Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dive Bars

Okay, I have a confession. I was on the east coast for 65 hours and did not tell anyone. I traveled 40 hours roundtrip to attend the CG Innovation Expo in VA Beach. While there, I connected with some Coastie friends, colleagues, and learned a lot about modernization and a host of other topics. One evening, after a rather large reception, my team and I went out. John shouted out the address and name of his recommended establishment, and we all agreed. We return to our respective hotels and change, and one team leaves earlier than the other. They call me, "Um, is this supposed to be a dive bar?" And then it hits me, "shit, we let John pick the venue, so yes, of course, it's gonna be a dive. Damnit...."

We pull up to a strip mall that contains a china palace, a takeout pizza joint, an Asian grocery store....and South Beach Grill. With the doors wide open and a parking lot full of cars, we roll in and take up residence on the opposite side of the bar. The next five hours was a treat: I watched enough flesh rub up against each other, bad dye jobs, and elvis impersonators dancing to the cover band to have fodder for at least three blog entries, but I will summarize some of the highlights here:

1. There was a dude whose hair, sideburns, and eyeware resembled Elvis. His female companion had an Elvis purse.
2. There was a woman who wore big fake diamond everything: multiple rings on each hand, oversized earrings, large chunky necklace, and rhinestones on her purse and yet wore a tangerine tank top that looked more than a few years old...
3. And then there was Uncle Rico, as we named him. You know the Uncle from Napoleon Dynamite, the one with the football? Yeah, well, fast fwd 15 years, add a collared paisley shirt with a corduroy jacket, and you have the man who gave us the most fodder.

So many times, I turned to my former Army colleague and said just looked at him. And that's all I needed to do. We were on the same wave length, both having lived/been stationed in this part of VA. Wow. We both joked about the "caliber" of the 15 women and 60 men that poured themselves into the bar to listen to a pretty dern good cover band that played everything from Earth Wind and Fire to Kings of Leon. Of course, the older crowd were more attuned to the former rather than the latter, but the other young colleague in the group, Paul, and I enjoyed their rendition of the tune.

For Kodiakians who read the blog, I am sure it was like the Mecca, but I have yet to cross the threshold of that distinguished establishment to find out.

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