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February 25, 2010

The Captain's Corner: Ear piercings

capt. larry outside his bar, circa 2000

Of all the stories Capt. Larry Gross told me, this one was the most outrageous. Keep in mind -- he's already told us about Joe the Parrot, the in-bar drunk cage and shooting holes in the ceiling.

Capt. Larry, the namesake of Captain Larry's, retired from the bar business several years ago. But I heard rumors about people getting their ears pierced, and had to ask the Captain. This is what he told me:

SEAL team four's logo was the skull and bones. So I went and had jewelers make me 40 of these little skull-and-bones earrings.

The deal was, if you wanted to get your ear pierced in the bar, it was a neat thing to get a Capt. Larry's skull-and-bones earring ...

The bird, Joe, used to have a pet of his own, which was a little bar mouse that would go in the bird's cage and eat his food. This little mouse would go into the cage and get up on the perch with Joe and stand next to Joe. We took a couple pictures of it because we thought nobody would ever believe it.

I had a dartboard and a couple American darts. After the bar had closed, the little mouse sometimes would run around on the bar, and we would take the darts and throw them at the mouse. Well, we never got the mouse, and the mouse kept going in Joe's cage.

Now, if you wanted your ear pierced, we took the same American darts that we threw at the mouse. The point of this dart went into a shot glass that the earring was inserted into. The shot glass was filled with vodka. We figured the vodka sterilized the dart.

The person who wanted to get the ear piercing would have to drink the shot of vodka and spit the earring out. I would take the dart and ram it through the ear lobe. The back of the earring was a piece of potato.

Naturally, it would bleed. They had to run around the bar five times. They'd come back to me, I'd take a bottle of vodka, pour it over their bloody ear, clean it off, and stick 'em with the ear ring.

Mostly, it was the cops that did it, some SEALs and the special forces guys. There were only two females I allowed to wear the skull and bones, and you can imagine why. And that's about it for the ear piercings. I know it all sounds unbelievable, but it's truer than you can imagine.

(Baltimore Sun archive photo)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:31 AM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Bar stories


There are a lot of moving parts in this story...

Wow. Tremendous. If someone can top this as the Best Bar Story of All Time, I'd sure love to hear it.

Another classic tale, but in my opinion the holes in the bullet ceiling can't be topped...unless we haven't heard the most outrageous yet! Keep the stories coming Captain!!

Now the department of health would have shut the bar down and press charges against The Captain... Progress I guess.

I mean, I'm sure they would have written him up back then, if they'd have known of all the Captain's shenanigans. Arrr ...

That story is hard to believe, but then again, the best true stories are.

This is the Captain speaking. The stories are very true. In regards to the Health Dept, they usually attack during the day and our antics usually took place at night. I did get my share of inspections and violations. There is a couple of stories about the inspections also.

The Captain

I am one of those few that had his ear pierced in that bar! I miss that place so much! Between Larrys, Tio Locos, and Mums, they were my home away from home for a long time

The Old Captain Larry's Crew will have the first annual reunion August 14th. Meet at Paul's, 701 E Fort Ave. for libations and old stories. Around 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. we raid the new Captain Larry's Bar 601 E Fort Ave. for more Grogs and stories. All old crew members and wanna-be's invited

Wish I had known about a reunion I would have been.there. The stories are true but many of thenames arechanged to protect the innocent.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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