As the clock struck midnight and beyond last night, patrons at some Baltimore bars were not glued to television sets, watching news reports from the Persian Gulf.
"We have no requests to turn on news. . . . And besides, we're not going to attack in the daylight," said Gary Gibbs, a bartender at the Charles Village Pub in the 3100 block of St. Paul St., a tavern popular with Johns Hopkins University students.
Mike Walker, a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve and U.S. Department of Transportation employee, sat at Twins, a tavern at Calvert and Redwood streets, where he nursed a beer. The television set was tuned to an Alabama-Louisiana State University basketball game. "It will be another two or three weeks before we go in because they don't have all the troops they need there now," Walker said.
At Alonso's, a bar and restaurant in the 400 block of W. Cold Spring Lane, management had decided earlier last night to turn off the television to avoid bad news.
It was different at Jerry D's, a bar in Parkville.
"The people here were a little worried. We had two sets on at midnight, both tuned into 'Nightline,'" said Mike O'Neill, a bartender at Jerry D's, which had a busy evening with 50 customers.
At Burke's, a bar and restaurant at Light and Lombard streets downtown, only two customers watched "Nightline."
Fred Robinson, a WITH radio announcer was eating supper. "I wouldn't play around over there," he said. "I'd have gone in early -- right at the start -- with a small strike force and flattened Baghdad. I know people will call me a bad fellow, but in war you can't be a good guy."
The majority of Burke's customers drank at another part of the bar.
"People are scared to find out information," said Tom Lafferty, the bartender.
"It looks to me like people are trying to avoid the whole thing," said Virginia Stielper, a waitress.
"It would be foolish to move in predictably at midnight," said Mike Zapp, a customer.