bud Light specials, and when the people next to us bought six shots of Irish Mist, we had to try one. It was downhill from there, especially since the last round was on the bartender.

We stumbled home reminiscing of drunken nights and morning hangovers of years past. The winners? There was one who sat on the edge of a bunk bed and pissed all over a Thurston quad, thinking it was the toilet. One who was still so drunk for an early morning flight took the wrong bag off the security belt and her luggage ended up in Utah. One stumbled out of a class, taught at the Washington Post, to throw up. And then there were the ones who drank for 12 straight hours just because it was rainy.

Ahhhh, freshmen memories. Come to think of it, wasn’t that last month?

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