Sunday, February 8, 2009

"TIME OUT"

Back in 1972 & 1973 when I was attending Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio my friend Jim Byrne and I used to walk down to downtown Marietta for "happy hour" at the Time Out Tavern on Friday afternoons before dinner.

The "Time Out" was located off of one of Marietta's brick paved streets and was located below street level. There was a sign in front of the "Time Out" of a zebra striped referee signaling time out. After climbing down the stairs you entered a dimly lit bar with tables. Each table had a bowl of salted peanuts in the shell. I remember wearing an army jacket to the bar and filling my pockets with the salted peanuts for dormitory snacks later in the week. The beer of choice at the "Time Out" was Stroh's beer which is "America's only fire brewed beer". Stroh's beer jingo was "from one beer lover to another Stroh's beer." The Stroh's beers were called 3.2 beers as the alcohol percentage in Ohio for 18 year old students like ourselves was less than a "typical" beer which has around 6 percent alcohol. I can remember going back to Connecticut for the holidays and drinking a "regular" beer and being amazed at how powerful a regular beer was in comparison to the 3.2 beers.

The "Time Out" was generally not too crowded when Jim and I started going there. We spread the word about the wonders of the "Time Out" and over time we were able to increase the number of students who went there for "happy hour."

One afternoon they had a beer drinking contest at the "Time Out" hosted by one of the Stroh's beer representatives. I entered the contest (a chugging contest) at the bar which consisted of standing in front of a full glass of beer and then after the signal to start, raising the glass up to your lips, drinking the beer as fast as you could, then flipping the empty glass over onto the bar.
I won this contest as I analyzed that the quickest way to finish was to bend your knees while drinking the beer during the contest to reduce the distance that the glass had to travel when you flipped over the glass. The contest was close and sounded like pop,pop,pop,pop,pop,pop,pop,pop as people finished their beer. As mentioned, I was the first "pop" and won a beer mug in addition to the free beer in the contest.

Yes, the "Time Out" was a good timeout from the rigorous academic schedule we students faced during each week of studying and learning.