1) THE HOUSE VIBE - It is next to impossible to get a feel for a bar when it’s packed asshole to belly button with drunken dude-bros on a Friday or Saturday night. Unless, of course, your sole purpose for a night out is to come home smelling like Jagermeister that some jag-off spilled all over you on the road to date rape glory. Or if you’re into karaoke. It’s amazing how many people think it’s still 1992 and Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar requested a rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody (this is generally followed by someone singing “Friends In Low Places”. Just fucking kill me…). The arrival of the Karaoke Jockey around 8pm is kind of like the street lights coming on as a kid – time to go home.
2) DRINK SPECIALS - More bang for your buck. ‘Nuf said.
3) THE FREAK FACTOR - Lastly, it’s refreshing to hang out every now and again with a room full of people whose lives are clearly more fucked up than yours. Usually the juke is low enough to carry on a conversation with these folks during the day so you can add to your list of things never to tell a stranger. Also, the bartenders are less busy and more apt to chat. This means that if the crazy guy with one eye and a unicorn tattoo at the end of the bar hasn’t told you about the time he dropped his balls on a nest of fire ants for 20 dollars and a half bottle of Dr McGillicuddys, the bartender will break the ice for you.
Anyway, Alyssa just turned 21 (again) this weekend so we took a quick staycation to Redondo Beach for some much needed R&R at Fusion Sushi and Old Tony’s. [Side note – there is no reason to purchase glassware if you live near Old Tony’s on The Pier. Although not as novel as the tiki glasses from Joe’s Crab Shack, the Fire Chief glasses from Old Tony’s will meet all your needs and they’re yours to take home.] On the way down we stopped at a place we’ve passed numerous times called The Thirsty Club.
From the outside it looks like it may have potential. The inside is really nothing spectacular. Every inch of the walls is covered with beer signs and neon and sports stuff. Whatever, seen it before. The setup at the bar was pretty cool though. The stools are mounted on a brick ledge about a foot and a half off the floor putting you up on a proper kingly stoop from which to look down upon the masses. The far end of the bar hooks around in a horseshoe. There were some biker types and some rough broads at the far end of the horseshoe but we sat next to a guy drinking Coors, alone, at 2 o’clock on a Friday afternoon. I understand why because he was kind of weird.
A couple of sips into our first round somebody buys him a shot but he couldn’t figure out what to order. I don’t drink shots, he says which I find hard to believe because dude was shitfaced and I don’t know how many weeks that would take from just drinking Coors. I suggest whiskey and he orders a Fireball. WTF? He chokes it down and then asks if we’d like to hear some Def Leppard. We answer ‘hell yeah’ in stereo. He makes some good choices at the juke (Dead Kennedys, Van Halen and Def Leppard) and then starts talking:
“I programmed this song,” he says.
“Great song,” I reply.
“Did you program that last one?”
“You better not have put a five in there or I’ll never hear the songs I programmed. I just programmed like ten songs.”
What’s with this “programmed” talk? Over the next hour he must have said it 30 times. He rambled on for a while about how he’s new to the area, all the places he’s lived, how expensive it can get when you buy rounds for the bar, how awesome Van Halen was (this guy really loves Van Halen), and finally:
“When’s the last time you shaved?” he asks.
“I don’t know...8 months, give or take.”
“Your wifey doesn’t mind?”
“I don’t know, wifey,” I say turning to Alyssa, “do you mind?”
“Not at all,” Alyssa says with a pervy grin.
The Juke Programmer turns back to his Coors and mumbles, “Humpf. Beard.”
The Thirsty Club is not a bad place to spend an afternoon. Although not the seediest of joints, it was fun and the tab came to a whole 20 bucks. I’ll give it a double ‘X’ as there was a bar dog roaming around.