We Spent the Night at Union and Sh*t Went Down: Here’s What We Saw
Iowa City’s once-loved cesspool of freshmen sweat and vodka crans has been losing popularity recently. Word on the street is “th-th-the Uuuuunion Bar” is changing. We at The Black Sheep refused to let this downfall go uninvestigated, and headed to the Dirty U last Thursday for dollar drinks and detective work:
We expected a big scene by eight o’clock. The Black Sheep’s honorable field journalists did their best to prepare for the night, embracing Union’s fucked up mentality by getting plastered pre-bar. Hawkeye always does the trick for an efficient pregame.
There’s no scene. None. There is, however, a middle-aged person sitting in the corner of the bar, and there’s a distinct smell of claustrophobia and spilled drinks, but that’s about it. Still, dollar drinks, so fuck it.
We’re still the only ones at the bar, but the music seems to have improved significantly in the past hour. Things are getting ratchet, just like the old days.
A crowd of freshmen came in at 9:30, desperate for anything to do other than returning to the depressing dorms after 10 p.m. The nervous energy and sexual tension was so high that a couple zits actually popped just from the pure rise in pressure. Those thirty minutes were a whirlwind of elevated surfaces, fist pumps, and booty claps. Faces were sucked, and a baby may have been conceived in the back corner of the dance floor.
The cops came in at 10:01, but they were the only other people in the bar other than The Black Sheep’s wrecked staff.
Things got weird. Everyone who comes in is already belligerent. The bartender seemed to be serving tap water with a spurt of hand sanitizer and not one of the ten people in the bar noticed.
The Black Sheep staff made the difficult journalistic decision to leave Union, in the hopes of gaining a fair analysis of the downtown party scene as a whole to objectively deduce if it’s boring as fuck everywhere else.
The line to Fieldhouse wrapped around Iowa Book three times, but when The Black Sheep finally got in, we saw something beautiful. Jersey Turnpikes. Someone puking in the bathroom sink. Bartenders veins popping out of their head due to sheer panic. People falling all over each other, and in the back…oh in the back. It was like being a freshman in Union again, seeing strangers full out dry humping under the disco lights.
While people wander home hammered, the Union Bar sits dejected and sticky as ever, empty. It’s a lonely place now, filled with memories and filled with booze, but never with people.
Times have changed, and The Black Sheep would like to make it official for those who did not already know: Fieldhouse is the move. R.I.P. Union, your ratchetry won’t be missed at all.
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