Sunday, March 12, 2006

03-04-2006 – The Monkey Top Saloon

“I only have a three-inch dick… but there’s 280 pounds pushing it.” – entertainer Dew Carver (not pictured)
The guy’s working a little blue tonight, and the squealing table of happy girls-nite-outters over to our left is eating it up like Clodhoppers. One man, one spotlit Yamaha PSR-2000, the memorized entirety of the Great American Divebar Songbook and an endless supply of fat, fuck and fat-fuck jokes. Sweating, breathing heavy, and working, working, working the room… the face of itinerant z-circuit showbiz

The Monkey Top Saloon! Top nightspot in Bentley, Alberta. Took the Burro for “International Country Club of the Year” at the first annual Burro Awards in 2004, presented by hometown hero Dick Damron at a gala ceremony in Mazatlan. One of those small-town saloons covered in weird knicknacks and community mementoes casually, chaotically blended with commercial posters and broken beer-lights. Lying outside the sucky-baby nanny-state confines of the City, you can still smoke here… and city punks can still get in fights with locals.

Tip: if you want to get out of a tangle with an sodden cowboy, don’t hand him a delicate little ladybug trinket by way of a peace offering. My buddy tried it, and… well, you hand a range-workin’ man a ladybug and you’re basically calling him a fag, even (especially?) if you make it clear that he should “take it home to the wife.”

It’s a sure thing someone’s gonna start something sometime when city meets country in the booozebins of the rural drinking scene. So why go out there at all? Why antagonize? Shit, man… just to get out of town, you know? Even if it’s for just one night. Even if you get out to Gull Lake at 7pm Saturday and come back in at 10 the next morning. Even if it’s freezing cold, and the whole driveway needs to be shoveled, and your buddy’s 4WD is shot, and you’ve got a pile of work to do, and you’re broke… just go! The country air is good for you.

Plus, it’s never to early to start scouting for urban escape routes, places to flee to when things go sour in the city. Didn’t you read it in the Globe & Mail last week? Edmonton’s gonna be the new Seattle! Or maybe the new Montreal. Either way, that spells trouble for hosers from the old school, the best people to party with. The streets crawling with earnest, talented, stylish young people with dreams and goals and the ambition and savvy to make them happen? Ugh. I don’t think I could take it; certainly it’ll have an unhappy effect on rents.

So, the hoser eye turns to the outlying areas of our fair province, the ancestral lands. An acreage out by Bon Accord… the cabin west of Smoky Lake… maybe something out in the western hills… a two-room, eco-friendly, straw-bale, earth-sheltered, wind-powered hermitage where nobody will fuck with you (except the goddamn gas companies!) and you can still go into town on the weekends and get lit up like a firework and… sleep it off in your camper? Nah; just hit the highway loaded ‘cause you saw the district’s one RCMP car headed in the other direction. And if you ditch it, well, fuckit; thousand-dollar truck ain’t too hard to find ‘round here…

And when those city kids come around, thinking they’re so fucking smart with their digital cameras, their iPods, their cell phones, their PlayStation Portables and their pale little chicks with hands like flower petals, you can just walk right up to them and call them girls and queers until one of them tries to get cute with you... and then, brother, the party starts.

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