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Tuesday, 21 June
Old Adventures In Lo-Fi

On Saturday night, having nothing much to do anyway, I decided to meet the wife down at a place called Re-bar, which happens to be the venue for her current show. Re-bar is a nightclub that also happens to stage theatrical productions here and again on their tiny two stages, usually gay-themed or at least gay-friendly, so a Terrence McNally farce is a good fit. Re-bar is renowned amongst the theater crowd for its incredible dinginess and thoroughly ramshackle atmosphere--backstage, which is a merely polite term for "curtained-off dead end," the actors put on makeup in front of one tiny mirror and array their props on plywood laid over the pool tables. We don't do this stuff for money, folks.

And yet, Re-bar, despite the monumental amount of shit we give it for being such a hilariously, uh, contaminant-friendly environment, is weirdly beloved by a lot of actors I know. And myself, really: I've done a whole ton of productions there. This despite the "well, it could be true" stories about things like carnivorous mushrooms that lurch around in the subcellar, garfing out hideous spore clouds that we all inhale during a show; the nearly irrefutable fact that during any given run at Re-bar, someone will get murderously ill--we still come back to the place, like that ex-girlfriend you broke up with like six times, and yet you still kept winding up in bed with her.

(Once, when going to the place for a rehearsal, someone found a tiny amber vial on the dance floor. "It looks like, uh, coke or something," someone ventured. Never one to shy away from empiricism, I took the vial and shook out some of the stuff and put it on my tongue, which numbed up in an old familiar, bitter way. "It's crank," I announced officiously. My friend B. snatched it from my hand. "I'll give this a good home," he said twinklingly, putting the thing in his pocket. That's the thing about actors: We are so picky. Mysterious chemicals on the floor? Sounds like heaven! Hey, let me taste that! It didn't kill you? Wonderful! I want some too!)

I went down there, timing my arrival for the end of the show and the commencement of the night's special event, something called "Frankenboot," which promised to be an evening full of dancing to mashups--where a DJ created improbable mixes of popular songs, like wedding the bass line of "Pressure" to the papery wailings of Britney Spears, and then perversely tossing in some trumpet line from the Beta Band.

Me, I eat this crap up. I mean, what kind of sociopath spends his free time thinking, "You know what would be cool? Basement Jaxx versus the Spice Girls, maybe with a calypso flair! I wonder what the BPM on 'Baby Elephant Walk' is!" Like I say, perverts. But I find it a lot of fun. And so did some of our companions, mostly other actors from the wife's show. Our friend R. exhibited real delight at the sonic appearance of C.C. Penniston, which while deeply weird, was at least mitigated by her total excitement, and never mind that good old C.C. was being married to something wrenching like the bass line from "Hangin' Tough." Finally, it happened to C.C., right in front of her face, and she just can't deny a certain hair-free Wahlberg penis.

I don't know.

We of course observed the local fauna. "What's with this guy?" asked R. as an older gentleman paid the cover to get in, improbably decked out in a suit and tie. "Don't make fun of the librarian," I said. "He's on gay safari, doing research." "I understand," R. said gravely. I spied a girl while in line with the wife, waiting to get drinks, mainly because her tits were shoved up to her neck. Her hair was dyed the color of some unearthly metal unsynthesized by atomic processes not yet available in the hearts of nearby anemic stars; it looked like she had imported the color from a system with much more enthusiastic solar processes. "She brought the girls tonight," I breathed to the wife as she glided by. She chuckled briefly, and I realized that this whole scene was kind of exotic to me in a way that it really wasn't for my gal--I had always shunned the dance scene when I was (let's face it) a kid. Mainly after getting totally shot down a couple times in humiliating fashion.

(Memory that I will take to my grave, from college, at a dance club: me, approaching girl, on the floor: "Mind if I dance?" She: "Go for it!" Then she spun and walked away. OH THE ANGST! It really does make me laugh now, because, hey, that's pretty awesome. "Go for it!" What rejoinder could I possibly have? "You! You . . . damn you! One day I will vengefully blog about this!")

If only I had had some coke on me at the time. Then she wouldn't have walked away. "Don't go," I could have smoothly said, taking her upper arm. "I found this on the floor, baby."

If you're wondering how I ever got married, well, yeah. Me too.

Note: Comments are closed on old entries.


Man, crap. I'd say, "man, f***" but I'm not sure it's allowed by your comment program. Anywho, this is the same junk we went through every night for the last three years on Thursday nights, minus the compelling production value. They're called the Non-Prophets and they're awesomely terrible, in a horrifically drunk sort of way. St. Louis is far better for knowing them. Plus, they've gotten me laid twice, seemingly only out of spite for their show.

Comment number: 005862   Posted by: Fissell on June 21, 2005 01:34 AM from IP:

My to-the-grave shoot-down story:

House party, 1981.

"Hey, you wanna dance?"
"Not with you."

Comment number: 005863   Posted by: Chaz on June 21, 2005 06:43 AM from IP:

If it makes you feel any better: I used to be quite the hot young club chicky and do the "Go for it!" thing (although, to be fair to myself [of course], not quite as meanly - rather than walk away I would just dance and ignore). I now have a rather fat ass. Nature takes its revenge.

Comment number: 005864   Posted by: Trance on June 21, 2005 07:53 AM from IP:

My planned comeback that never actually got to happen:

Me: do you want to dance?
cute girl: Not with you
Me: oh, you misunderstood, I said, :"YOU LOOK FAT IN THOSE PANTS"

Either nobody ever turned me down or I never asked a girl in pants to dance? Don't remember which.

Comment number: 005865   Posted by: Edward on June 21, 2005 07:59 AM from IP:

You meant both, chief, I know where you're coming from. Skot, keep up the laughter or I'll come to Seattle solely to shiv you and you alone,

Comment number: 005866   Posted by: Fiissell on June 22, 2005 12:46 AM from IP:

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