Ice Storm Hooky: Why Aren't You Spending Your Ice Day in the Bar, Houston?

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It was a happy moment when Hair Balls' editor gave us permission to leave the office and cover the ice scare in a bar. Specifically, we were asked if we would go out and see where the biggest Friday early afternoon party is, presumably comprised of people who used the weather as an excuse to skip work or cut out early.

We started at 2 or so in our neighborhood near Westheimer and Montrose, going in concentric circles and scoping out area watering holes. (Yes, in a car -- we weren't planning on having more than a couple beers anyway, so you Carrie Nations can go ahead and unclutch your pearls.)

To our disappointment, semi-icy weather does not match hurricanes' destructive effect on sobriety. (We still can't think about Ike without getting cotton mouth and a headache.)

Predictably, most bars that wouldn't be open right now anyway -- Poison Girl, the Harp, Grand Prize -- are still closed at the moment. (Though we're sure they'll be serving within a couple hours.) But the places that are open around this time, places we expected to at least be slightly more hopping on this impromptu holiday -- Rudyard's, Stag's Head, Griff's -- were doing a bit of business, but nothing exceptional.

We even stopped by Valhalla on the Rice campus, and it was a ghost town. Same with the gay bars on Fairview; the only evidence of patrons we saw were a few cars at George and a couple of sketchy looking guys passing a cigarette back and forth through the porch-fence at TC's.

So what are you people doing, anyway? Drinking at home? Watching daytime TV? Hanging out with your kids? What a waste of a snow day.

If you're saving it up for tonight, keep in mind that the ice is likely to return, so at the very least, try to stay close to home and off highways and bridges. It may not be pretty if things get slick around closing time.

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