I Didn’t Get Stabbed: My Time at a Dive Bar Karaoke

There is a dive-bar somewhere in the Midwest that several of my friends claim makes you pay the cover charge in teeth.  When considering the usual clientele, this seems less like a joke and more like a plausible assumption to make.  If there is a location on planet Earth that has a severe tooth deficit, this was it and I had spent several late evenings drinking there in my youth.  The only draft beer they have is Old Milwaukee and it arrives watered down in tiny mugs. Everything else comes in a can.  You can hypothetically ask for a cocktail, but the bartender will act confused if you order anything other than a shot.  The bathroom doesn’t have a lock, a sign, or even a smell that differentiates it from the nearby closet. It swings out so there is no way to protect yourself from being interrupted or exposed for everyone to see.

Even though I am well known for my adventure seeking behavior and love for quirky places like this, I had promised myself never to return to this particular bar.  But, with a little encouragement from my friends, I found myself breaking that promise.  When I showed up, a woman wearing a stained t-shirt as a dress winked at me before I could locate my friends.  Once I actually joined them, I couldn’t help but notice how out of place they looked.  Even at a normal bar they would be considered interesting and attractive, but here they must have seemed like ethereal creatures other-worldly in their beauty.  Two men had already descended upon them and I inadvertently sat between them while the older gentleman was off buying six bags of chips and a can of diet cola to split with his wingman, who I’m fairly certain was his son.  Their heads were small and spherical like honeydew melons. I dubbed them “the egg-men” by writing down on a nearby napkin and tucking it into a back-pocket. Then I watched a four-hundred pound man in flip-flops sing with the voice of a baby angel sing for us while they made the table reek of barbeque potato chips and got all giggly before finishing their second beer.

The girls were relatively unfazed by their advances.  They had come to enjoy the spectacle and act ridiculously during karaoke. They did the latter with exquisitely. It is funny how watching a person be totally comfortable in an act, no matter how ridiculous or mundane the action might be, makes them all the more attractive as a human being (there is old footage of Hitler playing with dogs that illustrates this perfectly). The egg-men squealed with delight when either of the girls went up to sing, and told me how impressed they were.  At one point, both of the women began incorporating dance breaks into their songs and I got a little sucked into the magic myself.  The two round headed gentlemen had fallen in love and I went outside for a cigarette.

The back exit was the most crowded area of the bar.  It was a narrow alleyway that bottlenecks immediately, trapping people and smoke against the exit. The smoke ranged from standard leaf based classics, like marijuana and tobacco, to slightly more exotic blends of crystalline substances requiring the usage of glass pipes. Occasionally you’d see a syringe on the ground. A woman began hitting on me using some fairly graphic language until another guy told her she was the sexiest thing at the bar.  She snickered and said that she is regularly confused with someone half her age.  Unless that age was two-hundred, I found that claim to be fairly dubious.  Saying that she just survived a meth-lab fire or a direct hit from a cruise missile would have been much easier for me to swallow, but I didn’t allow myself to dwell upon it.  Some hairy gentleman complemented me on my jacket, saw my “The only American motorcyclist will be on a Harley” shirt and asked what kind of bike I rode.

“A Suzuki.” I said earnestly.

After being momentarily distracted by a man throwing up in the ally, he laughed and then asked me what I really rode.  When I told him that was the truth he frowned and called me a communist faggot.  I’m not entirely sure why, but a lot of stuff that happened at that bar will forever be mystery to me.

It was a decent night.

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16 Responses to I Didn’t Get Stabbed: My Time at a Dive Bar Karaoke

  1. prenin says:

    We only have one dive pub left in Middleton and that’s the Brunswick which is currently propped up due to subsidence so cannot be sold even at the current price of £5,000.

    The manager can’t hire more staff so he keeps going on speed.

    Fact is the guy is a lying cunt and I know because I met him and he tried to use a false name to get me to ask Darrell to come to the door so he could talk to him – turned out the cunt fiddled his taxes and when Darrell claimed benefits his games were exposed so he tried to get Darrell to change his story! :(

    Trouble is Darrell had more guts than anyone I know and fucked him off which led to one heck of a row!!! :)

    With most of the town’s pubs closed or closing due to the no smoking rule it looks like his pub will be the only one left…

    God Bless!


    • I noticed that too. A lot of the normal or lousy bars slowly closed down after the smoking ban here.

      That or they trumped up their prices and pretended that they were suddenly offering a higher class experience. People love paying more to be lied to.

  2. satureia says:

    We have dive bars in Cambridge. They’re the places where you don’t have to wear a gown.

  3. Nice article! :)
    Dive bars are where you can get the most surrealistic experiences. I knew one in the posh, dignified centre of my hometown, which was the headquarters of all the weird, marginal individuals. It was so narrow you had to literally fight to squeeze yourself through to get to the back, where the toilet was (the most stinky place in town or in the region, for sure). And the ceiling was so low that tall guys had to stand a bit hunched while sipping their heap beers. Some patrons actually liked this claustrophobic den, the others would drunkenly roam around on the lawn next to it. It was only a matter of time before a scrap broke up (apparently it happened every single night. The cops knew it and didn’t even bother coming). Went there once, there’s just enough to write a novel.

  4. Sounds like an evening in a Midwest dive bar to me. The type of place where you have to abandon reason and not ask why something happened.

  5. jmbookbinder says:

    Such a funny story! I especially enjoy the realistic depiction you included at the end.

  6. Jana says:

    I’ve been debating going to a new, scary looking place for some karaoke. But perhaps not :) Great post — it had me laughing!

  7. Hilarious! I was at the Dallas version last week!

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