Thursday, August 17, 2006
Teriyaki Pemmican Menopause
I wrote columns a few months ago for an alcoholics' website. The place died a miserable death, sadly. I hate losing my precious writing, and since my output has dwindled to the occasional fart lately, I'm gonna re-publish all five of those columns here this week to ensure their eternal existence. To start, here's the fourth one.
"Steve, this place sucks. Why are we here?"
"I dunno. It's Tuesday night, who cares where we are?"
"Come on. There's gotta be a place with women under forty somewhere around here."
"That one's not a day over thirty-nine."
"Keep pointing like that and you'll have that old leatherface molesting you in no time. It'd be worth coming here to see you tongue wrestle with that beef jerky. I got a camera phone, you know. I'll put 'em up on the internet. I can see it now: 'Steve's new piece.'"
"Sounds like a delightful web page. You're on. I'm gonna go hit on her."
"Okay, then go."
"Well, not right away. After several shots. Then I'll go."
"Seriously man, this place is dark, smelly, and somebody put Wings on the jukebox. Let's go somewhere else. Anywhere."
"This is the Chili Pub. They didn't bother to think of a name. They had a crappy recipe and a thirst for beer and figured they'd share those with the world. Whoever 'they' are. And so the Chili Pub was born. This is the only place in the county that sells takeout booze past two in the morning. Only by the six pack, but hey. I've always wanted to visit."
"You're fucking weird."
John and I turned to the irate bartender. She looked like a Sunday school teacher. Grey curly hair, bifocals, sweater vest, cloying floral perfume, the whole package. This woman was a card carrying member of the AARP, and she looked pissed.
"WE DO NOT ALLOW PROFANITY IN HERE. NO MORE WARNINGS. IF I HEAR ANY MORE GUTTER TALK YOU'RE OUT. GOT IT?"
"Yes, I understand. Please stop shouting."
"Fine then. What can I get for you young men this evening?"
"Two Buds and one bowl of chili. Unless. John, you hungry? Want a bowl too?"
"Uh, just the beer, thanks."
Marge or Ethel or Edna or whatever her name was served me a bowl of brown swamp. I expect chili to be reddish brown, but this muck was dark brown. I chalked this up to dim lighting and set to sprinkling cheese atop the steaming bowl.
John lowered his voice. "Steve, you're killing me. A bunch of old bats, no swearing, a jukebox full of honkeytonk garbage and adult easy listening. This is just too much. And why do they have knight's armor standing everywhere?"
"First of all, you don't call it 'knight's armor.' That betrays your ignorance of medieval terminology. The proper designation is 'coat of arms.' Second, I like Jackson Browne. This is a good song. Finally, dusty chicks are easy."
"Think about it, man. You could spend tons of money buying slick new clothes and metrosexual facial hair trimming accessories and cologne, then even more money liquoring up some pretty young thing, and you're stretching your brain telling lies to impress her, and you finally get her home and she won't even blow you first. These ladies are desperate, my friend. Their husbands are home watching hockey and spilling spaghetti sauce on their recliners. I swear to God, I could invite any one of these into the bathroom right now and have my way. Even with chili breath, uncombed hair, and mild B.O. To them, I'm golden. I'm under thirty. I could be sporting a third eyeball and missing an ear and they'd still gobble me up like ice cream and soap operas."
"You talk an awful lot, but I ain't buyin' it. You're putting me on. Please, please, let's go somewhere decent."
"Alright, alright! I give. Let me eat this chili first."
I dipped my spoon into the thick, pudding-like meat bucket. The so-called chili showed no sign of beans, onions, or tomatoes. It was just ground beef and thick brown something. I tried to smell it before I tried it, but the floating secondhand Misty and Capri smoke wheezed out by the scattered members of the divorcee club overpowered any enticing food aroma the ugly paste could generate. I shrugged and shoveled.
It was bad. Painfully bad. I spit that runny diarrhea all over the tappers.
"OH JESUS FUCK! THIS IS CHILI?"
"OUT! I WARNED YOU! GET OUT OR I'M CALLING THE COPS, YOU FILTHY MOUTHED LITTLE UPSTART!"
"I'm leaving. But first I gotta ask. HEY LADIES! WHO WANTS TO FUCK? Come on out to the parking lot, there'll be two young studs waiting there to give you what your husbands can't!"
I ran out, giggling. John followed, blushing and angry.
"I'm picking the next bar. You asshole." 9:16 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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