Roach: The boomers are coming

Although COVID-19 and its variants have not been extinguished from our lives, we can now see a time when the vicious interloper will no longer be hovering over our shoulder.
Vaccinated Happy Hour
Photo made by Carol Shufro

Although COVID-19 and its variants have not been extinguished from our lives, we can now see a time when the vicious interloper will no longer be hovering over our shoulder.

There’s talk of fans attending Milwaukee Brewers games at Miller Park/American Family (It-Should-Have-Been-Named-After-Henry-Aaron) Field. And it has also been suggested that Camp Randall will open for crowds come September.

The very thought is enough to make one giddy, especially if you fall into an unfortunate demographic with higher COVID-19 mortality risk — like everyone older than 65.

That’s a lot of Americans who’ve been living in fear, myself included.

We have lost 508,000 Americans to this pandemic — more than our military deaths from World War II and in a quarter of the time. If there were no vaccine and COVID-19 ran the full four years that our parents’ war lasted, we could have 2 million dead by my math. Even more, with variants.

That’s a number even former President Other Guy would struggle to deny, although he and his merry band of seditionists would continue to insist that it was under control.

But now the vaccine has created a new reality.

One of the most at-risk populations who feared death most — we Boomers — is getting rescued first. In an instant, as the vaccine is shot into our arms, we’ve gone from most-likely-to-die-on-a-ventilator to feeling the most bulletproof.

This will make for interesting times at the State Street bars, because we doddering old folks are ready to party, or whatever passes for partying at our age.

The college bars better get ready, because the vaccinated Boomers are coming.

First, peak bar time at The Kollege Klub is going to go from midnight to four in the afternoon.

The most popular drink at Wando’s won’t be their famous Fish Bowl or a White Claw, it’ll be Miller Lite and brandy Old-Fashioneds. If any vaccinated old-timers do happen to order a Fish Bowl, it will be to take home for their actual pet fish.

State Street Brats is going to have to stock up on reading glasses so that aging party monsters can read the menu. But then in short order they won’t need them at all because every gray rager will forget their glasses at the bar.

In welcome relief, the waitstaff at Paul’s Club won’t have to worry about slushy patrons trying to pick them up. They may, however, have to endure their Boomer drinkers’ efforts to set them up with their grandson. He’s a wonderful young man.

The Plaza Tavern, one of the great dark bars of all time, will have older Boomer guys requesting that they turn up the lights so they can find the restroom, which they will use every five minutes.

And any bar with a trivia night is going to have a problem.

They are either going to have to alter their questions to be exclusively about Andy of Mayberry, or change them to something less challenging like, “Where did you park your car?”

In fact, all bars with trivia night should flip to bingo night until everyone has the vaccine.

House DJ’s on State Street are in for a shock. They are going to have to switch their beats from Post Malone, The Weeknd and Dua Lipa to Chicago, Bread and England Dan & John Ford Coley. Some of you will never be the same.

As for bar food, the establishments that serve meatloaf, mashed potatoes and applesauce will see the biggest surge.

To be sure, this Boomer rampage will be a challenge to college hotspots along and near Madison’s most famous street.

But if you are young and one of those who likes to lob the occasional “OK, Boomer” jab, consider this.

For a year we older folks at the other table have had the specter of a lonely, arduous death hovering over our shoulder.

We have lost friends.

So, let us party a little.

Better yet, if you have antibodies, join us.

John Roach, a Madison-based screenwriter and producer, writes this column monthly. Reach him at