ASK DAN! 1999 archive

As Ask Dan approaches its fourth year, we take pride in the fact that, unlike some fancy downtown advice columnists, Dan has answered EVERY SINGLE QUESTION which has been put to him. Could this mean that Dan has too much time on his hands? Well, he is a doorman, so if he takes a minute or two every now and then during the course of a busy night to answer the heartfelt concerns of his loyal readers, who could fault him? On the other hand, one could surmise that this awesome track record has more to do with the fact that not so many people have questions that they deem worthy of Dan's time. Let us assure that if you have any kind of question at all, it's worthy, so go ahead and ASK DAN!

Note: Your answer may take a while (the last batch took two months!) to appear. We thank you for your patience and understanding.

Because ASK DAN is so damn popular, we've had to stick the questions and answers from previous years into the following archives:

Ask Dan 1998

Ask Dan 1997




READ MORE ASK DAN from 1998 , 1997 or 2000

8 Dec 1999
Most venerable Dan,
Maybe you can help my friends and I out here. We've been discussing this Chevy
Chase film from the early 80's, but none of us can remember the name of it.
It's not Fletch or Caddyshack -- it's that one where throughout the whole movie
Chevy experiences a series of modern problems.

I think we all relate to it so well because of all the modern problems Chevy must deal with. We really need your help remembering the title so we can go rent the movie because we all feel that it will help us deal with our own modern problems.

Let's see. You can't remember the title, huh? Let me try to remember. Could it possibly be, oh, I don't know - maybe--MODERN PROBLEMS!!!

To refresh your memory, which for some reason I suspect is not necessary, the Chevy Chase character gets covered with nuclear waste and subsequently develops telekinetic powers.

Geez Dave. Of all the movies from the last twenty years (which is roughly when it came out [1981]) this lame effort is the best you can think to ask about?

Though several of my friends may question my judgement, I actually like some of the Chevy Chase movies. But Modern Problems? Compared to this monstrostity, Ishtar was a masterpiece.

So Dave, just for asking about this mess, you get two thumbs up -- that is up your... well, you know.


29 Nov 1999
Most venerable Dan,

Do you have any suggestions for new year's eve?

I don't really enjoy lound smokey bars around this time. (ever really)

Last year or the year before I took some mushrooms and got stuck in a snow storm...I was thinking of something warmer this time around.


Last year or the year before? Dang why2K; must of been some damn good mushrooms.

Anyway, here's a suggestion for new year's eve. It may sound a little cliché, but here goes:

Invent a time machine. Send yourself back to the middle to late sixties. Head for the West Coast. Find out where Jim Morrison or Jimi Hendrix is playing. Go there. Listen. Groove.

And when you get back and your friends ask what you did for new year's eve, you can just give them a content smile.

Of course why2K, if you happen to get hung up on a glitch or two while trying to construct the time machine, I suppose you could always just drop some more mushrooms. They'll probably be able to take you to just about the same place.

Buckle up,

27 Oct 1999
Most venerable Dan,
I have a dilemma. Being a connoisseur of pork chitterlings, my breath always smells like pig shit. No matter how much I brush or floss - the pungent aroma of decaying pig intestines is lingering in my mouth. This poses a particular problem when trying to get some moosemercat. One whiff of my oinker ass breath and the little ladies turn and run. In order to grease my pole - must I give up my intestines?
Yours truly,
Buster Milkstuff


Gee Buster, regardless of your breath, I am totally shocked that someone as obviously suave and sophisticated as yourself could possibly have any problem connecting with the ladies.

Based on the wording of your question, I get the impression that you are a cross between Fred Astaire, David Niven and Sean Connery. Therefore if it is indeed your breath that is the difficulty with your social life, you should be able to overcome the obstacle with your brilliant conversational skills.

I can picture you pulling up to some lovely your beauty in your '75 Ford Station Wagon and inquiring, "Excuse me, my dear, but where might one with oinker ass breath procure some moosemercat in this locale?"

Once you utter those words Buster, all you'll have to do is sit back and let nature take its course.

11 Oct 1999
Most venerable Dan,
I know you probably don't know this but how can I get a game shark? What web site should I go to in order to order a game shark in the mail? Also my friend gets nintendo power magizines in the mail every once in a while. He told me about the upcoming games for nintendo 64 like Dk 64, Gex Under Cover, Lego Racers, Twelve Tails of Conquer (or Conquer's Quest), Zelda Gaudian or Godian or somthing like that, Poke'mon Stadium, Kirby 64, Earth Bound 64, I don't know what the name of the game's name but it has Samis you know, the girl from Smash Brothers in it, Jet Force Gemeni, Mario RPG, Banjo Tooie, and Mario Party. Please, you send me as much imformation as you can about these upcoming games for nintendo 64. I'm realy excited about these games. I'm already saving up for Donkey Kong 64. Could you please send me stuff like codes, goals, what the game is all about, how to play, the inside story, and secret tips that nobody else would know. I want to be the first to know.
Signed, Philip Cherny

My experience with sharks is limited to having seen the movie Jaws. But based on deductive reasoning, if you want a game shark, I would suggest looking in a game ocean.

If you want to get a shark in the mail, make sure whoever's sending it uses a really big envelope. Otherwise, they'll have to cut the shark up into very small pieces, and that seems kind of disgusting.

As for the games you refer to, I can't recall any specific information about them at this time. But I'll let you in on a little tip I've learned which can be applied to just about any type of competition and that tip is: on a pop-up behind third base, the shortstop should take the ball.

I'm sure that all of this information will prove useful. If I can be of any further help, don't hesitate to ask.


14 Sept 1999
Most venerable Dan,
I just moved to Chicago about a week ago and am wondering where to go to see a
good show. I'm twenty and so far it seems the two venues that have the bands
I'd really like to see are both 21+.(that would be lounge ax and the empty bottle) I moved here from San Francisco where I've never had any trouble not being able to see a band just because of my age. I can't believe I'm going to have to miss Karate/Camera Obscura/Sweep the Leg Johnny at the Longe Ax and Joan of Arc w/Red Krayola at the Empty Bottle just because I'm not yet twenty-one. Can't they put X's on our hands or something? Yes, I know of the Metro which fortunately is not 21+, but is that the only venue I can legally attend? Also, does Lounge Ax ever have 18+ nights or all-ages nights?

O.K. one more time. As stated numerous previous times in response to this recurring question, these are not our rules. It's the law, and like ir not we're stuck with it.

I guess I'll just have to face it. Being able to get into Lounge Ax has become the Ask Dan version of the thing the wouldn't leave.

I should not be surprised, since research has determined that there is a historical precedent. Not long ago archeologists discovered a cave with drawings by early man. Experts have determined that these drawings show prehistoric teenagers who were upset about not being able to get into a popular local cave known as the Stone Ax.

Recently, archivists have uncovered information that proves that the Revolutionary War was in part fought due to English youth who were angered at not being allowed into an entertainment pub called Ye Olde Ax.

And historians now believe that the French Revolution was the result of French adolescents rebelling against not having legal entrance to the renown bistro Le Bon Ax.

Just this past year, researchers have come across documents which indicate the reason that Germany started World War II is related to German pre-adults angered at being excluded from the cabaret name Das Ax.

Taking all of this into consideration, I should not be too surprised at the Ask Dan I recently received from the future in which pre-21 year olds - complains about not getting into Neptune Ax. But I would think they could have been more original.


7 Sept 1999
Most venerable Dan,
I will be travelling from Minneapolis to Chicago via automobile in mid-October
to see a show at Lounge Ax, and am wondering where you would recommend that my fellow travellers and I stay? Nothin' fancy, just a honky-tonk hotel or your spare bedroom if you got one. Thanks y'all. Much obliged.

Good question - bad timing. Not too long ago, I could have recommended to you what we used to recommend to to many of the bands that played here. Several miles north of Lounge Ax on a stretch of of Lincoln Avenue about a quarter mile long, there used to be a few seedy motels.

For some time, Mayor Daley has been involved with efforts apparently aimed at sanitizing Chicago. As result many neighborhood bars on the south side have been closed. Also falling victim to this plan were the previously mentioned motels. [Editors note: Also falling victim were the Maxwell Street Market, as well as countless newsstands and street performers.] This is unfortunate, despite a lack of deluxe accommodations. Not only were the rooms reasonably priced, but so were the prostitutes and drugs.

Ah well - chaulk one up for urban progress. As for my spare bedroom, that's ok except for one small sticking point. I don't have a spare bedroom. I live in a small apartment and the only part available to be shared is the rent.

Which still leaves us with your problem of where to stay. Chicago is pretty big city with plenty of places to get a room for night or two. But you'd have to pay more than you would have if the cheap motels on north Lincoln were still there. And since I hold Daley personally responsible for the loss of these motels, I don't think it would be unreasonable for you to stay at his place.

So Jen, when you hit town just head straight for the mayor's residence. And tell him Dan sent you.

7 Sept 1999
Most venerable Dan,
I've got a roommate who never does the dishes. I've told him to do them several times, and he seems to understand, but then still doesn't do them. What should I do? Also, he seems to get laid more than I do, despite that I am definitely the better talker and probably the better looker. Do you think the lack of hygiene is some sort of aphrodisiac?

Paul, I had a similar experience some time back. A girl I knew would never give me oral sex. I asked her several times and she seemed to understand, but she still wouldn't do it. We eventually arrived at a solution by covering the object of interest with various sweet flavored coatings such as honey or whipped cream.
Drawing on this experience, I recommend that you coat your dishes with honey or whipped cream. I expect this will get your roommate to wash them more often.
As for the second part of your question; I may not be the best person in the world to draw upon personal experience when it comes to getting laid. The last time I got laid was before the impeachment trial. Not President Clinton, President Andrew Johnson.
But I consider myself an observant person. And based upon my observations I can state with confidence that attempting to find logic in personal relationships can be very difficult. Logic and relationships are generally like oil and water. They tend not mix very well. Searching for a logical explanation for your roommate's lack of hygiene and his success with females can be, like resisting the Borg, futile. (If you can't make the connection, ask a Star Trek fan.)
So, don't try to explain it Paul. It may be easier to just break out some whipped cream and honey.
Just like Hugh Hefner,

30 Aug 1999
Most venerable Dan,
What's the boiling point of lead?
Thank you and have a happy day....

The eact number of degrees escapes me just at this time.
But, speaking in approximate terms, I would estimate the necessary temperature to be in the range of something really, really hot.

24 Aug 1999
Most venerable Dan,
We at the gin mill really want to know when the Lounge Ax is moving (if ever). We have had our eye on your space as a possible location for our khaki shorts, plaid shirts, and white baseball hat store.
We really would like you to move as you make Lincoln avenue look a little seedy.
The Gin Mill

When I was growing up, one of my favorite TV shows was The Beverly Hillbillies. After striking it rich the Clampetts move to Beverly Hills. Their next door neighbors are their banker, Milburn Drysdale, and his wife. Mrs. Drysdale, a high society type, frequently complains about her hillbilly neighbors, whom she considers a blight on the neighborhood. Occasionally, she even cooks up a plan to get the Clampetts to move back home. Of course, viewers know that the Clampetts aren't going anywhere. After all, without them, there wouldn't be much of a show left.
Having not yet found an appropriate available place, there is no specific timetable for the relocation of Lounge Ax. But it doesn't take a genius to make the connection between your question and my reminiscence about the Beverly Hillbillies. What the Clampetts were to Beverly Hills, Lounge Ax is to Lincoln Avenue. We may not exactly blend in with the rest of the neighborhood, but without us, the nights around here sure would be boring. After sunset, Lounge Ax brings a sense of individuality to what has otherwise become a street of clones and robots.
So Gin, for the time being it seems like we're stuck with each other. But that doesn't mean that we can't make the best of the situation. Maybe you can stop by sometime and join us for some possum belly soup with gopher gravy and barn-owl soup.

August 13, 1999
Hey Dan! I really admire your style. I must ask you this question: why do clothes that make a comeback never look good on me on the second time around? For example, all the hip kids today are wearing fashions from the '70s. Being the frugal dude that I am, I saved all my threads from that era. But I look like a dope when I wear these clothes. I remind myself of a Biology teacher that taught me high school Environmental Science in '78. Why does it never look good the 2nd time around?
All the best,
Big Bunz

Remember the movie Trading Places? That's the one where Dan Akroyd works for a high powered brokerage house owned by two brothers played by Don Ameche and Ralph Belamy. The brothers arrange to have Akroyd's place taken by a street bum played by Eddie Murphy. Not just his job, but also his home. Just before starting his first day of work, Murphy confides to the butler, played by British character actor Denholm Elliot, that he's not sure about what he is supposed to do. The butler replies, "Just be yourself."
The same thing goes for clothes Bunz. Just be yourself. Don't try to fit into some ever-changing prefabricated fashion mold determined by obnoxious fashion honchos for no other purpose than to generate sales in order to bring in more money so that they can become even more overpaid than they already are.
So, wear what's comfortable. Where what's convenient. Wear whatever the hell you want Bunz and screw the fashion nazis.
And remember Dan's fashion motto (inspired by Johnnie Cochran's summary for the defense at the O.J. trial, "If the style don't fit, who gives a shit."

August 13, 1999
Most venerable Dan,
why don't you suggest to your employers or whomever a "cool shirt" discount, to be awarded a reduced door price at the discretion of your fine taste in shirts?

I'm thinking of a variation of your idea.
How about a "cool shirtless" discount?
Of course, since it would be awarded at the discretion of my fine taste in shirtless people, guys would be a serious disadvantage.
All the more motivation for guys to be creative in their shirtlessness.
Possibilities might include: upper bodies tatooed in the design of a favorite shirt, innovative implants such as an arm growing out of your chest, or ornaments such as antlers attached to your shoulders.
Keep in mind, this extra stuff would be mostly needed for guys. Shirtless girls - just show up and be yourselves.
Equal opportunistically,

July 14, 1999
Most venerable Dan,
It is with more than a little concern that I today find two of my allotment-grown tomatoes covered in a black, felty mould. I have never had such a problem before. The compost I use is peat-based and I water regularly. the Summer here in Wales has been typically mild. I would be extremely grateful for any advice you could offer.
Yours favourably,
Ber Llewdavies

(Allotment-grown tomatoes?) I have good news and I have bad news.
The good news is that black fuzzy stuff covering your tomatoes is not mold.
The bad news is that it is the outside of a caterpillar.
Just as certain large snakes, and select space aliens are able to swallow and ingest entire small mammals, the python caterpillar can consume entire tomatoes.
The solution is caterpillar pesticide which can be obtained at any Caterpillar-Pesticides-Are-Us Outlet. I personally reccomend Caterpillar-Away.
Of course, once the caterpillars have been eliminated, you will be left with a partially digested, mushy tomato glop. So as not to be wasteful, I suggest you invite some friends over for tomato soup.
Just don't tell them how it was processed.
Call me Mr. Food, Dan

July 20, 1999
Most venerable Dan,
Hello. I was just wondering, hypothetically, if you were forced to spend an entire day in a room with your choice of a 30-something yuppie, an underaged hippie-wannabee, or a frat boy with a trust fund and a C average, who would it be and why? If you have time, could you come up with an imaginary conversation with this person. Thanks.

Scott, I'll do better than that. How about a group discussion with all three of them? KEY-
D- Dan
Y- Yuppie
H- Hippie
F- Frat Boy
D- In this frequently troublesome world that we find ourselves living in, which of today's key issues merits our attention?
Y - (Distracted by watching Cubs game on T.V.) Where's my cell-phone? How do you expect me to watch a Cubs game without discussing it on the phone with one of my yuppie friends in order to display my intricate, in-depth, detailed knowledge of sports?
F- Anyone got a beer, man?
Y- Quiet! Sosa's on deck.
H- Like, is there a bong here somewhere?
D- Guys, I think we are beginning to stray from the subject.
F- Any brand of beer is ok.
Y- Keep it down. Sosa's comming to the plate. (gets up to turn the sound up)
H- Hey, like, don't step on my toes, I'm wearing my retro style sandals.
F- It doesn't have to be beer, whiskey will do.
D- Fellas, we seem to be getting away from the topic.
Y- Shit. Sosa struck out again. Can I get a tofu burger?
F- I'll settle for vodka.
F- Gosh, where did the time go? I'd like to thank you all for taking part in this meaningful dialogue.

June 15, 1999
Most Venerable Dan,
I am desperate and was told that you are an all-knowing kind of guy. I am looking for a bar in or around Chicago with live music that allows people in the audience to play during the band breaks. If you know of any. please let me know. Thanks.

Sorry, but all knowing as I may be, I'm not familiar with any such place. I'm a little curious about why you say you are desperate. I mean of all the things in the world to be truly desperate about, this does not seem like it would be really high on the list.
So, as a service you and others, I am listing below some stuff that should cause one to feel a sense of desperation.

  • Going to visit your mother-in-law (or worse, she's coming to visit you.)
  • Any upcoming election.
  • The IRS says they would like to have a word with you.
  • Your wife, (or husband) says she (or he) is leaving.
  • Your wife, (or husband) says she (or he) is not leaving.
  • Your dog keeps rubbing its but back and forth on the carpet.
  • Your cat is spitting out feathers.
  • Trying to remember, among other things, the name of the person you woke up next to.
  • (This one is for guys only) A sudden, very sharp pain as you are unzipping your pants.
  • Your daughter comes home with a spiked mohawk, a nose-ring and a tatoo.
  • Your mother comes home with a spiked mohawk, a nose-ring and a tatoo.
  • You realize, too late, that you did not see the word "NO" in front of the words, "Nude Swimming Allowed."
  • You're a Cubs fan.
  • Flashing lights in your rear view mirror.
  • The reason your son is putting peanut butter in in pockets is "Gee, they have to eat SOMEthing!"
  • (This one is for girlfriends and wives) Superbowl Sunday.
  • "Where the hell did I put the damn rubber?"
  • Your son or daughter finds your old roach-clip and asks "Daddy, what's this?"
  • The cable guy is late.
  • The power goes out while you're in the middle of reading an Ask Dan question.
Frantically, Dan

May 25, 1999
Most Venerable Dan,
I'm not from Chicago, but I was wondering. Is there a war between the Lounge Ax and the Empty Bottle? Are there any petty disputes that make for backbiting, shite talking or anything else?
Just Wondering,
The Wrath

I must admit Wrath, you had me confused with the word shite. I even looked it a dictionary but found no entry for any such word. It was then that I realized that you may have made a spelling error.

The only word I could find that was even close to shite was shire, which the Doubleday Dictionary defines as: "a territorial division of Great Britain." Since obviously shire was the word you intended to use, I can admit that yes, there has been shire talking between us and the Empty Bottle.

Following is a part of a recent conversation between Lounge Ax and the Empty Bottle:

[Legend LA=Lounge Ax
EB=Empty Bottle]

LA- I say old boy, did you catch the show last week at Stratford on Avon?

EB- Sod off. (Note: "Sod Off" is a British expression which means "Have a nice day.")

LA- Care to join us for some fish and chips?

EB- Sod off.

LA- Well, cherio old son.

EB- Sod off.

So Wrath, I hope this clears up any misconception about us and the Empty Bottle.
Cheers y'all,

May 12, 1999
Most Venerable Dan,
Hi Danny, Just wondering what it takes to become Chicago's best doorman?

I got skills.

May 7, 1999
Most Venerable Dan,
I am from a very small town in North Dakota. I would actually be willing to travel all the way to your wonderful establishment to see Cat Power but I am not 21 years of age. Would you take into consideration the determination and distance traveled and let me attend the Cat Power show anyway? I would be more than willing to wear a tee-shirt saying "I am NOT old enough to drink, please only sell me soda pop!" Thank you for your time and thoughtfullness.
love, one dedicated, yet young, cat power fan

As previously noted several time, since I do not have a computer (and wouldn't know what to do with one even if I did) there is a significant time delay for answers to Ask Dan questions. To recount briefly: the question goes from [the internet] to mr. anthony to me. The answer then goes from me [handwritten!] back to mr. anthony, who then somehow shoves it back into a computer [and subsequently back onto the internet].

This question illustrates the time problem -- I am just now receiving it on Friday the 14th, one week after you sent it.

Also previously noted several times, there is nothing we can do regarding music fans under 21 years of age. The law is the law is the law and like it or not we are stuck with it.

But there is relatively minor good news. You are one of only 25 people who live in North Dakota. Therefore, you are a member of a very elite group who can proclaim you are from the home state of Phil Jackson, the man responsible for the Chicago Bulls winning six NBA titles in eight years.

Not much consolation maybe, but heck Emily, sometimes you just have to take your silver linings where you can find them.


May 4, 1999
Most Venerable Dan,
I have considered myself warned that you may take as long as 2 weeks to respond and this is a fairly timley question as I will be in the area only for one night, (May 7th) In an effort to save you time should you not have a chance to respond beforer May 6th please move on to the next of what must be numberous questions. Here goes, "What is so great abbout the Lounge Ax?" I'll be visiting Chicago only for one night to celebrate my Happy Birthday and heard that this may be a grovey place for a cocktail. I'm going to a show at the Riviera and then hoping to whoop it up a bit after that. I'm a huge fan of semi dark, divish bars (but still safe that I don't need to panic going to the girls room alone) with good music that isn't so loud that I might be able to still have a conversation. I'm also hoping that I will not walk into a pertencious room filled with overly perfect people trying to impress eachother. Thoes people should be added to your list of "people to hate." Any who, now you know what I'm looking for I hope you will grant me a responce ASAP and advise me weather or not to visit the Lounge Ax.
Big Kiss, Jennifer

What's so great about Lounge Ax is that we are the most honest rock club in the world. No frills, no gimmicks and absolutely no bullshit.

Just good rock music.

The people who book the bands at Lounge Ax give rock fans what they want more than anything else:usually goodm and sometimes great, live rock shows.

People put up with miserable parking, an increasingly yuppyish neighborhood and at least one tempermental doorman I can think of to see bands they most want to see.

It probably doesn't hurt that everyone at Lounge Ax - owners, bartenders, waitresses, sound and light guys, and all but that one doorman has earned a reputation for getting along with patrons and musicians.

You say that you heard that this may be a "grovey" place. I'm not sure what "grovey" means, but if it's something good, then that's us.

We have a rule that overly perfect people trying to impress each other (otherwise known as yuppies) are not allowed in. Occasionally, one or two manage to slip past us anyway. I hope this doesn't make us pertencious.

So Jennifer, what this all adds up to is that you should feel free to visit Lounge Ax on your birthday or any other time you like. No matter when you come, it will be a stone groove.

Or should I say a stoone grove?

March 29, 1999
Most Venerable Dan,
I just wanted to say "sorry" for overreacting about the Olivia Tremor Control show being sold out the other night. I really feel bad but you know how it is when you have been looking forward to seeing a band all through the rough work week and then, "Sorry. we're sold out!" ARRRRGGGHHHH!!

Anyway, I do apologize and I do have a question, for future reference, what time is the best time to get to a show so that THAT does doesn't happen again?

Since we don't have too many sold out shows, this problem doesn't occur too often. In over eleven years at the door of Lounge Ax, I've worked enough sold out shows to get used to it. I may not like turning people away, but I've come to accept it as part of the job.

There is really no "best" time to show up to be sure to get in. I generally tell people that if they are here by 9:30 or 10:00 there should be no problem.
But I have a better idea. (You knew I would, didn't you?). Instead of worrying about getting in to crowded shows, why not come to shows that you know won't be crowded?

I know what you are thinking - how do you know which shows won't be crowded?
Well, for the enlightenment of Ask Dan readers, I'm providing a list of bands that couldn't draw flies in garbage dump.

I should probably point out that since the owners of Lounge Ax don't want me to offend anyone who plays here, the names of all the following bands have been changed.

  • The Bimps
  • Clem Chowder
  • Handball
  • Vault
  • Horizontal Boogie
  • The Nads
  • Justin Addison
  • Kumbatu
  • Pug Mahone
  • Hartman's Palsy
  • Bort
  • Cloudburst of Anxiety
  • The Monroe Brothers
  • Compelsion Complex
  • The Pronkwok Twins

Now you no longer have to be concerned about getting in on crowded nights. All you have to do is show up when any of the bands on the list play at Lounge Ax under their real name.
We'll be waiting for you.


March 28, 1999
Most venerable Dan,
I attended the Lounge Ax for the first time Friday March 26 and wanted to thank you for help in getting me sorted with the parking and your avuncular presence on the door Being a Limey in exile this was much appreciated, more power to yer elbow dude :)
Paul S.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines Avuncular as "of or like an uncle." My best friend Spencer, who is 3 years old, has recently taken to occasionally calling me "Uncle Danny." I'm begining to detect a re-occuring uncle theme here. I'm not sure whether this is necessarily a good thing. But since the tone of your comment seems to be complimentary, I'll just say thanks and leave it at that.

You also mention parking. Parking has been a big problem around here forever. It is modern problems such as this that have encouraged me to come up with an ongoing series of visionary ideas to make the world a better place to live in.

Therefore, in the spririt of helping the community, I now present: Dan's Solution to the Parking Problem on Lincoln Avenue. Some Junkyards have a device called...well actually I'm not sure what it's called. But you've probably seen it sometime in the movies or on TV. The device is a big hydraulic compressor that crunches cars into metal cubes. The cubes are much smaller than the original size of the car.

Put these crushing devices at several corners along Lincoln. When someone wants to park, just crush the car into a cube, have the cube placed on a big dolly and wheel it to the nearest available space. I estimate that we could more than triple the number of cars that could be parked.

Of course, I realize my plan does have one minor flaw. The crunched up metal cube might prove somewhat difficult to drive home. But where some people see problems, I see answers. This difficulty simply provides the opportunity for some enterprising person to invent a machine that would stretch the car back to its original length. Oh sure there might be a nick here or a scratch there. And there would be the annoyance of some broken glass. But what the heck, at least we would have found parking.

So, the next time you're in about your third hour of looking for parking, just think to yourself, "If only they had used Dan's Idea, I'd be inside Lounge Ax by now."

P.S. Hey Paul, thanks for mentioning more power to my elbow. I'm not sure what it means, but it sounds nice.

March 15, 1999
Most venerable Dan,
What if you knew there was a band playing you'd only get one chance to see? What if that band was playing at a block rockin club, that you weren't old enough to get into? What if this club is the closest spot (550 miles away!!!) the band will be to you on their 7 date american tour? What if two furried frenzied kids, that just weren't born early enough, wanted to just stand inside the door?
two hoping sfa fans,
jon & jackie

Dear SFA Fans,
There's a reason people under 21 can't get into clubs that serve alcohol. To quote Inspector Clouseau: "It's the law." (Somehow, it sounds better when he says it than it does when I write it.) It has been my observation that maturity- including how one reacts to consuming alcohol- has less to do with age than it does with an individual's personality. However, unlike someone's age on an ID, such as a drivers license, I am unaware of any system that measures and documents a person's maturity. In order to fill this void, I am introducing a visionary idea from Dan: Giving people maturity tests. Details, such as when, where and by whom the test is given, could be worked out once my idea is accepted. The primary purpose of the maturity test would be to determine who is qualified to drink alcohol. Based on the way I've seen some people act when they drink, this might cut down on the bar attendance just about everywhere. But the test could also be used to determine: -who is qualified to drive.(boy, I bet that would eliminate traffic congestion. -who is qualified to legally own guns. (good-bye NRA) -who is qualified to vote. (maybe we better forget this one: voter turnout is already pretty low.) -who is qualified to run for political office. (wait. Maybe we better forget this one too.) -who is qualified to be rock club doormen. (never mind--we should totally forget that one.) Well, anyway, it could be used for a bunch of different things. As for what the test would actually consist of, well, that might be an interesting topic for a future Ask Dan. I am waiting to be contacted by a representative of the government regarding the implementation of the maturity test. Since this is the first time this idea has come up, I might be in for a long wait. What this means, Jon and Jackie, is that for the time being we are stuck with the same old way of determining who gets into clubs-you'll still have to be at least 21. But don't despair. With the way that government bureaucracies are known to function quickly and efficiently, I have no doubt that in a short time the maturity test will become a part of our culture. Until that time, I can only envision the day when I can turn away yuppies at the door of Lounge Ax with the words, "Sorry, but you don't meet the minimum required maturity level."

March 5, 1999
Most venerable Dan,


Since technology has allowed Illinois along with most other states, to become more sophisticated in the production of licenses, fake IDs have become less and less of a problem. What's more common is for people to try to get in on other people's IDs. So, every now and then we get a girl who is white and about 5' 2" trying to get in with an ID with a picture of a guy who is black and listed at 6' 1".
The newer IDs have also brought about a decrease in the attempts to alter them. With some of the older licenses, people would occasionally try to change their age, most often by simply trying to write over the original birth date. These attempts, of course, would stick out like the proverbial sore thumb so that a blind guy could could spot them a mile away.
More common are excuses for not having an ID.

One of the more frequent excuses is "I didn't know it was a bar." Right. Maybe the word L O U N G E in Lounge Ax might have given them a little hint. Probably my favorite is what I call "the homework excuse" - when people actually try to convince me (and this has happened more than once) that their dog chewed up their ID. Unbelievable.
But enough digressing by me Dave. You ask about letting someone in with a fake ID. Now think about this real hard Dave. If we let someone in with a fake ID, then why would bother to even check IDs in the first place?

You also ask what we do with the person who gives us a fake ID. After giving this question a great deal of thought. we came up with a way to handle it. From now on, anyone trying to use a phony ID must promise to wear, every day for the next two years, one of our t-shirts we had printed up that say: "I am a dweeb for trying to get into Lounge Ax with a bogus ID."

March 2, 1999
Most venerable Dan,
Any chance that the reformed Meat puppets will be playing LAx anytime relatively soon?
Muchos Gracias,

I have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with booking bands at Lounge Ax. Also, with the possible exception of Gloria the cleaning lady, I am the least knowlegeable person about bands at Lounge Ax. As any loyal Ask Dan reader knows, I would not think of letting these two minor technicalities prevent me from answering your question.

After much consideration about whether the Meat Puppets might play here, I have managed to narrow the answer down to two possibilities which are:

(a) Yes
(b) No

For Yes (choice a) to happen, the band and Lounge Ax would have to get in touch and agree that they want the band to play here, they would have to agree on terms (money, food, booze, groupies etc) and they would have to find a date convenient to both Lounge Ax and the Meat Puppets.

For No (choice b) to happen, any one of the things in the explanation for Yes (choice a) would have to NOT happen.

On a purely statistical basis, since a bunch of things have to happen for Yes and only one thing would have to Not happen for No (choice b), I'd lean more toward they're not playing.

But, considering that I flunked algebra in high school, I'm not exactly known as a math wiz. So screw the mathematical probabilities and what the hell, let's make it Yes (choice a).

There. I've done my part. The rest is up to the people who do the booking at Lounge Ax and the Meat Puppets.

See ya at the show,


Mon, 26 Jan 1999
Most Venerable Dan,
Dan, do you hate the world?

Boy, that sure would be a lot of hating. I mean the world is really a big place, so it would cover a lot of ground (though to be grammatically correct, I suppose you would say a lot of ground covers the world.) There's just too much world to hate the whole damn thing, even for me.
So what I do is take the scientific approach. I pick out certain things about the world that I find easiest to apply hatred toward.
For the benefit of our Ask Dan readers, here is a less than complete list of targets of my hate:

  • Winter
  • People who smoke in public places -such as Lounge Ax
  • Cockroaches
  • Those pieces of popcorn that get stuck between your teeth so tight that you can't get them out with a winch.
  • Santimonious, hypocritical politicians who cheat on their wives and then publically complain about such behavior in others (sound familiar?)
  • The way that the yuppie types that I see on Lincoln Avenue all dress exactly alike.
  • The fact that Larry Bird ever had to retire as a ball player, resulting in the demise of the once proud franchise formerly known as the Celtics. (This is slightly offset by seeing the great job he does coaching the Pacers.)
  • Not seeing my best friend Spencer, more often than I do.
  • The way that my jeans always seem to wear out in the crotch. Why does that happen?
  • Cowards who mistreat those who can't defend themselves, such as young children or animals.
  • Those rediculously idiotic looking, floppy, baggy shorts (or should they be called longs?) that all basketball players but John Stockton, wear.
  • Tempermental doormen at rock clubs, wait -- nevermind. Forget that one.
  • Most foods seem to be in one of two categories: either they taste good but are unhealthy, or they're healthy but taste like cardboard.
  • Bureaucrats.
  • Finally, I hate that a really good guy, Phil Bonnet from the band Cheer Accident, died a few weeks ago. He was only 38. I still can't believe it.


Mon, 18 Jan 1999
I happen to have two small children and my wife is cool about going to shows and all, but she really appreciates having help in the evening with getting the kids to bed. Now here's the question... Suppose I wait in line and get into one of the Jeff Tweedy shows knowing he will not go one for another 3-4 hours (guessing) would I be able to leave and re-enter? Thanks fo your help.
just wondering

Mr. Wondering,
[EDITORs NOTE: This question is in the process of getting an official ASK DAN answer, but in the meantime, here is a quick answer anyway.

Unlike the big gross venues which we have always strived to be different from, Lounge Ax always* allows patrons to leave and re-enter the club later that evening.]

*lounge ax reserves the right to change its mind and alter policies as needed.

Wed, 13 Jan 1999
Most venerable Dan,
Why is it that every time I go to the Lounge Ax I don't get any play??
Blistered Hands
Steve Beymer

The reason you don't get any play at Lounge Ax is because we are a rock club. Therefore you get rock bands.
If you want to get play, you should go to theater.

Tue, 22 Dec 1998
Most Mons Veneris Dan,
At any given time, on any given day...who has more snooty motherfuckers inside..Lounge Ax, or The Empty Bottle? I have been arguing with my mother and father about this for awhile now, they say Lounge Ax, I say The Empty Bottle... I have a bottle of that real expensive 'Rare Breed' Wild Turkey riding on this....
Leak Dickens

Dear Leak,
If you had asked about intelligent motherfuckers, good-looking
motherfuckers, sexy motherfuckers, worldly motherfuckers, unpretentious motherfuckers, salt of the earth motherfuckers, or just your every day garden variety motherfuckers -- Lounge Ax would win hands down.
But since the variety of motherfuckers that you choose to inquire about are those of the snooty type , I would have to give the nod to the Empty Bottle. I can only presume that there is something about the Empty Bottle which has led to them syphoning off the motherfuckers in the snooty category, while leaving the other motherfuckers for us.

READ MORE ASK DAN from 1998 1997 or 2000

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