3.25.18 – Borderline Bar and Grill

Ya ever feel like ya don’t know where in the fuck you belong?

So I pulled this stanking carcass off the couch – after a long night of writing and beer drinking and belly aching/explosive potato chip shits – to buy the tax software I need but it was nice outside (this being the first weekend of Spring) so I wandered around, not sure of where to go or what to do, eventually making it down to the biker bar across the state line.

(editor’s note: As a kid this building was a video store. I went to school with the boy whose family owned it. He’d sneak porno videos from the store and watch them and tell us about it. We were jealous and awestruck.)


The beer is always cheap and it gives me an equally cheap thrill to hang out there in the afternoons before it gets too risque at night (with the fights and dope). With the lingering thought that I gotta do those goddamned taxes, I sat there drinking a sixer of PBR at $2 a pop…. a damned good deal….watching Duke play Kansas…hoping the latter would win cause I know a guy that went to school there.

So I sat there in the cigarette and cigarillo smoke (Indiana’s old school that way, allowing smoking in bars), trying, in my mind, to fit Alex Trebek into a silly story about Sam Harris. The third or forth beer was hitting hard on an empty stomach (remember the potato chip shits) so I figured I needed food. Anything.


Caution: We Don’t Call 911

The onion rings were those store bought, frozen kind. Not the real deal. I ate ’em, with every mouthful inhaling the stank of the cigarette and cigarillo butts and discarded chewing gum in the ashtray beside my plate.

The dude on stage (pretty sure it was a fella named Randy Peak) laid out Johnny Cash and requests for The Who like nobody’s business. He had a long pony tail that matched the animal tail hanging from his acoustic guitar. When part of the latter fell off, he identified it as a coyote tail, which was kinda cool since I’d been wondering what it was. Out here in Ohio/Indiana, we got those kinda things – coyotes and deer and wild turkeys- pretty commonly these days, not like when I was a kid. And it was kinda cool to hear this dude mention something about trot lines too. That sorta indicated he’s country, like the rest of us that were wasting our time with him.

Randy kept saying “get some cake or cupcakes over there”, pointing to the bar. I couldn’t help but wonder who celebrates their birthday in a biker bar on a Sunday afternoon. Well, there I was so I guess that sorta answers the question – dipshits like me – right?

I sat there for hours watching the game and listening to Randy play, knowing I should be home doing those goddamned taxes. But it felt good. Is this where I belong? I’ve sat through countless hours of university courses with titles like Medieval Chivalry and Courtly Love, Karl Max and Kant, and I’ve read Plato’s allegory of the cave so many times it makes me wanna puke. And none of that bullshit felt as good as sitting in the Borderline Bar and Grill, listening to Randy strum and wail, hearing the billiard balls clack, sucking on cheap beer, inhaling the toxic cigarette smoke and wondering who the fuck – Kansas or Duke – would win in overtime on the first Sunday in Spring.

Tomorrow I gotta go back to work. I soiled in my underwear this morning from the godawful potato chip shits. I thought it was a fart. I released and it bubbled upward but something said, “this ain’t right.” It was too wet and warm. Sure enough, it was shit. How humiliating. So I gotta do laundry too, in addition to those taxes and scrubbing the fucking toilet bowl. And try to finish that story about Sam Harris getting attacked by a bear and tying all that nonsense into Alex Trebek. And if I spend all weekend eating and drinking and shitting and generally fucking off instead of at least doing my taxes, then so long as I write some nonsense like this, I can convince myself I’ve at least done something.

I had a woman a while back,  but not anymore. What the fuck’s happened to me?


notes from the day (for use in future writing):

the toilet had no tank lid

the singer (Randy) described someone as having “a face like a foot”

Randy put on a stringed instrument (not a guitar and not a ukulele – something in between). He punched it outward with his stomach, saying “this reminds me of my wife’s Lamaze”, then insulting someone by saying “unless you’re (Charlie) who thinks I’m talking about his Pontiac (LeMans)”.  – good one, Randy

The parking lot was lined with pickup trucks flaking paint like sunburned skin in the summertime.

The Borderline: a place where Eagle or American Spirit cigarettes are second class to Marlboro as FILA and Reebok are to Adidas and Nike and Under Armor (i.e. you’re big shit of you got Marlboro or Winston). Or if you’re drinking Heineken instead of PBR or Busch Light.

I refuse to drink light beer as a matter of principle – the dumbest fucking principle imaginable.

….a place filled with people whose body types are as asymmetric as a Pontiac Aztek.

it seemed like Ripper Owens (a name I vaguely recognized but Google now says was the replacement singer for Rob Halford) was on Bar Rescue for hours. The program wouldn’t end with me forever thinking, “now who the fuck’s Ripper Owens? I oughta know.”

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