Here’s the rule: In any hipster joint you have to employ one person over forty to cater to people like me. I was hipster before you were born dude. I have forgotten more beers than you and your handlebar mustache will ever drink. I understand mosaic hops and a mortgage. So why don’t you settle down and learn some wisdom from your elders?

In Dallas for a conference, the buzz on the intertubes concerned the Design District along Oak Lawn Avenue. Apparently the Meddlesome Moth had the brews and the food to make me happy. Although to be honest, the Moth needed to bring its A game to beat the Slow Bone where I had enjoyed some sublime barbecue during my lunch break.

I felt encouraged upon entering the Moth; they had some sweet stained glass on one wall of Elvis, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee, and a wall of taps that stretched on toward Austin. But I got seated in one of those odd no-man’s-land counters between the bars and the tables. Clark Kent appeared to man the bar, and as far as I could tell, the half dozen other bartenders and bar backs were just sampling all the taps. No one would wait on me.

I have faced such odds before, so I hailed a passing server and asked if I needed to order at the bar. She assured me some one would be out soon. The person that appeared in a time frame less than soon had a filthy apron and might have been summoned from the Pot Scouring Division to deal with cranky old guy. “What do you want?” he asked like I was a Jehovah’s Witness and he was a day sleeper. How about a menu my good man so I could know what I want? He brought the menus and disappeared into the ether. Neither Clark Kent nor the bacchanalia crew would acknowledge my existence. I gave up.

I told the hostess on the way out, the one that’s attractive but wears too much makeup, that my party of one had decided to decamp to friendlier environs. She was so sorry in the way the person that didn’t want to invite you to the party in the first place is sorry.

The place across the street, called Quill, had all the glass doors open and the bar looked fabulous. I wandered over. The bar back appeared to be underage, with one arm of his glasses held together with orange electrical tape. Poor kid got corrected all evening by the bartenders but gamely struggled on with his tasks. Steve the manager informed me that Old Fashioneds and Fireball shots were on special. I said, “Can you see how old I am? Do I want a shot?” You and me both, said Steve. Because Steve had been deployed to handle the old hipster. Was that so hard?

Jesse the bartender made a mean Old Fashioned. He had The Punisher logo tattooed on one forearm and a calavera skull on the other. We’ll take Jesse vs Clark Kent with The Punisher tied behind his back. Later we talked about single malt whiskey and what sort of water to use. I told him about a man I knew that wanted to import water from Scotland to pair with the Scotch from each region. Jesse subscribed to that business model.

When things got hectic at the bar and Steve had to help out, I noticed he had a slight tremor in his right hand. Pausing for a moment, he would plan all his moves with that hand so you wouldn’t notice as much. Where had that tremor originated? He clearly wasn’t older than me; would I try to hide a similar palsy some day?

I ate buttery Wagyu beef and Steve told me how long the Quill had been there and what it had been before and what new buildings were going in around them, including a Virgin hotel from Richard Branson.  We discussed East Nashville, and I told Steve about Tulsa and what was shaking downtown.

Steve shook my hand and Jesse shook my hand, and Jesse got a very nice tip. Respect your elders, Meddlesome Moth. Thus endeth the lesson. The graying hipster has spoken.

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