Fencing the Hammer


It should be known that the Pharisees in the days of Christ were known for “fencing” the written law of God, or creating the “oral” law. The idea being if we don’t want to come close to breaking the law of God new very specific laws must be created around the written law. Then Jesus pops onto the scene and plays merry hell with their oral law while perfectly keeping the written law of God.

That being said, a new written law has been handed down from on high at my home away from home, Hammer and Ale. After a particularly high spirited weekend, David descended from the mountain to deliver to us faithful some commandments. And as a dutiful regular (I am aiming to be the Norm/Morn of this place) I have decided to apply my massive mind to the task of exegeting, fencing and/or creating an oral law around the written law, now helpfully posted above the toilet.

1. No Outside food or Alcohol Permitted

The first law is vertical it is about the drinkers relationship with David the Barman. The following laws are horizontal and about the patrons relationships with each other. 

The Barman David is a righteous Barman, he has provided generously, and at a very reasonable price we might add, for his people all of the spirits that we require. Any outside alcohol is an abomination to our barman and his servant Kevin* who makes the sandwiches. As a good and generous duo they take offense at the smuggling in of McDonalds, the blatant rebellion of massive pizzas from Aldo’s down the street, and as for Tsunami across the way, what is wrong with you? If you are going to drop that kind of money just eat there, you are mostly paying for the environment anyway. Sheesh! 

Additionally, no there is not a stash of vodka in the back, this is a classy joint, those seeking cheap spirits are in the wrong place. Depart to the Young Ave where the Philistine College Freshmen drink.

2. No Pets Allowed Inside

“This means your dog you moron!” There are no exceptions no matter how well behaved the patron thinks their walking fur sack is. It also includes emotional support cats, rabbits, or birds. Should a a Ferret be brought in, leashed or not, it shall be cast into the fire, for the owner is clearly an instrument of Satan as evidenced by their demon weasel.

It should then be defined what constitutes “Inside” While some scholars believe in the permissiveness of David the Barman. Other long times patrons** hold to a much stricter interpretation. Inside is defined as the taproom proper, the patio, and the back yard. As one Scholar*** has said, “You and your, ‘don’t worry he’s friendly’ dog can stand on the sidewalk and drink out of plastic because we know that your animal is going to bark/charge at to fight/hump any other dog it sees.”

3. Pets Must be on a Leash at all Times Next to Pet Owner

And again on the sidewalk, this interpretation is nearly irrefutable. Though many think putting the loop of the leash around the leg of your chair will keep that horse masquerading as a husky from “being friendly” it won’t. The righteous have seen many of the wicked dragged across the patio behind a charging, barking, dog to fight/hump.

At its base this law is pointing to the only acceptable pet  that can be leashed effectively and not bother patrons’: a goldfish in a jar. Hanging by string around the owners neck. It is still understood that this kind of person is odd, but that is why they have to stand on the sidewalk.

4. Children Allowed but must be Next to Parents at all Times

This is the first law that comes with a promise. If the children are not kept next to the parents at all times then their privilege of presence will be revoked. It is wise therefore to fence this one by keeping the child on a leash. And standing on the sidewalk.

5. The Patio is not a Playground for Children

The fifth law is much like the first. For David knows the hearts of patrons are evil and prone to justify their ill behaved children. Though the child be next to a parent shimmying up and down the umbrella pole or blocking a walking path is still an abomination to him. 

6. Please do not Move Tables with Umbrellas

The purpose of the law is to reveal the wickedness of the patron. Though the natural law of the patio is obvious in its layout, and even the physics of two umbrellas being unable to fit into the same space, this has not stopped the rebellious from rearranging and breaking the good gifts of David the Barman. 

Therefore do not move any tables, or adjust the umbrellas as Kevin the Servant of David does so out of kindness and his infinite knowledge of the patio.

7. Anyone violating the Rules will be Berated and/or Asked to Leave

The anger of David burns against the wicked, yet its manifestation can be categorized as the passive wrath and the active wrath. The passive wrath of David is revealed in his patience and berating of those who have trespassed this law. The sinner is allowed to remain, committed to their own devices as David publicly brings the ire of all others down upon them as they sit in shame, or worse, ignorance. These are people to be pitied for their sins are great yet David is greater still rebuking then proceeding to turn all men against the transgressors. Truly the passive wrath of David is more terrifying than the active wrath, where the evil ones are simply dealt with. Sent out with their ferrets, or children to the outer darkness (Young Ave. Deli) where there are woo girls and overpriced lite beer.

8. Thank you for Your Understanding

Though not a direct command the implication is the glad enjoyment and embracing of the good law as handed down by David the Barman and Kevin his only true Servant. The law is evidence that they like us and want us to be happy. But to transgress the law is an active rebellion and deserves the righteous consequences. David expects of his patrons that they would grow in into his image that Hammer and Ale would be a paradise of beer.

*Ok Kevin is the Co-Owner but that was harder to make humorous. Also I think Kevin was the one to actually write these rules after a particularly awful weekend, but again it just seemed to work better to use David, as he is older.


***Again, ME

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