Date: Sat Oct 8
Place: Shorty's Coney Island, 2222 Second Ave
Time: 10:05 pm

Granted, working in any of the Second Avenue Belltown bars on a weekend evening is going to challenge your tolerance for human foibles, but it seems like Saturdays after 10:00 p.m. are particularly trying times. In the space of 10 minutes, I watch one customer order half a dozen drinks and leave the bartender a single quarter, while another casually tosses his beer bottle on the ground, letting it shatter on the floor of the back game room—an obnoxious feat he accomplishes while simultaneously yelling at a female patron to "not be such a stuck-up beeeatch!" Undesirable characters like these idiots are moving in the same company of some perfectly likable folks, including a sweet-tempered rep for Captain Morgan rum, a pair of foxy, sassy punk chicks wearing bullet belts and slamming quarters into the "White Water" pinball machine, and one tipsy collection of friends celebrating the birthday of Meghan, a happy gal reveling in her gift haul, including a Mallrats DVD. Aesthetics and demeanor of the crowd aside, what I enjoy most about Shorty's are the acoustics: There's something uniquely charming about listening to the endless plinks, whirs, and bells of pinball machines while Tom Waits yelps over the sound system like a carnival barker. HANNAH LEVIN