There were several occasions when Stephanie, The Witch* and I got into trouble in Denver.
*The Witch has a name and it is Melissa. She really doesn’t appreciate me calling her The Witch. So from now on, I will use her real name because I am a nice guy.
There were several occasions when Stephanie, Melissa** and I got into trouble in Denver.
**I like The Witch better.
There were several occasions when Stephanie, The Witch and I got into trouble in Denver. None of us had any money and so we did cheap things like break into the Denver Botanic Gardens at night or play this game where I would take a shower and they would break into my apartment and scare the shit out of me. They will want you to know that I squeal like a little girl when startled.
It was May 13th, 1995, which is forever ago. Steph , The Witch and I were slumming from bar to bar in the LoDo. I think we ate dinner earlier and none of us were heavy with cash. We found our way to a newer bar called The Firehouse. We saddled up to the bar and the ladies anted some charm to get free drinks.
The bartender’s name was John. John Romero***.
***No. Not the Doom creator and video game visionary John Romero. This John Romero had very similar looks as Mr. Romero, but lacked a good bit of the pink stuff in his skull. It was as if God made two John Romero’s and only had time to make one whole brain before lunch break. Read on.
John served us our first round of beers. He seemed like a nice enough guy. Good looks. Somewhat charming. At one point he took my house keys off the bar, removed some random bottle opener key ring I’d picked up at another bar and replaced it with a newer, promotional one that the Firehouse was giving out. “There you go pal.” He tossed my old bottle opener into the trash. I faked a look of panic and said that was a gift from my dad. He went headfirst into the trash and retrieved my opener. My hero.
Into our second round, the girls and I realized that our drinking would be ceasing very soon as our funds were about gone. The girls poured on the charm and pried at John’s resolve to continue charging us for our drinks.
He gave in, kind of. John said that he would buy our drinks for the rest of the night if one of the girls would do a Mat Shot out of a dirty ashtray. Mat Shot? Sounds like a 2nd string quarterback’s name. We all looked each other and then asked John what a Mat Shot was. He pulled out the black, rubber mat that snuggled up in the narrow crevice on the back of a bar where the bartenders poured their drinks. Bartenders don’t give a shit and are sloppy. Splashed liquids are trapped in the bottom of the mat while the rubber fingers keep the glass bottom mostly dry. The liquids collect and are periodically dumped down the drain. Or into a shot glass, which is a standard Mat Shot. Or into an ash tray, which is what he did next.
There weren’t any butts in the ashtray, but it was full of residual ash. Now it was filled with residual ash and 23 different kinds of liquor. He pushed the ash tray in front of The Witch. She contemplated it for a minute. No drinks or free drinks? Mouth that tastes like mouth or mouth that tastes like ass? She said no. Steph didn’t even have to think about it and said no.
You can see where this is going.
Fortunately, the free beers for the rest of the night washed the ass out of my mouth. My journal says we got hammered. I can believe it. By the end of the night, we were mostly blotto and John ended up with one of the girl’s phone numbers.
Three months later we were lobbing smoke bombs into his front door and catching his couch on fire. It was doomed from the start.
BONUS JOHN INFORMATION
It wasn't that John was dumb. He just sometimes did and said things that weren't entirely that smart. He had enough gray matter to get through life, but his thought process was a little like watching a top spinning on gravel.
John used to create fireballs by spitting lighter fluid out of his mouth and igniting it. It was quite a sight and the intense heat helped to keep his Cro-Magnon eyebrows down to a manageable length. That night he did it at the Firehouse and almost caught some fabric banners on fire. He and Steph went to a Pearl Jam concert at Red Rocks and he got kicked out after exposing several people in the second and third row to hot, drippy fire. (I think I will be able to track down the video… stay tuned.)
Speaking of Pearl Jam… at the time, Pearl Jam had just come out with their Vs album. 99.99% of the world called it “versus.” John called it “V”-“S”. I believe he called their previous album “T”-“E”-“N.”