Guy At Bar A Little Too Into Stevie Ray Vaughan

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Vol 37 Issue 06

Pre-Teen Moves From Giggling-At-Everything Phase To Never-Smiling Phase

WATERVILLE, ME–Cori Schmidt, 12, went through a life change Tuesday, moving from the giggling-at-everything stage of adolescence to the never-smiling stage. "My goodness, just the other day, I accidentally left a pair of old pantyhose on the couch, and she was jumping all over the living room giggling hysterically," Hannah Schmidt, 41, said of her maturing daughter. "But now, everything I say to her is met with a gloomy scowl." Asked if she was aware of her passage into sullenhood, the younger Schmidt said, "I don't know," without making eye contact.

Australian Forced To Flee Homeland To Sell His Microwave Omelet Cooker

BURBANK, CA–Mick Hastie, Australian political refugee and inventor of the Perfect Omelet microwave omelet cooker, recently fled his native land for the U.S., where he is free to sell his amazing new device without fear. "I am a man without a country, forced out by a corrupt regime that thinks omelets can only be prepared the old-fashioned way, in a greasy skillet," Hastie told a studio audience from the set of his infomercial Monday. "I fled in a leaky tramp steamer, risking death but knowing I'd at least be free of the tyranny of the stove-top omelet."

New Energy Secretary Guesses He Ought To Read Up On Energy

WASHINGTON, DC–Spencer Abraham, the newly installed U.S. Energy Secretary, admitted Monday that he probably ought to read up on energy. "I know energy is really important, and that there was a big crisis back in the '70s, but other than that, I'm in the dark," Abraham said. "I was hoping to be appointed Secretary of Transportation, which I know a lot more about, but that one was already taken." The former Michigan senator said he plans to go to the library Thursday to look up "Energy" in The World Book Encyclopedia.

Ostensibly Heterosexual Man Constantly Threatening To Put Objects Up Coworkers' Asses

IRVING, TX–Though married and ostensibly heterosexual, Westech Data Systems office manager Douglas Briar is constantly threatening to anally penetrate male coworkers with office supplies. "Keep it up," Briar warned coworker Trent Lonegan Monday, "and I'll ram this toner cartridge up your ass." Briar has made similar threats involving staplers, three-hole punches, coffee pots, and rolls of fax paper.

Bush Still Getting Clinton's Mail

WASHINGTON, DC–More than a month after moving into the White House, President Bush continues to receive former occupant Bill Clinton's mail, Bush reported Monday. "Is it so hard to fill out a change-of-address form at the post office?" asked Bush, waving a copy of Rolling Stone addressed to Clinton. "I suppose he expects me to mail all this to him." Bush added that if one more Sierra Club newsletter arrives for Clinton, it is going straight into the trash.

The Tax-Cut Proposal

In his first major initiative as president, George W. Bush is lobbying hard for a controversial $1.6 trillion tax cut. What do you think?

Ask An Upscale Gift Catalog

Dakota, Spring 2001 is a nationally syndicated advice columnist whose weekly column, Ask An Upscale Gift Catalog, appears in more than 250 newspapers nationwide.
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Guy At Bar A Little Too Into Stevie Ray Vaughan

EUCLID, OH–According to Main Street Tavern employees and patrons, the guy at the end of the bar is a little too into deceased blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan.

The guy (right) discusses Stevie Ray Vaughan with an uninterested stranger.

Bar-goer John Menke said that the guy, an unidentified beret- and denim-vest-wearing man in his early 30s, should be avoided "unless you want to talk about Stevie Ray Vaughan for at least an hour."

"I go up to get another pitcher of beer, and this guy at the bar just stares at me, biting his lip and nodding his head to the Stevie Ray Vaughan song on the jukebox," Menke said. "I try to look away, but then I accidentally make eye contact for a split second. That's when he says to me, 'Man, there'll never be another SRV.' Before you know it, I'm trapped listening to him go off about Vaughan's blistering guitar solo [on 'Cold Shot']."

After expounding on Vaughan's "fiery, impassioned guitar work" on "Cold Shot" for several minutes, the guy explained to Menke the song's origins.

"The guy says to me, 'Stevie used to sing this to the women he felt had wronged him, but he realized he was the one who was cold to women because of his addictions,'" Menke said. "I definitely got the feeling that this wasn't the first time this guy had ever told a complete stranger that story."

The guy was about to explain to Menke that the title of the album In Step was a reference to the 12-step program Vaughan had completed, but Menke excused himself to go to the men's room. After waiting in the bathroom the approximate length of time it would take to urinate, Menke ordered a pitcher of beer at the other end of the bar and returned to his table.

Main Street Tavern patron Bill Raychek, who later in the evening encountered the guy at the bar's pool table, said he "went on and on" about how Vaughan had finally begun to turn his life around and conquer his demons when he was tragically killed in the summer of 1990.

"I don't recall asking the guy to tell me about the night of Stevie Ray Vaughan's death in great detail, but he did," Raychek said. "As you no doubt know, Vaughan had just finished a show with Clapton, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, and his brother Jimmie at Alpine Valley Music Theater in East Troy, WI, and was going to drive back to Chicago. At the last minute, though, Vaughan decided to board a helicopter instead. Shortly after take-off, in a thick fog, the chopper crashed into a nearby hillside, killing all five on board, including numerous members of Clapton's management team."

Continued Raychek: "When the guy told me that, I responded by saying, 'Wow,' in as disinterested a manner possible. But he just plowed on ahead, telling me how ironic it was that the last song Stevie ever played was a transcendent 20-minute version of 'Sweet Home Chicago,' almost as if he knew he'd be called home to the Lord that night."

Bartender Frank Aufiero said the guy's habit of steering any conversation toward the subject of Stevie Ray Vaughan was "extremely irritating."

"For some reason, I was talking to someone about Annette Funicello," Aufiero said. "Out of nowhere, the guy chimes in about how the soundtrack for the Funicello movie Back To The Beach has Vaughan collaborating with Dick Dale on a version of 'Pipeline.' It's almost like he's playing Six Degrees Of Stevie Ray Vaughan."

Aufiero acknowledged that he himself likes Vaughan, but said he finds the guy at the bar's enthusiasm "a bit much."

"Stevie's great, but there are other things to talk about in this world," Aufiero said. "I mean, when I go out someplace, I don't sit around saying things like, 'Without Stevie Ray Vaughan, there is no Jonny Lang or Kenny Wayne Shepherd.' If I didn't know better, I'd think this guy was hired by Vaughan's PR firm, but his territory is only this bar."

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