Saturday, April 01, 2006

Pacific Time

I went out to a bar with some buddies last night to see a band play. The bassist for the band was a friend of my buddy Kevin, so that's how we knew of the gig. The place was...well, it was interesting, let's say. It was called The Rail, and only a chain link fence separated it from the nearby NJ Transit station, and the intermittent roar of the trains.

The first thing I noticed when I walked in was a midget playing video poker. Though it's something you don't see every day, there was nothing wrong with it. It was just a little odd. Right after the midget, though, I saw an old man, with a full head of white hair, desperately making out with a girl who I'd guess was about two-fifths of his age (I'd guess he was in his mid-60s, she was in her mid-20s). Eli was convinced that the girl was a prostitute. It was quite unsettling, and we chose our seats well outside viewing range of those two. But it didn't matter, since throughout the night they decided to reposition themselves all over the bar. It was as if he said to her, "Now that we've made out for 20 minutes at Position A, let's move to Position B." It was awkward and sad and uncomfortable and wet, and I didn't like it at all.

Jon-Paul and I went to order some beers, and a guy sitting at the bar suggested that we try some Heineken Light. We're no slouches, so it became pretty quickly apparent that this guy was an employee of Heineken, paid to sit in the corner and suggest Heineken Light to people as they order drinks. We humored him, and for our trouble he gave us free t-shirts and keychain flashlights. Hell, that woulda been worth the $3.50 even without the beer!

Kevin's friend's band was supposed to play at 10:30, so we made sure to get there in plenty of time. We had had a big dinner at a Costa Rican restaurant earlier, and we got to The Rail right around 10 or so, I'd say. To make a long (and boring) story short, the guys didn't end up going on until about 1:30, by which time most of us were pretty much done being in the mood to sit around, drink beer, and listen to bands we didn't know (at least they weren't cover bands, though).

All in all it was a fun night, though. There was this one guy walking around the bar trying to surreptitiously slip his straw into people's drinks with a very obvious, "Hey, look over there!" line. It was all in good fun, though, and the guy was pretty interesting. He had at least 10 facial piercings, including two-inch long clear plastic spikes straight through each cheek. He told us that he was a fire eater, and that he could have put my arm down his throat, not unlike sword swallowers at carnivals. When Eli remarked that he would have laughed if that happened, the guy said (and I quote), "That's not your friend. Your friend would have got your arm out of my mouth."

Good times.