By Steven Wilson
There are a few things in this world I will just never understand.
Like why don’t I have a holo-deck in my house yet? I never understood chitterlings in general. Those neon lights underneath cars, what’s the point of that? And, most vexing of all, whatever happened to the good old fashioned, quaint, by the side of the road beer joint?
Now, I’m not talking about clubs. I mean a beer joint. If you’re sophisticated you might refer to it as a “pub.” It’s pretty near the same thing.
It’s quiet. You can go in there after a hard day’s work and have a cold one. You can either talk to the folks in there or sit by yourself in a quiet corner … it’s all the same to the folks at the local beer joint. The military, in its infinite wisdom, has a name for people that like to enjoy a cold one by themselves in a nice, quiet, relaxing atmosphere. They are called “problem drinkers.”
But, you see, according to the nice folks at Department of Defense mental health, if you are the type that will go to a club that specializes in either 1)–that kind of music that has no lyrics and the band members consist of a bass player who knows only one chord and another guy with a synthesizer OR 2)–the type where you can listen to some rapper conjugating the many uses of the “F” word, you’re “normal” or, as they put it, a “social drinker.”
Regardless, whatever kind of music a club has the one rule of thumb is it has to be so freaking loud you must yell at the bartender (whose name is always something like Trevor or Matrice) to fix you some kind of Fuzzy Something or Other and whatever he puts in your glass, it will undoubtedly have a plastic pirate sword and an umbrella in it.
Military mental health professionals have opined these people, the “socializers”, are a cut above anyone that would commit the heinous offense of enjoying a good cold one in a quiet atmosphere.
Now, at a beer joint, sure they have music. It’s probably from a juke box in the corner that has everything from Conway Twitty to AC/DC. The volume is as such where you don’t have to yell at the bartender (his name is probably Q-ball or Skillet) for a beer. And that is by damned what they serve. Beer.
Sure, they probably have a few bottles of Jack and some tequila on the back shelf but they specialize in beer. The other difference between the club and the beer joint is, of course, the matter of meeting the opposite sex.
Now, at a club scene there are certain un-written rules you have to follow. First, if you spy the object of your affection from across the room, you’re to wade through the masses of idiots who are bouncing all over the dance floor and waving glow sticks around. Assuming you don’t get injured on the way over (a glow stick in the eye could ruin your night) you then have to go through what I call the “gauntlet of death”. You see, this is her friends that must approve of you talking to their gal-pal. She may actually like you, but if you don’t get by her buds then hang it up, amigo. But, assuming you run the gauntlet successfully, you may get to “dance” with her.
Now, I use this term loosely because you don’t actually touch each other. You head out to the dance floor, stand a few inches apart, hop all over the place and there are probably some glow sticks involved too.
Does anyone know where the glow sticks come from anyway? So, a few Fuzzy-Something-Or-Others later, let’s say five or six plastic pirate swords worth of drinks, you both want to go home with each other. But, at “Da Club”, you can’t do that.
You must speak in code, you see.
“You wanna go back to my place and watch a movie?”
Now, once you get home you still speak in code. The lady initiates the code-speak by saying “I usually don’t do this.” The male is required to respond with, “I know. Me neither. You’re special.”
At the beer joint the rules are different and very much simpler. Boy meets girl or, since at the beer joint the playing field is level, girl meets boy. They’ll sway slowly underneath the neon sign, between the pool table and juke box, to an old Johnny Cash song and then pretty much decide “You’re place or mine” and be done with it.
No gauntlet of friends to dodge and no code-speak. No plastic pirate sword having drinks either.
I’d love to see some glow stick toting idiot ask ol’ Q-ball for a Fuzzy-Whatcha-Call-It at a beer joint. He’d probably end up with that stupid stick in his nether-regions.
But, at the end of the day I suppose “Da Club” is here to stay. I’ll be in here trying to saw through this glow stick with a plastic pirate sword in the meantime…