Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Tale of Two Bars (East vs West)

Once upon a time, there were two bars on opposite sides of the country. Though located in different cities, they were kindred spirits...

Dawg House, L.A.

One night - wait 5:00 PM counts as night right? Anyways I got a call from Nacho Borracho, "Dude where you at!?"
"Oh you know, a little place I like to call WORK!"
"Well I don't know too much about that. All I know is me, Cuervo, Sal, and Jorge are at the Dawg House, and you need to get your ass down here."
I thought long, and hard and finally responded, "OK."

So I quickly wrapped up my "making responsible choices outside of work" speech to my sales crew, and headed to L.A. to meet up with the boys at the Dawg House. As I walked towards the bar from the parking lot, I saw a gangster looking cat leaning up against the wall of the bar staring me right in the eyes. "I just know this fool's gonna say something," I thought to myself, and I was right.
"Can I see your I.D. sir?" He was the fucking bouncer!!

Once I stepped inside I couldn't see shit. One thing you gotta understand is that the Dawg House isn't just a dive bar, it created dive bar. They straight up didn't give a shit. The floor was concrete, and they didn't even bother to paint it, like "You want a floor? Fuck you! Here's a slab of concrete that's all you get son!"

The only windows they had were painted over ensuring not a drop of natural light would slip in and bother their customers. The floor was like, "Oh the window gets paint!? I see how it is!" Also they had two pool tables but only one had a complete set of pool balls. So if someone else grabbed the full set before you, you would have to wait until they sunk a ball then ask if you could borrow it. So yeah; the motif they went for was definitely "dive."

"You guys think this is what hell's going to be like?"

It was good time as the boys and I drank, shot the shit, and played pool. But as for Nacho, well, had been drinking since three o'clock; and as time went on, he proceeded to become "fucked up" as they say. Unlike me, Nacho was a friendly drunk. And though he was emotionless when sober, his drunken self was all smiles, and laughing, and being affectionate.

But Nacho was a big dude and heavy handed at that. He displayed his affection by slapping people on the back which would rock their entire body. Fortunately, nobody tried to fight him despite his back slapping and jackassery; maybe because he was so big, or maybe because he had a bunch of us homies with him.

Either way, it wasn't just the other patrons he needed to worry about. On the way to the bathroom, Nacho pants fell down. I swear to "goodness" that actually happened. Once he returned from the head, Nacho suddenly took a liking to spitting on the ground. I mean I know it was just concrete, but to the hot bartendress it was her concrete dammit! "Stop spitting on my floor!" She yelled out.

At this point I thought it was best to take Nacho outside before the bouncer did it for me. So I said, "Come on buddy, let's go walk around the parking lot for a bit."
The bouncer who was still posted on the wall outside saw me leading Nacho outside and said, "What are you doing!?"
"Oh he just needs a bit of fresh air is all," I replied.
"Don't take him out here! This fool's gonna get busted by a pig. Take him back inside."

It's so rare that you find an establishment who cares about their clientele like that anymore. Ah good 'ol Dawg House; sir, you are the shit. Oh and I hope you're doing good out there, Nacho, wherever you are. He's probably still at the Dawg House. We had such high hopes for you, Nacho.

They weren't very realistic hopes but still...

Blue Comet, Philly

One night my boys Moe Joe, Filthy Phil, and I headed down to the Blue Comet in Philly, PA. It was a spot know in the Rockabilly scene which Filthy was heavily involved in. So we walked in the door when I realized my dumbass forgot my I.D. at home. Turned out they never even asked me for it even though I'm a babyfaced man who still got carded for ciggs even once I was in my late twenty's. That was my first indication this was my kind of dive bar.

Soon the live music started up, and I'll say this much, Rockabillys know how to party. The band was intense, the dudes in the place got smashed, and the chicks went nuts. One of the band members was playing a bigass double base guitar that was made of metal, and at one point a chick got on top of it to dance as he laid it on it's side.

This proved to be infectious as all the girls in the joint got up on top of whatever they could - chairs, tables, double bass guitars, and rocked their cute little asses off. I thought for sure the owner was going to step in at this point, and I was right. "One free shot for everyone in the house!"

Then I noticed I missed a call from my boy, "Thor". Thor was a trip. He was a half Hawaiian/half Filipino 20 year old who was build like a tank. I met him at the steakhouse we both worked at where I would watch him walk around with his arms so buff they were permanently held a good 6 inches from his sides; yet he would clear a table  practically one piece of silverware at a time at the pace of a snail.

I liked hangin out with him because he was a wide-eyed kid (figuratively speaking, I mean he was Asian after all) who would get all excited about the things he experienced as he would recount them to me and ask for my advice. Hey, I never said he was smart.

I went outside to call him back. "Wuddup mang? Come down to the Blue Comet."
"But I'm only 20."
"That don't matter at this spot. Get your ass down here; it's off of Easton and Glenside."
"But that's in Philly! What if I get shot?"
"You're not gonna get shot fool!"

"Don't judge me, I was once like you maintain my own balance"

It was a good time as Thor met Filthy and Moe Joe, who nicknamed him "Hammer" which was ironic since Joe was the actually the one who got hammered to the point of passing out. In fact, I laid him up against the wall and tried desperately to make him look awake when the owner walked up to our booth.

"Great, we're gonna get kicked out," I mumbled to my inebriated homie. The owner looked me in the eye and said "lay him on his side bro, he can't be comfortable like that." Thor looked on, his innocent face soaking in all our debauchery.

Later on I had to take a piss, and instead of using Blue Comet's functional, albeit disgusting bathroom, I choose to go out the back door and pee on their wall. Right in the middle of my piss the bartenderess walked out talking on her cell; she caught me, um, red handed. "Oh shit!" I exclaimed as I quickly angled my body to hide my junk. She just smiled, and continued on with her conversation.

"Fucking A! This place is un-kick outable" I said to myself. When the bar finally closed, Filthy and I literally picked up Moe Joe (I got his legs, while Filthy got his shoulders) and proceeded to head for the door. The owner saw what were we doing and made a point to get in our way. "OK, now he's gonna give us shit" I thought. "Don't go out there like that, your gonna get picked up by the cops. I'll re-open the back door for you guys." Blue Comet, you too are the shit! If I ever open a bar, I will call it The Blue Dawg in honor of these two great dive bars.

* This post is dedicated to Cuervo, Moe Joe, Filthy Phil, Nacho (who's actually a hard working cat), Sal, Jorge, and the rest of my homies and homiettes including newest addition Leroy!!

**Don't forget to check out my book!

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