Imagine one of those "from the past" montages like thay have on "Cold Case". Some early 90s dance music (maybe Rhythm is a Dancer) plays in the background as a thinner, younger, and way blonder SFist gets ready for a night on the town. Clothing is selected, hot rollers (shudder) are donned, and makeup is applied in a trowellike fashion. Finally, we hop into our Geo Metro and off to whatever was currently termed as "the bar". It's 12:30 a.m. at the earliest, and we're hitting the town.

A lot has changed for us since we left the red state part of the country so many years ago. We're not blonde, our hot rollers are long gone, and if we first leave the house after midnight it's because the dog has the runs. But we blame a lot of this on the fact that for some lunatic reason the bars in San Francisco close at 2 a.m. (with a last call occasionally as early at 1:15 a.m.). The arcane blue laws of the Midwest still allowed for us to leave the house for the night at nearly the same hour we're rolling back in in San Francisco. Why is it that in the Bible Belt they understand the fact that when people want to be drinkin', they want to keep on drinkin' until they go to breakfast and stagger home in the harsh light of dawn, while in San Francisco we're forced by our bars' early closing to be tucked safe in bed long before the first birds chirp their morning song?

Look, we're not saying "why can't San Francisco be more like the fly-over states", because there are damn good reasons we left there (and we suspect they're glad to have us gone, so it's a mutually beneficial situation). But if just this one thing changed, San Francisco would be this much closer to absolutely perfect -- and isn't perfection a goal all of us, as San Franciscians, are striving for?

Yes, these days of nightly drinking (and hair styling) happened when we lived in a college town -- but what is San Francisco if not the biggest college town around? Take a look at all those fine-looking frat guys and sorority girls in the Marina, the liberal-arts majors in the Mission, and the townies in the Richmond and Sunset. Sure, we all have jobs and are more aware of the importance of sunscreen now than we might have been back in the day, but we're still those kids underneath our Banana Republican uniforms. Our drinking clocks still go until 4 a.m., and we think it's time that the San Francisco nightlife scene conformed to that rhythm.

Photo from HVW8 site