We're number five! Night Ranger investigates KC's ranking as fifth drunkest city.

Shots in the Dark 

We're number five! Night Ranger investigates KC's ranking as fifth drunkest city.

We noticed the other day that Men's Health magazine rated KC the fifth drunkest city in the nation, so we weren't too surprised when little things like heavy rain and widespread flooding failed to stop people from boozing it up on the recent torrential Friday night. During the Great Storm of aught-four, we found ourselves bravely -- or stupidly -- navigating a precariously floody Shawnee Mission Parkway to go to the Keyhole, a cool, unobtrusive dive hidden on the side street that abuts the former Fine Arts Theater on Johnson Drive in Mission.

We first scouted out this small neighborhood joint (maximum occupancy: 30) when we were thinking of conducting a dive-bar tour of Mission. On that Saturday night, the place was dead, and a scraggly veteran sitting next to us at the bar tipped us off that Friday was the night to visit -- "because of the hot bartender," he said. Indeed, when we returned with Research Assistant John, the grizzled barfly turned out to be right on: two friendly, hot, blond chicks were tending a packed bar. After one of them told us that the place didn't serve Boulevard Wheat ("We're a mom and pop operation," she explained. "We don't even take credit cards"), we ordered bottles of Bud Light ($2.50) and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale ($2.75) as well as an extra treat -- $1 Keyhole shots. Made with Sunny Delight and vodka, they provided our daily supplement of Vitamins D and V.

We were soon entertained by the antics of the patrons sitting near us. A glamorous brunette in a black, low-cut top and black pants sat on the lap of a tall guy on a barstool, facing him. We were amazed when she said she was 41 years old. We were less amazed when she and the guy left not long after their steamy makeout session.

Then Chris, an extremely tall guy with spiky brown hair who wore a silver cross on a chain, started talking to us as he was waiting for his drink. He said he worked in sales for a phone company. He was quite chatty.

"How old are you?" we asked.

"I'm 24," he replied.

"He's a Sagittarius," chimed his friend Ashley, 21, an outgoing blonde who sported blue eye shadow and a black hybrid bustier-camisole top with a red bra underneath. "He's very sexual."

"In what way?" we queried.

"He has this atmosphere, this air, this aura about him," she said. "It's, like, he knows he's hot but doesn't know he's sexy. It's intriguing."

"Well, gather around!" Chris mock-announced to the bar after this revelation. Just then, one of his friends thrust a shot in the NR's hand. "It's SoCo and lime," the friend said. "It's called a snakebite."

Ashley offered a toast. "Never above. Never below. Always with you," she said, and we drank.

"So, have you guys hooked up?" we nosily asked, emboldened by all those shots.

"There's sexual tension, but we won't sleep together, since he's sleeping with my friend," Ashley explained.

"Oral sex: yes. Sex-sex: no," Chris joked.

"I want to fuck him, and he wants to fuck me, but we're keeping it on the DL. But I won't, 'cause he's with her," Ashley said, pointing out the bartender with the Bebe tube top (whom Chris later referred to as "Big Boobs McGee"). "But when it's all said and done, it's on like Donkey Kong!"

"She's a freak," Chris said.

"Moving right along, what's the most embarrassing story you know about Chris?" we asked Ashley.

Chris eagerly volunteered to share this story himself. "Well, a buddy and I were driving to Lawrence, and we had two beers. Yes, we were drinking and driving -- it's bad, we know. But two beers wasn't a big deal.... Anyway [after arriving at a Lawrence bar], we split a pitcher and did four Jaeger bombs. We got a second pitcher, then for some reason, the Jaeger bombs hit. I might have been roofied -- who knows?

"My stomach's upset, so I go to the bathroom and complete my business, then I spin around and puke inside the toilet. I clean up and sit there, pants around my ankles, and pass out. They announce that the bar is closing, they kick down the door -- all the bouncers knew who I was. I get up, go in the main area ... I'm nauseous and throw up in a gray trash can. I crashed at a friend's house ... drove back to KC, showered ... and got to work 5 minutes early."

And that differs from everyone else's weekend how? Oh, wait -- perhaps Men's Health was on to something.

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