Punch Your Goiter

As the summer winds to an end, bringing with it the accompanying dread of 8 months of rain, Oldie and I took full advantage of a recent, warm summer's night. For those that know us, this could only mean one thing: a rendezvous on the Steel Bridge with the third member of our crew, Old English (could be St. Ides, Mickey's, or even 211, so long as there are no less than 40 ounces).

With the river beneath us, passing trains to our side, and the glowing downtown skyline as the backdrop, it was a perfect way to catch up. I had recently returned to Portland from a three week span of driving across the country and back, as well as a trip to the Bay Area for a bachelor party. Old had been pretty busy, too, for most of the summer, as he had done some travelling, hosted a lot of out of town guests, and began to prepare for his return to school. To say the least, we needed a night to catch up. So, we strapped on our 40 vests and made the Steel Bridge our living room.

After chopping game for a while, as well as listening to his boom box and the sound of passing trains, Oldie and I finished our 40s and headed downtown to meet some friends. Gretchen and her friend were with Nate at Dante's, where, on Monday nights, they host Karaoke From Hell. As popular as karaoke is in Portland, and as easy as it is to find a karaoke bar, Dante's takes the amateur singing experience to a different level with Karaoke From Hell. First, only serious contenders need apply...because if your game is weak, you get booed off stage. So to avoid the embarrassment of being judged and humiliated in front of a bunch of hipsters, resign yourself to just sitting in the audience. Secondly, what really sets this karaoke experience apart from places like Chopsticks and Galaxy is the live band that accompanies all the singers. So, instead of a cheesy, synthesized instrumental played through a stereo system, Dante's hosts a live band. What's more, there is no TV screen that lays out the lyrics and prompts you when to sing them. In other words, you have to know your shit.

While sitting in the audience, Jack and Coke in hand, Gretchen introduced us to another audience member sitting next to us. As the man writes for the Willamette Week, she figured Old and I, as aspiring writers, would be interested to meet him. As it turns out, the middle-aged, overweight dude was full of himself and needed an ego reduction. So, while figuring out a way in which we could lay down some harassment, as well as network for our "promising" writing careers, Old and I decided to kill two birds with one stone in the form of a note. With much deliberation, this is what our note said:

"Punch your goiter...."
Maybe it was the Old English that prompted such tact, but the note seemed to make perfect sense. On the one hand, the guy was a deusche (sp?) bag and had some level of harassment coming. On the other, he could have been a good networking tool. So we gambled with the note and figured we could at least accomplish one of our goals. In an ideal world, and the dude had a sense of humor, all the better...perhaps he'd visit our blog, discover its grandeur, and offer us a gig writing for one of Portland's newspapers. As it turns out, we got no reaction from the goitered man, and our actions became fruitless.
On with the night. When leaving Dante's, Old somehow convinced me to buy some cloves. It seems like a pretty insignificant detail, but the process that he went through to convince me, as well as himself, that me buying the cloves would free him from any guilt of smoking (he quit a couple months ago) is noteworthy. In fact, when he gave me some money, he made up a lie and said he was paying me back for something I bought for him previously...that way he wasn't helping purchase the cloves.
Anyway, we took the cloves, met up with Nate and Gretchen, who just got a box of Voodoo doughnuts, and headed back to Nate's apartment building in Oldtown. We finished the night on his 17th floor rooftop with another beer and some clandestine conversation.


Oldie said...

Oh, by the way...tell Gretchen that our server really wanted me to pass on that she did not flip Gretchen off when delivering our drinks. I made it all up to instigate fight clubs, and am sorry that Portlanders are too nice to react.

maria said...

ha! Dante's! My friend that i worked with at the Cheesecake factory, who was also from Portland, talked about Dante's religiously. She moved back about two years ago and i bet she is still a regular there, look out for Joselyn, a feisty red head. talk to you later Green.