The kitchen sink (at Jack’s)

The rumor mill has turned its devious mind toward Mr. Lucky of late. Being the monthly recipient of this small-town malaise myself, I headed down to the large, mural-painted venue to see what the hubbub was about. I found nothing out of order. Ms. DJ PJ was busy serving drinks, MC Hogan was getting the Jamband Magic Theater ready for a benefit show for C.L.I.C., and all seemed well. Besides some behind-the-scenes management shuffle, all is fine at Mr. Lucky, and it still proves to be one of the best venues downtown for live music. So keep your rumors to yourself, Chico!

Over at the Blue Room, the new play Wranglers has opened up with local funny men Jeremy Votava, Cal Reece, Matt Hammon and Slim Barkowska enacting an all-original comedy about cowpokes, large bull testicles and groin injuries. A 10-gallon salute to local playwright Bryon Burrus, who has created a hilarious world. And in what was a true double-header, after the opening night of Wranglers The Blue hosted S.F. stalwarts Creeper Lagoon, who with the help of local talent The Imps packed the joint and rocked the house.

Meanwhile, over at Jack’s Restaurant, the healer of late-night hunger pangs, World War II veteran Bob Miller was proudly showing off his homemade flower hat. “When people see me in this hat, they think I’m gay, a flower child and an environmentalist. But I’m really a Marine with an honorable discharge. All governments are corrupt, and the only things they give their citizens are body bags. And when I get to the pearly gates, this is the tale I’ll tell: I’ve been a Marine all my life and I’ve done my time in hell!”

Bob reminded me that one has to be true to his roots. For years I have tried to lose my N.J. slang, but after watching 13 episodes of The Sopranos in a row, courtesy of Chico Velo Captain Ed McLaughlin, my vernacular is back in all its friggin’ glory. Turns out I went to the same high school as Tony Soprano. “But he’s a fictional character,” my wife exclaims. “So am I,” I reply. If that weren’t enough cred to fulfill my dream of being Italian, my brother-in-law, Jon Lazarus, edits the paper Tony picks up every morning, The Star Ledger. Talk about being a "made" man!