Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Songs and opinions are aplenty at T. Eddie’s

“Your parking sucks, dude,” drawls the 50-something smoking outside T. Eddie’s Bar & Grill.

It’s late, but I have not yet begun to drink; my critic, however, appears to be midway through yet another Friday night at the tavern.

Germantown can be a great place if you’re looking for an unvarnished opinion from a local. The home of approximately one bar for every three households, the area is full of stiff drinks and impolite evenings out with interesting characters; one tends to lose excessive sensitivity pretty soon.

As we enter T. Eddie’s, we’re greeted by the owner, Tom Combs (the name being derived from his full name, Thomas Edward). I soon learn Combs has owned the bar for four years after working 30 years with the U.S. Postal Service. I learn this because, unlike most bars I’ve ever been to, the owner is actually standing there, drink in hand, greeting people. This is a guy who looks like he’s discovered the secret to a happy life.

He introduces me to his daughter, Angie, an equally happy woman who apparently acts as queen and CEO of the bar every Friday and Saturday night, after a week of working as a manager at UPS.

“Our drinks are the cheapest in the whole neighborhood,” brags Tom. “And the coldest, too!” blurts out Angie. She shares that she goes to a rival bar once a week for their “Thursgays” night, “With my gay boyfriend, Ray, and they always put it on ice for me. They know I’m coming!”

I recognize Ray from the local Kroger, where he works, making me feel even more at home.

Tom excuses himself to sing karaoke. His song, “Play That Funky Music, White Boy,” kicks in and Angie explains, “He sings that song all the time. He sang it at my fucking brother’s wedding with V-Groove!”

“We also have the best karaoke in town,” Angie says. “Mike has over 250,000 songs on there. He’s even got the Dead Kennedys, you name it.”

“‘Too Drunk to Fuck’?”

“Huh?” Angie replies.

“The Dead Kennedys song, ‘Too Drunk to Fuck’ — does he have that?” I can’t think of a better song to karaoke at this time.

“I don’t know, maybe,” she says as Ray grabs her. “C’mon, girl, we gotta go sing.” Her karaoke song, perhaps unsurprisingly, is the Rolling Stones’ “Angie.”

Later, as I stumble through my song, Ray is overheard saying, “I’ve been there, man!”

As Ray runs around behind the bar, lifting patient bartender Deena up by her buttocks for MySpace-style photos, I notice there are dozens of $1 bills hanging from the ceiling. The place is mostly decorated in classic dive-bar style — giant Corona parrot, inflatable NASCAR sign — but Tom points with pride to tiles in the floor spelling out the name of the bar. “I got a buddy who works at Louisville Stoneware, did that for me.”

“We’re the best-kept secret in town,” he says, a bit wistfully. Around 1 a.m., he tells me he’s going home for the night. As if on cue, a young woman filling out a white dress in all the right places walks past. He looks at me, winks and says, “I might stay for a minute.”

c. 2011 LEO Weekly

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