Last Call: Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Gay Pride Week:

Best Friends
2620 E Lancaster Av, FW. 817-534-2280.

621 Hemphill St, FW. 817-870-1988.
Gay Pride Week

Being lesbian or gay was once an excuse to drink a la the tragic figures in queer jazz composer Billy Strayhorn’s classic tune “Lush Life.” Boozing was a handy escape from membership in a persecuted club.
Today there are reasons to toast being queer, since signs of an evolved human race are growing. Hetero heartthrob Brad Pitt proudly donates $100,000 to defeat California’s upcoming anti-gay-marriage initiative. Presidential candidate John McCain — a freakin’ Republican! — schmoozes with proudly out Ellen on her talk show. An officially out Clay Aiken poses with his newborn baby on the cover of People — and the nation’s collective yawn hits a 10 on the BFD Scale.
Small steps, yes, but that’s how social progress goes. Which brings us back to our favorite subject: cocktails. In good times and bad, we follow the advice of pop icon Peggy Lee, who famously declared, “If that’s all there is, my friends / Let’s break out the booze / And have a ball.”
“Live, Love, Be” — the title of the 2008 edition of Tarrant County Gay Pride Week (which is really an entire month) — kicks off in Funkytown this weekend. Most of the festivities are divided between two gay watering-hole institutions: Best Friends and the Stampede. You don’t have to be a drinker to join the party — hell, these days you don’t even have to be gay — but it can’t hurt if you’re both.
The festivities begin tomorrow night (Thursday) at Best Friends, where a multi-media historical review of Cowtown’s gay past will take place, with guest speakers and performers. On Friday, Emperor Steve Back and Empress Bubbles LaRue — titleholders of the Imperial Court de Fort Worth/Arlington, the local chapter of the similarly named international gay fundraising organization — will host a revue at the Stampede. Sunday brings the main event: the Gay Pride Parade, which will start rolling up South Jennings Avenue at 2 p.m. For more info on what the TCGPWA has in store for October, go to — Jimmy Fowler
Nerd-Friendly Bars
The Dungeon Master looks at the four guys at the table, adjusts his glasses, and says ominously, “Your party is lost in a part of the kingdom with which you are unfamiliar. The alleys are dark, twisted, and far from the safety of the king’s guards. Your safest move is to enter a shabby tavern barely visible in the gloom, save for a glowing flagon of ale magically cut into the old wooden front door. What do you do?”
“My fighter says we go in,” says the first guy.
“No way,” says the guy to his left. “My cleric thinks we’re better off being lost.”
The third guy looks at his character sheet. “Rogues take chances. I say we check it out.”
The DM raises his eyebrows. “And what about you, wizard?”
The last guy takes a big swig from his leaded Dr Pepper, knuckles his hairless chin, and says flatly, “We go in.”
There are all kinds of nerds in addition to the D&D-playing archetype we all know and have flung tater tots at and have stuffed into lockers and across whose noggins we have draped sweaty jock straps after practice. Or maybe that’s just how my dumb jock friends know him. (And we’re definitely talking about a “him” here. Most nerds are dudes.) Anyhoo, there’s the sports stats nerd, the film buff, the music snob, the fanboy, and, of course, the gamer. But even the most introverted over-21 dork eventually grows weary of spending his weekends flipping through the Player’s Handbook or Monster Manual. Eventually he drags himself or, more likely, is dragged out into a social setting, if for no other reason than to get some real-world experience points.
Locally, there are a handful of places where our nerdy friends might not be made to feel like total losers, starting with the Chat Room Pub (1263 W. Magnolia Ave.), where the pixelated glow of the bar’s myriad computers provides a sort of security blanket for the socially awkward, internet-obsessed types. Paddy Red’s Irish Pub (609 Houston St.) has an intense trivia night on Thursdays. Nearly every regular at Ye Olde Bull & Bush (2300 Montgomery St.) can accurately quote every Monty Python skit ever filmed, and at J.R. Bentley’s (406 W. Abram St.), University of Texas-Arlington grad students can drink in peace while parsing the ins and outs of feudal Europe or Foucault.
For nerd-spotting, there’s Hooligan’s Pub & Grill (1301 S. Cooper St.), a comfy Bull & Bush-type of place that is equidistant from both Lone Star Comics and a recently defunct videogame store. Miraculously, Hooligan’s is also friendly to jocks on the prowl for flabby bodies against which tater-tot attacks can be launched. Just ask me. — Steve Steward

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