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Corn Flakes: Nickel Pitcher Night In The Warehouse District

Kind of like this....
Kind of like this....
Hans Maximo Musielik

OMG. It's mid-July.

Do you know what it's like trying to do these news articles day in and day out? It's a fucking grind. It is. You probably understand that. You're all waiting, like I am, for something real to happen, and when it does, we hope it's not another arrest for someone on the Huskers team stealing bicycles.

You can only read so many "WHO'S GOING TO BREAK OUT AND MAKE THE SEASON" articles before you start to go blind, right?

I'm bored. You're bored. Instead of news.. (okay, I'll have a little news...) I'm going to tell you a story.

As many of you know, I spent part of the 1980s at UNL as a student, mashing a four-year degree into seven years. (It was so wonderful I didn't want to leave.) Well, in the early 1980s that part of Lincoln that y'all know as the Haymarket District was known as the "warehouse district", which really was a nice way of saying the "rundown shithole part of LIncoln".

The Sidetrack Bar was down there, and Joyce and Paul were there and it was a place that was dark, cheap and murky, really all the things you'd want in a place called the "Sidetrack" and it was a wonderful fun place to go. It was a place that if Lincoln would have had an all-night bar scene you would have stumbled out into daylight, into the morning, still drunk and wondering how the hell you got into that position, with the daylight reminding you what a worthless piece of shit of a human being you really are, but that's another story, the Sidetrack, and perhaps you should just forget this entire paragraph.

This story is about Nickel Pitcher Night at a bar down in that then shithole part of town, a bar whose name I cannot recall. I hope that someone who reads this can, because it would be an awful damned shame if we collectively can't, and I'll feel like I've created a whole web site of memories for nothing because that place was memorable, dammit, if only for being a dive bar that had live bands sometimes and of course, Nickel Pitcher Night.

Nickel Pitcher Night was exactly as stated. You have a nickel, you can get a pitcher of beer.

This is quite exciting news for a broke college student and as like many things I did as a student, I ran around with many friends on the Schramm dorm floor, gathering as many as I could (and they could, it wasn't just me) to go downtown and get some cheap beer.

"I have a quarter! I am getting so wasted!", would be the general response.

And off we would go, to Nickel Pitcher Night, the 15-20 guys we could gather from my dorm floor.

The key for the bar, obviously, was that there was only a limited supply of pitchers so after a bit you would go up to the bar, and the bartender would say "Sorry, man, we're out of pitchers" and you'd be standing there with your lousy fucking dime not able to do a damned thing but walk away feeling stupid.

But, ah, there's the rub, the key to why we brought 15-20 guys with us.

As couples would get up to dance, we would simply walk over to their tables and take their pitchers, left unguarded while they were more interested in each other, potential sex being a bigger draw than the need to protect their cheap beer.

They would complain, coming to our table not because of some instinct but because as the night drew on we had done this to everyone in the place and at our table would be all of the pitchers that the place had available. All of them would be ours because that's the response that you get when a guy is made to fill silly with only a dime in his pocket and not a girl to dance with.

Some would be surly and angry and I didn't blame them, but we had Becker with us. Becker was from Chicago and to this day is only one of a very few humans I've encountered who had a voice that was more piercing than mine. I could yell, still can, but my yelling is typically fun in nature whereas Becker had that Chicagoan bite that Nebraskans were ill prepared for. They would encounter Becker, determine that his bite gave us all strength and then walk away in the same manner that we did when we learned that a dime wouldn't even have bought us a sniff of a cheap beer.

I enjoyed Nickel Pitcher Night immensely because the beer was incredibly cheap and plentiful, I was around friends I loved to be around, and I got to watch us conquer an entire place full of other men who would have otherwise have kicked my ass in a heartbeat.

What was even funnier were the ways we got home. You'd have thought we'd all have left together, but that was infrequent. Instead, guys would decide they'd drank enough and leave, wandering back to where they came from. Then we'd all talk about our journeys and laugh like hell at how stupid we were.

I came home once with an empty gallon bleach jug I'd picked up for no other reason than "it smelled like bleach", and you can bet my roommates had fun with that.

Another friend told about he hid the bushes for an hour or so because he was sure someone was following him, and then only left the bushes to scurry to another set of bushes and then proceeded to do that all the way home.

If you're a Lincolnite and you happen to wonder about what happened to the warehouse district and you happen to complain about all that money that's become the Haymarket area perhaps it would do you well to pay attention to this story. I'm sure many have similar stories, but that area was a blight on the town. Now it is a draw.

Funny what investment will do. I'm sure it's harder to find empty gallon jugs that smell like bleach these days and perhaps that is the only shame, although I'm sure there are plenty of stories of stupidity left to be shared by those that came after me.... or after us, really.

Here's some news.

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You know what? I like these guys. Dan does a good job on camera. Jason Kirk... okay, well, Bill Connelly does a good job with the previews, and in five minutes, they don't even mention Nebraska. They don't even say the word "Nebraska" at all, do they?

At some point, I pissed these guys off. Bo Pelini pissed them off. Something pissed them off. I mean, they bring up Michigan, and not Nebraska? WTF?

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