Saturday, January 13, 2007

Saturday January 13, 2007 - 1:30PM - Pacific Time

Olympia, Washington.

So a prosecutor, two public defenders, a psychologist and a poet walk into a bar... thing is, i'm not even joking. The Brotherhood is a large, warm, clean, homey-feeling bar in downtown Olympia. It is on Capitol Way and was in the past a biker bar. Of course its clientele is now predominantly... hipster!

What strikes one immediately is not that folks seem to want to have long unneccessary conversations while standing at the urinal - though this too is alarming; i'm not your "bud" while i'm taking a piss - but the undue numbers of velvet wall-hangings depicting matadors in various poses. As if to make sure that one stays off-guard, the opposite wall is adorned with floor mat art (this is the only way i can describe this); small rectangles of carpet about the size of doormats with pictures of the Kennedy brothers... and Martin Luther King.
Perhaps more importantly though is that on the tables are advertisements for the Brotherhood's upcoming shows. Because this week is the annual international Elvis impersonator championships, the reigning champion is in town, performing his show - and i swear i'm not making any of this up -

"ELVIS Back 'n' Black - Elvis is Back. And he's black. He's Robert Washington. #1 Elvis in the world. See his story in the award-wining film ALMOST ELVIS, then see him live in concert!"

Because Washington State has been having some abnormal weather and because they do not know what to do with snow (even the meagre 2 inches they received), they have been not leaving their houses so the Bro-Ho was not as packed as i am told it can get, but we are hoping for excitement so we decide to leave. One of the public defenders; his name is David, an affable chap with a laid back sensibility, goes home -something about work the next morning, cases... pleas... blah blah blah - as does the pschologist. Again something about work and the next morning. She too is delightful and i wonder how much more trouble we could have accrued if this was a Friday night. So Eric - public defender number 2, originally of Vancouver, Can and Gwen - Thurston County prosecutor, and my connection to this whole shebang, and I head for Frankie's. originally the plan was to go to Hannah's, described to me as a redneck karaoke bar. Just before we leave the Brotherhood, someone says "we should go to Frankie's. that's even MORE redneck". of course i need to be told nothing more. off to Frankie's we go.
Frankie's is a two level establishment and it is huge. Becuae of the aforementioned bad weather, there are about 5 folks in attendance. There are two folks working the karaoke set-up, which is huge and features several screens all around the room. There are three folks up ahead at the bar and the bartender.

When we walk in everyone turns to the door. We occupy a booth, take off our coats and i make for the bar. From the point of our entrance, one of the bar patrons has been staring at us intently. He is yet to take his eyes off us in fact. He strikes me as being a 20 year younger version of Wilford Brimley (the Quaker Oats dude). He is wearing a leather vest over his denim shirt, which is tucked tight and fierce into his jeans which cover some sort of workboots. He is still staring when i begin the approximately 20 yard trek to the bar so i walk directly towards him without making eye contact.

When i get about ten feet from him, i turn to nod at him in a "Howdy Pardnah" sort of a way, because i'm well... well-manered. Old dude makes a sudden motion at me as if he's about to tackle me and says "Watch out there young fellah!!" Only thing is, i've been expecting any kind of foolishness from the time i started this trek and so i'm not surprised, which means i'm not startled and i don't flinch, and because i don't flinch, homboy momentarily takes on a look of utter consternation. His face says for an instant "oh shit, i think i fucked up this time!" of course, i just nod at him and say "good evening sir. how do you do?" just like that too, i said "how do you do?" Of course then i had to order Jack Daniels neat to keep up the tough guy image.
I return to the booth and head straight for the karako stand and order me up some Johnny Cash. I'm going to cover "i walk the line" becasue i love the fucking tune and because well... what better way to begin my karaoke career at this particular joint. Of course, my tough guy act takes a tumble when the next song i order up is by Sinead O'Connor. By then though, i think i'd made my point.

Meanwhile, Quaker Oats dude has gone up to order his song and the karaoke operator has to call out his name when his turn comes out. His name you ask? Drumroll please!... Red Dog!
Apparently (and i only find this out after we've left) Red Dog comes over to the table when i've left for the bathroom and gives Eric and Gwen chocolates!! Apparently, he hesitates before also putting a chocolate down in the space that i've vacated. I've no idea whether this is a peace offering or a fucked-up metaphor for the white folk who brought a nigra up in Frankie's.
Eventually i put a bow on the night by closing out my karaoke set with Roberta Flack's "First time ever i saw your face". i think the karaoke operator shed a little tear. Whether it is because of my full-of-pathos voice or because i butchered the song so thoroughly i cannot tell, but she was a little choked up. We left then, and headed back to Gwen's house where we closed things out with cheese sandwiches.

Last Night i went to Goldie's with several lesbians - because this is my life - and Daemond, Inti and Gwen, as part of a birthday party. Goldie's is in Seattle proper in the Wallingford section of town. Goldie's is garishly lit and pretty much features the colors red, gold and black throughout. However, there are 5 pool tables, 5 Dart Boards, 1 Air Hockey table, 1 PacMan table, Video Golf, Madden Football and something else, and really cheap beverages. Most importantly, there is a 3 minute photo booth, you know, the ones that give you that row of 4 pictures for 3 bucks.

I have to figure out what pictures i took, what is suitable for presentation to the public and then figure out how to scan them in and put them on this blog. Tonight my friend Koreen is going to pick me up. We're going to go boogie and then she'll take me directly to the airport for my 6 freakin' AM flight.
Word

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2 Comments:

Blogger With Hammer And Tong...The LetterShaper said...

Very much enjoyed my walk through your world...as a poet and an avid reader, I found it both enriching and enlightening. Thank you...

11:20 PM  
Blogger adam said...

i must have reached out after the karaoke debut then. from what little i can recall (what between the whiskey and my enormously uncalled for rivalry with some chuck-d lookin bouncer in the village...which complicated things, to say the least) i do have some memory of us connecting amidst the chaos. seattle's beautiful, sounds like yall enjoyed it. if you get the chance (and if you haven't seen it already), check out nilaja sun's one-woman show in the village called "no child." shit is simply stunning. take care amigo...talk soon. ADAM

6:04 PM  

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