This afternoon while checking my emails at work, I received the following note:
You were at Bar BQ on the night of my soiree, right? And I really fuzzily, vaguely recall you wielding a photo-capturing device, right? Do you happen to have any pictures of me in my birthday splendor? If so I would love love love a couple!
Take care Bunche and stop by the old molestation factory/bbq joint soon. MWAH.
That missive lit a fire under my ass to tell the story of Carly's birthday hijinx and place you, dear Vaulties, smack dab into the middle of the bedlam. You see, this past Saturday night I was supposed to meet up at Ye Olde Barbecue Joint with a charming lady who frequents my former place of employment, so I got there around 6PM to await her arrival. The evening happened to be the birthdays of two of the joint's most frequently-encountered patrons, and things got a little crazy. Luckily, I had my trusty digital camera close at hand.
The tasty little minx you see before you is Carly X — as in the letter, not the Roman numeral — one of the regulars at the barbecue joint, and one of the cast of characters whom I truly miss seeing nearly every evening. She's a Canadian expatriate with a razor-tongued sense of humor, a fierce intelligence that some might find intimidating (which is amusing to me because she's very petite), and a bad-girl sexiness that I seldom find in blondes. Yep, the chick's pretty damned smokin', and if I'd remained on staff I definitely would have taken a shot, breaking my usually staunch rule about smokers.
When I got to the joint I made the round of hellos to the usual suspects amid the thronging dinner crowd and stopped in to chat with my former kitchenmates, Andres ("Dre" for short) and Delshun, aka "Shun" (pronounced "Shawn"). We shot the shit as always, cracking each other up with our ludicrous and sophomoric yarns, but Shun took the prize for the screwiest story of the evening. "Bunche," said Shun in his laid-back Southern stoner drawl, "I was on the bus the other day and I saw this woman sittin' there with a little boy, teachin' him how to spell various words." Now if there's one thing I love about Shun, it's his ability to spin yarns and tell jokes that engage you in the "now" of the situation as though he's recounting an actual event, and when the story's over you laugh your ass off but want to kick yourself for not spotting an obvious lie a mile off. Knowing his signature storytelling style pretty well, I prepared for one of his customary cock-and-bull tales, so I leaned against the ice machine, arms folded and fighting a knowing smirk, and waited to be buried in a mountain of ridiculous bullshit.
Shun continued: "So this lady walked the kid through the stuff you'd expect, like 'Cat. C-A-T.' Y'know, that kinda shit, and then the kid said, 'I don't wanna spell any of that!' The woman looked at him and asked what he wanted to spell instead, and the kid said, "I wanna spell Irish People!"
Dre and I stood silent for a few moments in anticipation of any sort of a punchlne, but after about a minute Shun simply shrugged and said, "That's it." As the sheer non sequitor weirdness of that exchange sank in, we all laughed like hyenas.
I then planted my ass at the bar and began my regimen of one Bud and one shot of Jose Quervo — known to the staff as the "1 & 1," renamed the "Bunche Special" by Jeff the bartender on my final night on staff — in anticipation of the lady friend, and settled in with a book. Not much reading got done though, since I was constantly distracted by familiar faces and well-wishers who updated me on all of the drama and gossip in the barbecue joint soap opera that had occurred since I left to pursue my dreams as a copywriting prostitute. Then, somewhere around 7:30PM, Carly X blew into the place like an inebriated hurricane, obviously already well on her way to enjoying the excesses allowed for one's birthday celebrations.
The diminutive diva's eyes lit up when she saw me and she excitedly filled me in on her adventures from the previous few hours, and reintroduced me to her entourage of friends, including a very hot brunette whose name I draw a blank on.
As Carly's crew manned the east end of the bar, the birthday girl was fed drink after drink and graced with a number of kickass prezzies, including a DVD of the cinematic triumph that is BEERFEST. It takes a special woman to appreciate the erudite sophistication and wit of such a work, and Carly is a very special woman indeed.
And since every lady is a goddess in her own way, her deity status must be respected on her birthday, so goddess worship is encouraged. Here, Carly allows some of the faithful some hands-on shows of appreciation.
Sadly, it's hard to take pictures and cop a feel at the same time, so I was shit outta luck.
Things took a further detour into the absurd when a bluegrass band showed up from out of nowhere and began to set up. This was odd because the joint almost never has live music on weekends because a band takes up a decent chunk of the already limited space, and none of the staff on duty that night knew anything about a planned performance. It turned out that the band had been accidentally given the wrong date for their appearance — which will actually be on Friday the 8th — so since they had lugged all their shit there already they were allowed to play. In no time the air was filled with pickin' an' a-grinnin', and gallons of booze and fine, smoky barbecue made their way into the gullets of the faithful.
The entire joint was soon packed to capacity, with not one available seat at the bar and little room for Tracey the waitress goddess to navigate her fine ass through. The birthday girl, moved by the music, took command of the situation and lured Shun out of the kitchen to dance a lively Lindy/jig — no "Jig doing a jig" gags, thank you — and ended up burning up the dance floor, a drunken, diminutive blonde dervish, spinning about like a crazy top.
The other birthday of the night belonged to Pete, whom you may remember from our sad tale of molestation at the hands of Dennis the closet-case.
Lovingly girded by his loyal friends/subjects, King Pete held court and partied the night away, awash in the adulation and inebriation of the masses.
By 11PM I had partied my ass off, raising many a glass to the birthday kids, and since my lady friend, who had urged me to meet her in the first place, never showed up I said "Fuck it!" and headed home before the tequila demon took full control and coerced me to attempt seducing the mailbox on the corner. But as I said goodbye and approached the door, I managed to snap one last shot of the band, a photographic document that accurately captured the lysergic atmosphere of the evening.
And I'll be going back tomorrow night to celebrate the launch of Brooklyn Petro hot sauce, a spicy condiment of exceptional quality concocted by Scott the bartender, so come on down to the Barbecue joint and get your grub on! It's located on the corner of 20th Street and 6th Avenue in Brooklyn, and it Bar BQ, not to be confused with that shitty BBQ chain. I hope to see you there! And I hope to see more of that Carly...YOWZAH!!!