It’s true. At He’s Not Here in North Fort Worth, the local chapter of Born Again Motorcycle Ministries, a Texas group of Christian hog enthusiasts, congregates to pray. Loaded with tats, dressed in ragged road wear, and not afraid of sporting the occasional Confeddie flag, these guys and girls don’t quite fit in among traditional, Sunday’s-best-wearin’ Christian parishioners. Hence, the comfortable, non-judgmental ambiance of a bar. At this past Sunday’s services, a congregant named Doug told everyone he comes here because he doesn’t want to deal with the phony smiles and phony people at the big churches – and, maybe more importantly, putting on pressed pants in the morning just ain’t his thing.
Testimonials like Doug’s are frequent parts of the mass. This past Sunday, after the Liturgy of the Word, a few worshippers got up to, as they say, celebrate Christ’s influence in their daily lives. Doug shared his tragic story, filled with stints in prison, deaths in his family, and drug addiction. The wife of a grizzled tough called Road Kill talked about “chips,” not just the California Highway Patrol but chocolate chips, poker chips, the chip on your shoulder, y’know. And, apropos of nothing, a young woman took the pulpit to dress down Albert Einstein for his anti-theological views.
About 30 people made the scene. The drinking was kept at a respectable minimum, not just because the Good News on Jesus Juice seems a little – how you say? – blasphemous, but because after service a bunch of attendees were going to jump on their bikes and ride to Marine Creek to baptize a new member.
He’s Not Here has one of the largest BAMM flocks in all of North Texas. “I just wanted to have a church here,” said club manager Mama Blue, herself a Christian. “The president of Born Again [Motorcycle] Ministries and I just got to talking one day, and now we usually have between 25 and 50 people every week.”
In the words of Matthew 18:20: “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there I am in the midst of them.”
Blatz the Way They Like It
I’m not big on lists. Ones like “Best Rock Guitarists of All-Time” or “The 100 Greatest Movies Ever Made” are totally arbitrary, even if there is a modicum of empirical evidence behind them. Remember, class: A modicum of science should in no way be confused with scientific fact. Like Men’s Health magazine and its annual list of fattest cities (or – get this – the angriest cities; see Static’s pissed-off report on page 6). Until the magazine’s editors start coercing/paying every person within a certain geographical area to stand on a massive scale and then comparing the results, the list will remain unscientific. (Seriously. With all those pretty, young society people running around, is Houston really that fat? And if so, who cares! There are still lots of shapely creatures there toward whom you can easily turn your bedroom eyes.)
Anyway, Forbes magazine just came out with its list of “America’s Drunkest Cities.” According to a story on the report, “Each city is ranked in five areas: state laws, number of drinkers, number of heavy drinkers, number of binge drinkers, and alcoholism.” Now, you’re probably already wondering, “What’s the difference between a ‘heavy drinker’ and a ‘binge drinker?,'” but hold on. At the top of the list of 35 metropolitan regions is Milwaukee, former home of four of the world’s largest breweries (Schlitz, Pabst, Miller, and, good grief, Blatz). More than 70 percent of Milwaukeeans, according to data, reported they had at least one alcoholic drink within the past 30 days, the highest percentage on Forbes’ list. Another chart-topper: 22 percent confessed to downing five or more drinks on a single occasion. And the percentage of adult men having more than two drinks per day and adult women having more than one, the “heavy drinkers” (hardly, I know), is 7.5.
In contrast, serious party towns, such as “Lost” Vegas (No. 14), New Orleans (No. 24), and Miami (No. 33), scored low, which throws into relief the usefulness, or lack thereof, of this and other lists. If faced with a choice of partying in either Milwaukee or Miami, I know which direction I’d be headed in. And so do you.
To see how Dallas-Fort Worth ranked, visit www.forbes.com. I will, however, minimize the suspense and tell you this: We’re gonna have to start taking a lot of eye-openers and liquid lunches to catch up to Austin (No. 5).
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