Some of you may have read my last column, about how, on a flight to upstate New York for the holidays, I found myself on board a three-baby plane. That was a horror-show, to be sure, but what happened the following night, on the nearly freezing evening before Christmas, was worse.
Still traumatized by the three-baby flight, I was looking forward to having a childfree bar experience in one of the local pubs of my younger days. So, you can imagine my delight when I didn't encounter a single, bawling infant when I entered the toasty, dim pub. What I didn't realize was that there was something waiting inside that was even worse than three bawling babies. Yup, it's true: I'd stumbled into a five-douche dive.
Now, mind you, five douches in a crowded nightclub is not typically cause for concern. That's because of a law of physics known as "douche dilution," which holds that the more regular people (non-douches) there are in any one setting, the less annoying the douches seem to be. However, in this tiny bar, on this nearly freezing night, there were only eight people—more than half of whom were card-carrying douche-sapiens. Here they are, in no particular order:
1. The obnoxious, sexist, dirty old owner of the bar: This ass-scratching baboon was sitting on the back corner stool, knocking back drinks with the rest of us. To say he was unattractive is to say Liberace experimented with homosexuality. He was in his late 60s and had a slight humpback, blotchy skin and more festering pustules than a teenager who exfoliates his face with french fries.
Nearly everything he said was vulgar and usually directed at his bartender—a buxom, post-punk looker who, judging by the scowl on her face, would rather snort the granules from a cat lady's litter box than spend a second with him naked.
2. The bigot who loudly espouses bigoted views because he assumes everyone else is a bigot, too: I don't need to tell you the kinds of comments he was making. Suffice to say, if he ever bumped into a gay, black, Muslim immigrant, all of the embolisms in his body would stop what they were doing, bum-rush his left ventricle and commit mass suicide by implosion. I have no doubt there are more than a couple of "White Power" T-shirts in this dick-knocker's closet.
3. The reverse snob: By "reverse snob," I mean that he became a one-man cocktail Gestapo whenever I ordered a drink that he perceived as foo-foo. I will admit, coming from the land of regular snobs, San Diego—where the craft-cocktail and microbrew aficionados give you grief for ordering beverages that aren't metrosexual enough—it was refreshing to run into a reverse snob. But it got old quick.
Now, in his defense, the guy was an old sailor douche (aka douche-phibian), and one should forgive elderly mariners a certain level of acrimony. But enough was enough. When I had the gall to order a Californian, which is nothing more than a screwdriver with a splash of grapefruit, Captain Grumpy-Grouch announced, "You ain't in California anymore. Order a real man's drink."
Later, when I asked the bartender if she had Fireball—an admittedly girly-flavored sweet-shot that purports to be whiskey-based but is really just a sugar-coated estrogen supplement—he called me a pussy.
"Look!" I barked. "Which would be more pussified? If I start ordering the types of drinks you think I should drink, or if I keep ordering whatever I want because I don't give a somersaulting gorilla fuck what you think about it?"
4. The pool-ball slam shooter: Dude was playing pool by himself, slamming each shot hard as he could then quickly moving over to the next. One by one he went, marching around the billiards table like a Nazi lifeguard, goose-stepping around the edge of a swimming pool ordering everyone to get out. He seemed oblivious to the concepts of grace and touch, just slamming the balls so hard that they routinely flew off the table, creating a terrible racket. I couldn't help but watch the guy and think, This must be how he lives his life—forcing and slamming his way through everyone and everything. I have no doubt he has a T-shirt in his closet that says, "Douche Power."
5. The same-band-playing-over-and-over jukebox hogger: For the first few hours, it was quiet but for our chatter. However, at one point, the SBPOOJH approached the juke, deposited money and selected about 15 songs by the same goddamn band.
Now, even if he had picked someone great, like John Prine or Lou Reed, it would still have been awful due to the Law of Jukebox Diversity, which holds that you never ever freaking ever play more than three songs in a row by the same band on a bar jukebox—for the same reason you wouldn't go to a restaurant and order the chicken-fingers appetizer, chicken-parm entrée and chicken-flavored cheesecake for dessert. To make matters worse, he chose Aerosmith. And not the acceptable early Aerosmith. This was late-era Aerosmith. Sober Aerosmith. Not-at-all-rocking-hard-like-they-used-to Aerosmith. You know, "Love in an Elevator" and "Dude Looks Like a Lady" Aerosmith, filling up the room with new heights of lowness while Slam Pool Shooter's shots went off like gun blasts, the Reverse Snob sneered at my recently poured Fuzzy Navel, the Bigot bellowed about how hard things are for straight white males and the owner slurred to the bartender, "Move that jiggy ass of yours and get me another round."
That was it. I'd had enough of the five-douche dive. I closed my tab and walked toward the door. On my way out, I bumped into a man coming in. Which devils might this beast unleash to the world? I wondered as I stepped out into the near-freezing Christmas Eve night.
And to think I gave babies a hard time.
Write to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Edwin Decker blogs at www.edwindecker.com. Follow him on Twitter @edwindecker or find him on Facebook.
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