[Editor’s note: For this week’s essay we’ve pulled out another relic from the archive of Slim Goodbuzz, who served as Duluth’s “booze connoisseur” from 1999 to 2009. In this adventure, Slim gets ripped at Little Angie’s Cantina & Grill for an article that was originally published in the July 28, 2008 issue of the Transistor.]
Walking through Canal Park, I feel totally out of my element. There are teenagers everywhere. A few of them are skateboarding aimlessly, weaving in and out of groups of other teenagers who are standing around together talking on their cell phones. Apparently, they are making calls to find out where else in town teenagers are standing around doing nothing. The whole thing is way too wholesome and family-oriented for me. The only way I like to spend time around people under 21 is when I’m ordering from a pregnant bartender in South Range.
As I approach Little Angie’s Cantina & Grill, however, all I can see and hear is an old, fat woman on the deck who is colossally inebriated. “I feel like I’m drunk,” she says to a group of young women who appear to be her daughters. “We’re leaving without paying.”
Now this, dear readers, is my element.
The daughters, however, are not at all cool with mom’s drink-and-dash scenario, and manage to convince her to be a law-abiding citizen. “We’re getting a cab and a tab,” becomes the mom’s new motto. “They’re both coming in five minutes,” she says, swaying slightly slower than her perm is flapping in the breeze.
I try to take a seat close to them, so I can eavesdrop on the whole conversation, but as soon as I sit down the cab pulls up, churning the whole table into a frenzy. They need their tab and they need it right now. Before I can even get a server’s attention, money is flying everywhere and they’re in their taxi being whisked off to the Comfort Inn or Eden Prairie or wherever it is people like that come from.
Their departure leaves me with a little less to work with, but I do not despair. I am a resourceful man, and can find a way to entertain myself even at the worst Mexican restaurant in Duluth. They do serve beer and liquor here, and there are plenty of young women I can stare at who will be, like, totally grossed out that I’m looking at them.
All around me are couples on first dates, families, and groups of blonde people in their 20s debating the difference between MySpace and Facebook. I, being me, make them a bit uncomfortable. I just don’t belong here. Kyle Underwood belongs here.
Seriously. I mean, I’m just an entry-level pervert who happens to be — let’s face it — an alcoholic. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t fucken awesome. In fact, stirring up paranoia is the only reason I ever cross the freeway and see what’s going on near the giant erector set that serves as the shipping canal’s chastity belt.
All I have to do for a good time is send out a little bad mojo and then watch the youngsters glance over at me out of the corner of their eyes and text each other about what a creep I am. I’m not sure if they think I’m going to rape them, rob them or kill them, but just basking in their discomfort is enough to bring me boundless joy. It’s almost as fun as if I were to pull out a knife and start stabbing.
I’m just kidding, of course. I wouldn’t stab anyone, or light anyone on fire, or even barf all over anyone’s hair extensions for that matter. I’m just going to sit here and occasionally make sudden movements.
See what I mean? I haven’t even procured a drink yet, and I’ve already managed to thoroughly entertain myself. Still, whether I’m in my element or out of my element here, it will help things along for me to “get out of my element,” so to speak, in the form of alcohol. So, when the waitress finally arrives, I order a beer. She asks if I’d like a 16 or a 22. I tell her I want a 22 … so I can blow my fucking brains out with it.
OK, I didn’t really tell her that. I was a perfect gentleman to her. After all, I’ll need her on my side later, when the cops show up.
Ah, my element.
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