The awful truth is… I like a good honky-tonk better than a football game. I finally experienced (there is no other word) The Black & Gold this past weekend. I’ve spent my share of time in nasty little watering holes but The Black & Gold is right up there with the best (worst?). A little cinder-block building out on Business 70 in Columbia, Missouri, this (bar? club? juke joint?) place is a study in White Trash Chic. The place is obviously popular with the college crowd but –I’m told– equally so with the blue collar crowd for whom happy hour is seven a.m. Beer is served in cans because they do less harm when thrown. When the owner had a problem with broken windows, he just bricked them up. Problem solved. The night I was there, Big Head Ed was deep-frying chicken in a skillet and the air was heavy with grease and cigarette smoke and two Rams cheerleaders (Lacy and Amy) were in attendance. In the proud tradition of Tommy’s North-End Cafe and The (original) Shilo, I give The Black & Gold five tab-tops.