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Wednesday, 23 July
July continues its utter blitzkrieg upon our social schedule. Why, tomorrow, in fact, YET ANOTHER GODDAMN friend celebrates his birthday, and so we will trudge out to Fremont to some utilitarian booze-fling called, excitingly, the Station.
Really? The Station? Can we perk this up a bit--a little razzle? How about . . . Hedgehog Station? I'm just spitballing. Reanimation Station? The bar where all the staff are zombies? I don't know. We can do better. How about Everyone's Asshole Here Is Packed With Clams Station? I'd want to hear about their specials, for sure. Anyway. I'm sure it's a fine establishment, on that could, I suppose, just as easily be called the Establishment.
Barbecues naturally continue to be popular. Decide for yourself what this says about me, but I've been to two now this month that have been hosted by two of my local bartenders. So on Monday--a day I capriciously took off for reasons involving me not wanting to go to work that day--I found myself at W.'s house. W. carefully explained his barbecue strategy to me.
"I bought forty pounds of charcoal," he said earnestly. "And then I bought more than forty pounds of ribs." As you might suspect, W. is not a man who lives by half measures. Once I was out for a night on the town with W., and he jumped up and down on someone's car hood. One simply isn't surprised to learn that his modest barbecue has somehow turned into the porcine version of The Killing Fields.
I sat down and quickly befriended one of W.'s friends--himself simply another bar denizen, as it turned out--named, improbably, Damien. Another thing about W. is that his friends all seem to be named or nicknamed alarming things, such as "Tank" (yawn) or "Chain" (actually Wayne, but I'm going to call him "Chain" anyway) or "Bench." It's a confusing world, and I'm just occasionally drinking in it.
Damien and I had a nice chat--he also happens to work in clinical trials--right up until a strange woman appeared in the second story window and started hollering "ALL FOR YOU, DAMIEN! ALL FOR YOU!" Then, with a noose wrapped snugly around her neck, she jumped to her death, causing W. to promptly butcher her, extract her ribs, and throw them onto the groaning barbecue.
It turns out that the poor, delicious woman had been driven to madness by the karaoke machine in the upper floor living room, which was being used to ill effect by W.'s girlfriend, who was unaccountably croaking out Lovecraftian versions of Loverboy songs. It could happen to anyone, particularly if you're the sort of anyone who happens to be friends with someone who at any moment could launch into an unsteady REO Speedwagon warble and who also happens to date a wild-eyed hairburger that barbecues entire mammalian populations while simultaneously clutching 1. a bottle of Cruzan rum and 2. a bottle of peppermint schnapps.
This was relatively early into the evening.
Presently, all of W.'s illustrated friends started showing up. I don't have anything against tattoos, though I have none of my own. I've simply never thought of any tat ideas that I could say with complete confidence wouldn't possibly embarrass me when I get older and floppier. Although I did come close to getting "WHASSUP!" onto the shaft of my penis. But I do like looking at what others choose to decorate their bodies with.
One gal that--sigh--I also know just from the neighborhood bar sports a busty woman on her arm. I always feel weird staring at it, because it's a silly two-dimensional illustration written on a nice girl's arm skin, but on the other hand, it's a busty woman. So I catch myself staring. I think I've said before that guys are stupid.
Another woman had this terrible tattoo on her shoulder that was a poker hand, sort of--it was a busted straight flush, ace of hearts through jack of hearts and the fifth card was . . . one of those "INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO PLAY RUMMY" (or whatever) cards that everyone throws out immediately when opening a new deck. It was possibly the most dispiriting tattoo I've ever seen; it was like seeing someone with the lyrics to Snow's "Informer" tramp-stamped on her back with a big arrow made out of the words "Licky boom boom down" pointing to her asshole.
Okay, maybe not quite the same, but it was in that territory. She wore a very short skirt-dress, and later, when reaching up to hug someone goodbye, I was given cause to also wish that she had worn underwear. I clutched my beer bottle in my nerveless hands and anxiously drummed a Latin beat with my fingers on the shoes of the hanged, ribless woman who still dangled unceremoniously from the second-story window.
It was probably time to go home; pig bones littered the yard, and people were starting to do strange things like spraying Aqua Net into the barbecue coals, muttering cryptic things about "conversion reactions." W.'s incredible, overweight cat--Merle, a twenty-pounder at least--was staring ominously at another cat--Banjo, an orange dishrag of a creature--who was asleep in a fruit bowl. Yes, time to go. When the pets are displaying behavior that the hosts are soon to emulate, it's time.
We shall see if the Station contains such wonders. I will, of course, report further, after the fact. Unless I hear Damien's call to sacrifice, in which case, enjoy the ribs.
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And if body graffiti is your bag, then this list of misspelled tattoos might just tickle your fancy:
Well, since you frequent so many of the classier drinking establishments, the opportunity presents itself to go with the sure fire "your name" tattoo on the old Skot spike, thereby insuring at least one or so newbies a week lose the bet and buy you a drink.
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