Dive In

Introducing your guide to skeevy pub-crawlin'

On a recent Thursday afternoon, disgruntled by the heat, Phoenix drivers, and the smell of my pants, I drop my Boston terrier, Murray, at home and high-tail it to a small bar in a strip mall marked by a fuzzy neon orange-red glow.

I arrive at the Dilly Dally ready to drink.

You enter the Dilly Dally the same way you leave — stumbling. You sort of feelyour way in as your bloodshot eyes adjust to the cool darkness. My vision comes around just as an older gentleman weaves his way into me and bellows, "Hey, are you my cab?"

Mike Maas

Details

Well drinks: $2.50

Bottles: $2.50

Pig points: Great bartenders, moving beer sign, obnoxious pinball machine, 25-cent pool table, and warm, salty nuts.

Pig shit: No condom machine.

602-955-0013.
Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Happy hour: Monday through Friday, 3 to 6 p.m. with 25 cents off well and bottles.

Dilly Dally Lounge, 3639 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix

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"Hell no!" I bellow back, knowing I am home. Better yet, I know I'm on "assignment." And what better bar to start this little mission than this one. Let's just say I've logged some hours at the Dilly Dally. In fact, I've spent more time here than at the swank gym where I've had a membership since 2001.

Let me back up a little: I like to drink. Actually, saying "I like to drink" may be a bit of an understatement: I loveto drink. I have one of those minds that won't shut down and, well . . . drinking shuts it down.

For example, on St. Patrick's Day, my first order was a 22-ounce green beer, a Guinness, and a Jameson on the rocks. Now, I don't always drink like that. (Hey, it was a special occasion.) I do, however, believe you can have eight drinks by 8 p.m. and still function normally the next day. I call this "eight by 8," and I particularly love joints where I can do this for under $30.

There's a place for everything, and a dive bar— a really good dive bar, like the Dilly Dally — is usually that place. I'm talking a year-round-Christmas-lights, cash-only, pickled-eggs-in-a-jar type of place. I love the old lighted beer signs with moving scenes in a bar with no windows, bloodies with pickles instead of celery, and — most of all — cheap, strong drinks.

I like bourbon with real ginger ale, not Coke and 7-Up mixed together. I like my screwdrivers light yellow, not orange. I go to dive bars to drink, not to get laid, but to fall in love . . . with old men and ancient bartenders who grab money from messy stacks that dwindle right in front of me (with no worries about anyone stealing it or for that matter sitting near me).

I like a place where everyone forgets your name. I am a booze pig.

The name first arrived — and stuck — back in Beloit, Wisconsin, during my college years, when my friends and I would wander the underbelly of that small butthole town searching for the perfect bar like a pig trained to find those mysterious truffles that grow only in a certain town in France. Like those pigs, sometimes we found ourselves buried in shit by the end of the night.

So, if you're looking for the haps on live music and karaoke and pool leagues and shiny fucking happy, then you've got the wrong guy. If you want a dive bar that smells a lot like my grandmother's Pall Mall-filled living room (or at least used to, before that damn smoking ban), get yourself to the Dilly Dally, the first dive bar I'm reviewing as Booze Pig.

The entire joint is about as big as an Olympic swimming pool, but it has the essentials: a jukebox, a cigarette machine and a 30-foot-long bar. The newest addition is a Playboy pinball machine that belts out porno-soundtrack moans that can be heard all over the bar. Great fucking ambiance.

In the back, there's a quarter pool table and two small bathrooms. The men's room door has a curtain in front of it, or you'd be able to see directly into the women's room. The men's room is great because it's a one-shooter toilet like you have at home. No idle piss-chat here, you can actually talk to yourself in the mirror while you unload. Between the bathrooms in the back is a door to a courtyard where you can smoke or drink 'n' dial in privacy to a new girlfriend and try to pronounce your love to her (I did it here a year ago — stay away from the gin).

The drinks are served up quick and strong with no-bullshit attitude and silent efficiency by Jaime, the younger of the Dilly Dally all-female bartending team. Jaime is quick to brush off lewd comments, and it's rare to catch a smile, but when you do, it's worth it.

I'm joined this evening by two gorgeous young dames, one whose favorite color is "sparkle," and the other who's so psyched about being an aunt that she's freaking out. She needs a drink, and now. Both are enjoying their first foray at the Dally, and I'm thrilled they followed through as planned to meet after drunken bowling.

We start with some scary-looking, but ultimately tasty, warm nuts from an antiquated machine behind the bar. Only 50 cents! (I have to fight the urge to stand on my chair and pronounce my love for salty, warm nuts.) Down to the drinks: Auntie has a double Captain and Coke and has to ask for a soda back. I drool over my beautiful bourbon and ginger with lime; the well is Jim Beam. Sparkle kicks back with a vodka soda and gets lost in her Alice in Wonderlandstate of mind. Topics range from marmots to the downfalls of male facial hair. I'm impressed that neither one of my guest pigs is carded. Add pigtails (no pun intended) and these girls would be ideal candidates for barelylegal.com. I'm fully aware that everyone in the place must suspect that I'm either a drug dealer or have a huge . . . liver. Just goes to show you what the power and allure of a great dive bar can do.

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24 comments
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Yvette, your one and only PR b
Yvette, your one and only PR b

Can I be your personal publicist? No need to pay...I'll buy you the drinks. Murray can have some, too. You are a genius...drunk, but a genius!

Gary Larson
Gary Larson

Having roomed with the young Hemingway during his formative years of drinking I can say that his education has now come full circle. He has emerged as a master of recognizing the subtle and soft eco-system of bar life. The various characters who inhabit this simple, yet complex universe are brought to life in vivid color like the drinks he consumes. However, I wonder if this poignant write-up will only serve to illuminate the greatness of the Dilly-Dally and it will now become a hang-out for the tragically hip (you know the type with the aviator sun-glasses and perfectly mused "bed head" or faux-hawk hair style"), the corporate suburbanite looking to "slum it for a night," or filled with 20 somethings wearing vintage clothing looking dis-interested all the while drinking a 20 oz Pabst Blue Ribbon. I fear that this article will turn a great bar into a place of irony and kitsch. I look forward to further reviews by this great wordsmith.

Cindy
Cindy

I'm not sure which is aching with pleasure more, my liver, my tummy, or my... there should be a place where booz pigs can hang out and be free

kj
kj

mmmmmmmmm... jim beam and ginger. tequila in baja norte is good, but beware the banditos, especially if he's a cream swillin', sunglass losin', tequila moochin' local loser. i'll give you a call if i'm ever in phoenix, colin. good to see you keeping it real... real drunk.

Andrew
Andrew

As the original booze pig, I commend your work in continuing this noble tradition. Lets get shitfaced soon. I miss you man.

alex cobb
alex cobb

bluto, you have found your calling. ditch the chocolate business and start diving full time. great work you fat bastard! i have added the RSS feed so i expect weekly greatness.

Omar Tentmaker
Omar Tentmaker

Great. A column written by an apparently admitted alcoholic. What next.

Sean Rowe
Sean Rowe

Wow! Can't believe you made print Redman. Ted - I didn't realize that about you. Are you still in town?

Bradford
Bradford

Nice Gonzo stryle! I'm on my way!

Mort
Mort

Happy to see you back in Boozeyland, Redding. I got a hangover just reading that! May your enduring love of prose and liquor continue to serve you well.

Long live second-rate pinball, cheep libation and pickled eggs.

Oink,Mort~

dino
dino

The Booze Pig is a poet. His words conjure dank bar rot, stale smoke... I taste the Beam. Its 8;30 am and I need a jack and coke immediately. crap.

A Whalen in NJ
A Whalen in NJ

Ted Logan is GAY? OMFG!!

Love you, Colin! You're a genius.

The 6'2" Angry Mexican Chick
The 6'2" Angry Mexican Chick

I bet you like you drinks like your women- strong and cheap. Ha!

Fantastic article- and the place is fantastic, even if I am 86'd from there.

Dernabitch
Dernabitch

Red Man -

Good to see that you are putting your skills to work. Who said drinking couldn't parlay itself into a full time job. For your next assignment might I offer up "The Mason Jar". Anyplace that once housed Quiet Riot and cheap booze can't be that bad. A word of caution . . . after your next review, stay away from "Sparkle" or you just might be starring on the next Dateline to Catch a Predator! Take care.

Derno

sysel
sysel

awesome shit Colin!

Mr. Gout
Mr. Gout

Wow....crafty for a guy that drinks the lights out. I'll have to make a pass at the Dilly Dally and the Booze Pig's next column. When is it due out?

bizzy darger
bizzy darger

GOD i want to have sex with you in an alley somewhere.

AA awol
AA awol

Hilarious! Thanks for a new column. Like a shot of jager when you're three sheets-great idea. Look forward to the next bender.

Beegs
Beegs

Great article. I need more, if you have time.

There was once a man from the city who was visiting a small farm, and during this visit he saw a farmer feeding pigs in a most extraordinary manner. The farmer would lift a pig up to a nearby apple tree, and the pig would eat the apples off the tree directly. The farmer would move the pig from one apple to another until the pig was satisfied, then he would start again with another pig. The city man watched this activity for some time with great astonishment. Finally, he could not resist saying to the farmer, "This is the most inefficient method of feeding pigs that I can imagine. Just think of the time that would be saved if you simply shook the apples off the tree and let the pigs eat them from the ground!" The farmer looked puzzled and replied, "What's time to a pig?"

nancy reagan
nancy reagan

fucking killer column. though the accompanying artwork is totally see-say canned obvious bullshit -- i'd rather see weird-ass photography shot by the booze pig; imagery to match the gorgeous brute candor of the words. drink on, booze pig. drink on.

 
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