When you've been bartending long enough, you start to see recurring characters. I like to give them names. I know a lot of bartenders can't stand some of these people, but for me, it's the best part-the kooky people, the things they do and say when they get drunk. I just can't get enough.
Ah yes, summertime in San Diego. What to do, what to do? You certainly can't go to the zoo. You've been to the zoo so often you're beginning to take on the stench of the gorilla cages. The Wild Animal Park is so far away you might as well book passage to the Serengeti. And SeaWorld is a soulless affair whose highlight is a killer whale humiliated into doing sideshow tricks for slabs of squid.
Well how about visiting a different kind of menagerie? How about exploring the San Diego Boozer Zoo?
Carry your bottle with you as you walk through the urine soaked, rat-infested Hobo Hallway. Bring your date to the Heavy Petting Zoo. Visit the Predator's Tank and watch in horror as exotic species like the roofies shark, moray heel and man-o-gwar trawl the waters for their victims. And, when you're finished, you can evaluate your visit-and your life-over coffee, cigarettes and 12 steps at the AA Aquarium.
Here are some of the more popular exhibits and beasts of the San Diego Boozer Zoo:
The Small-Minded Wild Bore (Dumbus Stupidus)-The small-minded wild bore can be deadly. He paralyzes his victims with such minutia as a graphic analysis of his recent glandular complications or a detailed account of his vacation in El Centro. Note: The small-minded wild bore's female counterpart, the yakkety-yak yak, usually cripples her prey with a painstaking recount of her last 12 boyfriends.
Diet: Beer and bar pretzels. Tipping habits: Coins only.
The Hyona-Hyona is so named for its famous mating ritual, which is to brag about all the impressive things he owns such as, “Hi, I own a Jaguar,” or “Hi, I own a record company.” The hyona is a distant cousin to the hima (as in, “Hima doctor” or “Hima musican”). Diet: Top-shelf booze desecrated with Coke or Sprite. Tipping habits: Outrageous over-tipping, designed to attract females.
Coca Koala Bear (Ursus Tweakus)-The coca koala, too, has an interesting mating call, which is, ‘Wanna come to my pad and snort some coke? Diet: Breakfast cereal or sushi. Tipping habits: Coke snorters tip well; meth-heads are stiffs.
Bi-Polar Bear (Ursus Insana)-For safety reasons, the San Diego Boozer Zoo owns just one of these ferocious beasts. It's a female. One minute she's smiling and having a good time and the next, her face is red, the veins are rising in her neck and she's screaming, “Swallow your soul! Swallow your soul!” as she yanks out your eyeballs and plops them into her drink. Diet: Usually of the vodka variation-sea breezes, cape cods and minderasers. Tipping habit: Great tippers up until the tirade.
Barfly Exhibit (Dipso Dipterous)-After entomologists capture these old teetotalers with nets, they saturate them with ethyl acetate and mount them on pins through their beer bellies. Inside the zoo's Insect House is an extraordinary display of the various species, including the rare Bukowskian bottlefly and the chain-smoking hoarse fly. Tipping habit: Eight percent or a dollar, whichever is lower.
Bile-Spitting Green-Bellied Jealousy Mamba (Thamnophis Vomitus Emeraldis)-The jealousy mamba is the domineering boyfriend of a cocktail waitress or female bartender. He comes into her bar and watches her work, smoldering and whipping himself into a mental frenzy because he believes every guy in the place is hitting on her. This vile serpent will spit acidic bile when threatened. Diet: The Jealousy Mamba drinks anything his girlfriend can get him for free, because he's also a cheap-ass mamba. Tipping habits: Justifies his cheapness by convincing himself that he shouldn't have to tip his girlfriend.
Quila Monster-The quila monster isn't an animal at all. It's actually a parasite that lies dormant until its host organism begins drinking tequila. Then the quila monster assumes control of the host and compels it to commit terrible offenses. Look for symptoms of infestation such as slurring speech, excessive high-fiving, dancing on the bar, relentless bad singing, unbridled rage, cop-baiting and, finally, projectile vomiting. Diet: Mexican food only. Tipping habits: When under control of the quila monster, the host organism becomes a big, hairy, belligerent stiff.
The Bug-Eyed Drooling Sicko Gecko-The sicko gecko has the strangest mating habits in the zoo. First, he signals to the random female that he is ready to mate by grabbing her ass. Then he reaches for her breasts. The female will then alert the bouncer, who goes inside to find him. He can expect to find the sicko gecko at the pool table, bug-eyed and drooling and undulating into one of the billiard pockets from which it will take a crowbar to remove him. Diet: Mushrooms, LSD, Prozac. Tipping habits: Thinks “Gratuity” is a city in Utah.
Ed Decker will resume writing his weekly column as soon as the gets his computer out of hock.