Durham Nights

The unfortunate aspect of eating rabbit is it almost never comes without a fair share of bones. And so went my first trip to Watts Grocery, the busy local Broad St eatery served its sweet braised bunny in a bed of risotto that was given far more attention than the meat. I fear the chef might have either been a vegetarian or just hated animals. The slick contemporary style reminded me why I can’t stand any place that uses the word ‘bistro’ in their advertising. Not because of the food, drink or the decor, but rather the clientèle who tends to think that because they are at a ‘bistro’ they are being cosmopolitan, regardless of how classless, loud and dull they are… Listen asswipe, before there was McDonald’s, there were bistros. That’s what bistro means, sit down, eat meat, drink a cup a coffee and get the fuck out.

Thoroughly by mistake afterward, I stumbled into Open Mic Night at Broad Street Cafe. On stage this old codger plucked away slowly and deliberately on a tired banjo. He was followed by the bartender belting out some soulful Tom Waits. However all good things come to an end, this end came in the form of a young dark drink of water strapping on a Fisher Price electric guitar and barking out a greeting like an emo version of Easy E. He proceeded to strangle that poor tone-deaf guitar like Norman Bates all the while squawking out “I don’t want your sympathy, I just want to share your agony” (I wish I was making this up). At which time I fear he might have heard my inside voice utter, “You aren’t sharing my agony, you’re creating it.”. After which the room became extremely uncomfortable so I left.

Last night I enjoyed my favorite little watering hole, Dain’s Place. A narrow, hot, little tavern just off the Duke Campus. I only stopped in for some food, but ended up staying until the band started, setting up a mere 5 feet from my chair. I often try to describe bands by relating them to more popular bands, this band sounded as if an autistic Devo had rolled up and smoked an early 70’s chubby, drunk Jim Morrison. I had enough when they began to rape The Pixies “Hey”. I tried to walk out however one of the more prepared students pulled out a pair of earplugs for me. I was in such pain I automatically shoved them in my ears not even questioning their hygeine. Ozzie the bartender was also clearly in pain so I actually cut the earplugs in half and shared them. I had to share a drink with this well prepared fellow. After the show I was heading to the door, sharing the old joke about the two bulls at the top of the hill. I knew I was fucking it up as I opened the door “…let’s go down and fuck those cows… er no, it’s just one cow… uh (falling into a bad Tommy Boy impression) OK, who’s head goes in the butcher’s ass, no wait it’s got to be the bull…” To which the rest of the bar in unison shares the proper punchline as I bow deeply to their superior delivery making a less than clean getaway.

I love this little college town…