( #Gonzo, #PJWhelihans )
Walking into the bar, I was immediately repulsed by the smell of cheap perfume, over cooked chicken wings, and something else… The building was schizophrenic: part pub, catering hall, concert venue, and whore house. The women surrounding the bar looked defeated, their breasts heaved upwards slightly exposed with ovals cut in the center of their shirts – I was unaware that this establishment had a dress code. My wife and I were modestly overdressed.
My thoughts were broken by the recognition of acquaintances. This was no place for human beings still in possession of their souls. My eyes once again started to scan the patrons of the bar. Groups from all walks of life: Hipsters, slackers, sportsters, families, and the chronic losers all assembled here, which I quickly determined to be the Walmart of bars – accommodating all demographics, but none of them well and certainly without character.
Image Credit: Ralph Steadman
Most people had bewildered looks in their eyes with their mouths stretched open – puzzled, forgetting the feeling of being in a crowd. The others looked overly enthused to be in such a location. A bearded slacker approached me and offered a fist-bump. I immediately understood that the poor bastard was stuck in some kind of time warp (since fist-bumps have not been socially acceptable for several years). I offered my fist in sympathy and promptly applied sanitizer to the back of my hand.
After several minutes, we were seated. I assume we were not deemed attractive enough to be near entrances or windows – instead we were seated directly next to the bathroom and the makeshift stage. I felt the sudden urge to flee. I became more alarmed when I noticed the fist-bumper seated behind me. I decided it was preferable than making eye contract – but I felt his beady eyes burrowing holes in my head. The pressure was getting intense when the waitress arrived and asked our group if we need a drink.
The alcohol took an unacceptable amount of time to arrive and our waitress looked different yet the same. Then I noticed her on the other side of the bar while she was still at my table, and there she was again at the table next to us. Could this girl multiply or did someone slip something in my drink? Walmart mass production at its finest, I didn’t know they were in the business of making people, but it was inevitable. I decided to call her Tripli-kate.
Checking on the fist-bumper, I noticed a figure setting up a drum set. I began to wish I brought some mace. The drummer had a greasy look that was all-too-common for Southern New Jersey cover bands. The rest of the group remained hidden from my view but I could hear them plucking away…preparing for an audio onslaught that the Nazis themselves could not conceive.
At the first struck note, a herd of wild-haired, fake-breasted, buffalo woman stampeded towards the back. Their bovine glares focused at the half-empty stage of has-beens preparing to play their brand of South Jersey Soul Music (Bon Jovi, Van Halen, Van Morrison, and a dash of Black-eye’d peas). Men soon followed the women, quietly coming close to their ample posteriors in order to make contact with their Wrangler sheathed crotches.
The unknown scent that I detected was becoming stronger. I determined it was a mixture of grease, sex, and broken ambition – a potent and dangerous concoction. It was entirely plausible that the rapture of bad food, bad music, and unfulfilled dreams could instigate a flash-orgy. We needed to leave. Immediately.
The music started as we got up. The crowd converged. Through a fetid vaginal cavity made of small gaps, cracks, and armpits—I found freedom. Out the doors, we barricaded ourselves in the car. Hearing the music reach a crescendo, the smell attained its own malodorous peak, infecting my nostrils and lungs even outdoors.
Image Credit: Ralph Steadman
I scrubbed myself raw when I got home to ensure I was not contaminated by any form of contact. I wrapped a blanked over myself and watched TV for several days until the thought of that horrible place left my mind and I was able to venture out into the world again.