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Club Mallard

Well, tonight I got home at 1:45 am. I finally went with Ann to check out the famous Club Mallard in Albany. I've been wanting to check it out for a long time cuz I heard the lore that it had duck decor inside. A duck crossing sign I heard. So tonight I was the designated driver and Ann was the designated drinker.

We sidled up to the door on the side street off San Pablo. Two younger men greeted us with smiles and said hello as we slipped by. In front of me was the bar winding towards the right. And cigarette smoke! yech. To the left was a fairly large room with a couple of pool tables and the local crowd hustling pool-mostly male, hmmm. They turned slightly and looked. Ann turned to me and grinned. We kept sidling. Unfortunately, I didn't notice anything duck but, admittedly, I was distracted. All the tables were taken so we went to the outer unoccupied patio. It was decorated Tiki style with plastic fronds, large wooden Tiki heads and several burning torches. From there we wound our way to the upstairs bar with pool tables and plopped down. On the other side of the room I noticed a large stuffed deer head sticking out of the wall and thankfully, no stuffed ducks. And so I sipped a low octane margarita and Ann had a pint of ale and "I can't tell you how many" gin and tonics.

It turned out to be a low key evening as Ann slowly got plastered and we engaged in a long discussion about the meaning of life. Men meandered by meekly, glancing our way. The bartender complained about getting stiffed. Then at one point, a fellow stood between us to order his drink and so I turned to him and asked him what happened to that Star Trek Borg movie disappearing from the theaters. He eagerly discussed it and his favorite scene where the drill goes right into the Borg's eyes. Then he gracefully bowed out. Just right I thought.

And finally, we glided out of the Mallard into the cool darkness and that's when I saw it in the parking lot: the big, old, boxy British taxicab with the original yellow English license plate: "MALLARD". and underneath it the California plate: "DUCK N".

Feb 26, 1997

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