Hott Lixx: Out of Touch?

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Barkeep

Been feelin' a little blue lately. My trusty barometer, read: rheumatoid arthritis, tells me that winter's coming and it's almost time to un-mothball my longjohns and hunker down. And when summer ends and it starts gettin' chilly in the Denver metro area, the Man Ranch takes its annual hiatus and I'm left with only a mini-handful of recreational options. After those bureaucrats at Qwest robbed me of my electricity ("delinquent payments" my ass!) and thusly my favorite hobby - watching Pat & Vanna - all I got left is East Colfax for sin and suds or reading a book at home by candlelight. 

Now, I'm no pansy-ass. I'm not too big on books or reading in general. I didn't go to college and I sure as hell didn't hit the ol' books like I should've back at Englewood High. Hindsight's 20-20. But when you spend as much time livin' the dream down on East Colfax as I have, you develop a connection to the streets. Likewise, when you get your driver's license permanently revoked in 1987 because you hit some punk-ass kid with your Dodge Dart and don't have "insurance" (scam alert!) so you try to pay his hysterical banshee of a mother off with a signed homemade Hidden Valley Man Ranch 2 poster and the $17.50 in small change you were taking to the bank to cash in so you could buy an 18-pack of American Light and some Stagg Chili at the Loaf 'n Jug, you cope. You ride the bus, you get to know the 16th Street Light Rail driver (Octavio - good guy), and you get to know the streets. Basically, the point towards which I'm trying to steer this 18-wheeler of an analogy is this: I'm ruff stuff, and I got street smarts.

But life ain't all grit & piss. You get to a point after middle-age, when struttin' your stuff at the Gapin' Crevasse just doesn't give you the same sizzlin' sensation it used to, and you start to re-evaluate exactly what's important in life. You look inward. And sometimes that takes a little nudgin'.

Last Wednesday, I was down at the G-Crev sippin' a cold one, enjoying the sweet, sensual sounds of Eddie Money's (still-fresh!) duet with Miss Ronnie Spector, "Take Me Home Tonight," and as the guitars cut out right before the penultimate chorus - my favorite part - a gang of young scamps burst through the front door. I squinted as the blinding evening light reflected off of the Ted Nugent pinball machine and hit me in my good eye. The youngsters peered in through the doorway, apparently scoping out the digs and bandying amongst themselves whether they could afford to carouse alongside such a notable clientele at such a sophisticated establishment.G Crev

One kid, a gangly twentysomething decked out in very, very tight black jeans that made his legs look like those of a baby deer, floppy, untied yellow LA Gear pump basketball shoes, an oversized white t-shirt emblazoned with a kaleidoscope of neon Magnadoodleesque shapes, a red foam cowboy hat, hot pink sunglasses, and a dayglo-green Members Only windbreaker, turned to his friends and guffawed, "This place is PERFECT!" His gang, obviously a risible bunch, seemed to share the youth's enthusiasm. High-fives were exchanged all around as the party posse entered the Gapin' Crevasse's wood-veneer-and-simulated-brass-paneled foyer.

I guess they'd read about my old haunt on one of those damn internets.

One girl, who looked a bit on the young side -- but hey, as I always say, if she's old enough to vote, she can bounce atop my scrote -- pointed at yours truly and let out a belly-laugh so unexpectedly boisterous that I spilled a little beer on my cutoff shorts.  I looked at Jesus, the G.C.'s proprietor/bartender and he just shrugged. Looking back at the kids, I heard one of them chortle, "It's so sad!" And with that, what once had been a tingle of hope welling up deep within my vas deferens immediately turned into something wholly other -- embarrassment. Yeah, it was weird.

Now, I'm not one to claim I can still woo the young'ins. Nor do I want to, necessarily. Too much damn monkey business, I always say. Yeah, I hear 'em talking, roving Park Meadows mall in packs, rattling on like buxom jaybirds about Joey Lawrence and Tamagotchi. I'm a simple man with simple needs - Stouffer's Hungry Man dinners, Rustler blue jeans, prescription rod cream from Dr. Shit-for-Brains, and a little bit of TLC. That's all I need. None of that goddamn drama.

For the next couple of hours I fought to retain my considerable dignity, idly sipping a Natural Light in a can -- I ain't falling for that draught bullshit. Too much air! -- and occasionally stealing glances at the eccentric young mob holding court in the corner booth. Although their presence did make me feel old and unhip and zaftig, one thing I can say to their credit is they had impeccable taste in music. Laughing breathlessly as he perused the jukebox (I guess he couldn't believe his luck!), one boy in particular played all of my favorite songs, spanning the musical spectrum from "We Built This City" by Starship all the way to "Calypso Funkin'" by Mr. Billy Ocean. Say what you will about the young generation -- when it comes to music, they got their ducks in a row. One fetching lass, donning a gold lamé unitard, huge novelty plastic sunglasses, hot pink cowboy boots, and a hubcap-sized New Kids on the Block button, jumped to her feet and did the robot as "Calypso Funkin's" climactic drum solo began. One of her companions, an anemic-looking chap wearing nothing but an adult diaper and silver platform shoes, did the worm. They really were a lively bunch. 

Ravers

This sort of behavior continued until last call. As Jesus announced the time, one of the kids, a rail-thin stripling in a Chicago Bears t-shirt that was at least seven sizes too large, bright green running shorts, wooden Japanese flip flops, and a road cone for a hat, bounded over from the jukebox and loudly called for three pitchers of one of my favorite craft beers, USA Pale Lager. Jesus dutifully filled the plastic pitchers as yet another excellent Billy Ocean tune, "License to Chill," began to play. And I just couldn't help myself. As I softly sang along to the opening stanza, I noticed the youngster staring at me, no doubt starstruck. Turning to face my new acquaintance, I proffered my hand for him to shake, which he did not. I knew I had to break the ice.

"Groovin' tune," I said, snapping my fingers to the beat. "Good choice."

"Uh, sure," the youth droned, no doubt struggling to restrain his own enthusiasm for said song in the presence of his chums. Savin' face, I get it. The two of us sat in silence, just enjoying the ambiance. Soon, Jesus slid the three pitches of lager towards the young reveler.

"Sebben dollars," Jesus entreatied. The youngster burst out in laughter and brusquely tossed my barkeep a tenner. Grasping the pitchers tightly, he spun around to face his friends.

"SEVEN BUCKS!" he laugh-screamed, as his crew burst out in spontaneous hurrahs. I joined in on the fun, holding my fists in the air and rapidly pumping them up and down - a move I popularized in Arvada when I was a kid. The young group immediately went silent, as my shy friend slunk back to his table and wordlessly began to distribute the Pale Lager. nuraver

Many tense minutes passed, and the kids finished their beer as the entire A side of Spandau Ballet's breakthrough LP, "True," played out. Time passed slowly, like a really old man in a coma. Finally, Jesus announced that he had to close up and the crowd began to disperse. I groaned as I slid off my barstool, then gave Jesus a double thumbs-up, scratched my pee-pee, and headed towards the door. As I shuffled drunkenly down E. Colfax to my bus stop, I couldn't help but feel a twinge of nostalgia as I watched my youthful drinking buddies high-five and boogie down the street, so full of life, no doubt heading to another bar, another party. Passing by the Wendy's down there by Ulster St., I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the window. Still ruggedly masculine with a craggy charm few possess and all desire, my face seemed a little bit older, a little more baglike than I remember.

Maybe I am outdated. Maybe I'm not as cool as I used to be. But I'll tell you one thing, whenever never-fade Rustler cutoffs, cotton-poly blend long-sleeve pocket T's, velcro sneakers, and incendiary sexuality come back in style, I'll be the coolest guy in Denver.

And you know where to find me.

Marcus “Jojo” Timmins is the lead guitarist of the Denver Metro Area metal band Hidden Valley Man Ranch 2, formerly known as Hidden Valley Man Ranch. “The Ranch” is available for birthday parties, cocktail parties, bat mitzvah’s, and high school dances.

3 Comments

  • 1

    "if she’s old enough to vote, she can bounce atop my scrote," that's what my dad always taught me.

  • 2

    "I ain’t falling for that draught bullshit. Too much air!"

    Amern, brother. I been saying that for years.

  • 3

    This is actually kind of touching and sad. Apart from the use of the word "scrote." Can't wait for incendiary sexuality to come back in style.

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