Saturday, December 26, 2009

Something to Think About Next Christmas

On December 24th, the New York Times ran an article by Hilary Stout titled “No, No, No to the Ho-Ho-Ho”. It was about people who had decided to op out of the Christmas frenzy. Or, as Richard Laermer said, “WWBJD (What would Baby Jesus Do)? Sit it out.” This isn’t a new idea, but it hit a nerve this year with money so tight, credit card interest rates sky-high, and people in a cold sweat about how long they might have a job...if they had a job at all. Dan Nainan said getting a tree was the first problem, “You cut down a tree and you’re going to throw it out in three weeks. If you get a plastic tree, you’re wasting petroleum.” Then came the gifts. Nainan said, “I think it’s great that people are going out and buying things and helping the economy, but when a Wal-Mart employee can be trampled to death in a manic dash for holiday bargains, as happened last year, that kind of crystallized everything for me.” Some people said they had decided to skip all of the Christmas nuttiness and “take a holiday from the holiday”. They were driving to the mountains to go for a hike. It’s something to think about. Is the holiday whirl a lot fun? Is it costing more than we can afford? Does the birth of Jesus Christ have a lot to do with our Christmas festivities? Does Christ have anything to do with Christmas? Pepper Hill, a 50-year-old voice-over actress, said she wondered if she’d have the nerve to say no to the whole holiday. She had only been going through the motions for the past several years, she said. Could she have done with it? No tree, no carols, none of “the whole nine yards”? She did. It was very liberating, she said. Probably avoiding the whole holiday scene is easier than just cutting back. What do you cut back on? Who do you cut out? Where do you draw the line? For starters, making December 10th the beginning of the Christmas season instead of the day after Labor Day would be a good first step to saying no-n0-no to the ho-ho-ho.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Okay...I Don’t Get This

Category: What The Fuck! This morning, The New York Times reported “Fearing that millions of illegal immigrants may not be counted in the 2010 census, Latino leaders are mobilizing a nationwide drive to urge Hispanics to participate in the survey, including an intense push this week in evangelical Christian churches.” Oh yeah, I get that ALL ethnic groups need to be counted in the US Census. What I don’t get is the “Illegal immigrants” part. It’s the illegal immigrants who are mounting protests. “Many illegal immigrants are likely to be reluctant to fill out a government form that asks for their names, birthdates and telephone numbers,” the NYT said. No kidding! The NYT article goes on to say, “Latino groups contend that there was an undercount of nearly one million Latinos in the 2000 census, affecting the drawing of Congressional districts and the distribution of federal money. Hispanic organizations are far better organized for next year’s census, but they say that if illegal immigrants — an estimated eight million of whom are Latino — are not included, the undercount could be much greater.” So, people who are in the US illegally are pissed off that they are not able to affect the distribution of federal money. And they say that our Constitution says “all residents” are to be counted in the US census. Well, not exactly. In 1790 the Constitution said “an enumeration” was to be made every ten years. Later on, this enumeration was elaborated as “of the population”.’s a little vague. But I just don’t see how it makes sense that a group in our population who could be tossed in jail and/or tossed out of the US if they filled out a form and gave their names, birthdates and telephone numbers and actually participated in the taking of the census, I don’t understand how this group is righteously indignant and complaining that they aren’t being treated fairly because they aren’t part of the census taking. Plus, this group is saying they should be able to affect how our Congressional districts are formed and they should be able to have a say-so in how federal money is handed out. Except that, were they actually to do what is required of all persons who are legally in this country when the Census is taken, they could be jailed or tossed out. I missing something, or is this insane?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Frank Rich Nails It (Again)

Decrying the stupidity of Time Mag’s naming “shnook” Ben Bernanke “Person of the Year”, this morning the New York Times op-ed columnist Frank Rich says: “If there’s been a consistent narrative to this year and every other in this decade, it’s that most of us, Bernanke included, have been so easily bamboozled...that’s why the obvious person of the year is Tiger Woods. His sham beatific image, questioned by almost no one until it collapsed, is nothing if not the farcical reductio ad absurdum of the decade’s flimflams, from the cancerous (the subprime mortgage) to the inane (balloon boy).” Rich goes on to say, “As of Friday, the Tiger saga had appeared on 20 consecutive New York Post covers. For The Post, his calamity has become as big a story as 9/11. And the paper may well have it right. We’ve rarely questioned our assumption that 9/11, ‘the day that changed everything,’ was the decade’s defining event. But in retrospect it may not have been. A con like Tiger’s may be more typical of our time than a one-off domestic terrorist attack, however devastating.” Rich says we keep on being led down the garden path by leaders in all areas of all our lives. Like, former Senator John Edwards (D-NC), steroid user MLB outfielder Barry Bonds, Senator Larry Craig (R-ID), actor and former Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN), Karl Rove, former NY Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik, former NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer, ponzi-scammer Bernie Madoff, Ken Lay and Enron. I would have to add George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, the Pope, Roman Catholic priests who molest children, and the biggest conman in the Senate, as well as biggest jerk-asshole in Connecticut, Joe Lieberman. We’ve all been too eager to go along for the ride, Rich says. “After a decade in which two true national catastrophes, a wasteful war and a near-ruinous financial collapse, were both in part byproducts of the ease with which our leaders bamboozled us, we can’t so easily move on”, Rich says. And then he lays it on us...and I find it hard to agree with him on this point. But who can say he’s downright wrong that maybe “Obama’s presidential campaign was as hollow as Tiger’s public image”. “After a decade of being spun silly,” Rich says, “Americans can’t be blamed for being cynical about any leader trying to sell anything. As we say goodbye to the year of Tiger Woods, it is the country, sad to say, that is left mired in a sand trap with no obvious way out.”

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Oral Roberts Called Home For Real

Oral Roberts was the kind of evangelist who turned me off, so I don’t know that much about him. He was born in Bebee, California on January 24, 1918 and was named Granville Oral Roberts. He was healed, miraculously, so he said, of tuberculosis at the age of 17 and his ministry started then. He founded Oral Roberts University in 1963. No one has ever explained to me why he used his middle name Oral rather than Granville or why in the world anyone would name a kid Oral. I’ve always thought it was a misspelling of the name Orel that means golden. Like born-again former Dodger pitcher Orel Hersheiser. But I don’t know. The one thing I remember about Oral Roberts is, in 1987 he announced to the world that if he did not receive $8 million bucks from his donors by March 31, God would call him home. The weird logic of the threat must have made sense to a lot of his devotees because he got the money. Nevertheless, twenty-two years later on October 15, 2009 when Granville Oral Roberts was 91, God called him home.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thomson Illinois Prison to House Detainees

The New York Times reported this morning: “The Obama administration is expected to announce on Tuesday that it has selected a prison in northwestern Illinois to house terrorism suspects now being held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in a major step toward shutting down that military detention facility.” So where is Thomson, Illinois? You might well ask. Thomson is so far west in Illinois it’s almost in Iowa--right on the Mississippi River, about 30 miles north and east of the quad-city area of Rock Island-Moline-Davenport-Bettendorf. Thomson is home to the Thomson Correctional Center, has a population of maybe 600 and the folks are not happy to be targeted to receive the Gitmo detainees. Well, I guess not! The NYT says, “When talk of bringing Guantánamo detainees to Thomson first surfaced in late November, both Mr. Quinn (Democrat Gov. Patrick J. Quinn) and Mr. Durbin (Democrat senior senator Richard J. Durbin) held a series of news conferences to promote the idea of turning over the empty state prison, which was built in 2001 at a cost to Illinois taxpayers of about $120 million, to the federal penal system. “Top Illinois Republicans — including Representatives Donald Manzullo, whose district includes the prison, and Mark Steven Kirk, a candidate for the United States Senate seat once held by Mr. Obama — have denounced previous talk of such a move, saying it could make Illinois a target for terrorist attacks. “Under the proposal for Thomson, the Bureau of Prisons would buy the facility and improve its security. Most of the prison would house ordinary high-security inmates, but a part would be leased to the Defense Department to hold terror suspects.” Howsomever, if you want to hear a geshrei, wait until the folks in Brooklyn hear that Qaeda detainees are to be tried in that part of NYC. But both stories are small potatoes, by me, to the news that Hideki Matsui is leaving the Yankees and going to the Angels. OH NO! Say it's not so!!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

No One Remembers the Khyber Pass North Bar

And now, to a reporter checking me out, I’m sounding like I’ve made it all up. Ugh! Anyone out there remember the Khyber Pass North bar from 1984? It was between 17th and 18th on Callowhill Street and wasn’t too far from the Rose Tattoo bar, but was light-years less fashionable. Even certain well-known reporters from the Philadelphia Inquirer (who shall remain nameless) and who no longer live here are saying they don’t remember the bar. Shit! She used to come in all the time to see her girlfriend...oh all right! her alleged girlfriend, Serrill Headley. The “Little Judge” used to come in all the time. Anyone remember him? He’s probably dead. But the first day I was working, I was cleaning up for the night guy (Daood) and I hadn’t been paying attention to the newcomers at the bar. And when I looked up, there suddenly were a bunch of well-dressed men (obviously Family Court had just let out on Vine Street) sitting at the bar. One of them was an extremely handsome man, as in, VERY good-looking. And then, he disappeared. I mean...disappeared. It was the “Little Judge”, he’d hopped off his stool and I realized he was a dwarf. Ring a bell, anyone? Well, he was a regular, for as long as the Khyber Pass on Callowhill existed. And now I’m finding out Daood never went to Princeton or Rutgers and he had to be 24 back then, not 21. I wonder whatever happened to his 40-year-old girlfriend, Ginger. She’d be a senior-citizen now. Oh what a funny thought.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Here You Go...the Daood I Remember

I changed names for this story, so the key is: Kas: Daood Gallagher’s: Khyber Pass North Mary Gallagher: Serrill Headley December, 1997
The Day The Raiders Won
They can’t fix the Super Bowl, can they? They wouldn’t, would they? Every year about this time, I start to wonder again about Super Bowl XVIII. Kas had been so sure. “Put every cent you’ve got on the Raiders,” he’d said. “Bet your rent. Your paycheck. Rob a bank. Put it all on the Raiders.” That was Kassim, twenty-one and cock-sure. He had one blue eye and one brown eye and bragged about his arsenal of guns. He seemed like any other six-foot gorgeous Ivy-Leaguer at Princeton until he opened his mouth and the most mind-numbing fanatic nonsense came out dressed up in a vaguely British accent. He claimed to be a Shiite. It’s certain he had been raised in the Middle East by his father’s relatives until his mother decided enough was enough. But his reasons for no longer attending class were various and changed from day to day. Perhaps he suddenly realized caliphs didn’t have much cachet at Princeton. In any case, he’d taken on the night-shift at his mother’s bar, Gallagher’s, at 17th and Callowhill in Philadelphia. I worked the day-shift. “This is one fucking sure thing,” he said while I cashed out. “Believe it. You are a fool if you don’t do it.” The rowdy Saturday night crowd was already pushing and shoving at the bar. “You American women act so take-charge. But you lack courage. Particularly you older ones. You are afraid.” “Damn right I’m afraid. Who’s going to pay my rent when the Redskins win. You?” “They won’t win. I promise you. The Raiders are a sure thing. Trust me.” “Right. There’s a little missy who comes here every night who trusts you and God help her. And there’s that forty-something who drinks too much because of the little missy and she trusts you. And there’s your mother who’s always picking up the pieces. Trust you and get fucked is what I say.” “What the hell. I am a man. You’re just women. You’re ninnies, the pack of you. And here are your magnificent weekly wages.” He reached into his shirt pocket and handed me a little yellow envelope. “How did you do on tips this week?” “Rotten. Day-shift gets stiffed as you know.” “All the more reason. Give me back the envelope. I assure you, I will give you double on Monday.” “Tell you what I’m gonna do, slick. I’ll give you fifty bucks. Put it on the Raiders. But I’ll personally run your ass back to Baghdad if they lose.” I drew two twenties and a ten out of the envelope and handed them over. “Why not the whole thing?” “Because I think you are full of crap.” “Yes. I am. That is surely true.” He smiled his dazzling behold-I-am-God smile and patted my hand. “But about this, I promise you. It’s a sure thing.” By the time I had my end-of-shift drink and figured out--was I short, long or for once had the right amount in the till, Kas was collecting wads of cash from a clot of admirers at the end of the bar and ranting about spreads and his sure thing. I figured it would be worth fifty bucks to have an interest in the game. Raiders, Redskins, who cared? Now I cared. I planned to watch it with the choir from my church. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Center City, Philadelphia. So famous. So beautiful. Such a magnificent choir. Most of the members were closer to rich than poor. And a particularly salient feature was that St. Mark’s had always been tolerant of gays. Which meant three-quarters of the communicants were not saddled with screaming infants. As a matter of fact, the clergy, as far back as anyone could remember, had been carefully selected for being quietly but definitely in the closet. It was a well-dressed crowd, a literate crowd, a witty crowd. A crowd that was well-mannered even when utterly and totally shit-faced. And any Sunday afternoon, it was a crowd devoted to getting snockered from end of mass to dinner-time. The Super Bowl lent a slightly more festive air to this solemn Sunday tradition. A motley assortment of tenors and basses, a couple of unrequited altos and at least two borderline-alcoholic sopranos gathered in George Whitcomb’s living room to watch the game and get gloriously drunk. Connie was unrequited and I was one of the borderlines. I was nearly the last to arrive. Connie and Martin had come directly from church to set up the buffet, tableware and ice chests. Not that George cooked. He made telephone calls and mountains of food showed up at the door. When I walked in Martin was berating George for being parsimonious, mean and ungracious. “I don’t see why you don’t uncork the good stuff, George. You’re rich. We’re your friends.” George was rich, it was true. He lived on the tenth floor of a big apartment building at 12th and Chestnut where drunks and panhandlers sat on the front steps. But when you got inside (after frantically buzzing the concierge to open the door before the havenots got impatient and helped themselves), it was obvious the lobby was well-kept. And the elevator worked. George’s two-bedroom apartment had high ceilings and huge rooms. And he’d filled them with comfortable though wildly expensive antiques. Connie sat in a base-rocker covered in tapestry. Martin sat on the floor at her feet, seemingly enthralled by her wit and charm. Connie was in paradise. The tableau made me cringe. I don’t know what Connie saw when she looked in the mirror. But I thought she looked like a woman in a Renoir painting. Connie apparently didn’t think she deserved anything better than a self-absorbed narcissist like Martin. I found a bottle of generic booze on the sideboard. It said bourbon. I sloshed some in a glass and sat on the floor near the buffet of food. “Okay, you tightfisted SOB, you leave me no choice.” Martin said to George and stood up. No question, Martin was attractive. He had a little too much weight around the middle but he turned himself out like a fashion ad. Connie drained her wineglass and watched him thread his way through the drinkers, the munchers, the sleepy, the bored. He stood in front of George with his hand outstretched. “I’ll have the liquor-cabinet key, Ebenezer, and be quick about it.” It was their game. George the passive, Martin the masterbastard. Connie liked to play the game too since it was Martin’s favorite. “No. No key.” George shook his head like a stubborn little boy. George might have pulled off his naive-youth routine at one time, but his gray beard and baggy eyes made it ludicrous and sad now. Martin pulled him out of his easy chair by his jacket lapels and gripped his shoulder with one hand while reaching into his jacket pocket with the other. Then he let him drop back into his chair. “No more cheap shit, guys.” Martin jingled George’s keys. “We’ve got Chivas.” He unlocked the bottom double-doors on a corner cupboard, left it standing open and offered refills all around. “You’re a nasty brute, Martin.” George slumped in his chair. “Is anybody watching this?” Charlie yelled from across the room. He sat in front of a huge television set. The pregame show was over. “Yeah, me.” I butt-bumped across the carpet to Charlie and the TV. “I’ve got fifty bucks on the Raiders.” “You haven’t.” “Oh yeah. Got it down with Kassim.” Charlie was a sweet elegant man with a rich baritone voice. And he was one of a handful of my friends who had actually been to Gallagher’s. He worked nearby at the main library and occasionally brought his fellow librarians over for lunch. We served burgers and hotdogs and sausages with the shots and beer. The cook was an old friend of Kassim’s mom, an alcoholic retired sailor who religiously went into detox once a year courtesy of the Veteran’s Administration. But he was a great short-order cook. And he got Kassim out of more scrapes than even Mary Gallagher knew about. The lunch crowd was a mixed-bag. Construction workers from a nearby site, a gormless regular who sat at the end of the bar and played with himself, a few pissed-off guys who had lost a round at Family Court (which stood next to the Library and looked so like the Library that both wife-beaters and bookworms were confused), and sometimes Charlie and the librarians. We all watched General Hospital as though it were Moses reading from the tablets. “That Kassim is really beautiful,” Charlie said. The big game had finally started. Charlie loved football. “Yeah, well. He’s poison. Godforbid you ever make a move on him. He’d have your balls for souvenirs. You’re an infidel. I’m an infidel. We’re sewer sludge. I also think he runs dope.” “And you gave him fifty bucks?” “You betcha! He knows something. He says he’ll double it. Maybe the game is fixed! You think it could be fixed? Kas is so sure about the Raiders. Maybe it’s fixed.” “Pulleeze! Fix the Super Bowl? Nobody’s going to fix the Super Bowl. That’s ridiculous.” “Ohmigod! Lookit that!” The ball had taken a very weird bounce into the endzone and Jensen had fallen on it. The extra point kick was good and The Raiders were off and away. Not many of the people around the TV were Raiders fans. The Redskins were closer to home. Charlie’s hometown was Washington and when the score got really one-sided in the third quarter, he lost interest. But I was elated. No one else cared much. Conversation was loud and silly. Martin enjoyed abusing George more than watching football. And now Connie sat at Martin’s feet and kept his glass filled. She also had switched to Chivas. I rarely drank anything but Jack Daniels. But when someone put a Manhattan in my hand I realized I’d been missing heaven. It was wee-hours before I felt I’d properly celebrated my riches with my new favorite drink. I stood up to go to the bathroom and fell down. “Oh my!” Heaven had its downside. “George, can you make some coffee so’s I can go home?” I sat where I had landed for a moment. “Let’s switch to Champagne,” Martin stood at a window which looked down on Chestnut Street. He had just popped the cork on a bottle of Dom Perignon. “Coffee,” I said and slowly stood up and moved toward the bathroom. “Me too,” Connie said as she rolled over on the floor and pulled on George’s trouser leg. “George, we need coffee.” “Forget George, Con,” Martin said. “He’s down for the count. You make the coffee.” When I came out of the bathroom, I joined Martin at the window. He offered me the bottle. “No more. Where’s the coffee?” “ Connie’s doing it. Look! Isn’t that fabulous!” Snow was falling steadily and all the street lamps had halos. Martin put his arm around me. We watched the snow. I too had thought Martin was a great catch at one time. He encouraged that sort of thing. He was very attentive and complimentary. But I knew he never had and never would go to bed with a woman. He kissed the top of my head. “How are you getting home?” “Walking.” “Now?” “Now.” “It’s after two.” “So.” “It’s dangerous.” “I have a plan.” The coffee smelled wonderful. I went into the kitchen to see how Connie was doing. George was asleep in his chair with his mouth open. Everyone else had left. “Let’s hear your plan,” Martin said from the kitchen doorway. “The three of us walk me home to Fifteenth and Pine and we incidentally get sober in the bracing snowy air. Then Martin walks Connie up to Walnut and 19th and calls a cab for himself from her place.” “Or stays over, as the case may be,” Connie said. “Or stays over,” I echoed. “You kidding me? I’d never get out alive.” “You’d never come out the same.” “Whatever. Okay. It’s a plan. I see nothing wrong with its basic premise,” Martin drained the bottle of Champagne. “Come on Con, where’s the coffee?” George stirred in his chair. “I want you all to leave. You’re awful people and I hate you.” “Right. By the way, George,” Martin threw the keyring onto his lap. “What about you giving a Valentine’s party? We can talk about it at choir practice.” Connie handed around coffee cups. George declined. “I despise you all, Go to hell,” he mumbled and nodded off again. It was three o’clock when we struggled into our coats. Connie tried to put a scarf around Martin’s neck. “No, by God! No scarf. What am I? A sissy? What are you? My mother? Get away from me Con. You smell like an absolute brewery.” “Me? I smell? You really are a vicious hopeless old faggot! Why are you so mean?” “What I do, sweetheart, is treat people the way they want to be treated. You and George want to be humiliated. I do it for you. For you. You want me to.” “Come on. Let’s go.” I pushed Martin and Connie toward the door. They could trade insults for hours. The coffee had helped. Or, as they say, I was still drunk but very alert. Connie fussed with Martin about his hat, his scarf, the buttons on his coat. George remained in his chair. No wave. No goodbye. No acknowledgment we were leaving other than to give us the finger. When we got outside, it was as though the town had transformed itself. At least five inches of snow lay on the ground. It was an undisturbed virgin expanse of white. Martin scooped up handfuls of snow and tossed them in the air. “Whee!” We walked and threw snowballs and giggled and slipped and slid. Our street shoes turned the snow into glass. We hadn’t quite gotten to Broad Street, not even two blocks when Martin slipped and fell. He went down with a thud. I walked on ahead, leaving Connie to help him stand up. “Hey! Come back! He’s hurt! He’s hurt bad,” she yelled. By the time I had walked back, carefully picking my way, Connie was sitting in the snow with Martin’s head in her lap. He had fallen face first and his nose gushed blood. Blood was all over the snow and on Connie’s coat. His upper lip was raw and oozing blood. Martin was out cold. “Oh God! What’ll we do? I can’t lift him up,” Connie was in tears. A man across the street hurried toward us. “Can I help?” “Oh yes! Thank you. Our friend fell down.” Martin opened his eyes. “Jesus! What happened!” “You fell, my friend,” the man said. “Wait until your head clears. Here, let me help you.” The man easily hoisted Martin to his feet and handed him a handkerchief to hold to his nose. “Where are you going?” “Back to the Wharton Apartment building,” I said. Connie and I offered to help but the man had no trouble guiding Martin along the way. The concierge took one look at us standing at the door and ran to open it. “We had an accident. Call George Whitcomb and tell him we’re coming up,” I said. Our Good Sam stood outside until we were safely in. Then he smiled and waved and headed back uptown. George was standing at his door when we got out of the elevator. “What happened?” He was cold sober. “Martin fell and got knocked out,” I said. George helped Martin out of his coat. His nose had stopped bleeding but his lip was puffed up to twice its size. “Oh dear! Come in here. Oh poor Martin. I’ll get a towel. You just lie down right in there on the bed.” George led Martin to the guest room and helped him lie down on the four-poster. It had a featherbed on top. He went to the bathroom for a wet towel and gently bathed Martin’s face. Connie had climbed up on the bed and sat by Martin. I stood at the foot of the bed. “You’ll just stay here tonight, Martin,” George said. “No problem. I’ll get a cab for the girls.” “What in the world time is it?” Martin raised his left hand to look at his watch. “Oh shit! That fucker took my watch!” He frantically reached into his pants pocket. “He got my wallet. That son of a bitch! He ripped me off!” Martin started to cry and leaned against Connie. I crawled up on the bed and began crying too. Connie put her arms around Martin and tears fell down her face. George stood in the doorway, sobbing. Very shortly we all fell asleep. George curled up on the floor. The deep pile on the rug kept it from being the act of self-denial that sleeping on my floor would have been. About noon the next day I called the bar. Kas answered. “Where in bloody hell are you? I had to come in myself. It’s Monday. People were lined up at eight ayem.” “Had some trouble last night.” “You could have called.” “No. Actually I couldn’t. Sorry. I’ll be in later to pick up my winnings.” “Fine. You do that.” “Fine.” Kas did pay off, which I knew he would. And he also fired me. So I had a hundred bucks instead of fifty and no job. I survived. So did Gallagher’s. But I’m still wondering. The Super Bowl couldn’t be fixed, could it?

Well, I Am SHOCKED!!!!

Turns out, I knew David (Daood) C. Headley, the accused mastermind of the Mumbai 2008 attack. But then, so did everyone else who chanced to come into either of Miss Headley’s Khyber Pass bars in Philadelphia back in 1984. Daood was (is) Serrill Headley’s son and he bartended at both the up-scale bar on North Second Street and the considerably less tony shot-and-a-beer saloon on Callowhill. I tended bar in Miss Headley’s newly-opened saloon at 17th and Callowhill. It was called Khyber Pass North. It got really busy around four in the afternoon when the judges, attorneys, and assorted other low-lifes and parolees lurched out of the Family Court at 19th and Vine --which is the building that is the twin of the main Library next door. As a matter of fact, folks looking for books and folks looking for their courtroom used to go into the wrong building all the time. Maybe still do. Daood was a piece of work. Back then, he was in his early twenties, He was absolutely gorgeous. He was over six feet tall and looked liked a typical American college student (he was enrolled at Princeton, but rarely went to classes). He had one brown eye and one blue-green eye. At that time, the story circulating the two bars was that Daood’s mother had married a high-ranking Iranian official, had two children, a boy and girl by him and then started an affair with his brother...a huge no-no. So she grabbed her son and fled to America. These days, one reads in the papers that Daood’s father was Pakistani. I guess Serrill got a divorce because when I was tending bar at Khyber Pass North she was married to an editor at the Inquirer. I forget his name. Dick something. He was a really nice guy. Rumor also had it that she was having an affair with Inquirer writer Dorothy Storck. I had to deliver something to Daood one time. He lived in a second-floor apartment in Olde City. The place was chock-a-block with weapons of all kinds and there were posters on all the walls showing Shiite soldiers. Daood was very proud of being a Shiite. I thought he was just an arrogant, slogan-spouting pisser. Guess I was wrong. After I was no longer working at the bar, I heard that Serrill had to go to Iran and get Daood out of prison for smuggling drugs. How she did it, I don’t know...lots of money exchanged hands I have no doubt. But she did manage to get him back to the US. Daood was a babe-magnet at Khyber Pass. He had a very young and pretty girlfriend, and also had a stunning 40-year-old mistress who sat alone in a booth waiting for him to get off work and cried bitter tears because of the sweet young thing. Tomorrow, for your delectation, I will post the story I wrote back in the day about Daood called “The Day the Raiders Won”. And no, it never got published. But tomorrow is the day.