Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Heartbreak Cantina

This little blogging hobby demands attention to detail, to the smallest event which can be used to expose universal themes. As poker players, we are trained to be observant, to extract truth from incomplete information. It is these convergent skills which led Bob and I to ponder a great mystery:

Why is it no longer important for an Elvis impersonator to look, sound or act like Elvis?

A group of us were walking from the Aladdin to the La Salsa Fiesta. Plenty of sights worthy of commentary on the journey, like the effort of the porn slappers and why anything less than a "double slap" illustrates a guy who's not fully committed to his career. I re-iterated my desire for a porn slapper t-shirt, the ones that read "Strippers Direct to You," a gripping sentiment, not to mention a solid business plan since, as Jason remarked, it eliminates that pesky stripper middle-man. We passed a guy in a pig suit beckoning one and all to the Harley Davidson Cafe. "Good gig," I muttered. "Squeal like Ned Beatty," offered BG.

We passed several Elvi (yeah, I think the plural is "Elvi") and wondered why this phenomenon has taken on such routine existence, how the streets became clogged with white jumpsuits and mutton chop 'burns, removing the mystique of the Fake Elvis Experience. Further, some of these guys aren't even trying. This is The King, people! He deserves better. Elvis impersonators are now ordinary, where they used to be a destination. No panties are being thrown at the guy poorly simulating "ah....thankyouverymuch" outside the Jamba Juice.

So how to get ahead in a world of sub-standard Elvi? It obviously no longer matters if you can nail it. No, you have to have a hook. Something to set you apart. You can be the Middle Eastern Elvis and Jailhouse Rock it with the sitar. Monkey Elvis, a simian riding on the back of a (hound) dog. Or how about Cerebral Palsy Elvis starring in "All Shook Up?"

I may have crossed a line there.

True to form, an Elvis invaded our little fiesta shortly after our arrival. I immediately christened him "Booger Elvis" since he more closely resembled Curtis Armstong of "Revenge of the Nerds" fame. This was not a hook, just an unfortunate circumstance. He sang a few songs, not coming close to invoking the dulcet tones of Big E. Yet, his arrival still sparked the crowd. There was dancing. There was swooning. There were flashbulbs. I have in my possession a hilarious photo of Booger Elvis crooning in the ear of AlCantHang. The look on the face of the latter can only be described as giddy, as if he's just been hooked up to a SoCo IV drip.

So maybe I'm wrong about the whole thing. Maybe any approximation of Elvis will do. Especially when liquor is involved.

Trust me, liquor was involved. We got there a good 90 minutes before the Fiesta was set to begin and we were a drink or two behind even earlier arrivals. Ridiculously large margaritas flowed like water. The wait staff was a little overwhelmed, often showing up with drinks nobody claimed to order. No matter, there was always a taker.

My buddy Paddy calls it the Shampoo Theory. You know how you can put a substantial amount of shampoo in your hair and still it sometimes fails to produce a valid lather? Then you go back to the bottle for just a drop and all of a sudden it's Bubble Central? The same with alcohol. With all that I'd ingested the night before, it only took a few drops to send me back into drunkeness.

I finally got some food--mmmmm, carnitas burrito--in my belly, though I wasn't consciously hungry, despite the fact I'd only eaten two Krispy Kreme donuts in the past 22 hours.

And then I zoned out. Partly because of the grog, partly because of the US-Costa Rica World Cup qualifier on the TV. Sat like a stone for 45 minutes, occassionally shouting tactics to The Poker Nerd over the increasing din of the party around me. I'm an animal. I once shined a pretty festive wedding reception to watch SDSU and BYU play for a spot in the Holiday Bowl. That's my own wedding reception, mind you. I am not above anti-social, sports-related behavior.

But I was snapped out of it at halftime. Did somebody say shots?

Al, Bobby Bracelet, Chad, myself and a revolving door of others (JP, Otis, Joaquin, Derek) adjourned to the bar to sample some of the tequilas. After sampling a couple of the offerings, Al reached into his retirement account to splurge for a $45 shot of tequila. No, I don't remember the brand, but it was in a nice looking bottle perched, but not secured, high above the bar. Okay, I don't quite get that. Makes it hard to take surreptitious swigs from a bottle you need a ladder to reach, but with the standard behavior one finds in a bar--in Vegas--you'd think this High Roller tequila would be in danger of crashing to the ground. All it takes is one flying beer glass or two meatheads crashing their bulk into the bar.

We passed the shot around as if it were liquid gold, sipping briefly and savoring the taste. It was magnificent.

You know, Al's not just the guy who drops large chunks of scratch on liquor, both for himself and others. He's a very conscientous guy, as evidenced by his repeated trips to go "check on the party." He'd set it up after all and wanted to make sure everybody was having a good time. All the time. Thanks for the tequila, Al. And for the party.

Kasey Keller was standing on his head in the US goal, staving off the Ticos long enough for Landon Donovan to grab a brace to put the game out of reach. That insurance goal set off a round of "Ole, Ole, Ole-Ole." Even the creepy karaoke barker came over with the mic and joined in. Three points, baby.

The shin-dig was winding down, but I had one last task to perform, that of exposing my massive fanboi self to Otis. The annointing with oils and ritualistic washing of the feet probably gave me away. But I had to corner him. Otis quite literally altered my life for the better. I needed to thank him for that. I hope I managed to convey the depth of my appreciation in a lucid manner (doubtful).

Sigh. I guess the Razz Hand of the Millenium will have to wait for another day. These trip reports are longer than "The Deer Hunter."

Next: Razz at The Golden Nugget. Subtitled: Oh Shit! I don't have a fold button!


At 1:12 PM, Blogger BG said...

The first rule about Razz club is that you don't talk about...

Aww, fuck it. Go ahead Joe. I'm sure there was a Guinness Book record set on that one.

My ass still hurts.

At 2:54 PM, Blogger The Bracelet said...

The first rule about Razz club is that you don't talk about...

Aww, Damnit BG, you beat me to it.

"cerebral palsy Elvis"

Made my day.

At 10:33 PM, Blogger spanky said...

i think if the big E ever really did come back, the perfect hiding place would be dressed as elvis on the strip in vegas. i'd never suspect a thing. i mean seriously... would you?

i know its cruel but i'd really like to see the expression on the face of a rude elvis impersonator if you said something like "don't you have a toilet to go die on?"

now that ive got the requisite moronic comments out of the way, i gotta tell you that i really have enjoyed reading your blog. its reallly well done stuff and i'm looking forward to reading from here until the next wpbt event beyond.

u r00L.


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