Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tiki Bob's Cantina

Tonight starts much the same way the night before began. It's Thursday and I'm in the International District hanging out with the cast and crew of the much acclaimed show "That's F*cked Up". So there's this funny little detail I forgot about last night- I thought I was going to be in a meeting until after the show was over but the meeting finished super early so I went to the theater anyway to see if I could just wangle my way in by name dropping. I decided that Mr. E might have a better shot at it than me so I was in the theater dressed like Mr. E for the remainder of the show.

Let's just say I have a big thing for the show's MC David Crellin (aka Armitage)- also known as the ringmaster for Circus Contraption. So Mr. E is taking the opportunity to flirt with Armitage and he is very graciously flirting back with Mr. E so I tell him I'll be back the following night and maybe I'd put on a little catholic school girl skirt for him. He said "Only if you keep the mustache" to which I replied "Obviously!"

Which is how you would have found Mr. E if you were at the ToJ that night- hat, sunglasses, mustache, trench coat, school girl skirt. Now that's f*cked up. There are substantially more people that I knew at this particular show and a lot of them didn't know about Mr. E so over all it's an entertaining night, not to mention the amazing show.

There was also this awesome artist, Teague, doing what he referred to as "Kinkatures" which I'm sure you can just deduce what that's going to end up being. He did an incredible job illustrating Mr. E and that's why this blog has such a cool background.


I hadn't fully learned my lesson yet about the drawbacks of having a gang of buddies out with Mr. E so I chose another karaoke night at a bar near the theater. I didn't know if anyone would want to go again since we had just gone together the night before but a few people decided to go check it out with the condition that if the place didn't serve food they were going to have to go somewhere else. All good stuff, we left for Tiki Bob's Cantina.

So we pull up in front of the place and the two folks that were in my car head in while I get Mr. E back on (I don't drive at night with the sunglasses and the mustache makes my nose itch). When I walk in I'm not sure where my friends have gone to. I kind of have a peek around and it is mostly empty, there are two other vaginae (seriously, vaginae? Effing Latin.) and they are paying their bill, the rest of the people in there are what you might imagine stereotypical footballer frat boys would turn out to be like in their 30s and 40s. They look scared of me.

The bartender tells me there's no food so I go to find everybody. We pow wow outside the place for a minute while I explain how douchebaggy it seems in there so they'll be glad they didn't stay, I'm just going to duck in for two songs and head home. Heidi is protesting me staying at the place on my own and I'm like "What are they going to do? Eat me?". I'm parked right outside the front door and the bartender seems pretty cool so I convince her to go get food and I'll be fine. With some coercion they are gone.

I take a deep breath and turn back around. I ask the bartender for a vodka gimlet, he asks to see some ID. Delightfully, my ID still has the fake fingerstache from the Rickshaw gaggle so I show him for a laugh, he makes my drink and I start scanning the room. I'm curious where the karaoke is actually happening, everyone is hanging out near the bar and I can't tell how far back the place goes because there is absolutely no lighting beyond it.

Turns out they have the karaoke stage about 35 feet back completely on it's own in a corner that you can't see from anywhere near the bar. Occasionally an extremely drunk man climbs up on the platform and tries a little country or a little rock and roll. Nobody pays any attention to him.

I look around to make sure I'm really the only woman in the whole place and that's when I see Him. He is 30something hipster guy and he looks like he might be about to leave. I immediately hurry over to him and exclaim "Thank fuck you're here. I was starting to worry that I was on my own in this place." To which he replies "Who are you?". When I tell him I'm Mr. E he argues that it is not me that is Mr. E but he. I am not having any of this so I demand to see some ID, his license says his last name is "Ee". "My dad is Mr. Ee, I'm Ralph" he says. "Ralph, I am your father" I announce. At which point a girl emerges from the ladies room looking curious about me. He introduces her and she smiles a little before holding her finger under her nose to reveal another fingerstache. What is it with those things? Fingerstache needs to go on Hipster Bingo.

It turns out, the only reason they are at Tiki Bob's is because she got a random text that said something to the effect of "Right on, okay, we'll see you at Tiki Bob's Cantina around 10." from someone she didn't know. I'm not sure how they ended up deciding to meet these random strangers but said strangers show up just as I'm getting up the courage to put in my first song. They all start getting to know one another and I'm thumbing through the book. I don't think I've ever seen a thicker book anywhere, and the print is teeny tiny and there are THREE COLUMNS of songs PER PAGE. It's insanity. This KJ must have every standard, classic, and modern karaoke favorite ever known.

His name is DJ Forrest Gump and I would link to his page if it didn't have a soundtrack that kicks "Tender Love" on as soon as you get there. I hate pages with soundtracks.

So I'm chatting up the bartender and I give him a selection of songs that I'm considering singing. I tell him to pick one and he goes easy on me with "Say it ain't so" by Weezer. I hand the slip to the KJ and he wants to know what my outfit is about. I evade and he says "Well, it's your turn so get up here, whoever you are." Which is like. What? I just handed you a slip and it's my turn? That is not how this usually goes. But fine, I get up on the platform and have a go at it. I'm kind of shaky and it's a little out of my range so I'm coming off all vulnerable and shy. I'm not sure what sort of first impression I made but I'm pretty sure nobody was paying attention apart from Mr. Ee and his random friends who clap and say I did a good job as I head back to the bar and my drink.

Tipsy 40something guy leaves his pod of friends and approaches. "What are YOU supposed to be? Don't you know halloween isn't until next month?" I'm a little irritated because he's not asking in a way that makes be confident that he's going to care about the answer. I think he's looking for trouble so I say "Look, I'm not supposed to be anything. If I came in here in high heels and a sexy outfit with my hair and makeup all done up you would make some assumption about what I am supposed to be and you wouldn't be right then either. What difference does it make what I look like?" To my surprise he agrees and toddles off. Maybe I'm the judgmental ass out of the two of us.

Apparently I'm not much fun anyway.

I decide I'm going to sing Shadowboxer and then head home. This isn't my kind of joint and the hipsters have moved off to a little booth by themselves. If I ever brought the karaoke crew out here to sing we'd practically overrun the regulars and we could each sing a bunch of songs and really enjoy the huge selection but this isn't the right place to stick out. The KJ convinces me to tell him a little bit about myself and I just tell him the truth which is basically that I started doing this because I was scared to sing in front of strangers but by now it's more a social experiment to see how people will react. After I sang my song he said I should really think about taking off the disguise and trying it out as myself.

I feel a little silly because I'm not really hung up about it anymore but it seems like a novel thing to do so I tell him to put on "My Own Worst Enemy" and I take off my hat, sunglasses, and mustache. He really seems like a cool guy that's open to whatever experience life puts in front of him. He also seems genuinely interested in me and that's always flattering. I am glad he was the KJ that night and I hope he got some satisfaction out of 'persuading' me to get up and sing without the disguise.

Nobody else noticed and nobody but the bartender said goodbye. That bartender was smoooooth but the crowd was not. If I can get a pack of friends down there on a Thursday night some time that would be great but I don't think Tiki Bob's is going to see Mr. E again any time soon.

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