[Editor's Note: We all know local music and dive bars go hand-in-hand. So in the interest of merging the two together on Heard Mentality, we bring you our weekly nightlife column Dive, Dive, My Darling. Read as our bold web editor, Taylor "Hellcat" Hamby, stumbles into the dive bar scene every week to find crazy stories, meet random weirdos and guzzle good booze.]
Earlier in the evening, my co-worker Juicy Jay texted me, proclaiming he had taken a bit of the bar advice I had given him a month or so ago. "If you ever go to a bar and just hate the people around and wanna clear out the place, put on a few really long songs in a row," I wrote. "Arlo Guthrie's 'Alice's Restaurant Massacree' is a good place to start."
Juicy Jay reported that my advice had worked. "This shit is a bar killer," he said. Accompanying his message was a picture of a joint more deserted than the Mexican section of an OC GOP meeting. Inspired, I took our earlier conversation to TJ's Locker Room.
Even though sunset had just passed, it was the only business open at the time at the sleepy Placentia strip mall. The five smokers out front were quiet, respectful of the noise curfew, showing that little really happens in the Lake Forest of North County. Inside was a medium-sized, sports-tinged dive with two pool tables, a dartboard and the obligatory beer signs on the wall. There were four beers on tap, a full bar and a decent selection of bottled brews.
I put $5 into the jukebox and selected a few of the most obnoxious, longest songs that came to mind. Meat Loaf, Iron Butterfly, more Arlo and Rush--in that order. Hell, I even paid extra to put all four on the top of the queue. Like a skunk spraying in a studio apartment or a sweaty dude releasing swamp ass in a single-stall public restroom, I dropped these long, invasive songs on the crowd that had dubstep playing when I walked in.
"I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" came on first, and I couldn't help but sport a Grinch-like smirk when the epic intro began. The crooked smile faded when the chorus started and a bunch of patrons started singing along with the Meat Loaf classic that runs a cool 12 minutes.
One dude improvised, "I'd do anything for love, but I won't fuck cock." A blonde who initially sang along walked up to him from the opposite end of the bar saying, "Somebody played this again?!" to which our lyricist replied, "No, it just never ends."
Okay, well let's see how they liked the eccentric, infinitely repetitive "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida." The good-natured drinkers sang along with that one, too! A lady presumably born during the Atomic Age, sporting curly hair, a floral blue shirt and beer belly, even quipped how she liked the song because it was "from my generation."
But her real sense of enjoyment was not a song from her youth; she was more interested in Slippery Dicks. She called over the bartender, a man with thin, slicked hair and a black Guinness shirt. "Can you make a Slippery Dick?" she asked.
"I can try," he said. He returned with a sugary shot that she took in one gulp. "You give a great Slippery Dick!" she giggled, infinitely entertained. Later, she remarked, "I can't just have one Slippery Dick!" and the bartender obliged. She swallowed and said, "Damn good. Damn good."
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The sing-alongs stopped at "Alice's Restaurant," and "2112" was all but ignored, yet the bar never cleared. Schadenfreude denied. My slippery tricks may work at the Reno Room in Long Beach, but they don't work at TJ's.
BEST LINE OF THE NIGHT: Dude in a Dodgers cap to the Slippery Dick gal: "Scooby Shot is gonna make my cum taste like pineapple."
TJ's Locker Room, 1164 E. Yorba Linda Blvd., Placentia, (714) 996-0929.