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Derek Jackson

Aging Drunks And the Art Of Getting 86-ed

By C. Silo

Admission: I am the first Californian to be awarded a prescription for medicinal tobacco in alcohol establishments. It sounds crazy--believe me, I know--but mortifying psychophysiological disasters ensue when I am deprived of a fag. First, my lips, unplugged from the asbestos filter, start to flap at an unstoppable rate, and then I begin to stomp my feet and shout things like "This place sucks!" and "I'm never coming here again!" When combined with the quintessential "Fuck all, y'all!" the lip flappage inspires a most prize-winning result: the old-school "86." And although medical professionals choose to refer to this condition as "alcoholism" and "Tourette's syndrome," I prefer to describe this predicament as the life-threatening "nicotine abandonment complex."

So dear Mister Mission District Bar Owner, whose extraordinary establishment I so rudely contaminated with lethal wafts of carbon monoxide last weekend, I apologize profusely for not immediately providing you with legal documentation of my disorder. And in view of my unfortunate neurological response to your admirable support of the Tobacco Prohibition, I completely understand why you felt it necessary to expel me from your place of business. That night I became the involuntary embodiment of Satan's Belligerent Puffing Whore--my behavior was repellent, crass and an embarrassment to those who once admitted to knowing me. (Please note that as I write this I am fornicating in the canine position: it is in this position only that one can comfortably reach the ashtray from the edge of one's bed.)

Luckily, I was able to procure a new group of friends by the eve of my birthday. Celebrating in the most elegant manner possible, I encouraged my recent initiates to come dressed as sluts. Two unfortunate things ensued: one, the deservedly popular Beauty Bar was packed to capacity and was unable to accommodate my birthday guests, and, two, my stiletto-wielding friends felt much too much at home on the corner of 19th and Mission streets. But to quote my favorite Santa Cruz bumper sticker--"Magic Is Alive and the Goddess Is Afoot"--my good karma returned, and a wonderful alternative was immediately revealed: McCarthy's. Once a creepy, old-guys-in-windbreakers-and-stomas kind of joint, McCarthy's has been transformed into a homey place where savvy straight people indulge in strong drinks and Long John Silver-style fish snacks. The divine Toph One spun records from the loft while my newly purchased social circle wandered in.

"Control that large-breasted woman with the bindis all over her face!" shouted poet Peter Nicholson, whose vision was momentary blocked by the sight of painter Beth Bachtold's naked nipples. "I can flash anyone I want, especially if I'm told to do so by the spirit of seven whiskey sours!" I hear that. DJs Al Simmons and Josh (check out his Conscious Session on Feb. 13) stood around with the look of fear in their eyes as actress Linda Chavez Lagunas, the recent star of the New Conservatory Theater's sold-out Beautiful Thing, pranced about telling fortunes with a pendulum. "It never lies," she promised, after conning the unsuspecting house diva Tyler Stone into a $5 loan for some sort of "charity" (the money was quickly donated to McCarthy's, the purported nonprofit organization).

The consistently cool Marcus Shelby sipped mineral water and ordered me a vicious margarita--which in turn allowed me the guts to pin SF graffiti legend Kid Krush to the wall. I tried my hardest to remind him of the night we made out on my doorstep, but like my heaving chest, he just wasn't havin' it. Decisive amnesia. Whatever. Suddenly it was 1am, the ripest hour for house music and a crowded dance floor. Within minutes, all friends and sluts were gathered for a collective migration to 111 Minna, where the great local master Julius Papp was rumored to be playing.

Alas, the beats were audible from Second Street, and as we ran toward the glory of house music, a smooth voice was heard from behind the Minna doors: "Do you feel it? Can you handle it? I'm hot for you, what you gonna do?" Beautiful people mingled on the street, but we went straight for the inside, where Mr. Papp, whose mixtape is normally implanted in my Walkman, conducted a deeper-than-hell groove collage. Dancer Kathryn Duyn naturally controlled the dance floor and provided the much-needed competition for the adorable Gabriel Rene of Soulstice, whose flirting skills rival those of the entire Mediterranean region. Minna owner Ei-Ming Jung joyously dashed about, donating kisses to everyone. The happy recipient of a big old juicy one, I thanked Ei-Ming for providing the perfect end to a potentially depressing night (the reality of the Birthday) and smartly whipped out the Nicotine Abandonment paperwork: at age 27, 86 is a terrible number.

Send positive affirmations and cruel comments to: [email protected].

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From the February 1, 1999 issue of the Metropolitan.

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