(BuffaloBloviator file photo.)
Yesterday, mere hours after emerging from my Latin Mass -- I am here in California, remember, working on the biography of Leonard Pennario -- I wound up drinking beer at the gayest bar in the entire world. I mean, this bar is the capitol of Gay America.
I was brought there by Mike, one of Leonard's friends. Mike is openly gay and also Buddhist, which Leonard and I have been known to -- shhhh -- giggle about now and then, affectionately of course. Mike is Leonard's equivalent of my friend Larry Solomon. I am going to make plans with Leonard to fix Mike and Larry up. Anyway, Mike thought he and I needed a break so he had promised me this lunch out, which was very nice of him. And I love Mike. He has been extremely nice in helping me out getting my bearings in San Diego while I am writing this book.
But this place! It was like no place I had ever been in my life!
It was called Homo Burger, something like that. Wait. I have it. Burger Mo. Mike explained to me helpfully that "Mo" is short for "Homo." I am not sure why he feels he has to explain gay culture to me as if I have never seen it before. But back to this bar. It was half indoors, half outdoors, and it was packed, with everyone shoulder to shoulder sweating and holding shots and bottles of beer. It was like the Allentown Art Festival on a 90-degree day. Except at Allentown, only about half the people there are large and homosexual with tattoos. Here, all the people were!
There was this guy at the next table. I have to talk about this. A huge, hairy guy with a kind of Mohawk but a long ponytail down the back. He had a ton of tattoos. And every time he got up to get another beer, which he did about every minute and a half, his pants would go halfway down his kiester. I mean AT LEAST halfway down. This was not your garden-variety "plumber's ass." I am sorry to use that word -- I was trying to avoid it by using the Kaisertown "kiester" -- but it would ruin the story not to. Every two minutes I was faced with this huge, hairy ass.
On top of all that the sound system was pounding. POUNDING. Mike looked around at the scene, drinking it in, eyes shining. He laughed, "Leonard would HATE this place!"
And I'm thinking: Yeah, no kidding!
But what about me? I am surprised that when I walked in the door an alarm did not sound. (Well, one probably did. They just couldn't hear it over the beat.) I had on a flowered yellow skirt and a pink top. And to complete my Lilly Pulitzer look, I was wearing this hilarious Republican headband. It was bright blue and green. I had the headband on because as I just said, I had just come from Mass, and at the Latin Mass people tend to follow old-fashioned rules, one of which is that women wear something on their heads. I would feel like a dork wearing one of those white mantillas, but I had this headband handy so I had worn that. So here I am, squashed in this uproarious gay bar, looking like the biggest square.
I realize I got the bar's name wrong. It is Urban Mo's. I just looked it up. They have a Web site, http://www.urbanmos.com/. Check it out and you can share my experience. Just make sure if you're at work that your computer's sound is turned down.
The good news is the burgers at Urban Mo's were fantastic. So was the beer. A couple of cold ones, and I felt much more at home.
But that sight at the next table was still a little, uh, hairy.