No Alibi


By Jack Edwards

If I ever rob a bank, I’m not sure how I’ll go about it, but I am sure of one thing. After my getaway, I will not be stopping by the Alibi Tavern for a cold one.

Recently, I was away on a business trip. I drove by a joint called the Alibi Tavern. This caught my attention because there is also an “Alibi Tavern” in my home town. I am quite confident this is not a franchise. Unless the franchise model is to build a chain of questionable looking establishments bearing no resemblance to one another, other than the name, the Alibi Tavern. (Point of unnecessary clarification: I am not sure if the word “the” is part of the name. My Google search of Alibi Taverns leads me to believe the “the” is optional. And FYI, there is an epidemic of Alibi Taverns littering the western hemisphere.)

As a consumer, I see no benefit in stepping through the door of a business called the Alibi Tavern.  Consider this scenario-

Prosecutor: “Mr. Edwards, at 3:45 p.m. on the day the First Security Bank of Usurious ATM Fees was robbed, where were you?”

Me (Shaking in the witness chair, and very possibly peeing myself a little, answer with a quivering voice): “At the Alibi Tavern.”

You walk into the Alibi Tavern, and you’re taking your chances:

Example 1. Your nitwit uncle drowns under mysterious circumstances, and your wife is the beneficiary of his $1,000,000 life insurance policy. While attempting to fain sympathy for your wife while controlling your inner jubilation, police detectives show up to question you. The police ask where you were the afternoon of the tragic accident. You cringe and reply, “At the Alibi Tavern.”

Example 2. Your failing business burns to the ground netting you insurance proceeds which allow you to finally retire comfortably in Boca Raton. After investigators become suspicious of the fire’s origin, they ask you where you were the night of the fire. You hesitate and answer, “At the Alibi Tavern.”

Example 3. Your wife notices something that appears to be a strange lipstick stain on your shirt collar and asks you where you spent the evening. You pause in deciding whether to tell her the truth, “At the Alibi Tavern.”

Yes, I am well aware that this name would put your business up near the front of the yellow pages. But here’s some free business advice: No one uses the yellow pages anymore. And when I say “no one,” what I mean is “no one.” There is a reason that the typical yellow page sale’s agent is driving a 1997 Yugo. Yellow page companies are now in the business of producing pre-landfill-filler. (It’s such a waste of resources that I had to invent a new term just to describe it.)

But I digress.

Naming a bar the Alibi Tavern is entrepreneurial suicide. Customers can’t frequent it if they’re guilty, and they can’t go there if they’re innocent.

I can only envision one scenario where I would visit a place called the Alibi Tavern:

I had just committed the perfect crime. My neighbor’s cat, for the one millionth time, had marched across the hood of my freshly washed car leaving its filthy little paw prints. After dark, I slip quietly over to the cat owner’s driveway and use my homemade sponge dinosaur footprints dipped in pink tapioca pudding to decorate the hood of his Cadillac Escalade. No witnesses. No security footage. No physical evidence tying me to the scene of the crime. (The sponges have gone the way of the yellow page books.) When my neighbor storms over to confront me about the karma on his hood, and demands to know where I was the night before, I’ll smile and answer, “At the Alibi Tavern.”