So last night, I’m talking on the phone with the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony on MUTE — those marathon one-hour phone conversations get to be a bit much if you don’t have the TV on in the background — and one of those goofy GoldenPalace.com viral marketers runs out onto the stage. I was temporarily distracted, although not as much as the time they paid a porn star to run out onto a green at a PGA Tour event with no shirt on and their website address temporarily tattooed on her back…
Earlier in the night, before I was on the phone and Muting the Olympics, I watched in horror as a marching band dressed in clown costumes — full makeup, hats, baggy pants with frilly ruffles, the whole deal — came out playing the Village People’s “YMCA”. Or maybe I’m imagining that…two straight nights of sleeping in my basement guest room on a futon have left me out of sorts, so to speak. (Painting my bedroom, so sleeping there would be akin to fumigating myself, or something.)
No, wait, I wasn’t imagining it.
Somehow that makes it so much worse.
Saturday night, we headed out to La Mesa, where we enjoyed margaritas, burritos and a extradinarily confused waiter. The confusion is the funny part, so I’ll just pick up the story there and let you imagine for yourself how tasty the drinks were.
The confusion started when my buddy Continental, who’s a vegetarian, asked the waiter if there was meat in the refried beans. UnfortuCliffly, this was not on his prepared list of questions/answers. His limited grasp of English led to a humorous exchange where Continental asked the question a number of different ways before giving up. I too had questions, but decided against asking any of them and opted to simply be surprised, but pleasantly so, hopefully.
And I was, as the enchilada/taco combo was fantastic, as was the rice and beans. Good stuff.
When the ticket came, it seemed a little high. Dick and his wife had not eaten, and had paid for the pitcher of margaritas at the bar while we waited for a table. I saw my plate on there, at a most reasonable $7.50, but then saw two other expensive platters. Is that what Continental ordered? $20 in food? Was our bill $34? Jeez. I asked him and he immediately answered in that clear concise manner that only Continental can pull off so well, “No, this is not our ticket.”
I would have taken at least, AT LEAST, ten more words to get out that thought. Maybe 12. But you could probably have guessed that.
At that point I was just sure I could easily confuse our waiter into believing it was my birthday so I could wear the community sombrero and get a song sung to me. But then I remembered I need head lice like I needed another margarita, so we paid up and moved on.
On the way to Stevie J’s in Dundee, Dick’s wife headed home, leaving the guys to fend for themselves. And so it was that the three original members of Cobra Kai headed out for the third time this week without their guitarist. There was talk of auditioning for a replacement, since the band has pretty much been a bass-percussion-vocals trio most of the time lately, and we made some calls including some to the guitarist himself…but soon enough, the joy of $1 domestic draft beers put that mean talk to rest.
You read that right. $1 domestic beers, all night. Dick and Continental enjoyed Boulevard, while I stuck with the good old American Macro Brew Bud Light. We had five a piece, and they were good. At midnight, we had to order a basket of fries just to get our bill up over $20. Now that’s the way you go out to the bar!
The cheap prices were part of “Led Zeppelin” night, a pre and post party destination for people who were going to the Omaha Symphony’s performance of Zeppelin hits. The posters, which featured a poorly rendered photo of Jimmy Page and his guitar, were not quite dominant, but they were huge. Plus, we all figured if our guitarist wasn’t gonna be there, we needed a stand-in, right? And who better than Jimmy Page? And if Jimmy Page wasn’t gonna be there, who better than a poorly rendered photo of Jimmy Page? That’s right!
[For those of you who haven't been following our escapades, Cobra Kai is our ficticious rock band named after the evil Dojo from Karate Kid. Cliff is our guitarist and he was busy this week. So now you're up to speed.]
Its two days later and I still cannot believe that we had 15 beers and had to order a plate of fries just to get our bill over $20. That’s awesome.
So anyway, it was Led Zeppelin night and for the first hour after the Creighton game got over and the music came on, old school Van Halen ruled the jukebox. I’m talking Van Halen I stuff, even some 1984 and Diver Down classics. And it seemed about right. Then the country music started. You know what, if you’re going to play Hank Williams, Jr, and its not “Are You Ready For Some Football?”, don’t bother. Seriously, isn’t his greatest hits album called that? “Are You Ready For Some Football? And 17 Other Hits Not Called Are You Ready For Some Football?” I think it is. Or maybe his greatest hits is just a collection of the best customizations of that song, filled with “Are You Ready For Some Football? Packers Vs Vikings 1998″ and “AYRFSFB (abbreviated, I’m tired of typing that, man!) Lions Vs 49ers 2001″. Perhaps…
So Continental went up to put an end to those shenanigans. He made some, no doubt, fine musical selections, but opted not to pay double so his songs would play immediately. It was 10:30. We would not hear his songs before we left at quarter-to-one. This did however become a running gag, wherein when every song started, be it The Cult or Depeche Mode or even Whitney Houston, we’d labor to be the first to ask “Is this one of your songs?”
As you know if you read this site regularly, I enjoy playing obscure tracks on the jukebox and watching people squirm when something like a Foreigner song like “Rev on the Red Line” comes on instead of the popular choice, “Urgent”. So no one was more surprised than me when “Red Skies” by The Fixx came on. In fact, I was so surprised I was stumped as to who the artist was. Doesn’t happen often, people. Pissed me off. Nobody plays obscure minor hits except me, dammit!