Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bloomsday, Part One

During the reading of the "Aeolus" chapter inside the Hammer, the actors sat down while they played a rare recording of James Joyce reading the speech that appears in the middle.
When the Sweet Set started playing their Irish music, the Green Beret got pissed and put in earplugs. I swear I overheard him yelling at his wife that it was too loud and that they had to leave, but no sooner had he said it, he started dancing a jig right there in the Guinness line. Tania and I later surmised that, like most old people, he just looks pissed off all the time. Or, more likely, perhaps he had been stricken by one of those faerie spells that makes one dance uncontrollably and without seize until the afflicted dies of exhaustion. “But besides all his fine Irish music,” it says in the Irish fairy tale “The Young Piper,” “he had one queer tune of his own, the oddest that ever was heard; for the moment he began to play it everything in the house seemed disposed to dance.” If I had that faerie disease, I too would be pissed off when anyone started strummin’ a violin. But then I’d also take care to avoid any event that was even slightly Irish. Like, I don’t know, a James Joyce Bloomsday celebration? Idiot.

Our anniversary was Saturday, June 16, which is also Bloomsday. It’s the day Tania and I first started “hanging out,” and, coincidentally, Joyce chose the day June 16, 1904 for Ulysses because it was the day he and Nora first “stepped out.” I’m not sure what “stepping out” entails (Joe Jackson song withstanding). Given the Irish attitudes toward sex, I would imagine it means they stood near each other in public? But then considering what we know about Joyce, perhaps it’s code for “shitting on my face?” To celebrate our anniversary this year, we visited the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and attended their fourth annual Bloomsday celebration. There was another celebration on the other side of town that entailed reading the entire 700+ page book in one sitting. “The ambitious can join others at Machine Project for a Ulysses silent read-a-thon. Literary buffs will attempt to speed read the several hundred page novel, one chapter each hour.” I really wanted to drop by and see the assholes that attended that one. Silent! There was surely going to be a lot of pay-attention-to-me chuckling, and, while it’s not a competition, you know someone is going to slam the book closed and proudly proclaim, “DONE!” No, we chose the Hammer where there was no work involved and the promise of Guinness, crappy fake Irish music, and a performance of the Aeolus chapter. For free.

We brought the Joel Rubochon and the Le Bernardin pens along. (Tania has taken to calling them Joe and Bernie.) As it turns out, Joe—who is of course French—claims he is related to one of the pens Joyce used to write Ulysses while living in Paris. I can’t substantiate this, but Joe has insisted it’s true and thus he considers one of the greatest works of modern literature “family.” I think he’s full of shit, but I like Joe, so we brought him and his friend Bernie to the Hammer with us. Which, we later learned, was a bad idea. (The rest of this post will be handled with captions.)


When we arrived, people were reading from the "Wandering Rocks" chapter of Ulysses from the podium in the courtyard. Note the woman in black reading in the background. She approached us later and asked if we wanted to read. Tania was bummed I declined. "You could have done it in black metal voice," she said. Which really wouldn't have been that out of place because nearly everyone that read either adopted their serious "I'M READING FUCKING POETRY" voice, or their "I'm reading a children's story to a child" voice. Men chose the former, women the latter. In the foreground, you'll note the crazy old man with the hat on. (Remember the hat.) I'm not sure what he wanted from the man in the blue shirt (an organizer), but it was crazy and it exasperated the man in blue. As you can see, he appears to be saying, "Sir—Sir? I understand, but, no, you cannot read your story—I'm sure it's wonderful, but this is not an open mic."
An overview of the scene in the courtyard: old people being read to. "What'd you do on Saturday night?" "Oh, we sat quietly in a museum courtyard with a bunch of senior citizens and listened to people read books."
Here's the Green Beret. You'll note that he's dressed in green and his beret is covered with giant green sequins. I was half expecting someone to be dressed up as James Joyce, but there were no costumes at all. The Green Beret and his wife were the only two who wore anything remotely Irish and festive. He's dancing in this picture, by the way. Like I said, he just kind of looked mad all the time.  
The Sweet Set playing their crappy fake Irish music. They might have really been Irish, I don't know.
And of course while this was all going on we were drinking Guinness. Or I was. And Joe and Bernie were sharing a pint as well. Tania hates the stuff. Earlier in the week I had asked her to pick some up at the store so I could pre-party. "How much of that swill does one really need to have at home?" she said. "If you are really hankering for it, I can pour a flat rootbeer into some cold coffee for you." 
Joe and Bernie started getting trashed on Guinness. I noticed it when they started getting all lovey dovey. "I love you, maaaan." Or, actually, I guess they would say, "Je t'aaaaaime." I was like, "Really?" Apparently they don't drink much.
Speaking of "Really?" this is Tania rolling her eyes at me because I'm taking pictures of French pens in Irish beer.
Paddington Bear was there. Tania noted that Paddington Bear was wearing very expensive Coco Chanel shoes.

The "Aeuolus" chapter takes place in the offices of the Evening Telegraph, a Dublin newspaper. This is a print they had on an easel of the front page of the Evening Telegraph from June 16, 1904. Joyce references ads and whatnot from it often throughout the book.
More like an abode of piss and two jets of hot shit shooting down your pant legs.
When they each started chugging their own pints, that's when things started to get ugly.
Not as ugly as this, though. This is the bathroom off the courtyard. That is an adult diaper on the floor in a large puddle of urine. The image in my head is of an old man with his pants around his ankles and they're flooded to the brim with piss. He fishes the diaper out and then bails his pants with his cupped hands. When I described the scene to Tania she said, "I'm surprised there was only one diaper on the floor. Look at this crowd."
We could see our friend Pearl Hsiung's art on the floor above the Sweet Set playing. 
Me, Joe, and Bernie were pretty drunk when the performance started and, frankly, I was trying to find a way to get out. "No more seats? Oh well, let's go to the bar." It was PACKED. Just then someone offered us two seats in the second row. "Yeah, some old man was saving them for his friends or something, but he hasn't been back." It was the crazy man with the hat above and he had saved dozens of seats all around the auditorium for his imaginary friends. He was bummed that all his seats had been given away. Presumably because his imaginary friends had to sit on the floor? And, yes, that's his luggage in front of the stage with his hat on it. Everything in its right place. Because the chapter they read takes place in a newspaper office, Joyce broke up the narrative with newspaper headlines which get more and more ridiculous as the story unfolds. "K.M.A.," for instance, stands for, "Kiss My Ass." That was the only time the four children in front of us laughed. I actually enjoyed the performance and I will likely go back next year.
Since it was our anniversary, we decided to treat ourselves to a dinner at Bouchon. I know Tania really likes the tiles at Bouchon, but I didn't think I was drunk enough to be taking stupid pictures of tiles.
Bernie was wasted. He was talking all kinds of shit about Thomas Keller, "Fuuuuck Penn and Tellerrrrrr," and then he passed out in my steak.
Tania often uses the "special occasion" button on the reservation system she uses. Which is funny wen she doesn't tell me. "Happy anniversary!" Huh? Oh. I mean, yeah, thank you. Except this time it really was our anniversary. So that free desert is totally deserved. And that's Dullahan the horse. Dullahan was one of the horses in the Triple Crown. Tania thought it sounded like a derogatory term for a stupid person. "That guy's a real Dullahan!" So she's taken to drawing this retarded cross-eyed horse all over the place. She must have used a pen other than Joe or Bernie because those dudes were fucked up. As you'll see in part two of this story.




Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bloomsday

Bloomsday is this Saturday, June 16th. Below is a post from our wedding blog, in 2007, that announced our engagement and explains our relationship to the day.


Tania and I got engaged to be married this weekend on Saturday, June 16. It’s our unofficial anniversary. I guess it’s official now that a ring is involved? June 16 represents the day, six years ago, we started “hanging out.” We don’t know the exact day, but it was right around June 16. We know because June 16 is “Bloomsday,” a day I tend to celebrate much like St Patrick’s Day, Part Two. Anyway, I gave her a ring, asked if she would marry me, and she said, “Yes.”

That's the short version. Here's the long version:

“On June 16, James Joyce aficionados the world over celebrated Bloomsday. The day is named after advertising salesman Leopold Bloom, protagonist of Joyce's novel Ulysses. The entirety of this 700+ page book recounts one ordinary day, June 16, 1904, as various characters go about their ways in Dublin.”

Joyce and Ulysses mean a lot to us. Part of our month long Ireland vacation a few years ago was devoted to Joyce nonsense. We had our own odyssey trying to find the Martello tower that served as the opening scene in the book and which Joyce actually lived for a brief time.
Tania at the top of the Martello tower stairs.

Me freezing my ass off while doing my best impersonation of "stately, plump Buck Mulligan."

We also visited the James Joyce museum where the actual door from Leopold Bloom’s house at 7 Eccles St. is preserved.

And of course we went to a couple of pubs that appear in the story. This is not one of the pubs. This the pub in the Clarence hotel which is owned by U2. I was trying to take a photo of my pint of Guinness but this pretty little bird kept getting in my shot.

We’re very aware of our nerdiness.

We were supposed to have our Gentleman’s Hockey party this coming Bloomsday weekend, but Tania said, “No hockey on our anniversary.” So we decided that the weekend would be spent in the woods camping. Not the most romantic place in the world to propose, considering the fact that I hate nature, but it would have to do.

I decided to employ the ole “Router a Hole In a Copy of Ulysses and Place the Ring in the Hole” style of proposing. It’s cliché, I know, everyone does it, but I’m a traditional kind of guy. I practiced on an old math book I had hiding behind the stacks, and once I was satisfied the router actually worked on a book, I took out a copy of Ulysses and began flipping through it to find the page I wanted to propose on. I had originally intended to do it at the beginning of Chapter Two (because, you know, this is the second chapter in our relationship), but instead I went for page 55, Chapter Four, the beginning of Book Two, which begins with a giant M. Besides standing for “Mr. Bloom…” and “Molly” (Bloom’s wife), it also stands for “Marry Me.” Upside down it makes a nice W for “Will you?”


To read any Joyce, you kind of need one of the many annotations, compendiums, or notes to completely appreciate his genius and what he’s doing. Every chapter in Ulysses, for instance, besides paralleling a chapter in Homer’s Odyssey, is also represented by a variety of symbols. The “organ” for Chapter Four is the kidney, which Bloom is frying up at the beginning of the chapter. In ancient Jewish rites, apparently, the kidneys were regarded as “the special parts to be burned upon the altar as a gift to Yahweh.” Neither of us are particularly fond of kidneys, nor do we have a drop of Jewish blood in our veins (Tania, being German, is completely the opposite, as is our dachshund who, unfortunately, is decidedly anti-Semite), but if it’s good enough for a Yahweh ceremony, it’s good enough for our wedding. I’m sure we’ll have an argument about this, but I think we should serve kidneys at the reception. “Would you like the pork kidney, or the chicken kidney?”

So there’s that. I also like Chapter Four because right where I drilled the hole for the ring, Bloom’s cat is winding its way around his legs while he’s frying up the kidney. Gary! And I remember the first time I read that passage, I thought, “That is the best phonetic rendering of what a cat sounds like that I’ve ever seen on paper.”

—Mrkgnao! the cat cried.
They call them stupid. They understand what we say better than we understand them. She understands all she wants to. Vindictive too. Cruel. Her nature. Curious mice never squeal. Seem to like it. Wonder what I look like to her. Height of a tower? No, she can jump me.
—Afraid of the chickens she is. He said mockingly. Afraid of the chookchooks. I never saw such a stupid pussens as the pussens.
—Mrkrgnao! The cat said loudly.

Lastly, Ulysses is about Yes. The deconstructive philosopher Jacques Derrida even wrote an entire essay about it titled, “Ulysses Gramophone: Hear Say Yes in Joyce.” I’ve read it, but I couldn’t tell you what the hell he’s talking about. All I know is that the last line in the book, the last word even, is very famous: “Yes.” Which is kind of what I was going for.

Everyone in our expedition went on a hike except Tania and I. Fuck hiking. We are anti hiking. I had originally intended on popping the question at the waterfall at the campground we go to—it’s a very idyllic location, even a nature hater such as myself has to admire it—but to get there entails a short hike. And out of principle, we had silently vowed not to do any hiking of any sort. Plus we haven’t gotten any rain, so I don’t even think it would have been worth it to even walk up there anyway. The point is, their hike provided the perfect opportunity to steal away somewhere and pop the question.

“Wanna take the dog up to the end of the campsite for a short WALK?” I said. Strolling, walking, even scampering is allowed, but no hiking.

“Sure,” she said.

I had my little bike messenger bag with my new camera and the drilled out copy of Ulysses, laden with ring, inside. The ring fit snugly in the hole, but I had a rubber band around the book just in case. Carrying the full bag on a short walk was a little peculiar, but Tania didn’t say anything. We walked through the campsite commenting on all the sites we passed.

“Oh there’s the loud Asian family we almost had as neighbors,” Tania said pointing at a group of Asians unpacking. “It’s hard to tell if someone is really a boy scout these days,” she said as we passed a teenager in a boy scout uniform, “or if they just got it at a thrift store.”

I don't know how she does it, but Tania, even after a night of drinking in the dirt next to a fire somehow manages to look beautiful. She is simply awesome. Unlike Beckett who panted at the end of his leash and barked at imaginary devil rats. I love that girl. I tried to put my arm around her, but failed because I had dislocated my shoulder the day before in a croquet related accident. Yes, I dislocated my shoulder playing croquet. When we go camping we play “Rugged Mountain Terrain Croquet.” I don’t play golf, but Jason likens it to the Master’s Tournament that just went down at whatever that “gnarly” course is. Anyway, we’re totally gnarly. Extreme even. We had set up a couple of wickets on one side of a felled log. I went to climb over the log, but the bark gave way and I fell. I threw my arm up in the air and, POP! out of the socket. I don’t think I squealed, but I fell to the ground and instantly thought, “Arm out of socket! Very far from hospital! Shit!” But just as Tania arrived at my side, POP! it slid back into place all by itself. I don’t thank God for anything, but if I did, that would have been a perfect opportunity.

“Shit,” I said while walking beside her, “I want to put my arm around you, but I can’t lift it that high.”

“Aww,” she said.

My second choice, after the waterfall, for a place to pop the question was this little stone plateau above a creek and in the shadow of a miniature Yosemite-ish rock. I remembered it looking fairly majestic, but as we approached it was anything but. Just a bunch of dirt in the hot sun, not a tree in sight, and a small pool of still water below. “Shit,” I thought. I was already getting really nervous. I wasn’t really worried about her answer, we’ve talked about marriage a lot, but I just didn’t want to fuck it up. I wanted it to be romantic. I wanted it to be something we’d remember. But here we were in what might as well have been the parking lot at the county fair.

“Oh well,” I said, "it’s now or never.”

I got out my camera and took a few pictures to stall for time and kind of figure out how I was going to do this. She posed with Beckett for a couple. Once I got myself together, I said, “Well it is Bloomsday, after all. And I brought a copy of Ulysses.” Which I hoped still contained a very expensive ring.

“Oh god,” she said laughing.

“But this is a really special copy,” I said kind of shaking.

“What?” she said. She was suddenly paying attention because I think she sensed how nervous I was. It was about this point that everything gets kind of blurry.

“Yeah,” I stammered trying to take the rubber bands off. Once I opened it and found the page (the ring was there), I dropped to one knee and proffered her the text and the ring. “Because Book Two begins with the sentence, ‘Will you marry me?’” 

The words felt weird. Not bad weird, good weird, but really heavy. “Our lives have just changed,” I thought. "Cool."

Tania was stunned. It took her a second to realize what was going on, but eventually she was able to choke out a, “Yes.”

Above us, on the trail we had just left, a boy scout troop was passing. I had always envisioned asking for her hand in a semi-private environment. I’m not one to do it in a crowd, or at a restaurant, but unfortunately that’s just what I did. “WOOOO!” the boy scouts screamed. “YEAAAAAH!” “WAY TO GO!” I didn’t even look up. I was too busy kissing my fiancée who had tears streaming down her face.

When we were done, she turned to the last page of the book and read the last words, “’…yes,’” she said, “’I said yes I will Yes.’”

Yes.

This is tania before the ring. see how she's all bummed? lost? unwed?

Then you give her a ring and she pipes right up!

"Love you Tania!"

"Love you David!"

"We love each other!"

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Marlin Club, Catalina Island

We went to Catalina Island a couple weeks ago for the long weekend. We rented a little house in Avalon up the street from the harbor. I think the house was described as a “cottage.” While there were some fine examples of cottages surrounding the house we stayed in, our place was not a cottage. It was a small house that was kind of dumpy, outdated, and not cute. It was on the verge of being worth complaining about (there are a few online reviews of 333 Catalina Ave. that take the time to point out the ill fitting couch covers, for instance), but for $130/night and pet friendly it was well worth it. We just treated it like a Vegas hotel room and didn’t spend much time in it. Instead we spent our time outdoors in the sun, on the water, eating and drinking. One of our favorite places was The Marlin Club. It’s a good bar and I said a marvelous thing in the Marlin Club that I had never said to anyone before. It’s a tactic I plan to employ in the future. 

Tania and Beckett are seated on the port side of the boat/bar. Note the portholes under the bar. Yeah, they let Beckett come in.
The bar at the Marlin Club is shaped like the bow of a boat. Which I find absolutely delightful. And it’s replete with portholes. Although I can’t help wondering if the portholes, which are at crotch height when you’re sitting at the bar, are actually glory holes. Or even urinals. I think I’ve seen a bar with a urinal running along the underside of it? Which is such a brilliant idea. I mean why would you separate the customers from the place where they evacuate their waste and put that behind closed doors where no one can see it or smell it? As for the glory holes in the bar, I’ve never seen that before, but I’m sure that really exists somewhere too (I’m looking to San Francisco for confirmation of that one). Regardless, the lewd thoughts I brought to the innocent portholes at crotch height totally destroyed the child-like wonder the bow had created, and I often found myself sitting at the bar with one hand on my drink, the other protecting my crotch—a habit I learned while working in the Jackass offices. You never know when you’re going to get punched in the balls. Fuckin’ holes. Fuckin’ Jackass. 

Jager shark eats some mermaid tit.
Despite watching the Rangers lose to the Devils during our first couple of hours at the Marlin Club, I found the atmosphere at the bar simply wonderful. I’m not kidding. And I think it’s the reason I was able to handle the Ranger loss as well as I did. I didn’t throw anything in the bar when they lost, for instance. The lighting, the colors, the interior—it’s kind of a weird combination of all the things I like: a Mexican restaurant, a theme park, and a dive bar. I don’t think Tania enjoyed the murals as much as I did, but it reminded me of the art of Mary Blair, the woman who painted and created the “It’s A Small World” stuff at Disneyland.

Tania and Beckett enjoying some cocktails. You can see some of the art on the wall.
The bar seems to be a favorite among locals, especially the salty old drunk types that stir vinegar into their coffee. There was one old timer that was there every time we went in. He said a few things to us, but I couldn’t tell you what he said. He laughed after every sentence, so maybe he was making fun of us. Or maybe he was saying, “Wanna watch me fuck the bar later?” Because that’s what he did later in the evenings when the band was playing and he was really drunk. He’d grab hold of the bar and kind of dance, although it looked more like he was fucking the bar. Which, of course, was evidence that the portholes were indeed once glory holes in more glorious times. “It looks like he’s trying to dance,” Tania said, “but his body doesn’t remember how.” He wasn’t trying to dance. He was having buttfucking porthole flashbacks. Kind of like when Beckett humps his nigh-nigh on the couch.

He was dancing to a band that I referred to as Dinosaur Jr. Jr. because the singer kind of looked like J. Mascis. He actually didn’t look anything like J. Mascis except that he had long grey hair. If anything he looked more like Gene Ween. Or even Mike Watt. I was drunk. I know I was drunk because I liked the Dinosaur Jr. Jr. and they were nothing more than an old cover band. And I don’t even like the real Dinosaur Jr.

“I’ve never really heard the guitar in this song before!” I said to Tania all excited like I was on acid. “I didn’t know it was this good!” It was fucking “LA Woman” by The Doors. Dinosaur Jr. Jr. also played a lot of Tom Petty. I don’t know what was wrong with me. I’d like to think I was just in a happy place, but I’m worried I’m in denial about getting old. I became dimly aware of this encroaching stupidity as the Marlin Club grew more and more crowded on Saturday night. Whether it’s inexperienced kids who are still unfamiliar with the effects of alcohol, or drunks who have been drinking all day, or the combination of all of the above, it’s around 9pm that the atmosphere in even the best bars tends to get stupid. That’s when the kids take over and start ordering black and tans and the girls are screeching complicated cocktails to the bartender—that’s when it’s time to go.

Just about every bar has their resident artist. Who sucks. And he/she draws, paints, or scrawls a scene from the bar, filled with recognizable local characters, and then gives it to the bar as a gift, thus forcing the bar to hang the shitty art on the wall somewhere. "Uh, yeah, thanks..." The resident artist for the Marlin Club, however, actually did a pretty good job. The painting above the door depicts four old topless Party Grandmas with sagging dugs. Below, it says, "Marlin Club Mermaids—Santa Catalina Island." I like paintings of saggy old tits.
I went up to the bar to get a couple of drinks for the road and have the bartender cash me out. He tried to serve me, but before I could open my mouth he was distracted by a fellow to my left.

“HEY I ALREADY GAVE YOU THE CARD,” the customer droned at the bartender, “IT’S NOT THIS BLUB BLUB BLAH BLAH BLOOB BLOOB!”

I have no idea what he was talking about. He was about my age, wearing a finely pressed white dress shirt tucked into jeans, vaguely handsome in a metrosexual kind of way, and looked a little bit like Adam Rappaport (former editor of GQ, now editor of Bon Appetit). In short, he looked like a rich, preppie, douchebag.

“It’s twelve dollars,” the bartender said, exasperated. It was obvious he had already been dealing with him. He calmly explained the situation, pointed to the other bartender who also came over to explain that he still owed $12. They showed him a record of his evening thus far. 

This is the nice bartender fellow. He's changing a light bulb. Guess what those three girls are talking about. No, like, seriously, it was literally really important because basically at the end of the day it is what it is.
“NOT—NOOOOO! NUH NUUUHHH BLOOB BLOOB!” He was shuffling all of the credit cards in his wallet as he pathetically tried to argue about his paltry tab. I saw an American Express card and an American Airlines card, among others. He wasn’t trashed, but he was past his limit.

When it was finally decided that Adam Rappaport was wrong, even though he still didn’t agree, he started to turn to me with that, “Can you believe these people?” look. Before he could open his mouth, though, I sternly said the words I had never said to someone before.

“Don’t talk to me,” I said.  

It shocked me as much as it did Adam. He visibly did a double take. I, on the other hand, was very pleased with myself. Don’t talk to me—that’s a good one, it’s not rude, but it’s direct and to the point. As he started to open his mouth again, I turned, leaned over a little, looked him right in the eyes, and slowly said, “DON’T. TALK. TO ME.”

Have you ever complained to a cop and he uses that “SHUTUP OR YOU’RE GOING TO JAIL!” voice? Well I have. And that’s what I think I sounded like because that’s the effect my voice had on Adam. His whole being slouched, “Okay, sorry,” he seemed to say, and he turned back to the bar to get his drinks and pay his tab. I stared straight ahead, trying to remain as stoic and as tough looking as I could manage, but inside I was giggling my ass off. Don’t talk to me? What the hell? I gotta remember that one. Way better than “shutup.” 

Beckett was way past his limit too. Can't take that dude anywhere.
As Adam gathered up his Bud Lights and started to return to his party, he kind of mumbled over his shoulder at me, “Well don’t talk to me either!”

OH! BURN! I thought I had a Verbal Judo victory in my grasp, but at the last minute Adam Rappaport snatched it away with a well-crafted comeback. Well played, Adam Rappaport, well played, indeed. “Don’t talk to me either.” Brilliant, simply brilliant.

As I watched Adam stumble over to his group of similarly dressed douchebags, Tania emerged from the Mermaid’s room and I handed her a shot of Jager. She raised her eyebrows at the drink. We don’t usually go down the Jagermeister road. “I can’t help not getting stupid in here,” I explained. After I gave her the Adam Rappaport report, we left the Marlin Club and walked all the way back to our “cottage” not talking to each other.

“Don’t talk to me,” I said.  
“Don’t talk to me either,” Tania replied.  
“I told you to not talk to me first.”
“What part of ‘don’t talk to me either’ do you not understand?”
“Well then don’t talk to me either.”
“How about you don’t talk at all.”
“You don’t talk.”
“Talking. Don’t.”
“Don’t either talk.”
“Not talk you.”

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Soggy Peso, Isla Mujeres, Mexico

The bartender was wearing a Bruins hat. I stupidly said, "I like your hat." He replied, "Me too." Which is exactly what I would have said if some dumb ass tried to strike up a conversation with me about a fucking hat.
We stopped at the Soggy Peso on the way back from the beach. We’d heard more than one old person raving about The Soggy Peso. “The Soggy Peso! The Soggy Peso!” They love saying the fucking name. It was cool, I guess, they had alcohol, but too predictable—it looked a little bit too much like a bar on a beach. If a Disney script called for a "beach bar," they would likely model it after the Soggy Peso. Everyone really wanted it to be amazing—probably because everyone there was there only to buy a t-shirt that they could show off to their friends back home—they were concocting their memories before they even occurred. It was kind of annoying.


I fucking hate people.
And then it really was annoying: some lady stood up and demanded the attention of the entire bar. She announced her friend was in some band in Baton Rouge or something and that she is a “star.” “YOU ARE IN THE PRESENCE OF A STAR!” she bellowed. The singer feigned shyness for a minute, but that didn’t last long, and soon we were all forced to listen to her sing “Bobby McGee.” Nothing like being forced to listen to other people’s music, whether you like it or not. “This is my favorite song! Now it’s your favorite song too!” The star from Baton Rouge wasn’t bad, but she wasn’t good either. And of course she sang the whole fucking song so we all had to pretend to pay attention for about three minutes as she dragged out the ending. Na nana nana nana n-na! (The bartender recorded it on a phone and we had to listen to it again about an hour later on the stereo. Assholes.) 


Everyone is in this photo: the "star" is singing sitting down in back on the left. The bartender, in the green shirt, is standing over her recording her shitty Janice Joplin impersonation on his phone. The three retards are on the far left: closest is the dumb slut, to her left is the boat salesman, and to his left is his hog bitch girlfriend.
A fake spider hangs over the door to the bathroom operated by a string near the bar. “That would have freaked me out if you hadn’t told me about it earlier,” a woman said as she returned to her seat at the bar next to her female companion. An old man at the other end loudly bemoaned the Packers season. I read some hats on the walls: the Minnesota Monkeys love the bananas; a Flyers hat read, "Fuck the Rangers"; Kelly left her bride hat in 2011 and wrote "Kelly Kelly" on it; Gene and Toni from Austin abandoned their Mavericks hat on 07/04/11; and Henry and Robin left their "soggy love" on a Baltimore Ravens hat. And then there were the retards that sat down next to us. There were three of them: one dude, and two chicks. The dude sold boats in Virginia or some shit. Or worked for someone who sold boats. Because at first he made it sound like he was a wheeler and dealer in the boat industry, but after listening to him for a while, it became apparent that he’s just an employee of a boat manufacturer or boat broker or something. He was nothing more than a used car salesman, but he tried to sound like the kingpin of the boat world. Whatever he did, it involved boats because he would not stop talking about fucking boats. Fiberglass. Hulls. The Economy. Tania wanted to kill him. And his girlfriend. And the bimbo they befriended five days before. It was fairly obvious that the boat salesman was more interested in the new ugly bimbo than his old ugly girlfriend. The bimbo might have been the most annoying of the three. She was really slutting it up and she had her extra stupid slut voice on. As Tania said, “Every girl can do that voice, but nobody really talks like that.” You should hear Tania do her voice. Chuh, like, soshaw, awmgaaw! Rally? 


The food was actually kind of good. We had some gringo style tacos (Taco Bell hard shell style) and this shrimp ceviche. (I'm not really into Repo Man, so I'm not going to use the joke.)
“We’re looking for new talents?” the slut said to the Packers fan. “Do you have an unusual talent? We’re on, like, a mission?” Every remark ended with a question mark. Rally? And that was their thing for the night: they were looking for people with unusual talents. It was a “mission.” And they were very proud of themselves that they had created this mission. They fancied themselves a little wild, a little crazy. They had created a scavenger hunt for themselves. It reminded me of the litany of activities available to us every day on the cruise we took. “Oh look Tania: there’s a scavenger hunt this afternoon! That sounds fun! Oh, no way, there’s a potato sack race, too!” Our new friends did not, however, find anyone at the Soggy Peso with an unusual talent. Although I think they agreed that the star who sang “Bobby McGee” counted. Counted towards what, I’m not sure. 


Part of the mystique of the Soggy Peso for  people is surely its sketchy location. There's barely a sign on the road, and you have to squeeze between that blue building and the one next to it to get to what is essentially someone's backyard. "When we were in Mexico last month..."
Then they invented a tradition, a tradition they loudly proclaimed themselves the origin of. Which is kind of the antithesis of a tradition, isn’t it? Doesn’t Time decide what is tradition and what isn’t? To immortalize yourself is just stupid. It's like quoting yourself. But apparently they want to be remembered as the people that invented a stupid drink at the Soggy Peso. They were desperate for memories NOW. 

First of all, they did not invent the stupid drink they forced the bartender to make for them. I accidentally had one in Tijuana in 1987. Mark Waters ordered me a “Tequila Villa” at some sketchy bar. I had no idea what it was, but okay, sure, gimme a Tequila Villa. A few minutes later two waiters arrived and asked, “Who has the Tequila Villa?” Everyone pointed at me. They grabbed my head from behind, pulled it back so I was looking at the ceiling, opened my mouth, poured tequila and lime juice in, then violently shook my head and yelled, “TEQUILA VILLA!” Mark got me on that one. That’s the drink these idiots wanted. It’s a stupid frat boy/spring break drink. They all turned their backs to the bar, and leaned back so they were looking at the thatched hut ceiling of the Soggy Peso. The boat salesman explained to the embarrassed bartenders what to do. “You pour that, and that… IN OUR MOUTHS!” No way, man, you’re crazy, don’t do it! And then they all swallowed their medicine and pretended like they had never had a drink before and that what they just did was the most amazing thing in the world ever. Beamers.

“We invented a new tradition here at the Soggy Peso,” the boat salesman later said to some man who I presume was the owner. “Is that cool? I think it’s safe to say we invented a new tradition at the Soggy Peso. Can I say we invented a new tradition?” 

Sure buddy. A tradition is born. You’re immortal.