Like No One’s Watching


I went out to a bar last night.  A real bar. Not one of those hoity-toity, soft piano playing in the background, classy joints.  It wasn’t one of those club type bars either; no base thumpin’, head bobbin’, greasy snazzy dressed guys leaning against the bar watching the ladies. {Please read the word “ladies” in a high-pitched voice in your head if you didn’t already.}

{For the full effect, go back and reread it.}

So this bar I went to, I had never been there before…heck, I actually have not been to too many bars {total dork}.  The place was called JIMBOS.  And it was a country and western bar. The real deal. Not some Vegas-wanabe cowboy club. The parking lot was dirt.  The building looked as though it may crumble at any moment.  I’ve driven past it for years.  I’ve always thought “Man, that place looks like a hoot”! {I generally don’t use that word, but it sounds rather honky-tonkish.} It’s the place where the cowboys who come into town for rodeo weekend hang out. Its the place where my girlfriend, Franki, got into a bit o’trouble back in the day….I loved it.

Jimbo’s was way bigger on the inside than it appeared from the front.  Low ceilings, a few rooms…beer in bottles only. The front room for watching sports, or rodeos, and I suspect NASCAR. Head back past the bar and there is a room full of pool tables and lit up beer signs along with another bar.  The people there were, well, country.  Mostly.  I saw at least 14 cowboy hats right off the bat. Lots of Wranglers.  The ladies were a little rough around the edges. I’m sure if a bar fight were to break out at least two of them could kick any of those jean-wearin’ good ol’ boys’ asses to the curb.

Just past the pool table area were some fold up tables and chairs. {Now that’s classy right there.} That’s where the live band was set up. And…..drumroll….the dance floor.  Yes-sir-e-bob! A dance floor.  And I danced.

In the past, there would be no way in hell I would have ever considered heading out onto a nearly empty space in front of strangers.  Let alone shakin’ my thing! I did that cheerleader-crap in high school.  I was awful.  I actually hated it except for the fact that I didnt’ have to do P.E.  I put on the uniform and fake smiled for three years.  Getting up and moving in front of strangers made me feel awkward.  Mainly because I was awkward.  Dancing makes me feel awkward too. Not so much if there is a crowd of people on the dance floor though.  It’s easier to blend in and shuffle my feet around and occasionally move my arms and snap or clap….Actually I don’t snap or clap. But that does paint a very good picture of what some of the talented folk were doing on the dance floor last night.

I didn’t plan on this happening. This dancing. But there I was sitting with my drunken’ family members {that sounds way more exciting than plain old “family” members}.  This swanky cowboy type guy, much much much older than my youthful twenty-nine years, comes up to me puts out his hand and asks me for a dance.  Awww-shoo–wwt. “I can’t dance!”, I warned him.  He just smiled and yanked me out there.  I. Was. Terrible. I don’t even know what song it was, but it was extremely twangy.  Everyone was two-stepping and looking like they knew what they were doing.  My partner soon realized that Janelle doesn’t have talent.  No, I don’t think I can dance. But I did.  He made up for my lack of coordination by twirling me around…and around.  And around.  It was fun.

He made his way through all of the women in our group.  Quite the lady-killer this cowboy was.  He could dance too. Unlike a few of the other men out there.  Talk about cheap entertainment! I love watching fools.  Love it.  One guy went out there alone, he was wearing Wranglers…but they were high-waters.  Totally awkward. Totally awesome. Another dude was really into it.  Not just the two-steppin’…He had moooooves.  He was shakin’ it. He was getting his whole body into it and bringing back, I believe, every dance from the 1970s and 80’s.  He even snapped and clapped.  Absolute people watching heaven right there.

Pretty soon the band changed up the music a bit.  They switched from pure country to a little county/rock….that got my attention.  And then they discovered my weakness. That’s right…they started with the 80’s music.  They played them with a country twist…but they played ‘m well.  I have never heard a Beastie Boys song done in such a totally radical way.  “You’ve Gotta Fight…” with southern grit!  When swanky cowboy came back for another dance I flew out of my chair! I think the song was…alright…I know it was The Black Crows “Hard To Handle”.  I know the words to the chorus. I sang it.  And I danced. My style of dance? Well, mix together Molly Ringwald’s moves from The Breakfast Club and Elaine from Seinfeld. That’s me. Like that annoyingly sweet saying says, I danced like no one was watching….but they were. I saw them.  And I became one of the dance floor fools.


2 responses »

  1. I am wondering WHO the drunken’ family members were, this you will have to tell in person. But my daughter thinks that Jimbo’s is the must visit on her trips to California.

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