Bent Words

Bent Words

January 26, 2010

WHAT the hell.

After being serenaded on two separate occasions by two different men to the tune of "Every Rose has its Thorn," I have made it a point to avoid Karaoke. So last week when I dropped into my local haunt to grab a couple of drinks and discovered a set of fake drums, fake guitars and a microphone, all attached to a Wii system, sitting in the corner of the bar, I was a bit taken aback. I thought Rock Band was kinda like Guitar Hero -- ya know, grab an instrument but no singing -- and yet, there I was, proven wrong again. Well, whatever, I thought, I'll stick around for a bit. I know these people (as in, I know what they drink, not who they are). How bad could it be?

Plus, since I quit smoking, it takes me like an hour to drink one Corona so I wasn't moving any time soon.

I was scared but, to my surprise, Shielah rocked the f'ing bar. I forget what she sang and, really, it doesn't matter. What's important is that she didn't suck and therefore I had no cause to throw ice cubes at her from my water glass. We had at the ready, in an ashtray next to me, a little collection of used lime slices in case it got really bad but, alas, such extreme measures were never called for.

Next up was Drunk Guy. I quickly recalled him from last week (luckily he has absolutely no recollection of me). He interrupted my solitary meditation one night by swaying ungracefully up to me and asking if he could pay for my next "Canoona."


"I wanna git you are nest CANOONA, if isth ok."

"You want to buy me a shot of Kahlua?" I asked.

I knew what he meant.

When the bartender, Casey, came around he just nodded at my near-empty-beer and then pointed to himself (Casey understands Idiot only because she's been in the industry so long). I got a free Corona (happy!) but was also interrogated for my phone number the rest of the night (saaaaad). I finally gave him my "work number" per the recommendation of Miss Kim.

1-800-588-2300 (Empire!)

Next up at the mic was Jim, my favorite bartender.

(I can't even type this without my eyes tearing up with laughter)

He had told us before heading up to the stage that he had received a 98% accuracy rating the last time he sang a Rock Band song so everyone, save for me 'cause I had no idea what he was talking about, was pretty stoked. When he began singing Journey -- doesn't matter which song -- an entire line of about seven people on my side of the bar simultaneously turned their heads away from Jim's figure in order to hide giggles, snickers, guffaws and tears. The laughter was inadequately muffled and there was not one person who resumed their attention without a hand covering their mouth. He was so genuine up there but he was so bad! He may as well have been kicked in the ding ding three times fast, Jim's voice was so high pitched.

In short, I loved it.

Next up was Birthday Boy and he sang a song by Tenacious D. He sounded so much like Jack Black that I almost liked it -- The Best Song in the World. He was really amazing and there was much rejoicing. He was truly an impressive presence during Karaoke Night disguised as Rock Band Night.

So it's not really late but at this point I've had three Coronas, a hookah and a Michael Jackson rendition of Any Way You Want It by our 6' 5" bartender. What more could the night offer? Time to hit the streets. Paid my tab and, as I'm spinning off my bar stool, a kid in a black shirt holds out his hand and shoves a bottle of Corona in my face.

"This is from my buddy."

I stare at the carrot in front of me but I do not bite.

"Who's your buddy?"

The kid in the black shirt points to a kid in a white shirt whose back is facing me.

"Are you gonna take it?"

Uhhhhh... Should I take it bait or should I walk slowly away and pretend he doesn't really see me? Hmmmm...

"Josh. Yo Josh! FUCKER!" Screams guy in black shirt.

Oh boy...

Josh turns around slowly, looks at me and says,


The bottle of beer is placed in front of me by the other kid and, seeing as I'm caged in by these two guys for the time being, I drink the beer. What else am I going to do? Pay my respects and reject that which is free beer? Of course not.

"Hi," I reply.


I can't believe this kid is old enough to be in a bar. I scan the area for a parental-type figure and see none.

*cricket cricket*

"So where do you work?" he asks me.

I tell him about the motorcycle shop and he "can't believe how freakin' cool that is." He tells me how he "knew I did something kick ass like that" and asks me if I like to go fast and, before I can design an answer, proceeds to inform me at length how ardently he enjoys going "stupid fast" in his car.

Right, Josh. That line stopped working on me... oh wait. That line never worked on me. Next...

In the middle of his Compensation Conversation, I excuse myself to say hello to some people that I "really need to speak to" but don't actually know. Turns out one of them is my second favorite bartender's boyfriend, Pat, and the other one is Pat's friend, also named Pat. (Who dropped me into the f'ing Twilight Zone and why?) I squeezed in between them, explained the situation and waited for Stupid Fast to go away. But, no. Oh no. Stupid Fast finds it necessary to stand behind me and intermittently extol my beauty in broken, Yoda-like phrases.

I tell Stupid Fast that I'm sorry but I'm not interested in talking to him right now. He pretends not to hear.

I mentioned that I have a boyfriend. He is not deterred.

I ask Good Pat and Bad Pat (so righteously dubbed) to intervene. They keep him occupied for approximately ten minutes.

I explain to Stupid Fast that I need to get home as I have eleven pretty witty little itty bitty kitty cats waiting for me. He's not phased.

I tell him I have a husband and he might get mean if he were to walk in on another guy hitting on me. This makes Stupid Fast pause. He thinks for a moment. He squints his eyes and then points at me.

"Hey! You said you have a boyfriend -- what's this about an old man?"

I explain to him that I have both.

"The bed's a little full right now.... plus all the cats...."

Finally he gets it that I'm poking fun at him and rejects all further attempts of mine to reject him. I do my best to ignore the little fella but then he goes so far as to comment on and touch my ass. That was it. I grabbed his buddy in the black shirt and calmly state that I understand Stupid Fast is just wasted but that he needs to remove him from the bar as soon as possible unless he would like for me to have the bartender escort him out.

Stupid Fast tried to pick a fight with his buddy and with me but the Two Pats made sure he was quickly acquainted with the sidewalk.

"I think you need a drink after all that, Laura," Bad Pat observes.

"No thanks, I'm all closed out and ready to go."

"Oh no, that's okay -- it's on me."

Bad Pat proceeded to apologize for not intervening sooner -- he didn't realize how clingy Stupid Fast was or that he was bothering me so much. I explain to him that, considering how much the guy had to drink, I was just trying to avoid causing a scene. Perhaps I should have been more aggressive but more aggressive might have caused an 'incident' and, unless I'm a mere bystander with zero involvement, I don't care for scenes. We continued talking.

Every time I declared that it was 'time to go home,' Bad Pat bought me a another drink. We switched over to Captain and Diets, swapped stories, smoked cigarettes* (!) and laughed heartily right up until the bar closed.

And that's why I call him Bad Pat.

Today I went in to get my stupid nail attracting tires fixed at the dealership. Five dollar tire rotation, free 27-point inspection and a car wash, too, please. When it's done, some guy bearing Rick without the 'c' on his shirt shows me to my car and offers me his card. He gives me the spiel -- Let me know if there's anything else we can do for you, I would recommend a 30K maintenance, if you decide you do want to get your interior detailed, blah, bladitty, blah -- and ends with, "Again my name is Rick -- without a 'c'."

I go to shake his hand and he says "I have dirty sweaty hands" and I explain that I don't care with the whole "Hey, I work at a motorcycle shop -- pretty used to grease" thing and BLAM! I somehow managed to open the Conversation Door. Rik goes on about his Blackbird and his whatever-else-he-had and how his kid is on a Honda fiddy with training wheels and how the ex-wife won't let him take the training wheels off and, while I certainly enjoy discussing motorcycles and was trying really hard to listen, all I could think about was my super full bladder and the slightly creepy way in which Rik was concentrating on me. I nodded a lot and finally told him that "I didn't mean to cut him short" but I had to go and to give the shop a call if he wanted to get a new bike.

Twenty minutes later he requested my friendship on Facebook.

An hour after that he sends me a message on Facebook regarding pricing for my 30K service.

An hour after that, he CALLS me on my cell phone.

I don't answer so a minute after that, he sends me a text message stating who he is, with the following line "I'm not a I'm a stalker or anything but I found your number on Facebook..."

Dude. That's like leading up a pick up line with, "Hey, honey, I'm a really nice guy." or "Come on, girl, give me your number -- I won't bite." or "I like to drive wicked fast in my car in a super straight line on the freeway 'cause I'm stupid fast like that."

You just don't say things like that and actually expect someone to believe you.

I mean, seriously. WHAT. THE. HELL.

How is it that people think this sort of behavior is okay? How do they not know they're acting like potential future inmates? Is it just that I'm acting too nice? Do I really have to just come out and say, "Seriously, not interested, but thanks for playing."? Ya know, I don't like being rude but I think its about time I bring things up a notch and if that means pinning my rejection status at Fuck Off, Dude, than so be it.


* I only smoked 2.5 cigarettes so that equals 5.5 cigarettes total in 29 days -- not bad! *

Written at 9:28 p.m.