BEST MEAT RAFFLE - 2000
Applying the term "best" to any meat raffle is a bit of an oxymoron, since the title this long-standing Nordeast custom truly deserves is "Best Racket." If you've never been to one, here's how it works: A guy lugs in a big cooler and sets up the contents for display: stuffed pork chops, chicken breasts, steak, and the like, usually bought off-sale from the local butcher. There's a wheel with 30 spaces, and for each cut of meat, the guy hawks 30 $1 tickets--and the wheel doesn't spin until all 30 are taken. Sometimes you get a nice family-size pack of steak for a dollar; more often you spend ten and go home empty-handed, having bought your neighbor's dinner in this strange, vaguely socialistic exercise. In any case, the guy with the cooler and the wheel takes what amounts to a $20-$25 profit for each spin of the wheel--nice work if you can get it. (We liken this to pull tabs that pay out in meat instead of money--no "pound of flesh" jokes, please.) The Knight Cap, a small neighborhood corner bar located just across the street from its more boisterous cousin, Mayslack's--itself a small neighborhood corner bar-turned-hipster destination--runs raffles each Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday at 11:00 a.m.