Do I Smell Like Grandma?

My friend Mike from the band Smile might get an old Jaguar. My roommate told him that if he does, he should get a personalized license plate that says SHAGUAR because it's a sexy car and then people will know he means business. I told him that I disagree because people might think it says “Shag You Are,” and that doesn't make sense. He's pretty sure that if he had that license plate, people would look at him and at the car and at his mod haircut and then think he's trying to be Austin Powers and make fun of him. He's not trying to be Austin Powers! He just likes the car! And the hair!

This is what we were talking about on a recent Wednesday night at La Cave, a cool dark, dank underground bar/ restaurant that features Joe, the coolest bartender in the world. We were listening to the Todd Oliver Quartet, who play jazz, which means that no matter how good it is, it's still boring. I know, I know: you probably like jazz, and you probably think it captures the toots and honks of your soul, and you've probably got some snappy retort on the tip of your tongue. Well, just can it, okay? Can your snappy retort! Jazz is boring! 'Nuff said!

My friends and I (and maybe your friends and you) have long believed that the face you make while playing an instrument is the face you make while having sex; hence, the Fuck Face. Normally, guitarist Todd Oliver is a shining example of the Fuck-Face Theorem: pursed, straining and looking as if he needs to expel something. Tonight, though, his face was all a-quiver in this unusually manic way that made him look like he was having an imaginary conversation with his mischievous evil buddy. I told this to Mike, but he disagreed. “Not evil. The buddy is not evil,” he charged, and I dropped it, as I know better than to get in the way of one man's strangely passionate opinion about the relative evil of another man's imaginary buddy. Mike then turned his attention to the sax player. “He looks like he took a nap, looked at his watch and started playing,” said Mike. I didn't agree, but I didn't disagree, either. “Okay, what about the bass player?” I asked, motioning to the man hanging on his standup bass in a way that suggested his dinner was not agreeing with him. Mike thought he looked like he was making love to his bass, though, which just shows you how wrong, wrong, wrong Mike can be. The drummer was easily the coolest member of the band, playing with a decided nonchalance and also, I hasten to add, looking like he could tell we were talking about him. “He's the best wimpy-hitting drummer I've ever heard!” said my friend Jodey, and he meant it as a compliment because with jazz, it's important to be a wimp.

Then I decided to spice things up because the night was kind of unspicy. “Who gets the most chicks?” I asked. “The sax player,” said Mike without hesitation. “Why?” I asked. “Just look at him,” he said. Then we began talking about being stranded on a deserted island with various band members, and Mike first said he'd want to be stranded on the island with the drummer so they could jam, and then he asked if there were chicks on the island and said if there were, he'd choose the bass player because “the ladies like the low-end.” I accused him of choosing the bass player because that way he'd insure that he'd get more of the chicks on the island. “All right, no, whatever,” he said, all flustered and uncomfortable. Boy, he sure is easy to ruffle.

Then right around the time I realized I could pick my wedgie without anyone even noticing because it's so dark and smoky in La Cave's back room, I overheard two of my friends talking about the pros and cons of women having a set of breasts on their backs as well as their fronts. “How would you sleep?” I asked. They greeted me with a look of disdain.

I left them for the safety of the bathroom right around the time I heard my roommate asking if two cysts on your back would be the same, and then I heard them tossing around the term “outstanding frontal-breast duo.” The bathroom was not safe, though. “Does my perfume smell like a grandma?” a visibly tipsy woman asked me, holding her perfume bottle out to me and trying to hold it steady. I told her it didn't. “My ex gave it to me,” she said. “He thinks it's good just because it's expensive. It doesn't smell like a grandma?” I shook my head, but she had already begun obsessively spraying it in the general direction of the ledge in front of the mirror. Another woman walked into the bathroom, gasped and clutched her nose. I smiled weakly. “It doesn't smell like a grandma, I swear,” I said because at this point, I really had to go to the bathroom. The woman seemed relieved. “I only go by what women say. Men don't know. Some men do, like if they wear nice clothes and wear cologne. . . . Some men don't like cologne.” I began wondering if she was going to continue talking to me while I was in the stall but, no, she started to talk to the next woman in line. And then I began fearing that I smelled like a grandma because I'd been standing in the grandma cloud in the bathroom, so I went home.

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