BY LANCE DOILY It was Friday and the salesman decided to be a prankster and send 15 cases of some horseshit Raspberry Pomegranate fusion beer to Murph’s that would turn most of the regulars to stone upon eye contact, but I was heading over there regardless. You see, tonight Nazareth was playing at the Moose Lodge in Clifton and I had to swing by to pick my partner in crime Smitty up, but there was precious little time to guzzle em’ back today. As soon as I walked in the door they could see by the look in my eyes that today I was all business. I got the refusal signature from Dusty and loaded all 10 of their empty kegs back onto my truck in well under a minute. Went downstairs to take a quick shit then came back up with just enough time to pull Smitty off his stool, buy a round of shots for the regulars, and hightail it on out of there. Dusty was standing by the exit ready to hand me off a pint of Yukon Jack. I gave him the nod, he gave me the eye, then I chugged her down and bank shot the bottle with the back of my boot heel off the wall and into the garbage can. All before the cap hit the ground, my friends.
I had one more stop on the way; fairly routine as far as the actual delivery goes, but it soon became clear I would be glad to have Smitty on my side for the night. It was a dive called The Rusty Tugboat, normally a harmless spot for regulars to get together, play pool, and shoot the shit, but when I saw the poster for the mechanical bull I sensed trouble ahead. I knew this bull well; every ass-for-a-hat cowboy in the county has waltzed in whistlin’ shitty Dixie only to find themselves catapulted off of it within seconds. It wasn’t an altogether uncommon sight to see some piss drunk college kid try to impress his girlfriend and get cannonballed through the front window. The owner/operator was an ex-con named Bo Savage, and he went to great lengths to make sure no one was able to stay on that fucker for more than 30 seconds. From what I hear, when he brought the bull to the Waterfront Pub to terrorize the locals he had the thing fitted with a 426 Hemi engine, and from what little I know of Bo I believe it. More importantly, everywhere the bull went a nasty crowd followed. There was no way we were making it out of there without getting our hands a little dirty.
I got through the door safely with my cases but the bouncer was giving Smitty a hard time about the cover charge. It was some jerkoff with a Madball hoodie; this dude obviously doesn’t know Smitty and me were collapsing skulls at Venom shows over at City Gardens before he knew how to shit right. Smitty handily muscled his way through and we surveyed the bar to gauge our chances. From what I could tell, it was a real “Keep ‘em comin’” crowd; I’d say most of them looked like they could take down a good 15-20 beers during a weekday afternoon get-yer-drink-on. The odds were definitely stacked against us, but we could live with that. Personally, I just wanted to get these beers to the cooler and head on out in order to grab a spot up front for Nazareth, but when I saw Smitty sit down and order a drink I knew he had other plans. One thing you guys might not know is that although he’s put on some weight and started wearing Zubaz, Smitty was once a formidable barroom brawler. I really should have known when he changed from a J&J Electric t-shirt into a sleeveless denim vest on the way in that leaving here wouldn’t be so easy, but I stuck by his side. You never leave a man behind.
I sat next to him and we both shared an uncomfortably long silence while staring at a full jug of Carlo Rossi. It had been awhile since Smitty became enraged enough to shatter a full gallon jug of Carlo Rossi over someone’s head, but the silence told me it was a place he was willing to revisit tonight. He preferred Paisano since it “gives it a nice Technicolor feel” when mixed with some poor fucker’s blood, but for now Burgundy would have to do. He bought the jug and made his way over to some kid no older than 22 who was obviously wearing a Uriah Heep t-shirt ironically. Smitty’s a big Heep guy so I feared the worst, but I was pleasantly surprised when it looked like the two of them were hitting it off. But one wrong trivia answer later and we all heard the shattering glass. Within seconds we were swept up in a maelstrom of flashing knives and pool balls being lassoed around inside bar towel slings breaking skulls apart. After a solid half-hour of total aggression, Smitty took a quick break from wailing on some dude with a sock full of quarters to rig the juke to loop “Hair of the Dog” for the rest of the duration. He ended up fucking the wiring and we were forced to maintain absolute pandemonium through a couple go-rounds of “Love Hurts,” but it was just a minor fuck-up in the end.
When we found ourselves standing on top of the bar, kicking the bloodthirsty crowd away from us, it was certain to me we weren’t getting out of here alive. Not so with Smitty, who was determined to make Murph’s his grave and from the looks of it was about to go all Last Days of Pompeii on everyone’s asses. But suddenly, Smitty’s war turned inward. Years of torment and regret manifested itself in the form of clenched fists pounding bloody menace into his own skull. It was a pummeling display of self-hatred but we couldn’t help but stop what we were doing and root for the guy anyway. Smitty had beaten himself to such a pulp that no one dared go near him the rest of the time we were there, no one except for Bo Savage, who bought us shots of Banker’s club (turns out the plastic bottles were the only ones left standing) and asked if we’d be willing to give the bull a shot. As if. Better luck next time Kemosabe, we had a Nazareth show to catch.
PREVIOUSLY: The Auspicious Debut Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: The Second Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: The Third Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: The Fourth Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: The Fifth Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: Phawker Presents The Sixth Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: How I Came To Know Lance Doily