‘Girl Walks into a Bar …’
By Rachel Dratch
Gotham Books
248 pages

The straw stuck in the ceiling tile near the window? You put that there.

You don’t know who chipped the linoleum on the floor near the ladies’ room; it happened so long ago that nobody remembers. But that chip, as well as the deep scratch on the top of the bar, the slightly crooked pool cue, and the ca-chink of the freezer shutting are as familiar to you as the stool you’ve claimed at your favorite watering hole.

You expect certain things in a neighborhood tavern. You’d be disappointed if they weren’t there, but in the new book “Girl Walks into a Bar …” author Rachel Dratch found something she’d been looking for all her life.

“What happened to you?”

That’s a question Rachel Dratch had gotten used to.

Her contract over at “Saturday Night Live,” a spot on “30 Rock” diminished, Dratch spent her days watching TV and waiting for her agent to call her with offers. It had taken years to get to “SNL” and she spent years there honing her craft. Now the only roles she had to choose from were of lesbians or secretaries.

Being on “SNL” was fun, but it was also hard work. Cast members write a lot of their own material and can be cut from the show at whim. When a new character becomes a grand-slam, it’s as if the heavens handed down a gift.

OK, so Dratch was on “SNL.” It was “the greatest job you could ever imagine having as a comedian …” And then she wasn’t on “SNL.”  Still, people recognize her — and that includes potential dates.

Dratch always thought she’d someday get married and have kids. She figured it would just happen, but the older she got, the weirder the dates got, too. The kind of romantic dates most women want, she says, happened “only on my television set.”
She tried getting out of her “comfort zone.”  She went to Burning Man, met plenty of men who were gay or married (or gay and married), spent time with men who obviously only wanted to be seen with a former “SNL” cast member, and she received too many texted breakups. She even managed to “get an STD without any S.”

At age 40-something, Dratch decided to “adjust and roll with” what she had.
And then she walked into a bar …

I was a little disappointed in this book at first. Author Rachel Dratch gets right to the heart of what most people would want to read about — stories of SNL — and then she moves on.  Quickly.

But “Girl Walks into a Bar …” is no Debbie Downer. Dratch moves on because there’s so much more to tell, including one of the sweetest, most wonderful and unlikely love stories and an unexpected miracle. I loved the first part of this book, but once the credits rolled on the “SNL” part, I couldn’t stop smiling.

If you’ve ever wondered “What ever happened to ….?” this book will give you a Happily Ever After. “Girl Walks into a Bar …” is, in fact, a book you’ll toast.