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Let's get right to the point. The Voodoo Room in Astoria could be the best bar on the Oregon Coast. Other competitors stack up against it like Matchbox 20 versus the Beatles. Itís so close for the Voodoo. I want to be able to make the declaration for the record. But I have to sayÖ"could be." There's a problem. It needs immediate attention. Once rectified, the Voodoo can hoist the trophy and drink the golden nectar of the gods--draft Hamm's that is. First to the goods. One small room. Carpets. Turquoise drapes for wall covering that set off a brothel/vaudeville feel. A jukebox on loan from Krist Novoselic that spins "Night Fever" by the Bee Gees and "Scotch and Soda" by the Kingston Trio. A couch. Large chairs. Live hillbilly music in the round. Johnnie Ward on slide American Steel. Baker's Bourbon. Red Army vodka. Excellent red wine from Argentina. Incredible food. Best seafood chowder near 124-degree E. longitude. Homemade pepper jellies. An appreciation of Elvis. A restroom nicer than every studio apartment I've ever lived in. An inlaid tile bar--the only one I've seen on the Oregon Coast. Hot chicks and dudes. Dark enough to get in someone's pants. Night moves definitely going down--straight and gay. All of the locale's cool, semi-teeming, left-wing humanity on display here on weekend nights. By itself, the Voodoo Room compels me to flee fetid Tillamook County and move near the once mighty river. I sayÖ"could be." That the Voodoo Room cannot be declared in this sentence the 'Oregon Coast's best bar' is just wrong, a very egregious Astoria-based wrong. It's such a wrong that it almost compares to the ultimate in Astoria-based wrongness--when a certain insane limey Captain Black smashed a bottle of Madeira against a flagpole to mark the official transfer of Ft. Astoria to the Crown. Now to the problem: When the then uncorrupt US Supreme Court in the Brown v. Board of Education case declared segregated schools unconstitutional, the language of a unanimous decision made it plain how the pace of integration in our society should proceed--"With all deliberate speed." "With all deliberate speed." I expect no less from a bartender when I am ordering a drink while sitting at the bar. In fact, it should happen so fast that I hear a sonic boom, never a Sopwith Camel. At the Voodoo on weekend nights I hear this: the sound of an I-5 hitchhiker's thumb being extended at midnight in a downpour. "With all deliberate speed."--on every alcoholic drink order! (Food can come the next week for all I care). This is the case law in the Let it Pour justice system. Once the Voodoo learns this historic and necessary precedent, it shall be declared number one. It shall be the law. It waits to be written.
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