A long time ago and far away (okay, it was eight years ago and in a neighboring town), I ran a blog series that seemed like a great idea at the time. The following ludicrous artifact is the first installment in that questionable effort. This one runs a bit long and stumbles into absurdity, but it wouldn’t be Bonnywood if it didn’t…
Live Blog #1 – And So It Begins…
Okay, folks, we’re trying a new experiment. I thought it might be fun to “blog live” while joining my friends for a few drinks. For this particular piece of performance art, we are gathering at Tierney’s, a bar and grill in Lewisville, Texas. I’m going to keep a running timeline of the mayhem. This has “failblog” written all over it, because it’s probably going to be messy, but here we go.
Names have been changed to prevent social out-casting and/or the issuance of restraining orders…
3:50 I pull into the parking lot. There are no other cars in sight. What’s that all about? Well, at least I should be able to back into a parking slot without killing anyone. Normally, I would never attempt this if there were living beings within a 500-foot radius. Three tries later, I finally manage to park decently enough that drunk people won’t care.
3:57 I study a large, dangerous pothole in an important part of the parking lot. There’s a flag sticking out of the middle of it, one of those wire things they use to mark off underground utility lines. I stare at it for a while, wondering if they are serious with this primitive warning device. Are people really going to see that and not plunge to their deaths? Especially me, a few hours from now?
4:05 Where are my peeps? I drove all the way from the other side of the metroplex, through tons of traffic and hordes of idiots. My peeps live just down the street and they are nowhere in sight. I sense an injustice that might be worthy of scrutiny at my next therapy session. I remain in my car as a protest statement, fully aware that no one gives a damn what my thoughts might be on whatever matter.
4:07 Apiphany and Blinda roll up. It’s nice to see them, but it’s very hot outside and the AC in the car has finally reached a reasonable temperature. I contemplate just driving home. I have beer there, and it’s quiet.
4:09 I load up all my blogging gear, shoving things in my pockets and such. I feel very hip and assume that people will be jealous of my professionalism as I head toward the door. Right then, I trip over nothing in the parking lot and nearly meet Jesus.
4:11 We are the only people here. The various staff people come running up, full of worship for Apiphany and Blinda. Those two are here all the time and everybody knows them. They are complete drunks.
4:15 We order draft beers because they’re cheap and electric bills are high.
4:18 I reach into my pocket, digging for one of my netbook accessories, and somehow manage to cut my thumb on something in there. Great. We’ve been here 15 minutes and I’m bleeding. I try to get Apiphany to pay attention and help me, but she’s already flirting with anything that will move and trying to take pictures of things that don’t make sense. Finally, she grabs some silverware from somewhere, rips the paper napkin off of it, and throws it in my direction.
4:20 Delta Jo arrives. Hurray! She hardly ever shows up. (We’re not sure if it’s because she secretly hates us, doesn’t find drinking in public to be of interest, or just has an aversion to other people drinking in public who have lost all motor skills and couth.) Delta Jo hasn’t had anything to drink for months. She immediately orders Jack Daniels, straight. This should be fun.
4:33 Apiphany, Blinda and Delta Jo have been babbling non-stop, having a tremendous amount of fun dissecting various acquaintances and making fun of people who live in Odessa, Texas, because it’s easy to do and you don’t have to dig very far to find something to ridicule. I can’t really join in the conversation, because I’m trying to do this live blog thing, as well as keep blood off the keyboard. I’m starting to rethink the wisdom of this experiment, because it’s also cutting into my drinking. We need an adjustment.
4:37 Delta Jo is whining about searching for the perfect pod in Florida. I have no idea.
4:39 We are still the only non-staff people in this establishment. Have the emergency authorities already alerted the population to stay off the streets while we’re in town?
4:40 Delta Jo just said “I’m effectively banished from the house” as part of some story she’s sharing. This post might just become “Odd Quotes from Delta Jo”.
4:42 Why are they showing golf on all the TV’s? Oh my God, is this a Sports Bar? This could ruin me socially, especially if a Gay Pride parade marches by outside, and that could happen at any time around here. Is there a back door to this place?
4:46 Our server, Suctionetta, is clearly gay, meaning this place has some type of rainbow approval. Social devastation has been avoided. Suctionetta is quite impressive with his extraordinary serving artistry. You barely wipe the foam off your lips and another beer is plunked before you.
4:47 Apiphany: “My eyes are so bad, I can’t read my tess messages.” Already with the slurring? She’s only had one beer. It’s going to be a long night.
4:48 Delta Jo is showing us pictures of her good friend that keeps electric eels in one of the many saltwater tanks in his house. Perhaps this friendship is why she stopped drinking for a while.
4:50 Apiphany: “Answer the question. What kind of fish is Dory?”
4:50 Blinda: “She’s an Ellen fish.”
4:50 Now accepting applications for new friends.
4:54 The girls are now talking about jewelry. This does not interest me in any way. This is a perfect opportunity to visit the facilities, since I’ve already had two drafts, and something tells me we’ll soon be in the double digits. If I have any chance of surviving the night, I’d better keep things flowing.
4:58 Well, then. Apparently there is something amiss with the automatic paper-towel dispenser in the restroom. It kept beeping and dispensing the entire time I was in there, even when I tried to hold perfectly still. By the time I had completed my duties, there was a wad of rolled-up paper on the floor that could be used as a weapon. I frantically shoved the whole mess in the trash can like the IRS was coming for my receipts.
5:00 Delta Jo: “I have to go home and clean out underneath my sink.” Okay. Do what you need to do. But I guess she doesn’t intend to do that right now, because she suddenly races off to join Apiphany at the jukebox. They start playing songs that I don’t know. This is where I fall into the cultural void.
5:03 Someone else finally wanders in, but she sits way at the other end of the bar, hiding behind one of the pretend gambling machines. That settles it. The word is officially out. This town is in some type of lock-down until we have been properly confined.
5:06 Delta Jo, returning from the restroom, has an issue with a step that really isn’t there.
5:07 One of the female servers has a startlingly gravelly voice. Can you say Marlboro? Or possibly late night domestic situations where there’s lots of yelling and people from Child Protective Services have to make decisions about paternity and custody. Just guessing.
5:12 One of the other servers (these people really love Apiphany and Blinda) just brought us a sample of bubble-gum flavored vodka. Never knew such a thing existed. After tasting it, perhaps I should have remained in ignorance and denial. Just say no.
5:15 Blinda has ordered nachos. Yet another server wanders up with plates. Everyone else gets a porcelain plate. Mine is plastic. If I really ponder this, I could probably detect a conspiracy with profound implications.
5:19 Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” is playing on the jukebox. I’m expecting the servers to get out their lighters, but this doesn’t immediately happen.
5:25 Delta Jo is singing in French while eating nachos like a snapping turtle.
5:47 People disappeared for a while. Something about the jukebox. I just kept eating nachos and working on my blogs. People stared at me, because the concept of literary endeavors in a bar and grill is just not something you see every day. I feel slightly popular. Then I realize that there is greasy cheese on my chin and a bloody napkin on the table. Nope, they’re not gazing at the writer in admiration, they’re staring in horror at the messy pig with hemophilia.
5:49 Delta Jo suddenly decides to compliment one of my blog stories. But then she calls it “Willage of the Damned”, and the luster fades quickly. Am I ever going to get any serious validation from people who are not inebriated?
5:57 The table is now discussing shopping at huge outlet malls where your humanity is sucked out of you while rude people fight over designer jock straps. For some reason, this inspires me to order appetizers of fried pickles and chicken strips. Perhaps I meant for this bit of activism to be a witty political statement, but chances are high that I’m just hungry.
5:59 Lolo and Wild Jenno arrive. We have now officially become a group where the tip will be automatically added to the bill. Service could become risky, the staff no longer has to angle for a healthy cut of the tab, and it’s every man or woman for himself.
6:08 Delta Jo: “How do you find the balls?”
6:08 Cleary, I haven’t been paying attention to the conversation, because this startles me, but I’m afraid to learn any more. I listen briefly, and apparently the balls in question glow in the dark. I immediately make a life choice to avoid any more information.
6:19 Delta Jo: “Resveritrol Defiency.”
6:20 I can’t help but question her about this matter, because I’m not sure if she’s speaking Vulcan or what. Delta Jo swears that this is a real thing that happens to real people, and she is suffering from it. Since this is not directly about me, I just let it go.
6:25 Wild Jenno is wailing about somebody named Jeff. Or Jim. Or maybe Jack. It’s really not clear, but this male person did something that was not appreciated.
6:26 Delta Jo: “Flourish!” This is accompanied by a dramatic hand gesture that may or may not have been involuntary.
6:26 Now wondering if I should devote an entire website to random babblings from Delta Jo. Surely people will pay tremendous amounts of money to peruse this while they sit in their lonely houses, stroking one of their 17 cats and continuing to deny that they have interaction issues.
6:29 Delta Jo: “He’s not green, but he’s puce.”
6:29 See what I mean?
6:40 Blinda: “Todd has become porkless.”
6:40 Okay, we might suddenly have a diva catfight over who can spew the strangest crap.
6:41 Lolo: “Cook it for an hour until it’s crisp.”
6:41 I think I’ve lost all control. Can my fingers move fast enough to capture all this?
6:42 Delta Jo: “You skewer it and you do what with it?”
6:43 Apiphany, returning from the facilities: “I hate when you sit on the toilet and it slides around and you bang into things. That’s why I have bruises on my ass.”
6:44 Flamboyant server: “Salt on the rim?”
6:48 Delta Jo: “I picked today to wear a skirt?”
6:49 Things are getting completely wacky, and we haven’t even been here three hours. I make an announcement that I need to leave by eight o’clock. The rest of the table looks at me like I’m speaking Swahili. It’s still daylight. What is this talk about leaving?
6:52 An odd sound erupts from the direction of the kitchen, a startling noise that can only indicate the discovery of a body in the margarita machine. Then more nachos arrive and we no longer care about the fate of the kitchen staff. We’ve got our food.
6:55 Who is this bald guy who just walked up to the table and is scrunching his face while he spits out the word “karaoke”?
7:00 Delta Jo is sharing an experience wherein she watched a special on PBS and had an epiphany about how people interpret music. I’m thinking the earth didn’t really move under her feet, as she is proclaiming, but perhaps the Jack Daniels did.
7:02 Apiphany: “Everything I know I learned from movies.”
7:06 Delta Jo: “I don’t know what the name of it was, but it was some big set for an opera.”
7:09 Lolo: “But when you see it, the dancing is incredible.”
7:10 Everyone else is sharing saltine crackers. No explanation is given. I decline.
7:34 Apiphany: “Have you seen ‘American Psycho’?”
7:37 Blinda: “Isn’t the queso supposed to be green?”
7:37 Where the hell did she grow up? Was there a lot of spoilage in her youth? Actually, I don’t need an answer to that, thanks.
7:46 Blinda: “We can NOT mix the sweet potato fries with the salsa chips!”
7:48 Somebody at the bar is yelling at Apiphany. There’s some type of issue with the condition of the empty beer glasses that were just retrieved from our table. (My mind shuts down over the myriad possibilities of what we might have done to those glasses. It’s best that I not be asked to testify.)
7:49 Delta Jo: “I’ll give them a dollar to shut the hell up.”
7:51 Apiphany: “Did it just get ugly in here?”
7:52 Delta Jo pontificates on exactly what is and is not considered appropriate behavior when it comes to wait staff attending to their customers. The Lord’s name is used in vain, and something is slammed.
7:53 Probably enabled by the alcohol, I briefly burst into tears of fear. Unlike the 80’s musical group with a similar name, I do not immediately produce a hit single or pose for publicity photographs. But I do order another round.
8:01 Delta Jo, pondering the current musical selection from the jukebox: “This is the same song they were playing in ‘Silence of the Lambs’.”
8:02 What? Why would she know the soundtrack for that movie?
8:05 Apiphany: “I’ve been a bad girl in this bar before.”
8:06 Brian: “She’s going after that chicken wing like it’s a CSI montage.” (Yes, I’m quoting myself. No one laughed the first time, so I feel an encore is necessary.)
8:07 Apiphany: “It’s so hot in here.”
8:09 Delta Jo: “Oh dear GOD what is that on the jukebox?”
8:09 Apiphany: “I thought you liked them?”
8:09 Delta Jo: “I like ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’, not everything they’ve ever done. What is wrong with you?”
8:11 Apiphany: “I’m sorry, were you talking to me?”
8:14 Blinda, sensing that Apiphany is getting more attention, whips out her lipstick and proceeds to apply it for at least twenty minutes.
8:15 Apiphany, sensing that Blinda is trying to get more attention, makes fun of the size of the compact mirror that Blinda is using, asking her if she can download ‘True Blood’ on that thing.”
8:17 Lolo: “You have to comb it just right.”
8:18 Wild Jenno: “I can French braid my own hair!”
8:22 People are using their phones to take pictures of Wild Jenno’s braiding technique. This is a sign of the Apocalypse.
8:31 Suctionetta comes over, quizzing Apiphany about whether or not he’s going to appear in the blog. This is very important to him.
8:32 Suctionetta, determined to at least have one shout-out in the live blog, suddenly arrives sporting a new outfit. Clearly, Lady Gaga must be hiding in the kitchen and the two of them have had a fashion consultation. Suctionetta performs a nice dance routine as he buses the table, including several high kicks while swapping out the ashtrays.
8:39 Why is it that people in public bathrooms can’t flush? WHY?
8:41 Delta Jo makes agonizing noises of pain as she watches the golfers on TV, apparently distraught about something that someone has just done. I had no idea she was invested in such a non-sport, and I don’t need to know any more about this dark side of her personality.
8:42 I don’t recall ordering the catfish that is sitting on a plate in front of me. Am I at the right table?
8:43 Three people suddenly burst into loud, annoying, raucous laughter, something gets knocked over, and a chair is nearly broken. Yep, this is the right table.
8:44 Blinda: “Harold is setting up outside.”
8:45 Me: “Who the hell is Harold? What is this development and why do we care?”
8:56 Everyone else at the table decides that we’re going out on the patio to hear this Harold person sing. In case I don’t survive the sudden migration, I am posting this as my last words so that the police can investigate my final whereabouts: “We’re headed to the patio. Help me….”
11:13 Where’s my car?
11:14 Why the hell is there a pink flag in that pothole over there?
11:15 Why is the lead singer of Tears for Fears walking behind me?
Originally published in “The Sound and the Fury” on 06/23/10 and “Bonnywood Manor” on 01/18/16. And yes, aside from the last three entries, the timestamps are real and these are the actual thoughts I captured live as things progressed. (I did do a wee bit of editing for clarification purposes.) This is my social life, in technicolor. Care to join the next shindig?
Categories: My Life