Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Economy Bar and Grill

Ok, here we go...

We've heard the jargon all over television, radio, internet, and indian smoke signals. The U.S.A. is in the midst of some sort of crisis. Overspending and evil companies have spoiled the terrain, dropping the value of everything, leaving everyone fucked. Or something like that. I'm no expert by any stretch. I just thought that when your company closes up because no one is buying your product that means you suck. Apparently not. Apparently your broke government will continue to hand out free money. You get to squander that money, and then they get to ask for that money back at some bizarre rate of interest. Did I figure that right? Essentially: the government is broke, the people in charge of major companies are broke, the employees of those companies are broke, and the unemployed are broke. Seems like America got drunk, went to Vegas for a weekend, woke up with one kidney in Carson City, and doesn't remember what the fuck happened.

Which is the perfect metaphor! Because usually I can't understand what the fuck anyone is talking about unless its put into the context of something I'm familiar with. Like a bar.

Imagine you (mr. or ms. or mrs. facebook aficionado) are a hot, young, hip up and coming company. You sell adspace online or whatever. You're the bee's knees. Everybody loves you. It's friday night and you're heading out to your favorite joint. The good 'ol United States Economy Bar 'n Grill.

You've been coming here for a while, but now you're really getting comfortable. You and the manager are on first name basis. He doesn't really give a shit, but he slides you your first 2 or 3 drinks for free. You offer to pay...but nah, "Don't worry about it" he says. You feel cool. Time to play the scene. You start mixing with some of the other studs at the bar. Yeah, technically your all in competition for some of the young ladies' attention (think of them as your customers, for the sake of this ridiculous extended metaphor) it's all fun and games for now. Chat a little bit with the bank guys. One of them used to work at the bar, he's got the hook up. Perhaps you trade a joke or two with Auto Industry. He's always blind fucking hammered and embarrassing himself, but early on in the evening he's quite tolerable.

Then there's the good 'ol mortgage rate juke box. The night is young and shit is kicking pretty good early. Bad Company, ZZ Top, and Timbuk 3's "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades" is providing you the audio lubrication to a real rock 'n roll night. A few drinks go down. Now it's time to hit up your bread and butter. The ladies. The homegrown, naive, and never thrifty American consumer. Nervous? Not you. You've got a good rap. And it works. Night after night you're taking car loads of women back to your deluxe made-for-2-dozen waterbed bank account. Life is good. So every weekend you keep on heading back to the Economy Bar and Grill. Why change? If it works it works. Besides, you're getting lazy and all those other places are scary and different. Plus the manager knows your first name...

But then shit starts to go sour. See you didn't call a couple of those girls back. They're telling their friends. You're a dirty motherfucker. One of them may have even been Auto Industry's girlfriend. He's pissed but you can't tell, he can barely talk between guzzles of scotch, and if he does he's bitching to the manager. The Newspaper Industry is pissed to. He was flirting with that girl last week. You totally fucking stole her. "Haha" you think. Haha indeed, for now not a lot of the chicks want to talk to you. They know you're game. They heard about some other place down the road where there aren't as many assholes. Less and less chicks seem to be coming to the bar. Not too much fun now. Without the girls, no one's putting any money into the jukebox. We're back to Muzak...and you can swear you're hearing some weird instrumental version of "In The Ghetto". You throw your money in and try to get the place hopping with an ironic play of "Too Legit To Quit". No one cares. You want a round of shots for the couple of hags who've stuck around. The manager ignores you. He's too busy dealing with Auto Industry. You can't leave though. Newspaper industry is wasted outside and wants to fight. You start to lose your buzz. Fuck. Gotta wait it out. You switch to the cheapest stuff you can drink. Fuck.

In fact, everybody does. Everyone's chilling at the bar on the weekend now...nursing warm Miller Lite's until the girl's show back up. Then they'll switch to the hard stuff and really get rowdy. But..they never do. The chicks are gone, dude. Europe's down the street and its poppin'. "Too expensive" you think. China has got 5 for 1 deals. "Eh, too far...and I don't know anyone there" you pine. The manager knows your name here. He'll hook it up. You go back for another round. "No dice" the manager says. "Not tonight, business has been too slow." Fuck. Fucking fuck fuck.

You order another Miller Lite that you don't really want and take a seat at the bar. Auto Industry is barely slouched up next you, staring down at a tequila/gin/151 cocktail. "This placeu doah used to bea ad tehe shiteehah..." he whines. You both do shots. "Youre cool gotta a just need one more." Fuck it. You give him a dollar. More shots. Still no girls coming in. A couple more people leave. More shots. The bartender gives you a dirty look. "Sir, are you alright?" Man...he doesn't even know your name anymore. You black out.

A couple hours later you wake up in a bathtub in Carson City. One kidney.