A few times a year my friends and I travel to the home of our alma mater to catch a game and visit our favorite establishments. Of course, we have been out of college for several years so we still call the bars by the names they had five owners ago.
We know that we are the old people in the bar but we don’t care. I am also out of touch with any scene that does not involve children’s toys or programming.
For example, my sister-in-law and I visited the ladies room at one of the bars and it smelled awful. “Why does it smell like skunk in here?” I asked.
“Ha ha! That’s not skunk! That’s marijuana,” she said.
“It smells like skunk.”
“Ha ha! I can’t believe you don’t know what marijuana smells like.”
“I’ve smelled it before, but I don’t remember it smelling like this.”
Then the door flew open and a woman yelled, “Whoo! Someone’s been smoking weed up in this joint!”
“I told you,” my sister-in-law said, laughing again.
After we had left the bar, my sister-in-law was telling the skunk story to the guys. Crossing the street with us was a group of college students.
“And she was like, ‘Why does it smell like skunk?'” my sister-in-law retold the story. “I was like, that’s not skunk. That’s marijuana!”
The college students next to us started cracking up. They probably had not heard people refer to the drug as marijuana for a while.
“Oh no! Not marijuana!” one of the guys yelled in jest.
The hubs just shook his head. “We’re old,” he said.
Our final stop of the night was Cozy Inn where they sell mini hamburgers topped with onion, pickle, mustard and ketchup. It was almost 2 a.m. and there were only six of us left, the other six had made their way back to a hotel.
While we were waiting for our order, two couples entered. Both of the women looked like younger versions of a mix between Aretha Franklin and Kathy Kinney from the “Drew Carey Show.” The four were chatty, as were my friends. Before long we learned that the women were (amateur karaoke) singers. They invited us to watch them perform at Kites, a local bar, any “Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.” They said the days of the week in sync while counting from one to four with their right hand. They were pros.
A little encouragement and they agreed to perform right there in Cozy Inn. They sang a song that I didn’t recognize first, but then they went into “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood and a full-blown version of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.” Their voices boomed through the tiny restaurant and people were staring through the glass-front window from the sidewalk to see what was going on. “And I…ah-I….ah-I…. will always love you….ooooh….ooohh….”
We gave them a standing ovation, and my friend gave the lead singer a $10 bill, which she placed in her bosom right next to her phone and her I.D.
I told my sister-in-law that we may have hit our pinnacle. I cannot think of any situation that could top a live performance in Cozy Inn at 2 a.m. She said that sounded like a challenge. I just laughed and said, “No, I really think we’ve reached our peak.”