So, yes, I have a couple of friends who could technically be my kids, if I had been incredibly unlucky in high school.
Digression: Seriously, I have no idea how I successfully used the most unsuccessful birth control method for so long. Sincere thanks to whomever or whatever was responsible from both my parents and me. Especially from my dad who had a bet with the rest of his family as to which kid would get knocked up – or do the knocking up - first. Funny, the person at the top of the list (me) is one of three who STILL does not have children.
Almost a month ago was P’s 22nd birthday, 7/7/7. Unadvisedly, he decided to have seven shots, seven mixed drinks and seven beers starting somewhere around 11:00 am. That morning I sent him a text advising that he avoid “up” drinks and go for mixed drinks with juice or soda. He did indeed take this advice, as well as a mid-day nap. Later that night, M and I met him, his girlfriend and several other friends of theirs around 10:00 pm at a college bar in Oakland, heretofore referred to as CB, as I do not feel the need to admit to where I spent part of my Saturday night. However, if you really want to know, there will be clues a-plenty, including the fact that it semi-recently changed names and I hadn’t even been to it’s predecessor.
Since I hadn’t had much to eat that day, M and I opted for some O fries, which I haven’t eaten in, oh about 10-15 years. Yes, they were good. Yes, I got cheese. Yes, I’m planning to wait another 10 or so years.
In one of the O windows there is a poster for some sort of alcohol with a white background and an airy table set with pastel colors surrounded by open windows with curtains flowing in a gentle wind. Yep, the top floor looks just like that.
At CB, the kid at the door carded me and I asked if he was joking. For some reason, this always bothers M just a little but I do it anyway. The floor is dirty plywood, dirty as only years of spilled beer, puke, cockroaches, piss, grease, cigarettes and spit can make a floor dirty. I guess not so different from, say, the Electric Banana before it became Zarra’s or the Upstage before it became for-rent office space. Where we part ways is that instead of people who would be my friends wearing black boots, these are typical college kids in flip-flops. When I used to go to the Upstage (shut up) and my friends would dare to wear any form of sandal, I would tell them to think about the floor and what may or may not be on it, especially in the bathroom.
In typical college bar fashion, CB offered up an abysmal selection of beer. To their credit, CB has $1 Yuengling bottles and Guinness drafts. No Guinness in the summer for me, thanks. Give me a dark and stormy night and I’m there, but not on a summer evening with a low temp of 65. It does seem to be a trend now that crappy college bars have 1-2 decent beers on tap, possibly for kids to impress their friends with their stunning taste in beer, possibly for kids to impress their friends with their stunning ability to throw cash around, possibly because it deludes them into thinking that they will now attract a higher class of people.
To the left of the bar and fastened (stapled?) to the sloping ceiling is a giant drink list of sorts. There are about eight different specialty Bacardi drinks to choose from, each with their own color coding and sexual innuendo name. I am repulsed and it’s gonna get worse. Scanning the room, I see that these color-coded sexual innuendos are served in plastic mini pitchers with a straw. At the end of the bar is a tall, stocky, early 20-something guy wearing khaki shorts, a blue oxford shirt and flip-flops, holding a pipe in one hand and a mini-pitcher of something blue with a straw in the other. (Readers, I cannot make this shit up.)
After scanning the bar and finding no decent whiskey or gin, I decide that a black russian might be nice. Both ingredients are available and it should be quick and easy to make. This is seriously an attempt to be nice to the bar staff. M orders a Guinness, I order a black russian with Absolut (no well-liquor, but with Kahlua, the taste of the vodka won’t be noticeable so there is no need to go higher) and we proceed to have a conversation. When the drinks are delivered, he has a Guinness and I have some sort of frothy, creamy thing in a collins glass.
Me: Look of shock and horror
Pretty Blonde Bartender:
Me: That’s not what I ordered.
Me: I ordered a black Russian.
PBB: But . . . can’t you just drink that?
PBB: Why not?
Me: Because it has cream in it.
PBB: What did you want?
Me: A black Russian
PBB: Isn’t that what it is? Pause. Did you want just (mumble that doesn’t sound like “Kahlua”) and . . . (voice trails off on what I think is the word “vodka”)?
Now there is a five-minute discussion between PBB and the ABB (attractive brunette bartender).
Clarification: For purposes of this blog entry, “pretty” means that she could wear a sundress and have lunch with your mom; “attractive” means that she could wear a low-cut black dress and beat the crap out of your little brother.
ABB proceeds to angrily grab a glass, fill it with ice, grab a cocktail shaker, pour in Kahlua and, without asking, pour in well-vodka. Now, both PBB and I look on in horror. ABB looks up with a scowl. PBB tells her that I asked for Absolut. Seething, she makes another.
For some reason, M feels the need to leave a tip.