Friday, June 22, 2007


San Antonio Texas, 1981
The college I attended back in the late 70’s and early 80’s was in a small town halfway between San Antonio and Austin. So, on Friday or Saturday nights we’d hit the clubs in either city. There were more clubs in Austin but San Antonio clubs were a little more laid back, a little less pretentious.

Anyway, when the clubs would close at 2:00 AM in San Antonio, everyone would descend upon a restaurant named Earl Abel’s for after-hours nourishment, coffee, and general hell-raising. Earl Abel’s had been a long-time fixture in San Antonio since 1933 and would become quite the after-hours scene, let me tell you.

There was this one waitress named Arlene. She was a salty old thing who I suspect had also been a fixture since the place had opened. Arlene was always there and didn’t put up with crap from anyone. She had this big hair, dyed to a dark burnt sienna and highly-arched penciled in eyebrows. Arlene was quite the sight, and also, horribly entertaining for us all, especially after a night of clubbing.

So, we’re all there on a typical after-hours gathering. The place is loud and hopping and Arlene is workin’ her poor tail off.

At the booth behind us, we hear this pissy guy with his britches all in a snit telling Arlene, “I told you I didn’t want any pickles!!!”

Arlene snatched his plate up and as she’s walking by our table we hear her mumbling a classic Arlene retort in her Texan accent:

". . . God-damn queen’ll stick a filthy peter in his mouth but won’t eat a god-damned pickle!!"

We were howling with laughter until I thought we were going to faint. . .

. . . To this day, I can still call my friend, Ron who lives in Florida, and we can quote dear old Arlene.

By the way, Earl Abel’s closed last year.
Arlene probably hit the lights on her way out.



At 1:38 PM , Blogger Lorraine said...

My apres clubbing spot was called the Dog House. FYI.

At 10:34 AM , Anonymous Bro said...

Earl Able's is gone...but the Pig Stand lives on.

At 11:23 AM , Blogger Jon said...

I gotta eat at the Pig Stand next time I'm down! Mmmm. I can still see that big ol' basket of homemade onion rings. . .

At 11:31 AM , Blogger Paul said...

I grew up in San Antonio less than a few miles from Earl Abel's. Without it, Broadway will never be the same.


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