Rat Tales: Come as you are and leave your guns at the door.
This is Rat Tales: a weekly column for paid subscribers about life and times in the Ohio Valley.
“Hi! I’m Solera. I use she/her pronouns.”
These words crossed the lips of my transgender friend and fell upon the ears of another customer at the bar, a man who recently showed me his collection of assault-rifle-shaped liquor bottles (it’s pretty impressive).
I poked my head above the bar in the middle of drying a glass, ready for the fresh hell such a sentence might unleash in this environment. It’s karaoke night at an Appalachian dive bar, we’ll call it Burt’s, where I pour drinks in Eastern Ohio just across the river from West Virginia.
Burt’s is the place your grandpap goes to hide from the wife and get smashed. There’s a leaky pipe in the basement. Three out of four coolers work, sometimes. The pizza and wings are the best $8 can buy. Natty Lights are $1.75, except for happy hour when they’re less.
The residents along the big river in this part of the country are affectionately known as River Rats, and this is the first of a (hopefully) weekly column for paid subscribers about life out here. It’s called Rat Tales.
Subscribe to The Holler to read on… you’ll spend more on coffee this month, or today maybe.