You might have noticed, I don’t exactly blog about beer that much any more. I’ve been busy with my book(s) and have been doing a lot of publishing/marketing/shameless promoting/deep thinking blogging over here.
Sorry for alienating you, loyal Vice Blog fans. I’m still drinking the good shit, and I’ll have much more to say about the good shit in the near future. Promise.
Until then, a highly rare guest post. The first in this site’s history I do believe. Fan of the Vice Blog, and Boxes of Beer sometime commish, Mike came to me with a boozy piece he wrote and wondered if I’d post it. Sure, what the heck. It’s called…
There are few thing more exciting than standing outside a strip club waiting for it to open. Chubby’s was supposed to open at 4, but it was 4:05 and the door was still locked. Should I knock? It was clouding up, and I didn’t want to get stuck in the rain. I checked my bag to make sure everything was still there. The pink paint on the window frame near the door was chipped. I peered in and saw a few dancers sitting at the bar smoking and eating, tramp stamps galore. Nothing kills the fantasy faster than seeing your golden-tressed angel gnawing on hot wings and french fries. My Amanda would never do that.
The only other time I had been to Chubby’s was with some fellas from work. Bill from Accounting was getting married and we took him out for a pseudo-bachelor party. Most of us work friends weren’t tight enough with him to get invited to his “real” bachelor party, but we wanted to do something, seeing that he was the first one of us who was getting hitched. After buying Bill several drinks and dances the guys took off around midnight. I left with them but drove around the block and came back. I needed to get a dance with the raven haired beauty who was giving me eyes all night. After the fifth dance, Amanda (Not ‘Mandy’, she was classy in a way the other girls weren’t. And she had no tats.) cooed in my ear, “Give me your number, honey, so I can call you some time.” I obliged. She had the softest skin I had ever felt.
A few weeks after Bill’s party I was at my desk, finishing up both my weekly activity report and my third Mountain Dew when my phone vibrated with a text from Amanda. She wanted me to come see her at the club that night! I yelled over to my boss, “Mom’s got a doctor’s appointment, Brad, mind if I take the afternoon off and go with her?”
“No problem, sport, just get your activity report in on time and you’re golden. Oh, and did you get that virus off Bill’s laptop?”
“The virus is gone. Same one he had last time.” Poor Bill had the worst luck getting those computer viruses. “Thanks Brad. You da man!”
“Back at ya, dawg. Hope your mom is OK.”
I texted Amanda, “Ill b there, cant w8! ;-)”
Report finished, I put it in the bin marked “WAR” and scrambled out of the office. It was almost noon, so I figured I’d grab a quick bite and a haircut. I didn’t want to look scruffy for Amanda. I stopped at McDonald’s and gave my regular order. As I waited, I noticed my reflection in the chrome on the counter. I looked pale. It had been a long winter, maybe I should hit the tanning salon after my haircut? Why not, Amanda might like me even better with a healthy glow. After scarfing down my double cheeseburger, fries and vanilla milkshake, I made a beeline for the hair salon.
“The usual, kiddo?” Betty asked as I sat down in the chair.
“No, not this time. Give me whatever the kids are getting these days,” I took my glasses off and put them on the counter, “I have a date tonight.”
“You got it, hon.” She said as she cracked her gum. “I’ll give you the ‘Cool Guy.’”
“You gonna take her flowers.? Girls love flowers. What’s her name?”
“Hadn’t thought about flowers, but you’re probably right, I should take something.” I hadn’t been on a date in awhile and wasn’t sure of the protocol these days. Maybe a rose and a box of chocolates would be a good start?
“And her name is Amanda. She has jet black hair and really pretty eyes.” I could feel the butterflies in my stomach when I talked about her.
“What does she do? How’d you meet her?”
“I met her at a bar and she’s in, uh, sales.”
“She sounds great, your mother’s going to love her.”
Mom. I didn’t think about Mom. I hope Amanda doesn’t mind that I live with Mom. She needs me to keep up the house and living with her is saving me a few bucks with gas so high and the recession and all. Besides, Brad promised me a raise after my last review. Then I’ll be able to afford a place of my own. Maybe I’ll just keep that under wraps for the first date and see how it goes.
Betty finished and I left her a tip and headed for the tanning salon next door. I had never done this before, so I asked the pretty girl at the counter to get me set up. She showed me to the tanning room.
“You just put these glasses on and lie in the bed for 15 minutes, sweetie. Relax and listen to the music.”
“Should I take ALL my clothes off? Or can I keep my underwear on?”
“Whatever works for you, sweetie, go wild.” She dragged out the ‘i’ in ‘wild’ in a way that was really cute. Not as cute as Amanda, but cute enough.
“Uh, let me ask you a question.” I stammered as she headed out of the room.
“What can I do for you, sweetie?”
“If you were going on a date, what would you want the guy to bring you?”
“Well, I love flowers and chocolate, who doesn’t? My boyfriend just bought me a necklace. Like it?”
She pulled her shirt down some so I could see the necklace that dangled above her rack. It was an Italian Horn and it looked sexy against her golden brown skin.
“It’s an Eye-talian Horn” She grinned. “He got it for our one month anniversary because we’re both half Eye-talian.”
“Well, you know what I say, ‘There’s two kinds of people in the world: Italians and those who wish they were Italian’.”
“I looooove it, gonna tell Ant that one tonight when I get home.” She cackled and touched my arm.
“Gotta get back to the front, boss’ll kill me if he calls and I’m not up there. Have fun!” She winked as she wheeled around and left.
After my 15 minutes were up, I got out of the tanning bed and and checked myself in the full-body mirror. Awesome. A little well-done, perhaps, but not bad for my first time. Plus it will be dark at the club and the red should fade a little.
Next stop was flowers. The big question was should I get one or a dozen? Decided on a single rose and headed over to the chocolate shop to get some candy. As I left with my chocolate covered strawberries, I spied a small jewelry store across the street. A bell rang as I opened the door. The proprietor looked up from his gigantic sandwich and grunted hello.
“Do you have any of those gold Italian Horn necklaces?” I asked.
“Eye-talian Horns? Yeah, we got ‘em — $39.95 for the necklace on sale. Real gold plated, too. Nice stuff.”
He took it off of the display and handed it to me. “It will look good on you, fella.”
“It’s not for me, it’s for my girl.”
“You know it- there’s only two kinds of people…”
“Yep, Eye-talians and dem dat wanna be Eye-talian.” First smile out of him.
Amanda was going to freak. The gold necklace would look incredible on her. Her tan was even better than the girl at the tanning salon. Time to head to Chubby’s.
Finally at 4:13 the door cracked open and a meathead in an Ed Hardy shirt grinned down at me. “Up and at ‘em early, champ? Enjoy the girls.”
Oh shit. I looked down and noticed my work ID badge was still attached to my belt beside my Blackberry. No need for that here, she knows who I am, I smiled to myself. I grabbed the ID and stuffed it into my pocket.
“Ah, is Uh-man-da here yet?” My voice cracked. I was nervous.
“Should be. She’s on tonight.”
“Thanks.” I palmed a five-dollar bill and slipped it to him. Like a player. “Can you get me a good seat, boss?”
He looked at me sideways. “Sure,” he chuckled, “Grab one up by the stage.” The DJ put on “Crazy Train” and announced the next girl.
I took a seat near the stage and set my bag of gifts for Amanda down beside me. I ordered a beer and checked out the floor show. A few of the other girls did their thing and then finally around five, Amanda came out. She looked amazing. Her long white gown was a perfect compliment to her flowing black mare. Her smoky eyes and ruby red lips were exactly as I remembered. “Girls, Girls, Girls” throbbed on the stereo. (As a child of the ’80’s I was loving the music selections.) My heart jumped into my throat. She must have noticed me as she started dancing. A wink, a smile, and off came the white gown. She worked her way down to a tiny red thong as the song ended. After gathering her things and some stray dollar bills, she headed backstage. A few minutes later I felt a hand on my shoulder and the scent of vanilla and raspberries hit me.
“Hey baby, enjoying the show?” She whispered in my ear. Her hair tickled the side of my face.
“Oh yeah. You’re the best one here!” My hands were shaking as I handed her the rose and box of chocolates.
“Thanks! I love candy.” She smiled. “Glad you could make it. We’ve been slow lately.”
“That’s not all.” I said. “Here, I want you to wear this.” I took out the Italian Horn.
“Wow you have great taste. Thanks sweetie. I should let you take me shopping sometime.” She ran her hand up my khakis.
“It will look perfect on you.”
“Yep. Maybe you can help me put it on,” she said as she pulled her hair up. “By the way, we’re doing a special, buy five dances, get one free. Wanna have some fun?”
My hands brushed against her neck as I clasped the necklace.. The first few notes from “Love Bites” sounded from the speakers.
She took me by the hand and guided me in the direction of the ATM. Her hands were as soft as silk.
“Good thinking,” I said. “I need to pick up some cash.”
As I removed the hundreds from the machine, all I could think about was how great tonight was going to be.
Raging Bitch Belgian IPA
If it was socially acceptable, I would literally gnaw on hops. I would chew a Citra or a Centennial or a Cascade like a piece of gum if I could get away with it. Which is why I love beers that feature them. Raging Bitch (in addition to having an awesome name and even more awesome label artwork) puts the hops on full display with a nice tropical aroma and clean taste. There’s also a hint of spice. It’s an IPA that lets you know it’s got some Belgian in it. The 8.3% ABV is warming on a cool, rainy spring evening.
I don’t get too bogged down in ratings and I don’t pick up 36 flavors in every sip like some reviewers on other sites. My rating system tends toward the simple: Would I recommend it to you if we were in a bar? The answer is one hell of a yes. Go get yourself a six pack, stat. Put on some Warren Zevon or some Rolling Thunder era Dylan, Dr. Gonzo would like that. Pair it with spicy food, Cajun works nice, and tangy cheese. Or some chocolate covered strawberries.