reluctant fratboy bar scene
Tuesday, August 15 2000
In the evening after work, some of my essentially unknown colleagues over in the Content Applications ("Content Apps") group had a little bar excursion planned to celebrate the engagement of one of their guys to his girlfriend. My involvement in this celebration came entirely at the invitation of my boss Linda. In the very recent past I wasn't free to say yes to such invitations, but now, within fairly draconian fiscal restraints, I can do whatever the fuck I want. As long as Linda, Chris J. and the German Guy K___ were coming along, I could be sure of a fairly good time.
Lacking a car, I rode to the celebration with Linda, Chris J. and Julian, the youthful Operations Manager with whom Linda is at least slightly romantically involved. Our destination was the Promenade in downtown Santa Monica.
As we neared our destination through the throng of smartly-dressed Promenade beautiful people and their imitators, it soon became apparent what sort of bar experience we were about to have. The celebration was taking place at Yankee Doodle's, a bar catering to the Schtevish Fratboy each one of us has wadded up like a forgotten jockstrap somewhere at the bottom of the hamper of our soul. Predictably enough, the big buff black bouncer at the door gave Julian a difficult time about his ID. Julian might be an indispensible manager in one of Santa Monica's larger dot coms, but with his long bleached hair and five inch black roots he looks like a punk high school kid. Since he is, in fact, underage, the ID he carries is that of his stepfather. And not being related, the two look nothing alike. Julian should have just given up, but for some reason he was indignant and started arguing with the bouncer man. But the bouncer really had no choice; by now the scene was being witnessed by phalanx of some half dozen police officers who happened to be hanging out at a table near the front of Yankee Doodle's. (Owing to the Democratic Convention, police presence is very visible in all public areas of greater Los Angeles.) Eventually the exchange grew so heated that the bouncer confiscated the ID and told Julian "if you leave right now, I won't bring this to the attention of those officers over there." I didn't see any more of Julian for the rest of the evening.
I think Chris J. said it best, "This is the sort of bar I'd expect from the Content Apps people." Unlike the jaded management problems who end up on my Community team, the Content Apps people are more likely to be team players with bar/bedroom skills honed by years of experience in a college fraternity. They took to the pool tables like ducks to water in the unpleasantly musty carpeted downstairs pool room. For my part, I'm more the type to hang out on the sidelines talking and drinking than worrying about the arrangement of balls on a table. It turns out that this is precisely the temperament of my fellow cynics on the Community team. So Linda, Chris J., K___ and I sipped our beers, picked carefully over an increasingly unappetizing plate of nachos and joked around with one another about things such as past Simpsons episodes. Somewhere along the line I revealed to Linda that my girlfriend had moved out and this was why I had to be home by eight: to show my house to a prospective housemate.
Since Linda was still in charge of my transportation, and since she is rarely punctual, we suddenly found ourselves in a race eastward down Santa Monica Blvd. to get me home by the appointed time. Chris J. was with us also.
I decided to show my two colleagues my big empty house. We all sat for a time crammed together shoulder-to-shoulder on my tiny red velvet couch discussing my need for a housemate, thinking of ways to track down compatible people. Both Chris and Linda are actually looking for new housing, but, I mean, come on, it makes no sense for me to become my boss's landlord. That's a form of contractual incest which can only lead to woe and the gnashing of teeth. As for Chris, well, he seems to have trouble making up his mind about things. Later, out on the balcony, when I explained how expensive my mortgage is, they did a little mental calculation and realized "you have no money!" "Well, when I'm getting $900/month rent I should be okay," I reasoned.
I guess Linda is more of a partier than I am, because after it had become apparent that my prospective renter was a no-show, she suggested we go out for more drinks, this time in considerably less-Schtevish Hollywood. I declined; I can't afford to be living la vida loca when I'm still subsisting on cheese and lettuce sandwiches. Chris and Linda ended up hanging out at Julian's place playing videogames until the wee hours.
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