AUTHOR: Beth TITLE: DATE: 11/01/2003 05:48:00 PM ----- BODY:

My Eyes!!

Right now looking at this screen is like trying to make out something engraved on the surface of the sun. Six hours after the people at the opthalmologist's office dropped a potion onto my pupils to dilate them, things still aren't quite right--everything sort of looks like I've just stared into a camera flash. But I'm blogging anyway. Check out that dedication. What I want to write about, though, isn't really the suffering I underwent at the hands of Dr."Is one better or two?" today (although it should be noted that I do need reading glasses and that I apparently overfocus, meaning that I deliberately and semi-consciously cause the tiny muscles in my irises to flex and change the shape of my eyeballs, to the point where I now have a slight astigmatism). No, what I'd like to get out of my system at the moment is the way my eyes were even more brutally assaulted during last night's Halloween festivities. I shouldn't even call them festivities, because it was no different from what we do every weekend--out to dinner somewhere, smoke, bitch about work, go home, maybe watch a movie, fall asleep, repeat. But last night we decided to go to J.J. Boomer's just to mix up our usual Chili's-Uno's-Chili's routine, and we were in for a treat. I was the first to notice it. Kellie was about halfway through regaling us about her Tard Adventure (I'm going to have to refer you to her for more information about that), and having already heard the story, my eyes began to wander over the rest of the clientele, at first pausing to rest on nothing in particular, then observing the woman with a torso like a beanbag chair parked on a bar stool, the bartender dressed like a mutant cat-prostitute (from what I could tell, anyway) slinging beers, and the numerous backwards-ballcap-beer-drinkers gleefully flinging "r"-less words back and forth over the bar. It was a dismal little joint. Our waitress had hands so gnarled and veiny that casts of them could have been sold in a novelty shop as part of someone's $10 witch costume. But what I noticed as Kellie continued describing the autistic kid's fascination with the color of french fry boxes on their "field trip" to MacDonald's put all that to shame. Even the Guido walking by in a double breasted suit and a little moustache, Even the white kid with a gigantic Afro wig complete with aviator shades buried in the curls above his forehead. It was that most supremely rare of all bar-crawler species--a glorious, fully mature mullet in its natural habitat. The man's outfit was enough to condemn him to the realm of fashion victim--jeans he probably had to break out the toolbox at home to put on, stonewashed; a shirt it looked like he'd stolen out of Bob Vila's closet, plaid; cowboy boots, brown, pointy-toed; and above it all, in full and radiant plumage, a mullet the top of which began at the crown of his balding--yes, I said balding--pate, and flowed free to a jungle of split ends at the small of his back. Not only was it a mullet--but it was nearly a skullet--an unintentional skullet!--as well. I was nearly overcome with emotion at seeing my first field specimen, but I managed to somewhat subtly point the mullet out to my tablemates, taking care not to startle the creature as we made our observations. According to our assembled information (mostly courtesy of the always-observant Steve), he had apparently been wearing a crown of thorns earlier in the night, and had evidently been affecting some strange skulleted-Bob-Vila-Jesus act, placing one hand on a girl's forehead and commanding her to "be healed". When he turned his head I could see that he was indeed sporting a Neanderthal-level growth of dark beard, the better to come across as Jesus-like, I suppose. But Jesus, as far as I can tell, wasn't quite so ZZ Top. By the time I'd managed to chew my way through my steak tips, some very drunk (male) friends had joined ZZ Top Jesus at the bar, where they continued to corner hapless females. Somewhere along the line, a friend of ZZTJ, who sported a generous potbelly under a denim shirt, black jeans, a cell phone on a belt holder and an over-coiffed Hair Club for Men 'do, began to dance in a way that made him look as if he was being repeatedly struck in the back of the knees with a sledgehammer. Check, please. Did I mention the clown? Nursing a Bass Ale at one of the high topped tables? There wasn't a kid in sight, but there's a full-grown woman (I think), face paint, rainbow wig and all, chugging her brew like there wasn't anything abnormal going on. As we walked through the door, right before we stopped to survey two more fratboys thoroughly TPing a friend's car, a woman turned in our direction and rasped, cigarette-voiced, into her cellphone, "Yar, my muthah fell off tha backuvah trailah this arftahnoon, so..." I guess the moral of this story is a word to the wise: Lowell (which is scary enough on a normal day) and Halloween just don't mix.