Monday, May 5, 2008

I Want to See the Original One

Every once in a while I come across a person or place that recentralizes my sense of "normal". Sometimes its seeing homeless person asking for money, sometimes its an illiterate girl carrying a dog in a coach purse with too much lip gloss that keeps saying "thats not rights" at an unfortunate Target cashier and sometimes its going to Dave's Other Place.

Last Tuesday I was down in Seal Beach visiting a friend. We had a lovely dinner by the shore and grabbed some Coldstone and walked Seal Beach's old town area. Its really an adorable place. It rolls up its sidewalk at 10 or so but its adorable in the meantime. There are about 7 Irish pubs in a 1/2 mile stretch of street and, honest to blog, we saw a man walk out of the pier's fire station in a kilt holding a bagpipe and heading down to O'Maley's.

Where does that happen?? In Seal Beach of course.

Well on our way back to the car we realized that the Suns/Spurs game was probably in its 3rd quarter and we wanted to catch it. We're both huge NBA fans and Playoffs (for those who don't know) is my favorite time of year. Mostly because my Lakers get the National attention they deserve. Yes - yes - yes - Kobe is a douche bag. I admit that. He is an emotionless (conscienceless) turd but that is what gives him his edge. Nothing phases him on the court. It's what makes him a stone cold closer and a ballet dancer of a basketball player. I'd never want to have a minute conversation with him but I don't mind him playing.

My friend's team is the Suns and she was dealing with nay-saying co-workers. I've got family in Phoenix that are passionate fans so I'm a fan by default too. We both had a vested interest. They were down 1-3 in their first round series and if they didn't win they were out of the running. Needless to say, it was a pivotal game. We scoped a few of the places that were still open (at 9:15 p.m. mind you - did I mention Seal Beach is all but a retirement community?) and they were jammed full to the brink comfortable so we decided to scurry home asap and catch it online.

Well either we were totally internet illiterate or the only feed possible was a audio feed. "What is this? 1956?" Nay I say -

So we googled "sports bars, seal beach" came up with a 5 starred one right on PCH, like 20 seconds from her house. Not a bad deal we thought...

It was called "Dave's Other Place" and lemme tell ya - wow.
I thought I had knew what "bach pad", "boy's club", "dive", and "man's place" meant but this place redefined everything. I so wish I had my camera that night. I really need to get on replacing it, because, though I will try, I doubt I can accurately capture the charm, character, and spectacle that was the DOP.

It was about the size of a postage stamp (like most things are around the beach) and the first thing that caught my eye was the floor littered with peanut shells, like Northwoods Inn littered. We were running out of time, the game was already in the 4th quarter so we just walked in and asked if they had the Suns game on. Two TVs had the Angel's game on but the 3rd on in the corner has the Suns game on so we nestled ourselves in the complying barstools (that incidentally were old barber shop chairs) and started watching.

There were about 5 guys in the place that looked like they were straight from the off shore oil rigs and the single female in the place was the bartender in her denim micro-mini skirt, straightened hair and awesome attitude. "Wow! Other Females!! Awesome. Can I get you a drink??!" Hers and the rest of the guys in the bar faces fell when I asked for a Dr. Pepper and Molly asked for a Sprite. But we really were just there for the remaining 7 minutes of the game. and - uh - we don't drink.

During every commercial break we would look around bit more and the testosterone level of the place distilled on us a bit more. There was a full on mounted stag's head directly above the pool table. It was practically wallpapered in women featuring their breasts. There was a topless pencil sketches of what could have been an 1850 saloon piece, Sport's Illustrated latest and greatest, the whole schabazz. I flinched at the mounted and framed 9" long centipede that was at my elbow that someone had seen worthy of display as well. The last place I saw something with that many legs in a frame was behind a partition at the Natural History museum. So all of that along with the full array of Van Halen in the background, the flannel on the back of working men, and the shrine to the Angels (next to the 1850 Miss. South Carolina) was pretty much the Manest place of Man Places I've ever been. Ever. Ever. Ever. And I couldn't help wondering if this is what New Jersey was like...

What made the whole thing funnier, aside of Jud Fry being the interior designer, was the sight we must have been in all this. We were still in our heals and dresses from work prancing into this man-den of testosterone and having the gall to monopolize a whole TV and groan and complain (loudly) at the very bad calls that were made that night. We didn't yell, but we came close.

Irony anyone. Anyone?

With all its alienating factors the place was surprisingly welcoming. Every single one of the people there came up to both of us and asked how we were doing, who was winning, where we were from, what we were up to, why we were Suns fans - I'm pretty sure they were all on their 3rd or 4th round but with some jobs (and the ones these guys do I'd imagine) it takes that many just to unwind. Or they think it takes that many to unwind.

The Suns lost, we finished our sodas, said our goodbyes and left about 20 minutes after we came but not without nearly dying of laughter on the way home. Maybe the packed O'Maley's might have been better but adventures are their own reward.

I'm not sure if we'll ever find our way back. It might be a good place to shoot some pool but if you ever do, be sure to wear closed toed shoes, don't mention the Dodgers, and make sure you're OK with taxidermy and 80's power metal because thats what you'll find.

1 comment:

Me: said...

Hilarious. Thanks for the tips at the end too! haha!

T.