It’s like a marathon of convo mode. Well. It works best. This one is a phone call.
My friend HandyMandy in Phoenix: Hey, what are you doing?
Velvet: Walking to my boat, I mean rental car to pick up some peeps and go to dinner.
HandyMandy: Damn, I wanted you to come out with us.
Velvet: We’re just going to dinner. They are 80, and they were out until midnight last night. I doubt they want to do more than just eat and come back.
HandyMandy: Want to go to a country bar?
Velvet (As CMT.com blares on my laptop back in my room): Do I? Hells the fuck yeah!
HandyMandy: Ok, Call me at 9:00. But here’s what you’re gonna do….Take 51 South to I 10 East toward Tucson. Exit at Elliot Road. Turn left on Elliot and Right on Priest. You will be going to a place called Graham Central. We’ll be in there. (Sidebar: Did I hear Gram Central? Shit. Velvet doesn’t need to be in a place like this when we’re so close to Mexico. I’ll end up arrested for sure.)
Before she hung up, she told me it was a “huge bar.” According to this link…I see that.
So, hmm. Making my way across I 10. I see my exit and steer the giant American made boat I’m driving across the road. So not used to this car. Speedracer would have gotten me here sooner.
I park and get out of the car. Holy fucking cowboys Batman. Jesus Christ. All I can see is a sea of men in tight jeans with cowboy hats. Holy. Shit. Did I mention that I’m not coming home? Good lord. And I’m just in the parking lot at this point.
Ok, so you must now put this all into perspective for a second. I’m (of fucking course) sauntering up to the front door of this monstrosity in the usual 4 inch heels, jeans, white peasant type shirt thing. From the girls we have a sea of tank tops and cowboy boots. Let’s say that I stand out a tiny bit. I’m a casualty of my geography. Right now, I scream “East Coast Snob.” I’m very conscious of this so I overcompensate in being nice. And I get tested very quickly as some guy approaches me in the parking lot.
Guy: Hey, are you going in there?
Guy: Well, here, I want to give you a guest pass to L.A. Fitness. We’re having an event this weekend and….
Velvet: Save your breath. I don’t live here.
Guy: Where do you live.
Guy: Hey! Congratulations on getting a baseball team again!
Velvet: Thanks! They are closing the gay strip bar and drag club to build that stadium, but I’ll survive I suppose.
Guy: Let me finish handing these out and I’ll come in there and buy you a drink.
Uh. What? What the hell just happened? Shit that would NEVER be so easy in D.C.
So I get to the door, show my ID and it takes them 45 minutes to find my damn birthday on it. Then the guy looks at me, smiles, shakes my hand and says, “Welcome to Arizona.” Dude, are you fucking kidding me? In D.C. they push you in toward the bar hawking the $15 drinks du jour. I find my HandyMandy, so named for her master cooking and sewing abilities, and we join her friends. They are already surrounded by a bunch of cowboy hats. And yes, I took out my camera. I seriously, could not stop. And the “I’m from out of town” worked pretty well, until I got drunk enough to use the “Guys just don’t wear their jeans this tight where I’m from” line. I got pictures of it all.
And drinks? They cost like $2 or $3. My bar tab was a joke. Everyone was drinking on it and it didn’t break $30. And I tipped the girl $20 and I thought she was going to cry. Again, in D.C. these damn bitchy bartenders act all deserving and shit. I waited tables and/or bartended from age 16 to 28. Twelve years of restaurant wages. You can bet your ass whenever someone gave me an OBVIOUSLY generous tip, I went back and thanked them. Yet, when I tip well in D.C., no one says a peep. So fuck all of them. Good or bad, they get 20%.
I took tons of pictures. I’d post them if I remembered my flipping USB cable, so the pics will have to wait. I saw HandyMandy perform a strip tease type of dance, all by herself on the dance floor. I line danced. Some cowboy tried to teach me to slow dance, but I’m totally just boobs, hair and high heels. Not much else. I’m unteachable. He insisted that everyone can be taught. “Cowboy, no, seriously. I can’t dance, but you should watch me surf the net. I’m real good at that.”
The Cowboy took me back to his place and found out that I’m good at a few other things as well. He was…fierce. When he started slathering me with oil I was like okay this is how a dick just magically ends up in an ass and I’m out. But the next day I realized I wanted another round. And I also realized I had forgotten to get his damn phone number.
I hate ending with the question thing, and this one is really rhetorical anyway. Do you D.C. folk remember what it’s like to go to a bar and not have ONE CONVERSATION about politics? It was sooooooooo nice.
ahh country bars. during my cowboying and rodeo days they were the place of my love. something about being able to cast a net and drag in as much pussy as you want… sigh… i miss it.
Don’t you love the south! Hell yeahhhh!
When I go to visit friends in the flyover states it’s always a trip. This one dive bar near my friend’s place has $1 Coronas on weekdays. $1 Coronas? Shit, I think they charge more than that at Safeway!
Plus all the rednecky chicks are all up ons. When I walk in it’s like Fonzi walkin’ into Happy Days (in DC, I’m more like Chachi).
I hear you on the tips, too. I was a bartender for like 5 minutes, but I deffo tip nice for good service. Biggest tip I ever got was when I was in sales though. A drug dealer tipped me $100 when I re-programmed his phone (he needed it fixed RIGHT now…for bidness).
“Do you D.C. folk remember what its like to go to a bar and not have ONE CONVERSATION about politics?”
You had to go all the way to Arizona to escape this shit? Ever here of a place called BALTIMORE. Just like you described, minus the cowboy hats.
sounds like i need to get myself back to arizona for cowboy-delight!
I hate country music, but after the political diatribe I witnessed at a bar last night, I have to say that sounds tempting.
YEEEHHHAAAAA… When you leave DC, you leave your hooking-up troubles behind. There are a few places like this in Jackson, MS. You ever end up in Oxford, MS, scoring happens like it does in pro basketball (early and often). I once stopped off for gas in Tuscaloosa, and all it took was a “hi” to a cute coed… and she was ready to invite me back to her place. The only problem is… some of these women ain’t the sharpest tools in the drawer. But I do love me some sweet southern women.
BOOOO country music.
YAY lack of politics.
BOOOO HandyMandy’s name for having to do with cooking and sewing and not what I was thinking.
My god you are making me miss home! No politics, NICE people, cheap beers, and bars that have rooms for country music and rooms for booty music. And Cowboy hats. Oh, the cowboy hats…sigh.
The cheap drinks really kill me. Man, I am not into country or country bars, but I guess when in Rome… 🙂
Ya gotta love country bars even if you don’t like country music! Glad you had fun. I’d love it for the tab alone!
Ooops, I meant “hear”. Gotta blog quickly when the boss is watchin’! Why can’t I edit my posts on your blog?!?!
please get me some arizona girly pics.
So you experienced a little rural hospitality. I think this post just described my hometown except you forgot to include the gigantic belt buckles with the cowboy hats. Reading this post just reminds me why DC is just a temporary place to live due to how people act around here.
Don’t you find there is a whole different mentality in the Southwest? It shows us what tightly wound asses we are back here in the East. Enjoy the freedom from the political scene and all those cheap drinks! Maybe you’ll bring home a cowboy…
Great to hear you in such excellent mood, darling Velvet. And yes, hooray for Country Bars!! I miss’em!!
I just applied for a job in Tuscon. We can live together. Haha.
Actually Phoenix. Whatever.
whoa.. line dancing in four inch heels? sounds dangerous/painful..
Some of the best words my mother ever said, “Ladies don’t discuss politics”;)
I LOVE a place with cheap drinks! Fredericksburg, VA and Frederick, MD have two of the cheapest bars around. Granted you have to go to FredVegas but oh well…
The shame of country line dancin…
Yeah, heel, toe, docie do,
Come on baby, lets go boot scootin,
Oh cadillac, blackjack, baby meet me out back
Were gonna boogie,
get down, turn around, go to town,
Boot scootin boooooooooogie…
Travel will do that to you. I can remember flying up to Boston on the day of the Million Man March. Tons of coverage here, but once I got up there…a blip on the media screen. And if you leave the country, well…that really knocks your perceptions around.
welcome to Phoenix! I’m sorry about your troubles, but hopefully it’s been nice enough here to help you heal…
best wishes for more tiny bar tabs!
Fuck me! You swear a lot Velvet.
All those suffocating sperm!! (in those tiiiiiiiight jeans!).. I have experienced such hospitality.. oh.. just about everywhere I have been outside the DC area. It’s so nice when people have real things to talk about and well, they aren’t so full of themselves. 🙂
I never/rarely talk about politics while drinking…it’s not good for my buzz.
Sorry, I’ve been remiss in responding. Here we go.
Chud – Laughing but know I shouldn’t be. For YOU my friend are exactly the kind of boy I avoid in bars. The one just trying to lasso in some pussy.
Sandra Dee – Yes. I. Do.
Ninja – There’s so much info in your comment, I don’t know where to start. I do look forward to meeting you, finally, at the next Happy Hour. But not the big one, the little one at Pharoah’s.
Cosmic Shambles – When I come back to D.C., my hatred of Baltimore will set in, once again. I lived there for 2 painful years. I went to grad school there. Shit. Kill me now. Sorry. It’s too industrial for me.
Miss M – You missed a good time.
Sweet – oh boy. Hate that. Like we can DO anything about this. I guess it’s just fun to debate for some people. For me, I think all those assholes are corrupt, Repub / Dem, don’t make no difference. Everyone has their own agenda, and I hate people with their own agendas.
Elvis – Is there a post script to that story?
I66 – I told Handy Mandy last night what your comment was and she was DYING! She thought it was hilarious.
Law-Rah – Where is home? I should know this, but I forgot.
Siryn – I can try to convert you. But NY has no country stations and the cable networks don’t show CMT, so it’s gonna be hard.
CG – I’m sure you would have LOVED my bar bill. I saw a retro sign last night in Tempe that said “Skinny Joe’s” Ice Cream or something like that. I was wondering why it couldn’t have been “Joe the fat’s” cause I would have bought it for you.
Cosmic Shambles – Honey, I’m not on blogger anymore. Sorry. You have to just ask me to delete the comment if you want it gone. And you can rewrite if you wish. If I rework my template I’m really going to be not safe for work, so be careful!
Johnny – Gots ’em.
Big Tone – You’re RIGHT! I forgot the belt buckles. I would have investigated those more, but I don’t need to be kneeling near some guy’s crotch to look at that. That’s asking for trouble.
Barbara – Sigh. I wish, but it’s too soon for all that.
Moni – Think I owe you an email. Sorry. Will get to that soon.
Asian Mistress – Shoot, if you move here, I’ll buy the condo and you can live there! I’ll of course also call you every 5 minutes, “What’s the weather doing now. And now? How about now?”
Marie – Yeah, I have to admit. I wasn’t good at it. I would have kicked the shoes off, but it was too much to unbuckle etc.
Scarlet – Uh, I try to go to neither of those places. See, here’s my snob coming back out. Damn. Away with you snob! Away!
Elvis – There’s no shame in it. Trust me.
Stelawho – I just sent you an email. Who are you? I must meet you before I go! I’ve never met a non-DC reader. Well, okay, Siryn, but she doesn’t count because she used to live in D.C.
Bilious – Tread lightly you Crazy Canadian!
Kayla – You know, I thought about that. But I didn’t want to mention it to anyone for fear of, well, anything that could come of that conversation.
Chase – I rarely talk about politics. I guess I have the Greek immigrant’s mentality – I just don’t think these people are going to change.
Tread Lightly? Yes Mistress Velvet.
for the record, when i was rodeoing, i never had to “LASSO”. i just had to show up dirty with my first place buckle on, and close my eyes and play eeny meeny miney mo. NOW i have to lasso. and let’s just say my throwing arm is shot, my horse is lame and the even the slow ones get away. retirement… it’s a bitch.
Oh, color me jealous! I’ve been in a cowboy phase this spring, and it’s all about those belt buckles.
I really enjoyed getting out of town this past week, even if it was for a work conference. Sure, Boston is still East Coast snob land (which is how I like it), but it was so refreshing to be outside of the beltway in a city where the main industry is something other than spin. Someday….
I live in the Phoenix area…been to Grahams quite a few times. Glad you enjoyed yourself. Come visit again and let us know lol mebbe some of us phoenix people that read your blog will come and meet up with you 🙂