I find myself with a little extra time today, thanks to the fact that my second class confessed that only ONE of them had done their homework--which was to read one of Chuck Klosterman's Esquire pieces (2 pages). Since my whole lecture today was based on their having read this, I told them to go home and to come back when they had done the assigned work. 2 pages! I can't even imagine what it would have been like to have had anyone only assign me 2 pages to read in college. I had terms in which I was reading 30 pages of poetry, 2 plays, 2 novels, and a book of art history/philosophy/history in a given week. (Not to mention writing for all of those classes.) What a bunch of weenies.
Anyhoo. I'm taking this time to send out a little Valentine to my good buddy, Qwanty, who has been wanting me to write on the following topic for some time now. I will probably get some of the story wrong. She will, without a doubt, correct me if I misremember.
This is the story of Patrick Lunch. (Which is not his real name, but I'll get to that part of the story eventually.)
Back in the day when Qwanty and I were hanging out at the 1201, drinking sourballs, splitting fondue, not paying cover due to the fact that we'd made friends with the bouncer (thanks, Devin--even though you turned out to be a real tool), and flirting with a bus-y-looking bus boy in vinyl pants over our glasses (ok. so "we" didn't really do that. It was more "me"), we became fans of a couple of different local bands. One of them was the ridiculous Rollerball, a band that featured a tall drink of water in a Mr. Roger's cardigan who played the clarinet like he was having crazy sex with it. The other was a band called the Dolomites, which might sound like some sort of R & B band, but was really a band that played "pirate rock", which, as far as I can tell, meant some stuff that sounded like Pogues rip-offs and some Tom Waits covers. Clearly, we followed Rollerball because of the clarinet player. We followed The Dolomites because Qwanty knew the "brains" behind the band from PSU. His name was Steve, but this is hard for me to remember most of the time because we referred to him exclusively as "Strictly" due to the fact that Qwanty thought that he looked like he could have been a character in Strictly Ballroom.
Anyway, we saw the Dolomites all over town. Memorable performances include 1) the Kells Irish festival. It was so cold that I remember sitting at a table in the tent LITERALLY shivering for several hours. I also remember that this set off one of the worst bouts of tonsillitis I've ever had. 2) the Green Room. Mostly what I remember about this one is that Strictly dedicated a song to us, and had us STAND UP so everyone could clap for us (ugh) and then the song was a Tom Waits cover and I HATE TOM WAITS. (I wasn't that crazy about Strictly either). 3) Ash Street Salon. It was here that the story at hand began--
As I remember it, the Dolomites were opening for a band called The Moops. Strictly talked us into staying at Ash Street to watch The Moops by telling us that they were "great guys." He might have also bought us a round. I believe he also warned us that the frontman was "kind of a character." As it turns out, the front man was no other than DJ Gregarious T. Cline. Some of you know Greg as the guy who spins for "Shut Up and Dance"--a weekly, mostly 80s themed dance party. (And--story for another occasion--the DJ for the New Year's event I attended this year with Mikey J. and my sister-in-law.) Here are some things that you should know about Greg: 1) He will try to score with almost any woman who walks by him. 2) He has an astounding collection of velvet (and velveteen?) pants and frilly ascots. 3) He sometimes dances to certain 80s songs as if he is performing a sacred ritual (ask my sister-in-law, Joy, she's observed it). 4) His REAL first name is Gregarious. Like, his mom named him that on purpose. 5) He seems to actually be aging backwards, like Benjamin Buttons, or Mork. 6) He is ridiculous.
*At this moment I have to interrupt this story to report to you all that I am currently sitting in a coffeeshop and, hand to G--, "Afternoon Delight" just started playing overhead. Oh Paul Rudd--I love you looking like a 1970's on-location TV news reporter!
Back to Ash Street--So, this band with this completely ridiculous frontman, playing a guitar painted with scenes that seemed to be ripped from "Octopus's Garden"--steps on stage and starts playing. I don't remember a lot about the performance, other than the fact that I couldn't stop laughing, and that maybe the last song they did was a rock cover of Paula Abdul's "Cold-Hearted Snake." (I vaguely remember this being brilliant.) Anyway. I was entertained. It turns out Qwanty had paid more attention to the whole thing that I had though . . .
The next day Qwanty was at Palio (this is when I was going there pretty much every day to see the narrow-hipped Coffee Boy and she was going to see a cute little diabetic). This tall, thin blonde guy kept looking at her, and finally approached. Turns out that he had recognized her from the show the night before. He was the drummer for the Moops. Qwanty recognized him. She chatted with him for awhile and found out that he was living in a big house in Ladd's Addition and that Palio was also HIS coffeeshop. This is where my memory sort of falters. Qwanty either made plans to have a drink at BOG (the other bar where we spent time in those days. Also owned by Phil Ragamuffin), or he mentioned to her that he sometimes drank at BOG. Either way, we ended up sharing Black Butte Porters with him at BOG one night soon thereafter. We found out that he hung out there because he (along with too many other Portland jackasses) had a huge crush on a bartender there (she will remain nameless. But I can say that he sometimes played drums for her, and she is an Irish chanteuse).
Anyway, we spent the whole evening with him. We found out about his crush, and that he worked at OMSI making models out of wiggly board, but only part time because he also manufactured and sold some weird nut used in drum kits. The most clear memory I have of that night is, at one point, Patrick leaning over the table and saying, "Ladies. Before we progress in this friendship any more, there is something about me that I think you should know. I am a convicted felon." Turns out that he had done some time for manufacture with the intent to sell. He was growing a lot of pot.
Then he asked us to have breakfast with him the next morning.
END OF PART ONE. STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT INSTALLMENT OF: THE EPIC OF PATRICK LUNCH.