Random tangent: I was on a date with a stupid girl once and she knew of my distaste of air instruments. Or at least she thought she did. We met up the night before St. Patrick's Day and the sound of bagpipes could be heard in the distance. My Scottish-Irish pride compels me to stand at attention and swoon when I hear that familiar, comforting wail. I expressed my pleasure at the sound and she said, "I'm surprised you like the bagpipes. You hate air instruments, remember?" Now I'm no musician but even I know the proper classifications. I was like, "The bagpipes are a WIND instrument. I have nothing against horns and tubas and stuff. But if someone was pretending to play one of these instruments by blowing into their thumb or something, it would annoy me." Dumbass.
But back to Friday's festivities -- some of us have since moved on from the job and some are still hanging in there. We still meet up every couple of months because our past and present job-related misery was such a powerful bonding agent. Our wit, sarcasm, empathy, sympathy and all other coping mechanisms served as the grout in our disgruntled mosaic. Actually, The Lovely Jess and the equally lovely Sheila are two of my most prized possessions from that otherwise-awful stint. Unfortunately for us, Sheila couldn't make it to our latest bash but fortunately for her and certain counties in Ireland, she's in her ancestral land tearing it up. Go read her gorgeous account.
So we drank margaritas and Hoegaarden at Cowgirl. Okay, I drank Hoegaarden and everyone else enjoyed the establishment's highly-regarded margaritas that come served in wee Mason jars. We ate lots of things smothered in cheese and talked lots of smack. Oh, how I adore these outings.
Some of our group hails from Long Island and New Jersey and had to leave early because of their unforgiving train schedules. I remember the days of hauling ass and sweating bullets in the hopes that the subway or PATH train would miraculously defy the rules of the universe and slow down time to get me to my connecting train. Sometimes it worked but most times I found myself cursing at the conductor of the departing train at the Hoboken station. Apparently, they have to "stay on schedule." Bureaucratic bastards that they are.
Eventually our numbers dwindled until only Jess and I remained. Our conversation went a little something like this:
"Um, do you wanna go home now?"So off we two enablers went and had way more than one drink. Just for shits and giggles, we walked up the block to Rubyfruit. I had never been there before but I knew of its old lesbo granny bar reputation. And the reputation was well-earned. It was a karaoke-singing softball coach convention in there. There was a lot of bad fashion on display including a woman with pre-Doc Billy Ray Cyrus hair. Come to think of it, there were several Doc-era Billy Ray Cyrus hairstyles too. And lots of high-waisted jeans and vests. The girls hit the clothing department at Sears before going to Rubyfruit apparently.
"I dunno, do you?"
"I mean, I could go somewhere else and have like one drink or something."
"Okay, let's go."
Elsewhere on the dance floor, a geriatric with nary an ounce of rhythm was shaking her polyester-encased rump with two very young chippies. And she kept trying to sing along to the song but clearly didn't know the words. I give her a 1 for accuracy but an 8 for effort.
Jess and I were visibly shaken by the sight but what was most upsetting was the bony lady wearing an oversized red Tweety bird t-shirt. My back was to her but Jess tipped me off to her alarming choreography. I turned around to take a gander and was NOT prepared for what I saw. Admittedly, my dancing will never get me invited on Soul Train but Jesus, this was bad. It was like she was doing The African Anteater Ritual while having a seizure in between occasional bouts of finger snapping.
And then we got distracted when an androgynous figure walked past us. So we spent the next few minutes playing Guess the Gender. This individual looked like The Amazing Jonathan but without the facial hair. It remains the night's unsolved mystery. Well, it's actually a toss-up between that and a discarded car door wedged in between some trash on Hudson Street. However, I definitely think the unidentifiable gender was the more perplexing of the two.
Next up: Cubbyhole. For those of you not in the NYC area, this bar is nestled in the labyrinth otherwise known as the West Village. I've been to this place a dozen times and can get there from the subway, no problem. Trying to get there from points north or south when slightly inebriated is another story. So we tramped around a bit until we got our bearings and found our destination.
Jess managed to snag a seat at the bar and within minutes, a woman was talking to her. I thought I would have to step in and play girlfriend to discourage the prowling lesbo but it turns out, it was just a very drunk girl pleading with Jess to watch her seat while she went outside to smoke. She promised to buy her a drink in exchange for the favor. However, she never made good on it. Bitch.
That girl was a sloppy drunken mess with a really unfortunate hairdo. Out of nowhere, she of the burnt perm and crunchy bangs started arguing with a bunch of unsuspecting women to her left. The exchange of slurred words culminated with her hurling a GO NYC magazine at her rivals. I feared drinks being thrown and a fist fight so I dusted off my diplomacy skills and distracted the messy drunk with a request to clink glasses and just enjoy herself. It worked. She stopped trash talking and flinging reading material... and then set her sights on befriending me and Jess. Oy.
Oh, but she was frightening! She had a crazed look in her eyes and sounded like Coalminer's Daughter. I resumed chatting with Jess and another friend but Coalminer's Daughter kept poking her nose into the conversation. Literally. She didn't say anything necessarily but she repeatedly jutted her face into our little circle and stared at us all creepy-like. She'd then lose interest, walk away and wander back. At one point she asked me who I was and I answered, "Oh, nobody." She stuck out her hand and said, "Well, Nobody, it's nice to meet you." And then she declared her love for me, asked me to save her seat and staggered away. She swung by a few more times trying to remember where her seat was. She'd point at us, begin to say something, stop, then shake her head in confusion before resuming her patrol. Perhaps it was wrong of us, but Jess and I never tipped her off to her seat's location. Truthfully, it was a rather enjoyable floor show.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go apply a soothing balm as the flames of Hell are licking at my feet.