Friday, August 6, 2010

The Crocodile Lounge Ultimatum

Although I try not to get political in my posts--there are plenty of blogs out there doing that--I have to say that I am very happy that Prop 8 was overturned by the Supreme Court on Wednesday, but I fear the fight is far from over.  There are many more deserving of marriage than those who have been married multiple times yet were in support of Prop 8.  Take for instance Newt Gingrich and his three marriages with the details being pretty harsh--look them up--and he is one of the supposed champions of the sanctity of marriage.  I'm sure his fourth marriage to a hot eighteen year old in the coming years will be extra-extra sanctityified with an extra cherry on top to pop.  Equal rights for everyone.

That said, I need to point out that my next story uses terminology that I myself do not use.  I am quoting specific real events and detailing guys that won't take no for an answer and I learned firsthand about the extreme levels of bullshit that women have to deal with every time they step out the door.  There you go.


I guess there were points in my life--roughly 8-10 years--that I enjoyed the nightlife, multitudes of beverages and dancing at 80's dance clubs or clubs that had hot goth/alternative girls in attendance.  One hot alternagirl, who I had first noticed working at a clothing store located around the corner from the evil music store corporation where I worked and who I had subsequently crushed on for about two years, eventually went to work as a bartender for The Crocodile Lounge, an odd-duck bar located in a hotel in a very unstylish part of town.  Unfortunately, we were destined to be only friends, and nice guys did indeed finish last, since she had preferred a guy that ended up in jail for using heroin over me.

We were sitting at the bar on the stools towards the upper left.
Regardless, I was still friends with the woman and agreed to stop by and visit her at the off-the-beaten-track bar.  A motley group of eight of us walked in one evening and the place was fairly empty with the exception of a pair of portly business men who looked as if they had stepped out of the sixties to sell old hoover vacuums door to door.  The bar also seemed displaced in time with a semi-tropical seventies vibe of plants and Pier-1 style wicker furniture and no corners in the room.  We bellied up to the bar and I sat in between my brother, Jeff, and our friend Lael.  The rest of the group sat to the left of us and out of earshot.

The bar quickly livened and a group of five obviously foreign men dressed in a manner that stood out in Santa Barbara, but was most likely considered fashionable somewhere in the world sat immediately behind us.  We were laughing, joking, and skating the fine line of sobriety and drunkenness, when three of the five tourists approached us.

"Excuse me.  Excuse me please," said one of the men in a heavy German accent.

"Yeah...,"I said warily.

" vere vondering...," said the man

"Yeah...," I repeated.  Jeff and Lael were now turned around in their seats, wondering what the German man was wondering.

"By any chance are you...uh...faggots?" said the German man in all seriousness.  Slight, hopeful smiles appearing on the faces of his two friends.

"What?!" I exclaimed, completely taken aback and thinking the guy needed to consult his translating device again.

"Yes, sorry.  Are you men faggots," the man repeated.

Lael chimed in at this, "I'm an actor, so I guess you could say I'm half-faggot."

My brother nearly sprayed his gin and tonic out his nose, as he began laughing uncontrollably.

"Vat???  I don't understand," the German man said, clearly confused.

"No, no.  None of us are gay," I said attempting to end the questioning, although I did doubt the validity of my comment considering one of my brother's friends who was gay at the opposite end of the bar.  Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being gay, my housemate and friend of six years was gay, but I was completely taken aback by being picked up on by a man.  Hell, I would have been equally stunned if a woman had propositioned us instead.  It just was not something that ever happened to a bunch of D&D/theater/comic book nerds.

The three of us stared at the the three of them, who were clearly not taking the hint and the man made one last attempt.  "No?  Yes.  Ve vere thinkink that ve could go back to our room and maybe pull a train or somethink.  Vat do you say?"

'Pull a train,' what?  Was this guy so drunk that we magically appeared interested in them, we hadn't even noticed them.  "Look," I said, "we are not gay and we are not interested.  Thank you, but no.  You should also be careful of who you say that to...some people might take offense and get angry." I turned my back on the men and Lael and Jeff laughed and managed to do the same.  The men went back to their table to relay the information that we were indeed not "faggots" to their friends and the five Germans began scrutinizing us from their table, possibly trying to uncover some clue.

"What the hell does 'pulling a train' mean?" said Lael, laughing so hard that he barely managed to get the words out.  My bartender friend had come by at this point and I relayed what had just happened to her; she doubled over with laughter.

"What does 'pulling a train' mean, and why did they think that you guys are gay?" she managed to squeak out between laughs.

"Wait, what?  What do you mean by 'you guys?'"  I said, slightly offended.

She smirked at this, leaning forward to say, "No offense guys, but none of you exactly scream gay to me.  You know, the clothes, the hair and disheveled looks.  Nope, verdict is not gay, not even close."  She looked down at the end of the bar to my brother's friend, "...with maybe one exception.  Maybe those guys meant to go to Chameleon and not the The Crocodile."

Now there was a thought.  Maybe the Germans had mixed up their reptiles and instead of going to the gay bar, ended up at a hotel restaurant bar instead.  What a disappointing mistake.  With the exception of one guy, none of us appeared even remotely gay.  I was overweight, unshaved, had a pony tail and wore faded slacks and a paisley shirt.  Jeff was wearing a concert t-shirt and Lael was unshaven and wearing a hole-ridden t-shirt with a cowboy riding on a giant jack rabbit.  We may as well have been playing Risk at the bar.  None of us were expecting to be hit on by anyone, whether woman, man, vegetable or mineral.  Honestly, who would hit on us?

We spent the next twenty minutes discussing the various positions that "pulling a train" could possibly entail, before deciding to call it a night.

On the way to the cars, we heard, "There they are.  Have a gud evenink.  Gud night faggots."  There on the other side of some hedges were the Germans waving, laughing and wandering the perimeter of the hotel.  We shook our heads in confusion and drove away.  Hopefully they found an actual gay bar during their stay in Santa Barbara, otherwise it was destined to be a boring trip for them with no pulling of trains for anyone.

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