“a woman walks into a bar…” at Ye Rustic Inn Part 2
on 09/03/11 at 1:12 pma woman walks into a bar..., Booze News, BoozeBlog
Ok, so I sucked it up and went back to Ye Rustic Inn for karaoke night. Guess what? I’ve never been to karaoke before. How have I managed to avoid it? I dunno, but here I was back in the cave-like darkness of the bar, not knowing what to expect. I was immediately greeted and hand-kissed by Gus, surprised and pleased that I had come back. He was more animated tonight, anxious for his ‘close-up’. John and his girlfriend, Salpi, down at his corner of the bar, holding court with the ladies and, from the looks of it, way ahead in the drinking department. Says he’s happy to see me and knew I’d be back. I’m anointed a regular.
I order my beer and look around. The bar is packed. Who’s this suddenly beside me? It’s Alan! This guy’s totally wound up about a song he just heard that triggers his memory of a video he can’t get out of his head called “Smack Your Bitch Up”. No, he tells me adamantly, it’s not about hitting a woman, only shooting up heroin. And then describes the vid frame by frame, arms flailing and talking a mile a minute. Tells me it’s by Scandinavian Death Park Bank or something. I’m sure I’ve got the details screwed up but anyway. Phew. I can’t keep up. Turns out he’s a Teamster who’s worked for Pepsi for 25 years. I change it up and ask if he supports the unions in Wisconsin. He looks at me like I asked him about the size of his penis. Inconsequential, he implies, we just negotiated another 25 years so I’m good. Back to the video.
This karaoke better start soon. Oh, here’s Tino, cute as a button, chatting me up. Undercover of darkness, even I can look like a prospect. Noooo, I’m not being modest, just realistic. It’s like you don’t want to see this bar with the lights on. This kid could be my son. There are worse things.
So, finally, karaoke. The tv screens scream hot pink lyrics and Gus hits the floor. It’s kind of hard to hear his angelic voice but he is so happy just to be singing. Everyone gets caught up in the excitement and a couple of guys growl and pace like rock stars. They’re pretty good. People are singing into their fists and drinks. No need for a mic. John is gone. Still there, but gone. Gus says this is his therapy. Tino waves from across the room.
Everyone asks if I’m singing and not happy with ‘no’ for answer. Aw, c’mon, nobody cares if you can sing…it’s about having fun. And fun is what I’m having but it’s time for me to slip away. I squeeze between the revelers and make my way to the door. And the cool night air. Five stars for the dive bar.
1831 Hillhurst Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90027
Open Weekdays 11am-2am; Weekends 9am-2am