The Green Door #7

March 1998

New Name, New Subtitle, Same Old Crap, Minor Greed Grab
I've decided to give this zine a new name. Living in the Toilet was never meant to be a long term name and I've discovered that possible material benefits could arise from a title change. The Green Door was in consideration as a name for the bar, losing out to The Grey Lodge. It is the title of an excellent O. Henry story as well as the color of said bar's front door. It also continues the article/color/noun naming format that began with The Grey Lodge Pub. The issue numbering will pick up where LITT left off. Future name changes are both possible and probable. At the last Friday the Firkinteenth, Lew Bryson asked me if I go out looking for this stuff. I don't look for it; it finds me.


It was a typical morning ride to my part-time Systems Analyst job in Center City. As always, I was making my way through the Inky, blissfully unaware of most everything else. Around Girard an old man gets on. He positions himself near my seat, behind me, out of my field of vision, but not of my range of hearing. He starts talking about his cat. I guess I'm never as unaware as I think I am on the El. The seats behind me seemed like they were full before Girard and the seat next to me definitely was, although I have no idea of the age, gender, or race of the person sitting there. Without looking up from the paper, I sense that there didn't appear to be anyone standing next to him, so I determine he must be talking to strangers. I initially ignore him, but as he keeps talking I start listening since it's obvious he's wacky. I think to myself that this is the type of old guy who lives alone, and who we feel guilty about flagging from the bar because he keeps annoying people. But we flag them anyway because they are annoying.

He has a cat named Sylvester who loves his daddy and who sometimes scratches him on the back of his legs. I am assuming this is Sylvester scratching the old man's legs, but I guess it could be the converse. There is only one other person he will let touch him, a lady. Once again I am assuming he means the cat. After about 5 minutes of this , most of which I ignore, he says "That's the story of my cat named Sylvester, tell your friends". He pauses about 30 seconds and then says, "That's my story and I'm sticking with it". It was that odd coda that made me honor his wish to tell you the story of the old man and the cat named Sylvester. That's his story and now you're stuck with it.

Scoats's 1996 St. Pat's Story
I don't have a 1998 St. Patrick's story; this 1996 story will have to do. I did meet the world's most annoying woman who came in on the Shamrock Shuttle the previous Saturday, but that ISN'T another story.

In 1996, St. Patrick's Day was on a Sunday. We had a pretty good crowd for the day shift and at 6:45pm were in a lull between crowds. We had a free buffet out, just we do every St. Pat's. Two older couples who I had never seen before (or since) come in. Both couples are dressed up for a night on the town. The two couples represented 1/2 of our customers at the time, so I watched them for the lack of anything else to do. The women sit at the back booth, the men go up to the bar to order. The one man orders a soda ($.55), the other a soda with no ice. After the men take the sodas back to the table, all four help themselves to the buffet. Since they only order two beverages, and sodas at that, I am extremely curious to see what they were going to do next. They share the sodas, eat the food and then leave, probably onto the next bar down the Avenue for more free food. The gall to only order two sodas for four dressed up people really impressed me, but no ice was the capper. I guess I could have approached them and demanded money for the food but decided that they had each other's company. That was a high enough price for them to pay. At least Pat, the bartender, charged the one guy extra for the no ice soda.

Vats Moves to the Web
As the fate of Beer and Tavern Chronicle remains unclear and the fate of my column with it, I have decided to take In the Vats of Philadelphia onto the Web. It will feature Philadelphia beer news updated (daily if called for), beer articles from myself and other writers, and links to other Philadelphia beer sites. The URL is


The Green Door is a mostly monthly zine published by Scoats. E-mail: scoats at greylodge dot com. (c) Scoats 1998. All rights reserved. Most wrongs unintentional. Reproduction permitted as long as it accompanied by this entire paragraph. To sign up for the mailing list; it's FREE.

Last updated on 08 January 2003.
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