Goodbye, Eric Barry, Sorry You Couldn’t Get Laid

What It’s Like to Spend An Evening in a Bar Having Friends

Sarah James
Sep 10, 2017 · 5 min read

Eric Barry’s terrible good-bye Chicago letter is currently making the rounds among my Chicago-residing Facebook friends. I must admit, when I first saw that someone had written a terrible farewell to Chicago, I assumed they were saying something uninformed about violence or gangs — but I’m just spoiled from our current administration, I guess! The reality is… not worse? But certainly… different?

I took this picture on my last trip to Chicago. As you can tell, this city is a nightmarish hellscape. #nofilter

Lots of people have had great responses: I guess Chicago has a lot of comedians or something. Katie Rife’s for the AV Club is particularly great. But because I love Chicago and bars and bars in Chicago, I wanted to dive into one particular passage — where Eric Barry moves to Chicago and goes to a bar to try and get laid I mean try and make friends.

He begins:

Wait. Hold on. You mean to tell me that in San Francisco, people go to bars, and SOCIALIZE? Oh man. I’d heard that San Francisco was better than every other place in the world, but if they are on this level of innovation, can any city ever compare?

It actually is pretty impressive that a lil bottle o’ beer grew legs and walked across the Rockies all the way to… oh wait they drove it up in a truck? nvm

He has a point here. If there’s one thing San Francisco is known for, it’s being reasonably priced.

Dude… it’s seven bucks.

Really? There were no men around, in this bar you went to to make friends? You couldn’t grab a stool and say to the bartender you’re new in town? Spoiler alert: when four women go to a bar together, they go to TALK TO ONE ANOTHER.

But wait, socializing in a bar? I thought that was just for San Francisco!


Barry continues: “I thought she was maybe being a little rude, but I took the hint they wanted to be left alone and approached someone else” LOL JK OF COURSE HE DOESN’T

It’s not. She was making small talk. You said you just moved, and she asked why you moved. Literally everyone in the world has a college roommate who “lived in the Bay Area for a bit, then moved.” It is not interesting.

YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND? Someone asked why you moved here and you’re ready to throw out every friendship you’ve ever had in your lifetime? BUT WHAT ABOUT ALL THOSE PEOPLE YOU MET IN SAN FRANCISCO’S EXTREMELY UNIQUE BAR TALKING CULTURE

Notice how she doesn’t respond “Because I want to”

It meant that all of the four women have a significant other and are not looking to change that status.

Except you weren’t meeting “people,” you were meeting “a table of four women.”

Rest assured, gender dynamics are alive and well everywhere!

There’s an AU version of this article where he whines that “I talked to these women for a whole hour, and it wasn’t until I offered to buy the hottest one dinner that I found out they all had boyfriends the whole time! I guess women in Chicago have been told by Steve Harvey they shouldn’t be direct?”

I bet you didn’t!

“Back in the Bay Area, a man can approach a table full of women and they will instantly propose a fuck-fest in the $4 Lagunitas pit”

I bet you do!

OR… she looked aghast because a strange man she had told several times to get lost just shouted “fuck” at her in a bar? Nah, Eric’s probably right.

  1. There is a zero percent chance she said this
  2. If she did, it was to call you on your obvious lie — because you obviously wanted to fuck these women, and they knew it.
  3. But she didn’t say it, because this is fanfiction.

Just so we’re clear on Eric Barry’s grading rubric here:

Not Acceptable: Assuming a man wants to fuck you when he doesn’t (but he actually does)

Acceptable: Shouting “I DON’T WANT TO FUCK YOU” in a bar, to a stranger

That’ll show em!

We know.

It is 100% exactly the point.

Sarah James lived in Chicago for three years and never paid $7 for a Lagunitas. She tweets at cryingbaseball.

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