Apr 3, 2010

I live in The South: Part II

On Thursday night, I was sitting at home, watching a movie and relaxing after a looooong day of paper writing. All of a sudden, I got a text from my buddy, Steve-O (a long-time friend who lives in Gainesville, yet whom I hardly ever see). He asked if I wanted to meet up with him and our friend Kayla (a long-time friend who lives in Orlando, yet whom I hardly ever see) for a drink.

Of course I do!

So I went to Steve's apartment and chatted with him and Kayla for a while about old college times and the things we miss most about Michigan. Faygo, Vernors, Bell's Oberon and Meijer were all on the list.
When we started to think of places to go for a drink, it came up that a certain Gainesville bar happens to carry Oberon. So off we went.

After a few hours at the bar, reminiscing about old times, Steve's wife, Jacki, came by and mentioned that she wanted to go dancing. Yes, dancing. At 11:30 on a Thursday night, no less! What can I say? I'm old now.

But eventually, I was convinced. So off we went! Little did I know that we would end up in one of the most surreal places I have ever been.

Immediately, I was greeted by bouncers in cowboy hats. Not so much in a this-place-has-a-theme-so-I-wear-a-cowboy-hat kind of way... but more of a I-wear-a-cowboy-hat-all-the-time-and-won't-even-take-it-off-at-my-bouncer-job kind of way.

Then they did this to my arm and hand:

It looks like I was on MTV Spring Break, does it not? I asked the bouncer if the stamp on my hand said, "Too damn old to be out on a Thursday". He replied in a very southern accent, "No Ma'am. It says you're 24."

Same thing.

So then the four of us went inside to find this:

I don't recall what song was playing when we got there, but there were people line dancing. But after a few minutes, the music shifted to an interesting amalgamation of country, western, and old school rap. Yes, really.

This was about the time I turned to Steve-O and said, "I think I might be the blackest person here."

And this:

(Not making this up: The flag was placed in front of an air vent... so it would wave. Couldn't make this up if I tried.)

And this:
Yup. Good 'ol SKOAL. Now, this was not my first run-in with Skoal. Though I've never touched the stuff, I am familiar with the product. After all, I did spend a significant amount of time in mid-Michigan. But here, there was a gigantic back lit SKOAL sign, under which one could receive free samples of chew. Again: this is all real.

At one point, I went to the second level of the bar to find the bathroom. When I came out, I realized that I had no idea where my friends were in the giant sea of camo and cowboy hats on the dance floor. So I took a moment to scan the crowd from the balcony on the second floor. There was a giant bouncer next to me, also scanning the crowd. Our conversation went like this:

Me: Excuse me. Hi. While you've been looking down there, did you happen to see a girl in a blue tank top... or a guy in an argyle sweater with glasses and...

Him: Wuts he dun to ya?

Me: What?

Him: Did he hurt ya? Wuts he dun to ya?

Me: Oh gosh! Nothing, nothing! He's my friend! I'm just looking for my friends!

Him: Ma'am-- unless he dun sumthin to ya, I can't help ya. I got five other assholes I'm keepin my eye on right nah... (*points to the crowd below*)

Me: Well... ok! Thank so much!

Eventually, I found everyone-- and we took off right before the place closed.

When I got back home, I wished I hadn't worn long pants. Why? Because I had taken home with me a lovely cocktail of Coors Light and Skoal spit-- absorbed into the bottom of my pants.

Yee Haw!

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