The keg was lifted high in the air. Barry’s thick arms thrust the silver above him and it, thick as it was, juddered like no more than a can of ephemeral pop, almost flying free of his gnarled hands. He clutched the wrought handles and swung the keg back to earth. It crashed onto the bar, split, its precious content spilling and flying, spewing, exploding, shimmering. The abroached keg ejaculated across the bar stools, the patrons aghast, Barry roaring over the endless foam.

A police officer took him down with a flying tackle. The rest of us tried to ooze through the hatches built for just that purpose, years ago, when we were much less bold, ready to flee at any moment. After so long in Barry’s speakeasy we had gotten careless. And Barry had gotten fat. Still crazy, but fat.

I could tack some pat moral at the end here about our excesses catching up with us, the waste of Prohibition, our time. In retrospect it was just the end of a great bar.

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