I had a bad experience with crepes in middle school. A kid in my sixth-period French class attempted to make crepes for a class project. Being thirteen, however, the best he could manage were pancakes stuffed with Cool Whip. Imagine sinking your teeth into a cold, undercooked pancake wrapped around a glob of Cool Whip on an empty stomach and you’ll see the source of my hesitancy. Fortunately, Skim redeemed the crepe in my eyes by introducing me to Mr. Crepe in Davis Square on Friday. I had a tasty ham and cheese crepe.1
We saw two people I knew and lots of people I didn’t at the b0st0n meetup at Good Times. Skim’s friends from central MA showed up later and we tore the arcade apart. Each of us ran the table on at least one game – whether SkeeBall, Tetris or Laser Tag. Between our 300 or so tickets we cleared the place out of oversized bouncy balls. If you wanted a comically undersized Budweiser golf bag, well, don’t go looking; Good Times has beat on, a boat against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.2
I did some grocery shopping on Saturday, paid some bills, then went to Gina’s birthday dinner at the Uno’s in Porter Square. I squeezed into a seat at the far end and talked classic films with Fraley, Melissa, Bobby and DJ. I also surprised myself by ordering a salad instead of fries with my burger. And I haven’t died yet! Apparently vegetables won’t kill me, provided you drizzle them with house dressing first.
With plenty of time to kill until my next engagement, I took the T to Park Street and had a leisurely walk through the Public Garden and the Mall on Commonwealth. The sun had just set and a blue blanket of fog kept everything intimate. I enjoyed this quiet hour alone with my thoughts before getting to Jake Ivory’s and seeing those thoughts obliterated.
Backstory: when Michelle B. picked Jake Ivory’s for her birthday, I made a lot of hemming nonsense about how I might not attend. My last trip to Jake Ivory’s sucked pus, but for Michu I readily made an exception. And I had a blast. What made the difference?
- Last time I paid an $8 cover and bought a $5 Budweiser for a place that was still under renovation. This time I paid an $8 cover and bought a $5 Budweiser in a fully functioning nightclub.
- Last time, two fat, balding losers in Hawaiian shirts played the piano, sneering at anyone who requested a song they didn’t know. This time, two young hep guys – one of them BC’s own Jarret Izzo3 – lit up the crowd with verve and charisma.
- Most importantly, I have come to terms with Jake Ivory’s as a concept. No one goes to Jake Ivory’s to pick up single ladies or to watch a baseball game. You go to Jake Ivory’s with a bachelorette party or a birthday party, and no other function. So the crowd will be full of screaming women between the ages of 28 and 36. Accept it. Don’t pretend you’re Too Cool.
I danced, I shouted, I made introductions, I took the T home.
Walking home through Davis, I saw a drunken asshole get bounced from the Burren. First I saw the bouncer drag the guy from the back door – one hand under his arm, the other hand jamming a knuckle into the hollow of his jaw. Then the guy shoved the bouncer, resulting in a hammerlock escort to the bus bench outside the bar. After a minute of posturing, the guy came back and swung a fat overhand left at the bouncer, which led to the guy eating Elm Street while the bouncer twisted both arms behind his back. “Get this guy off me!” the drunk asshole screamed, to no purpose but my deep amusement. When the cops showed up the drunk wanted to press charges (“he grabbed me by the throat!”), but the cop issued some very stern instructions and sent him walking4. I waited across the street, hoping that after a cigarette and a conference with some friends he’d go back for more, but the cop must have scared him sober.
I promise you: no matter how alone you find yourself on the foggy walk home, you’ll find company in a crowd full of strangers laughing at a drunk guy getting his ass kicked in Somerville. On such truths we founded this great nation.5
1 This post now holds the record on this weblog for most uses of the word “crepe.” The prior record, zero, was shared by every other post.
2 Soon it will become an IKEA.
3 Michelle: He needs to shave that goatee. Unless he’s going for the “porn star” look or something.
Me: Well, technically he is a lounge singer.
4 And even if the drunk had been in the right, what did he imagine would happen? Who do the cops always side with in these situations – the slurring guy with a bruise on his face, or the bouncer with whom they have this same conversation every Saturday?
5 Well, this one plus Ireland.