Earlier this week, Club 77, a bar in Newhall’s sister continent of Australia, outlawed staring. Not that any of The Mighty Signal’s beloved Blotto Stinking Drunk Have You No Shame Readership Demographic regularly patronizes Australian watering holes. But, like Mayor Laurene Weste, I’m a longtime shop local champion who likes to remind:
Why Canoe All The Way Down Under Just To Black-Out Shih Tzu-Faced In A Dried Puddle Of Your Own Disgusting Aussie Warm Beer Regurgitations When The City of Santa Clarita Has A Rich & Proud Tradition Of Local Nightclubs, Pubs, Taverns, Clubs, Discos, Soccer Mom Biker Bars, Flesh Pits, Buckets of Blood & A Thriving Red-Light District*?
(Members of Local Teachers’ Unions — 40% OFF!!)
According to Club 77’s website out of Sydney:
“We operate a zero-tolerance policy on harassment of any kind. Club 77 is not a place to come to if your sole purpose is to ‘pick up.’ If you do come in and are approaching multiple people or giving unwanted attention to someone, you are going to attract the attention of our security, who have been instructed to stop this kind of behaviour. (sic)”
According to their Instagram post, Club 77’s security spies dress in “pink vests” to better enforce their anti-staring ordinance. Heavens. Call me old-fashioned. But I’m hoping Safety Officers are wearing more than just pink vests and yes. Club 77 is a gay bar. The watering hole assures they accept all matter of sinners, from venial to mortal. Still. I wish good luck to any parched soul, gay, straight or Anabaptist, trying to order a watered-down Foster’s while wearing a red MAGA hat.
Club 77 demands nobody stare, “without first gaining verbal permission.”
Question. Not that this comes up in my terribly sheltered la vie rurale. But, how does one “gain verbal permission” to stare at someone if you can’t see them in the first place? Does everyone in the 77’s counterculture romantique wear canvas sacks covering their heads? Do bar revelers stumble about the premises, arms flailing wildly, like Frankenstein’s monster, bumping into cigarette machines and other sensitive barstool monkeys with sacks on their heads to prevent them from staring? One self-blinded swinger crashes into another, then politely asks:
“In the off-chance I’d like to stare at you, are you gay, straight or morbidly obese?”
Those last two words? Reminds me of the slightly edited Tin Man song from the 1939 classic, “Wizard of Oz.” Would The Mighty Signal Lounge Lizards Band care to accompany me while I sing:
“I could while away the hours — Conferrin’ with the flowers — Consultin’ with the rain…
“And my head, I’d be scratchin’ — While my thoughts were busy hatchin’ — If I if I were morbidly obese…”
DON’T people visit bars in the first place TO stare at people? And then, with the miracle of alcohol and dim lighting, the vision becomes blurred, and then, suddenly, with a terrible swiftness, you find the words drunkenly spilling out: “I’ve been looking for you all my life marry me do you want to be Ward or do you want to be June?”
A gay Aussie bar. Everyone’s talking like parrots in a Long John Silver movie. With security averaging 84 pounds and wearing nothing but pink vests, how does one not stare? How do you not ask the age-old nightclub question: “Excuse me. Is that a banana daiquiri in your pocket or are you just glad to see me? I swear I wasn’t staring when I said it I swear I wasn’t staring when I said it…”
The Offending Gazer gets dragged backwards by men in pink Village People construction vests hysterically blowing whistles, fanning themselves while dancing to bongo drum music.
What if said gay bar hopper was NOT staring? What if the offending Pick Your Pronoun was just — wall-eyed? You know. Like a salmon?
True. It skips a generation. Still. Runs in the family.
Dear Mr. SCV —
We believe you’re thinking of, “sockeye” salmon. “Walleye” is from the perch family. It’s also our nickname for Bill Miranda behind his back. Can’t tell you how much we appreciate the outreach. This is the first correspondence this department has had in 25 years.
Marsha “Doin’ The Macarena” McLean
Chairman, City o’ SClarita Fish Identification Bureau
Yearly Budget: $947,389.24
I suppose if I wanted to convince a fetching Sydney lesbian to switch teams, I could borrow some sunglasses, a red-tipped white cane and acquire a seeing-eye puppy. A really adorable, heart-breakingly cute little yellow Lab puppy named “Buster.” He too is wearing a canvas sack over his little puppy head just in case Buster accidentally stares at someone in the bar.
A growing mob of cooing hubba-hubba participants from the Girl Love That Knows No Name Team surrounds me and Buster. They beg to remove the bag over my rented dog’s head so they can pet it. In lesbian high heels, the girls bounce up and down, squeal, then make a big fuss over the puppy.
Then, as in an alternative universe where Wile E. Coyote catches the Roadrunner, the Sydney lasses confess. They’ve always been intrigued by the Miracles of Heterosexuality, lax Christianity and fiscal and ethical conservatism.
Coquettishly, they ask: “Have you any literature on Donald Trump — mate?”
“Boy! Do I, you lovely sheilas you!!”
I’ve even factored in what to do when the gay eyeball bouncers show up and accuse me of Lesbian Pestering (which now carries the death penalty in Australia). Suspicious of me and Buster, the Aussie Eyeball Police will question our affliction.
I’d wait two long beats before answering:
“Well mates. Best you should know — I’m glind.”
All heads tilt to the left and wait a long moment.
“Half gay…” I explain.
John Boston, Earth’s most prolific satirist, lives here in Santa Clarita. Visit johnbostonbooks.com and buy some cool books.