Note to Self

ButtonI got this button at the first venue I played outside of my hometown. Granted, it was only a couple hours outside, but still counts, right? Anyways, it was at the Oak Harbor Tavern, which is in–you guessed it–Oak Harbor, Washington. But woah, this place was divey. For those unfamiliar with the term “divey,” it means, “Having the character of a dive bar.” Those that don’t know what a dive bar is can ask their mothers. Let’s just say the patrons all looked over 40, and the members of the bands were the only ones not playing pull-tabs. While the opening band was warming up and checking their mics, over the house speakers we heard the lead singer mumble something quietly to the sound guy, but the sound guy didn’t hear him. “What?” grouched the sound guy. Another member of the band shouted back, “He says he wants more vocals in his monitor.” That’s when a seven-foot, 300 pound bearded man at the bar sat straight up in his stool, raised his bottle of Miller High Life and blurted, “We want more sex, too, but we can’t always get what we want!” A couple patrons looked up from their pull tabs, but only for a quick chuckle. The band warming up chose to ignore the man’s testimony, but I was in the corner frantically wiping my nose of the beer I had just accidentally shot out of it, as well as the tears that consequently followed. Unfortunately, my emasculating display elicited some strange and contemptuous glances from the natives. But could you blame me? With the overall despondency I’d experienced in the people of Oak Harbor up to that point, I hadn’t anticipated someone to be that quick witted–especially seeing the stockpile of empties he had on the bar next to him. But why wasn’t this funny to anyone else? I thought. I’ve come to realize, in a small town like Oak Harbor, that that tavern’s patrons are like family. They might wind up at the O.H.T. almost every night, and the amount of hip, young punks that the bearded man has seen walk through those doors to play a show probably competes with the amount of money he’s spent on keeping his high score on Big Buck Hunter; each punk more demanding than the next. So, while his epically witty joke hit my ears fresh, chances are good that the rest of the bar had heard that joke enough times that they could have said it before he did. Though it was hilarious to me, for him and the patrons of the O.H.T. it may have become just a part of their reality. Note to self: try not to laugh uproariously at other people’s realities.

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~ by russell jander on January 4, 2012.

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