Maybe I’m not giving it a chance. Maybe I’ve just been in a really bad mood for, like, the past few days. Okay, 20 years. But god, I hate San Diego.
I went to another alternative newsweekly conference there last week. There were the requisite seminars and roundtables, the blatant checking-out of breast-level nametags, the squinty-eyed comparisons between competitive markets and, of course, the schmoozing and the open bars.
But gone were the buffalo heads, countless bottles of whiskey and political candidates in drag (Kinky Friedman, San Antonio AAN Convention 2004). Gone were the gay bars, the Mission taquerias and the endless array of arthouse music every night (San Francisco AAN West 2005). Oh no, for in San Diego, we have replaced all of that with high-priced “California cuisine” bistros, cars-absolutely-no-more-than-a-year-old and multi-million dollar high-rise townhouses full of—god bless ‘em—YUPPIES!
But we did go to Tijuana and lived through the tequila to tell about it. You’ll also be pleased to know that
now stocks a full line of authentic Mexican Wrestling Masks. All yours with complimentary Chiclets.
And I went to my first TJ titty bar. It was cool. We had a private dance from a very cute Latina, wearing—but not for long, ha ha!—a police uniform. Apparently, I dropped the ball when our real life, Live Nude Chica thrust her bare bosoms in my face, much to the disgust of my cohorts. They thought I cowered but really, I was just busy checking out her shoes.
It might’ve also been because I had just seen my fair share of naked boobage just a few nights prior. Correct me if I’m wrong, but once you see Sasha ride her skateboard topless down Lower Main in Wailuku, mere stripping policewomen pale in comparison.
Anyway, wanting to visit with some of Maui’s more un-yuppiefied folk on Monday, Kim and I went to Kahale’s in Kihei. They were playing mostly really bad love songs from the ‘9os: Whitney Houston, Cher and Celine Dion. But naturally, we knew all the words and begged for more.
Then an old acquaintance we’ll call “The Hobbit” came in and bravely decided he could keep up with the likes of us. It was really just so cute. So we took him to Idini’s. We were only slightly worried how our new friend would be received but our neighborhood pub pulled through with friendly vigor. The Hobbit was duly impressed with his Idini initiation.
“The last time I was greeted like that was in Dublin,” he said. “The IRA treated me well. They even bombed and burnt a car in my honor.”
But poor Kim was encountered by what we would later call a “soul succubus” earlier in the day, which set the tone for the rest of the evening. For her, the music situation did improve, though, with a solid line-up of old-school R&B. When Heatwave’s 1977 hit “Always and Forever” came on, Kim sighed contentedly.
“I used to slow dance to this,” she said.
Almost as if on cue, the offers poured in for Kim to dance. Then she was sandwiched while trying to smoke a cigarette during Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing.”
“You’re in my personal space!” she finally shrieked, with arms extended.
Another gentleman who reminded us of Thomas Hayden Church in
asked us if we wanted to take a “smoke break” outside. When I declined, he rebuffed.
“Don’t be the rock,” he said. “Be the rolling stone!”
After listening to the lyrics of “Money (That’s What I Want)” and “Shop Around”—music from the late 1960s, early ‘70s—I decided this was an era that really knew what the fuck it was talking about. Feeling the breadth of a curmudgeon reprise, I ordered another Glenlivett on the rocks.
I encouraged The Hobbit to try. He did and immediately reeled.
“I’m hanging out with some hardcore chicks!”
Really, just so cute.
I also met Greg, a 60-something CPA from British Columbia. We talked about journalism and island living. He told me he’s lived here for 30 years. He was very wise.
“Do you know what ‘kama’aina’ means?” he asked me. “It’s when the iron in your blood turns to lead in your ass.”
Samantha Campos has logged in approximately 78.4 hours of Spanish soap opera viewing in the past week and yet still doesn’t know how to say, “Be quiet—my husband’s in the next room.”