The first bar we saw was the Deadwood Saloon.It was also the only bar on the block, so in we went. We entered a haze of smoke populated with mostly tattooed biker types, Metallica’s “seek and destroy” blaring over the stereos. I began to laugh. I felt like I was in an extra scene of the Blues Brothers….two girls, dressed up for a nice night out, ended up in the biker bar.
Janelle and I were kind of bummed about missing out on Clique martinis and plopped down on the bar stools by the door to catch our breath after hurrying down the block in our fancy footwear. I was wearing my new boots, so I was a little bit better off.
She ordered a Sam Adams draft, which came in the new fancy pants glass Sam Adams produced. I stuck with water while we figured out what to do. A live band was setting up. An elderly gentleman at the bar was making roses out of napkins at the bar. He gave one to Janelle and one to me, telling us that he’d been off crack for 7 years. OK, we said. Good for you.
I texted David an SOS to come get us. We looked around and saw a long bar, booze, the band, an electronic jukebox, and these on the wall.
Janelle confessed she was curious to see how good the band was, and I admitted that I was too—at this point I was sensing a great story in the making and we felt relatively safe. I told David to stay put for now; I’d keep him updated.
We saw a lady at the bar order a Cosmo, and so we both followed suit.
Things were looking up. And they were cheap! Our bill for two Cosmos was 9.00. A song Janelle loved came on and Janelle was ecstatic—“cheap cosmos! Good music?! It’s like fate directed us to be here! It’s like we’ve found our mecca!”
Between the drink prices, my amusement over the absurdity of the situation and Janelle’s infectious enthusiasm, I was starting to not mind this strange turn of events.
See above for enthusiasm
I wandered over to the electronic Juke box and I giggled as I looked over the selection—Hanna Montana? Jonas Brothers? Much like Janelle and I, I wondered what the hell they were doing in this bar.
I pondered selecting the worst things I could find, but decided that could end badly—I was picturing that scene from the Blues Brothers again. I selected Queen’s fat bottomed girls from the list. Before it could play, however, everything was paused and the band started.
We finished our cosmos and then ordered rum and cokes. They were cheap too—and very strong.
I had packed my baby with me—the camera that David got me for my birthday in 2006, a Canon S3-IS.
Janelle and I walked to the other end of the bar so that we could take pictures of the band while they played.
Yep. more bras.
The were called Crosstie, and they played mostly country. We were starting to attract the notice of some of the patrons of the establishment with the flashy flashy—a couple people asked if we were with the band.
Everyone that we talked to was very nice, and Crosstie was pretty good. I don’t even like country, and I found myself rockin out. The band members really loved performing too—you could tell they were having a blast. Janelle knew most of the songs—she said it was the type of country her dad listened to. I kept taking pictures. That’s when I noticed the tambourine.
who plays you, lonely tambourine?
It was sitting there in front of the drums. I wondered who played it. It looked so dejected and lonely. When the band’s first set was over, I went over to them. I introduced myself and made sure they didn’t mind me taking pictures. I also asked two questions— would they play sweet home Alabama for Janelle and who plays the tambourine.
The lead vocalist replied “Yeah, we can play that. We usually play it towards the end of the night, are you staying long?” I told him we probably would. In regards to who plays the tambourine, he told me that “You do.”
I was super psyched. “I play the tambourine? Me?”
I jumped up and down like I was four. “Oh boy!” They told me I’d get to play the tambourine next song.
I gave the camera to Janelle and told her to take pictures.
“Have you ever done this before?” He asked me, handing me the jingly circle. “No.” I said. They started playing a Johnny Cash song.
It was at that moment that I realized I'm not very good
A kind assessment of my tambourine skills would be…enthusiastic. It took me half the song to find the actual beat I was supposed to follow. I’m pretty sure that I was awful. I didn’t care. I handed the tambourine off to the audience to let someone else try and rejoined Janelle.
I took some more pictures, and there was another set break. I went to the bathroom, which was very nice. Much better than Cosmo’s in mainstrasse, that has a shower curtain for a door. That just seems like an accident waiting to happen.
When I was in the bathroom, I heard my Queen song start to play. Yay! I almost toppled off the toilet in my hurry to get back and dance to a song I actually knew.
When I got back, I saw that the song had spurred some bar dancing. You know, like in Coyote ugly. I told Janelle the bathroom was safe—no shower curtain, and I’d watch our stuff while she went in.
No one seemed to mind the girls dancing on the bar. They seemed to be having a really good time. One of them reached her hand down to me and beckoned me to come dance. I glanced around and put our stuff in a chair so I could see it clearly.
And when Janelle came out of the bathroom….
Yup. Maybe I’ve seen Coyote ugly a few too many times.
We stayed for a little longer, but we were getting tired. We both had ordered two refills on our rum and diet cokes and it was time for us to head home. Crosstie started playing again.
We called Towne Taxi for the second time that evening to come get us. They said it would be about twenty minutes. As we were waiting, Crosstie, true to their word started playing Sweet Home Alabama.
Another lady got up on the bar and beckoned me up—I guess recognizing me from my earlier shenanigans. I looked at Janelle and handed her my phone in case the taxi company called.
Back up on the bar, the tambourine was passed up to me. Dancing on a bar with a tambourine?! Does it get any better? I think not.
I did much better this time around and managed to keep the beat. After the song was over, Janelle and I paid our tabs— mine was $9.00 and Janelle's was $12.00 (we paid for the Cosmos with cash) and turned to watch the exchange between a rather intoxicated bar-goer and the bartender.
The drunk guy was waving a bunch of dollars at her obnoxiously and yelling at her to get over there now! She was visibly agitated and was trying to explain to him that you do not get good service that way. He was still being a d-bag, so I walked over to the bouncer I had noticed earlier and tapped him on the shoulder.
Bouncer, with drunk guy he threw out behind him
“they need you at the bar.” I told him. He followed me back and observed drunky McGee. He went over to talk to him. He ended up throwing him out (literally) as we were leaving.
We got back to my apt a little after midnight. We both smelled like ashtrays from the bar but had returned from our misadventure. While we were skeptical at first, we both had tons of fun at the bar and everyone we met was really nice and sincere. And I got to play the tambourine. And we got cosmos!