A friendly neighborhood Irish bar seems like a good place to pass some time and enjoy a few drinks on a Thursday night. Mickey Finn’s in Urbandale fits that bill. Here’s what an hour of eavesdropping will get you.
8:57 p.m.: I walk in, take a seat at the bar and order a Guinness. There’s one woman sitting at the bar with two gaming machines in the corner making the most annoying sound imaginable. It’s sort of like a horrible ringtone and someone just keeps calling.
9 p.m.: There’s a Blarney stone outside Mickey Finn’s, but inside the place doesn’t seem overwhelmingly Irish. It just seems like a bar, which I suppose is how most bars in Ireland would feel.
9:04 p.m.: A San Antonio Spurs/Oklahoma City Thunder playoff game is playing on the big screen, while the bartender and another customer watch “America’s Got Talent” on another TV. A couple sits at the bar and starts tearing up pull tab tickets and putting them into a Miller High Life bucket.
9:07 p.m.: Someone walks into the bar talking about an event happening on June 31. I think he may be disappointed.
9:09 p.m.: The pull tab couple wins $75. There’s talk of the money going toward a vacation.
9:10 p.m.: Another couple walks in, and the man bears some resemblance to Arizona senator John McCain. On closer examination, he is not.
9:12 p.m.: The pull tab couple discusses playing some music, though the idea is shot down when it’s decided they won’t be able to hear the game.
9:16 p.m.: Oh, there’s a Heineken sign with some shamrocks on it. It seems a little weird for a Dutch beer, but I guess it works.
9:17 p.m.: I notice that the make-up of the bar is the pull tab couple, pseudo McCain and his wife, the female bartender and a male customer watching “AGT,” and the woman across the bar with the annoying sounding games. I’m the only one alone. So alone.
9:22 p.m.: I notice an airbrushed Herky the Hawkeye on the wall. He’s got sort of an odd physique, kind of like Hans and Franz from “Saturday Night Live.” He’s wearing a black sweatsuit with white shoes.
9:25 p.m.: A man around my age walks in, sits in a corner booth and pulls out his phone. Now there is another person alone in the bar. Should I say hi? I decide to just keep drinking.
9:28 p.m.: I decide that the annoying sounding game sounds like a slightly modified Pac-Man sound. Also, it’s driving me insane.
9:30 p.m.: I walk into the restroom and notice a sign for a benefit poker run at the bar on July 27. It’s called “Bikers For Boxers,” and seems to be a benefit for the dog breed. But if it was about the fighters I think it could be a good basis for an FX original series.
There’s also a pretty tall ladder in this bathroom.
9:35 p.m.: I walk out to hear the woman from the pull tab couple asking the bartender “Do you know who Willie Nelson is?” It seems like kind of an odd question, but then she follows up with “Did you hear he got hit by a car?”
I pull out my phone, feeling a bit of panic, when she follows up with “He was playing on the road again.” A groan (and sense of relief) rises from various patrons.
9:40 p.m.: The woman at the annoying game leaves and the sound stops. I almost can’t remember what the world sounded like without it.
9:41 p.m.: Everyone is paired up again except for me and the phone dude. Then he leaves and I am truly the odd man out.
9:45 p.m: Someone sneezes and the entire bar blesses them. The pull tab woman starts to tell another joke, but forgets the punchline. I order a Jameson and Coke.
9:55 p.m.: There’s a lively conversation going on about the lottery. I finish my drink and decide to hit the road. But I’ll be more careful than Willie Nelson.
Where: 7020 Douglas Ave., Urbandale
Hours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily.