Going Out of My Head

Sneezes and stupid pen tricks at the Continental Room

Photo by Jessica Calkins "So, you know any neat pen tricks?" asked my new friend Nico, eyeing the blue Bic pen I'd been absent-mindedly tapping on the bar.

"Not really," I replied, before taking a sip from my amaretto sour—the new, improved 2004: all things sweet and fruity and sour!—and deftly twirling the pen between my index and middle finger.

And then, I sneezed.

It was Sunday night, and I was trying my damndest to pretend not to have a cold. My gal Marie and I had been at the Continental Room for just under an hour when we were approached by the Jack Blackian Nico and his leather jacket-clad brother, Topher.

"So, what's your business?" I asked Nico, intending to discover why anyone would venture all the way from San Diego just to go to a bar in Fullerton on a Sunday night.

"What's my business?!" he exclaimed, dramatic motions a-plenty, "Baby! My business is you, sweet thang!"

Oh? I sneezed. Again.

Things clearly weren't going anywhere with Nico and Topher—a fact evidently agreed upon by all parties, since the siblings took leave soon afterward, presumably to go smoke a dozen more bowls—so Marie and I returned our attentions to the lovely guest DJ, KUCI-FM's Wanda, and her choice selection of an instrumental rendition of South Pacific's "Bali Ha'i."

While the song's cascading melodies washed over us—literally; we were perched directly below the DJ stand, and I write "stand" because it really was just that, replete with a light-up "Do Not Disturb" sign—Marie wondered out loud if we had been rude to the young men. They had, after all, been quite interested in what we girls were reading these days, and Nico—bless his still-trapped-in-2000 heart!—was almost endearing in his proclamation of undying loyalty to Ralph Nader. Weren't these the precise qualities that we intelli-chicks normally dig?

But then I sneezed once more, and noted that nothing—not even the Continental Room's impressively swank, circa 1950s steakhouse charm, or Wanda's deliciously lazy lounge offerings (which included a gorgeous cha-cha version of "Going Out of My Head") or fellow guest DJ Bobby Trimble's fantastically high-slung pants, or stupid pen tricks—is entirely diggable when one is stuffed-up, sleepy, and feeling, despite all her best efforts, sour.

Of course, there wouldn't have been any sneezing in the first place had I not so atrociously pissed-off the Clubbed! gods earlier in the week. You see, sometimes, I make mistakes, and when I wrote in my last column that Cypress Hill is white-rap, and the always-on-top-of-it-all Commie Lady pointed out to me that they are, in fact, Latino rappers, the gods frowned. While such a grievous error might normally be overlooked, I then proceeded to tell reader John that I would check out his band Triple Frown's show at Gallagher's—only to bail at the last second because I was exhausted. This time, the gods, they shamed me.

How, you ask? I'll tell: first, they instructed DJ Danny Love to invite me to the preview night of his new club at the Lodge, Sweet Saturdays. Then, when I showed up at the Lodge at 10 p.m., they laughed as I gazed upon a room full of decidedly not dancing people, who were not only decidedly not dancing, but gorging themselves on what appeared to be incredibly delicious—not just-add-water—food! Next, after I headed over to the Bamboo Terrace—which they knew I could not feature in my column, as I've lavished Clubbed! love on it many a time—they condemned any hope I had of salvaging some sort of Saturday night write-up by sending Commie Lady in for some of Debbie's mojitos. Watching—frozen, cringing in sheepish terror—as the Lady herself regaled the bar-folk with tales of how I "wanted to be" her, I prayed that the gods hath exacted their revenge.

But oh no!

Then, she stood up. "I'm going to the Lodge," she announced, "where there'll be older people."

Failing yet to see that the Lady was but an abiding minion of the Clubbed! gods, I sighed dejectedly, replying, "I was supposed to cover that for my column, but there wasn't anyone there when I went."

"Oh?" she asked, before stating most matter-of-factly, "Well, they'll be there now. DJ Danny Love is playing, you know." With that, Commie Lady glided—gracefully, healthily, not-plauged-by-a-cold-ily—out of the bar. I, of course, sneezed.

The Continental Room features lazy lounge stylings courtesy of Wanda, Billy and Dan Moses once a month, and plush leather seats all the time. In the meantime, don't miss Sweet Saturday's grand opening this weekend. Oh, and upcoming Triple Frown shows can be found on their website, www.triplefrown.com.
 
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