Yep. Drunken, dry-humping, gyrating Canadians. That was my evening, one January 12th, 2007. (I've been listening to too much Prince, as I almost typed 1999.)
The scene of the crime:
So, there's a reason that DC Mollie and I ended up there. See, we ate at a great restaurant in the Marina and then went to the Mission for a post-prandial drinky-poo. We tried to go to Blondie's but it was packed beyond belief and we were THIRSTY. So, we walked across the street to this place. It was cool and all, with velvet "paintings" as an integral part of the decor, but we felt old there. I mean, we're at the cusp of our 30s. We are so 30 (well, she is for another 5 months, and I will be in 6 months), but damn! everyone there looked like they had gotten in with a fake ID. We finished our drinks, left, and decided to go back to the area around our hotel.
So, we BARTed back and wandered about looking for a martini and a place to sit. We went into a few places and left, usually because they were too bright. Really. Once you notice lighting, it's hard to NOT notice it. These places should have been dark and brooding, hiding the clientele's imperfections, cloaking everyone in a reddish-orange glow. Oh, not here. These places had the lights turned up bright, like a garish Toulouse-Lautrec painting: women shrieking with drunken laughter with bright red gums and beige-ish teeth suffused in the yellow-ish lights. It was uncomfortable in those places, to say the least. We kept trying out bars and then discarding them, just as quickly. Oh, and we didn't want to pay a cover charge (which we later realized was our big mistake). We had already gone to the Gold Dust once that evening, but after being told it was last call at our très chic hotel's bar, we decided to deal with it.
So, we found a seat at the Gold Dust Lounge--a palatial red velvet throne-looking type deal. We ordered--DC Mollie got a beer and I a vodka martini. And the fun began. There were actually two bars: one at which they served alcohol, the other behind which the band played. There were revelers hanging on the bar, really enjoying the music. We got our drinks and settled in to people watch. That's when we actually listened to the music. I don't even know what song they were playing at first (DC Mollie figured it out), but one of the singers was singing with this really out-of-tune falsetto voice that is almost indescribable.
That song ends and the other singer guy asks, "So, didn't someone request a pirate song?" The people around the bar, who we have now found out are Canadians, all start shouting "Argghhh!" Great. The band launches into this bizarro song that is so not a pirate shanty and does a strange little falsetto arpeggio in the middle of the first verse. Wha?
Meanwhile, there is this couple "standing" in front of us who are probably late-40s to mid-50s. I use the quotation marks because they were only sort of standing. They would have been cute if they hadn't been so damned gross. They were wearing matching black leather jackets and black pants (we assumed they had gone shopping and felt that these outfits were oh-so-urban). They were totally making out and he's feeling her up and shit while we are sitting less than 7 feet away. As the minutes tick by, it was getting more and more obvious that they really needed to go back to their hotel room. Prophylactic, sir?
At this point, DC Mollie and I are cracking up at the utter absurdity of it all when the band finishes their "pirate song" and then start in on "Magic Carpet Ride". This other drunk Canadian "standing" (being supported by) the bar gets way into the song and starts "dancing" (stomping in place like a 3 year old). Leather Couple start dancing and their friends create this circle around them. Leather Chick must have been so excited by the attention that she threw off her jacket and started gyrating and doing all sorts of moves that are scary when done by both young girls (see "Little Miss Sunshine") and women who are my mom's age. (Sorry, Mom. If you saw her, you'd agree.)
During all of this hilarity, we realized why our seat had been empty when the bar was packed full everywhere else. We were in between the doors for both bathrooms. In typical fashion, the boys bathroom smelled far worse. So, while the delicate strains of "Magic Carpet Ride" graced our ears our noses were subjected to a flogging every time a guy had to piss. And most of them were drinking beer. We think that someone left the door open at one point because the expected remission of the smell did not happen. Mmmm! Toilet water vodka martini, please!
We finished our drinks and decided that it was time to turn in. We made it to 1:30 am and had one hell of a laugh at the last place.
See, there are people who would be really bummed or pissed off at the bar...especially when with a friend they rarely see because they want things to go well so badly. I have to admit that at one time in my life, I was that person. Now, however, I realize it is far more fun to just sit back and laugh; these are the moments that I'll remember. Dinner was great, and I'll remember it, but not with the clarity of our time at the Gold Dust. It's probably a maturity thing, but there it is.
It was great to see my friend and to add yet another memory to the list of absurdities we've accumulated over the last 8 years. Thanks, Mollie, for one hell of a weekend.