It's early on a Saturday evening, and we're drinking apple cider shots at Live Sports Cafe (407 Main, 713-228-5483) when a man in an Eagles jersey and a Longhorns hat sits down next to me and introduces himself. His name is Terrance, and he works for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which is in town this week. A Philadelphia native, Terrance lets me in on some circus secrets: Clowns like to drink, but they're total lightweights. "We don't fuck with the clowns, man," he says. "They get smashed off of two Heinekens." He goes on to tell us that the ringleader is cool, the lion tamer's a dick, and the best thing about working for the circus is seeing the kids' faces light up when they start the show. I ask him about the craziest thing he's seen at the circus, and he replies, "My boss, nigga!" then erupts into a fit of maniacal laughter. For the next hour, Terrance alternates between hitting on Amy, our bartender, and Bonnie, my friend from Wyoming. Bonnie keeps throwing up the hand signal for Westside, which apparently has been adopted by Wyoming as a symbol of state pride. Terrance returns each of her gestures with the hand signal known as the Shocker, for reasons I still don't want to know. After a while I ask Amy about the second floor of Live Sports Cafe, and she smiles and says, "Follow me." We're led past a velvet rope, up two stairwells and onto a rooftop VIP lounge, where one of the Texans Cheerleaders is having a birthday party. When he gets a load of the party, Terrance lets out another maniacal laugh. And I'm grinning myself.
1 1/2 ounces Tuaca liqueur
1/2 ounce DeKuyper Sour Apple Pucker
2 ounces Red Bull
Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Strain into four shot glasses. Don't fuck with the clowns.
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