Toronto night life

Monday, August 04, 2008

Twisted Sisters

I tried not to tilt against anything. Leaning, I Feared, would give the incorrect impression. It could look too casual. Sitting was also not an option. I also did my degree best not to do oculus contact. This was harder than it sounds. When you are surrounded by people with teething that resembles broken lookout fencings and forearms adorned with jailhouse house style tattoos (some apparently made by carving forms into the tegument then pouring Republic Of India ink into the wound) it’s very hard to look anywhere other than their eyes. Fear causes this.

The name of the barroom was “Twisted Sisters.” I’m serious. I wouldn’t prevarication about something this deep. The place was run by two small old ladies with deeply wrinkled faces and Uncle Tom Waits voices. When they handed you a mugful of suds the obligatory “Here ya’ travel hon” came in a voice that sounded like it was sculpted by inexpensive score and cigarillos.

The place was peopled by supernumeraries from “Hells Angels on Wheels” and every bad prison house film ever made. This adult female kept bumping into me. She was medium height, slender, had long brownish hair and three teeth. Her face looked a small like it had caught fire and some lovingness individual had tried to set it out with an ax. Every time we collided I apologized nervously and she walked away. From behind she could have got been Girl America. I swear.

I was in this honkytonk because my old brother Potato had invited me. Murphy’s the type of cat who actually basks this kind of thing. The chap is something of an enigma. He looks like he belongs in the dorsum room of a place like Twined Sisters, but those who cognize him cognize of his Masters grade and the old age he spent instruction at community college. Murphy’s A tough guy; did a small stretch in prison house and another in the navy. Then he used the gilbert measure to obtain an education. Now he hangs out in places like this.

Murphy kept buying me suds and trying to acquire me to speak to the other patrons. I busied myself pretending to be an anthropologist studying some alien tribe. I didn’t belong, but maybe I could larn something.

I had just started on another suds when person dropped a few coins in the juke box. The music was bad country. To my arrant disgust the first song that played was that “I wanna stick a boot up your butt” super-patriotic, ultra-jingoist thing by the cat in the John Ford motortruck commercials. The people around me began to sing along loudly.

What the hell? Why would these people, this underclass, this despised minority, experience a affinity with a vocalist that stands for the right wing position quo? Shouldn’t these cats be hearing to Steppenwolf (or at least Eminem)? Lets face it, the chief watercourse of United States doesn’t hang out in places like this. In fact, most suburban center class louts would prefer that these people simply disappear from the planet. So why would the clients at Twined Sisters acquire behind this new super nationalism? This was like seeing Judaic children vocalizing Germany Uber Alles, for god’s sake.

I decided to carry on a small experiment. I sauntered (or tried to saunter, it’s difficult to truly saunter when you fear that you could be shivved at any moment, or worse: have got your glasses broken) to the juke box and looked over the selections. I was hoping for Randy Paul Newman or David Bruce Cockburn or maybe even the Dead Kennedys. No such as luck. Then I saw it. A cadmium by The Confederacy Chicks. I dropped my money and chose four songs by the Dixters (I can’t bear to type “Dixie Chicks” More than once... Damn. I just did it twice). Then I went back to my topographic point near Potato and waited.

When my songs started I half expected a public violence to begin. I thought that if these folks loved that John Ford motortruck cat they might rebellion at the musical stylings of those un-American girls. That didn’t happen. After the first few parallel bars person started to sing along. Then a 2nd voice joined in. Then a third. After a minute or so everyone in the place was vocalizing along with these treasonists with the same ardor and joyousness they had exhibited in response to that earlier song.

I quickly came to a startling conclusion: people will sing along to anything. The content of the song doesn’t matter. Politics simply don’t come in into it. People are really singing along to the melody, or the bass line or something. What the words actually intend is immaterial.

A small future Iodine waved my manus around in presence of my face to unclutter some of the fume and give myself a line of sight. I drained my suds and told Potato that I had to bail. He slapped me on the dorsum and headed toward the old scarred pool table. As I walked out into the sunlight I was thinking that I’d never have got to see the interior of that place again.


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