We were tired of hanging out with cheerleaders. That’s how spoiled we were. We were in San Antonio. We had just won the Universal Cheerleaders Association’s National Championship. We, in the sense that I was the App State mascot, Yosef, so I got to travel with the team. I like to think my being there as moral support was key in the triumph.
For almost a week we had been in this incredible place, surrounded by the beautiful people. And we won our division. There was a trophy and everything. Afterwards there was a huge party with hundreds of cheerleaders and college dance team girls. But, we’d been hanging out with them for days. We wanted to see Texas. We wanted to move to greener grass. Again, we were spoiled.
So, Lee, “Skee”, and I left the celebration, hopped into a cab, and Lee instructed the cab driver, “take us to a real Texas bar.” (Note: I can’t remember Skee’s real name…or why we called him Skee…but, I bet it’s an awesome story.)
A few death defying cab ride minutes later we were standing outside of Denim and Diamonds. The place was gigantic. We walked in and I immediately empathized with how the gladiators must have felt. Huge arena. Surrounded by strangers. The roar of the crowd. A dance floor the size of a soccer field packed with women doing some version of country line dance. Okay, maybe not exactly the gladiator experience.
We walked across the dance floor to the bar. I remember the main bar was in the center of the dance floor. This was a design flaw. There may have been a secret way to get there, but we looked like a real life Frogger game avoiding the circling two-steppers. Once you reached the oasis you were fine. As long as you didn’t ever have do any beer recycling.
Miller Brewing Company had just introduced Icehouse Beer, a flavor that hadn’t made it to North Carolina yet. They were aggressively promoting them in Texas. Cost was a quarter per long-neck. Oysters, also were a quarter. We did some quick math. Our per diem would work nicely with that price point.
It didn’t take long to realize that we were the only men in the place whose jeans did not read: Lee, Levis, or Wrangler. We also were noticeably missing cowboy hats. Fortunately, Lee and Skee were really good looking and I was hilarious. A deadly combination. Plus, App gave us about $25 a day for food; enough money to buy an Icehouse for everyone within lasso range.
A group of women who spoke broken English decided that we looked fun. We at least looked different. Pretty sure I was the only guy in the place sporting Z.Caverichis and a Structure shirt. It was loud, and I only speak Mexican food, so we accepted their offer to dance. They taught us to two-step. I danced a lot in college. I considered myself a decent dancer. People who witnessed me on the floor at Geno’s would probably disagree, but in my head I could really throw down. Either way, I was ungood at the two-step. But, we had fun. We danced. We rode the mechanical bull. We didn’t die.
I’m not sure if there is a moral to this story. But, we left a situation where we were really comfortable. And the Virginia Tech Hi-Tech Dance Team. I mean, we left them too, not they are really comfortable. Wait. I’m not saying the Hi-Techs aren’t comfortable. Anyway, we embarked on a mission to do something we had never done before. And we did. Plus, we had our first Icehouse. I don’t know if they still make that particular strain of beer, but if you drink $5.00 worth of those things you can get pretty loopy. I think Skee threw up in the cab. Lee barely made it back the next morning to catch the plane.
We met new people, we danced like Texans and we spent a cumulative 8 seconds (possibly…I may have only made it about two) on a motorized thing designed to kill city slickers.
Maybe the moral is try new things. Or every silver lining has a more silverer lining. Or if beer is only $.25 don’t drink five dollars worth. Or, it’s nice to know that when Mike D rules the world he won’t hog all the cheerleaders.
God bless Texas.
On a completely unrelated note, if you ever get the chance to put on a costume and act silly in front of 20,000 people, I highly recommend it. We may discuss this at a later date. Don’t Mess With Yosef.