Last week I was in Duck in the Outer Banks, North Carolina with a family my cousin, Nicole, babysits for. To be totally honest – it was great. The kids were hilarious, I got a good tan, a great 10 day break from work, and the parents were so cool. Like actually cool parents – apparently they do exist! On this trip, we weren’t “on” all the time, we had scheduled times with the kids which turned out to be perfect – allowing everyone to feel like they were actually on vacation.
One night after we were off duty, Nicole and I wondered over to a local wondering hole called Fishbones. Let’s set the scene. 8pm on a Monday night, this wood paneled pedestrian saloon was occupied by no more than 8 people, a few at the bar, and a few at the accompanied plastic tables. The smell of salt water and Blue Moon was in the air. We plopped down at the end of the bar where we were greeted by a gentleman that strongly resembled Mel Gibson in Braveheart, hair and all, before he went all Charlie Sheen on everyone. Drink specials were flowing, hair was tossing, jokes were spewing. Many, many Corona Light’s and rail drinks later, I start chatting up the bar tender (whose name I do not recall but he did surf and therefore, I will refer to him as Kelly Slater.) Kelly was a little weathered, like an old buoy left out in the bay, but ready to talk to someone equipped with a full set of teeth and lady reproductive organs – lucky him, we fit the bill.
After a few of the casual who-what-where-when questions, Kelly begins telling us all of these crazy stories about his life. Blurry eyed and bushy tailed, we eat it up like a pile of McDonald's fries at 2am. I learned that we shared a love for writing, mentioning I would love to read something of his. In an odd turn of events, he goes over to his backpack and pulls out 3 leather bound books. (Side note: Kelly was 35 and carried around a backpack, sofa surfed from place to place and had 2 pay-as-you-go flip phones.) He tells us that these are his diaries... I mean… journals full of collected thoughts throughout the years. Naturally, we started reading them. It turns out that Kelly was married “for fake” – he had married a beautiful blonde Russian girl for $10,000 in exchange for a green card. He also had 3 sisters and his father was a Reverend, not as exciting but still noteworthy.
After reading for 15 or 20 minutes, I had one of those “look around” moments. I know you know what I’m talking about. When you’re inebriated at a bar, you get caught up in something mildly ridiculous and entertaining at the time, realize what you’re doing, look around the place, and you realize that this is real life. This has happened to me one too many times making out with attractive short gay men on the stage mid dance contest at Union Jacks. The “look around” seemed to happen to Nicole and I at the same time.
We handed back the journals, paid our tab (which by the way was like $11, gotta love free drinks) left a heft tip and ran out of there giggling and swearing we would never return.
This was obviously a lie. We went back Thursday night for was I will refer to as mullet optional scare-akoke. Karaoke has never been so terrifying. I am talking to you, CRAIG, and your 5 song streak, and your talk rapping.