There has been much lamenting around these parts lately about my advancing age and all the signs piling up in favor of early admission into AARP, i.e. going to bed before eleven, banging on the ceiling to get our neighbors to shut the hell up, bemoaning kids these days with their sideways baseball caps and crazy rocknroll music.
God damn them and that horrible noise.
Truth is, though, apply liberal amounts of alcohol and a healthy dose of peer pressure, and even the stodgiest old stodge pushing thirty can party like a twenty-five-year-old. So put down that shovel, cancel the flowers and call off the memorial service; I'm not done just yet.
Okay, that introduction was a little overblown, but the lady and I found ourselves in Atlanta Saturday night acting like people who still know how to have a good time. We met up with a couple of friends of mine from college (you may recall a story I shared last month that involved them both) along with their wives and some other friends and relations. After stopping at someone's house to gather our crew and begin the process of liquid fortification, we walked the few blocks to a local institution, the Clermont Lounge. Featured on Insomniac with Dave Attell and listed by several publications as one of the best dive bars in America, the Clermont is Atlanta's oldest strip club, although except for the few aging (to put it politely) and generally overweight women walking around with various body parts on display (one of my companions described them as "National Geographic boobs"), you could hardly pigeonhole the place as a "strip club." Located in the basement of an old hotel (the Clermont), the joint is dark, dingy, sticky, looks every bit its age, sells beer in cans and is generally packed all night long.
Not that I'm a frequent patron of adult establishments, but this was the only such place I've visited where the ladies plying their trade seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves. One proudly identified herself as sixty-two years old. Another crushes beer cans between her gravity-enhanced breasts. The whole thing comes off as a big joke, or maybe just a seedy good time, rather than a place for skeevy men who can't find a date. For a strip club, there was hardly a whiff of sex about the place.
Lucky for me, the beer had taken hold by the time Courtney grabbed me by the hand and our group took to the dance floor en masse, so I was able to fake it. I stupidly left my empty PBR can behind and was therefore forced to invent things for both my hands to do while moving awkwardly to the beat, but I gave it my all.
After a few songs and a healthy sheen of sweat, someone made the executive decision to bail on the Clermont and we headed across the street to a much more upscale, gentrified bar, one with wood paneling (the real kind) and Guiness on tap. It didn't have the ambience or the history of the Clermont, but the music was just low enough to carry a conversation and so it was a nice place to wind down a bit with some pricier libations.
Sometime around 2 a.m., the lady and I decided to call it a night and head back to her parents' house, feeling satisfied with our evening. True, it was mostly the lady's call (I was still feeling strong, damnit), but she was my DD and sobriety can be tiring. I thank her very much for voluntarily taking on the duty.
Now if you'll excuse me there are some kids on my lawn that need a good yellin' at.
(If you are interested in the clip of Dave Attell at the Clermont, click here. It is absolutely not safe for work, although it's okay for late night cable TV.)