Something’s missing…then again, no: Lent in Casablanca, Night 18

I feel the need to clarify something after my post the other night: Rick’s Cafe Americain is awesome. I am not awesome.

I’m okay with my awesomelessness.  I don’t own a tie or a long-sleeved shirt.  I don’t have shiny formal shoes.  If the occasion is more formal than my giant purple Nike hightops warrant, odds are I won’t be invited. 

Best Friend John told me that one of his favorite wedding reception memories was that I changed from my shiny, uncomfortable rental shoes into my black Nike’s after the ceremony.  Hey, my sciatica was killing me, and they went well with my tux.  It also helped that I gave the greatest best-man toast EVER, so he could overlook any dress code violations.  (seriously, I managed to link BFJ & his wife both being teachers with good-natured Catholicism humor, and bring it all home with the hydrogen fusion of romance; it was epic and unprecedented)


Rick’s sparkles with awesome.  In revisiting my bar year memories–and remember, they probably have great big holes dissolved into them–there were numerous things I saw that just don’t belong in Rick’s. 

First off, karaoke.  One of my favorite scenes in “Casablanca” features a bunch of drunk Nazis singing “Die Wacht am Rhine,” which just pisses Victor Laszlo off to no end.  He goes over to Rick’s orchestra and demands they play “La Marseillaise.” They do, and then a bunch of drunk French people and refugees sing down the Nazis.  During the course of this scene, the camera focuses on French-born bar floozy Yvonne–who’s apparently mounting a Nazi that day–and we hear Yvonne’s passionate singing of  “Mugir ces féroces soldats.”

Okay, I get that she’s French, and she’s been dumped by Rick, thus leading her to aim  her thirsty pheremone stream at a Nazi, futilely attempting to make Rick jealous.  I understand that Yvonne is living in a hostile world, and that she probably misses getting drunk every night in a French bar and screwing guys instead of getting drunk every night in Casablanca and screwing guys.  Furthermore, I can imagine the surge of patriotism she feels upon hearing “La Marseillaise,” and the irresistable pull to join with her countrymen and sing down the evil Nazis…

But Yvonne, while being a complete hottie, couldn’t sing her way out of a sack.  (note: she could talk to me all night with that sultry French accent of hers–when she yells at the French Army guy who calls her a krautboffer (German: “Schnitzelfrau”), I get oddly turned on)   Yvonne has no business singing in public, and I can just see her getting plowed with some fascist or another, then going up to sing “Material Fraulein” on the karaoke machine.  Yuck. Or, as we say in German, “juck.”

“Yvonne I love you.  I’ll give you free drinks all night, but for the love of everything holy, don’t sing!”

Another thing Rick’s does just fine without is video games.  I’m not a gamer.  Admittedly, the only video game I ever played was the TrivQuiz machine–and I pwnd it! (and Tempest, back when I used to smoke weed)– but video games just seem like they’d distract from the ambiance.  I can’t see Major Strasser setting down his stein of Sam Adams Honey Wheat & Insane Hatred Winter Ale, just to pop a quarter in the Asteroids machine.  One of those infernal Pop-a-Shot machines would be even worse.  If you’ve been blessed never to be around one, this is a Pop-a-Shot machine:

Basically, drunk people put money into this machine, then have to make as many free throws as possible within 60 seconds.  Invariably, these people become extremely loud. They get hot from the exertion, then drink more, which makes them louder.  Also, there’s an added bonus in that basketballs end up bouncing around the bar.  I can just see Victor Laszlo knocking down free-throws like nobody’s bidness.  As he goes to prove Czechoslovakians have better foul shot skills than Nazis, a ball gets away from him, and bounces over to the coloratura soprano guitar lady.  She gets pissed, then Pete Townshends her guitar upside Sam’s piano, then the Nazis start shooting, Yvonne starts singing, and the whole night goes straight to the hot place. 

Yeah.  Rick’s can live without that.

Rick’s would also be fine without this:

I’m sure they’re amazingly fun to ride, but they’re very loud.  So are the mechanical bulls. (rimshot)

I guess I’m against drunken cacophany, and these three mindless mechanical machines–the Pop-a-Shot, the Mechanical Bull, and the drunken French bar floozy–can only lead to people being loud when they ride them.

So, well done, Rick’s, for keeping it classy…even though I’d still be craving some of these:

(To be perfectly honest, though, I’ve never had a problem with drunk women in short-shorts, either, notwithstanding that both they and nachos will stain your white dinner jacket 😉 )


20 Responses to “Something’s missing…then again, no: Lent in Casablanca, Night 18”

  1. So true about the drunken cacaphony! It gets loud!
    Love your thoughts, the pics and the nachos. Huuungry.

    Oh…and by the way…you are awesome. 🙂

    • Awww, Lauri. YOU are awesome. I’m just some yutz with a DorkFone.

      I’m getting nachos tomorrow, come hell or high water. Happy Sunday in the poo lab. Thanks for stopping by. *snerk*

      (Nothing to *snerk* at, really. Just feel like a good *snerk* when you’re around :D)

  2. *snerking* is good for the soul!

    I am in the Chemistry lab today, so no poo! That’s worth a snerk!

  3. I concur with the redhead above me — you are awesome, just differently awesome.

    If your speeches run like your posts, I can see why you gave the best Best Man Speech Ever.

    • I’m not a polished, shiny awesome, I guess, but more of an inobtrusive matte finish awesome.

      You have to understand BFJ. From the time he asked me to stand as best man, he nagged me incessantly about the toast. The toast ended up being about 75 seconds of funny stuff, including how BFJ nagged me, then a 15 second close that yanked everyones heartstrings. Drunk Irish-Catholic audiences are great for both. 🙂

      Hope you’re enjoying your new Laurie Aerie.

      • I momentarily thought of calling it the Crow’s Nest, because I can see so far from up here, but that sounds a little spartan for such nice digs as these. The Aerie has a nice ring to it, though.

  4. I thought that, too, Laurie…..Tom would give the best Best Man Speech ever! 🙂

    I love the thought of the Laurie Aerie!

  5. The Crow’s Nest would be very appropos for you, too, Laurie!

    • Woo-hoo! I got a *snerk* I can go outside now. Do I need a jacket? Oh. It’s still 80 oustide, so no. 😉

      • Sheee-it, man. There’s still snow on the ground! *whining and sniveling*

        However, there are 10 deer in the front yard looking for grass shoots, so I’ll quit whining! 🙂

  6. Great post! There was karaoke once in my life — wait — twice. One time ended up with me kissing the wrong woman and one with a large Japanese business deal.


    • Hmmm. *shifty eyes* 50-50….

    • In my world, it would have been making a kissing deal with the wrong large Japanese business woman.

      When my home bar added karaoke, it saddened me. However, there was one couple that were really good. The did “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights,” and brought the house down.

      I sing in my car. That’s all anyone needs to hear.

  7. christinaheart Says:

    Tom, you are so so awesome. 🙂

    I want nachos now.

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