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January 13th, 2008

Key West Vacation—Day 2

We got up at around 10:30 today, and had breakfast downstairs in the pool-restaurant-bar area. I had a three-cheese omelet, Joe had a bagel, and we split their fruit platter, which contains: strawberries, melon, cantaloupe, blueberries, bananas, pineapple, and oranges.

I spent an hour or so up near the deck creating Friday's blog entry. I say "near" the deck, as on the deck they have fans all around the edge, and attached to each of them is a mister, which sprays a fine mist all over the deck and chairs—which is great for bodies, but not so much for laptops.



I listened to a few more chapters of In Cold Blood. I am just loving having that read to me.



We were faithful attendees at Happy Hour again this evening, but we drank less (and that's hard to do when it's free!), and actually had dinner instead of just appetizers. I had their Angus Burger (medium well), and Joe had their Veggie Burger. We split an order of fries.



We walked down to Duval Street, which is actually a nice walk—it's not too far, but it's far enough to get some exercise in.

We went directly to 801 Bourbon Bar, arriving at about 6:50. Karaoke started at 6:00, and one of Joe's favorite bartenders in Key West was working the bar. She was also there last night, and told us to come back tonight as she'd be working the bar during Karaoke. Her name is Mira, and she's from Serbia. Cute, nice, and a good bartender. The people who work there have this little ditty they say about her: "Mira, Mira, on Duval..."

It wasn't very crowded; there were, for the most part, only 12 people in the bar—four along each side of the u-shaped bar, which faced a stage area, where the karaoke machine was set up.

There were several of those 12 who were tore-up from the floor-up. I'm talking shit-faced. This bar is right off Duval Street, and the "doors" are just open to the street, so people are always walking by poking their heads in to see what's going on. And it's a gay bar.

One of them, a young(ish), thin guy, just screamed one of his songs, and during it took off his shirt, fumbling with each button. There was an older lady sitting off to the side, obviously a straight lady (you know how you can tell just by looking ), and it was interesting watching her reaction to all of this.

The song the now half-naked guy was singing finished, but he just kept the mic, and kept singing something after it. Then, he put down the microphone for a second, pulled off his shorts and underwear, picked up the microphone, and continued to sing some song only he heard with his little willy flopping around.

Someone yelled to him, and pointed to the older lady by the door, and said, "You are dancing naked in front of your mother."

I was quite surprised that neither Mira, nor one of the other people working in the bar, made any effort to go over to him to get him to put his pants back on. I mean, as I said, the bar opens out to the street.  It made me wonder what the nudity laws are here.

801 Bourbon Bar (doors open to Duval Street)



I had folded two of my one-dollar tips for Mira into origami bow ties, which she'd left on the bar. At one point, this guy stood next to me at the bar, and took out his wallet.

I thought he was going to swap out two of his one-dollar bills for my folded ones. But, instead, he pulled out a 50-dollar origami bow-tie, and said, "This has been sitting in my wallet for about ten years. I've never seen anyone else make one." He also had another bill, the denomination of which I didn't catch, origamied (yes, I did just make a verb out of that noun) into an arrow.

Joe met a guy named Timothy there, who turned out to be an interesting character. He was 23 years old, and to me, looked a little bit like Clay Aiken. That's not what was interesting about him.

What was interesting was that he was here in Key West with his younger brother (who is straight, but "very gay-friendly"), who had just turned 21, and his father, whom I'm chagrined to report was three years younger than yours truly. Dad was "down the street" in a straight bar, and his brother was, presumably, back in their hotel room nursing a hangover. (Evidently, he took this turning 21 thing seriously.)

Later in the evening Joe actually met the father, and when Joe extended his hand in meeting him, the man did not extend his hand in return. In the course of their brief conversation he said these things:

  • "I'm not sure about this whole gay thing."

  • "So what does your dad think about you being gay?"

  • And the strangest comment of all, after speaking with Joe for just a little bit, "I guess if Tim is going to hang out with a guy, you're an okay one."
I wish I'd been in witness of this conversation, because I surely would have looked around that titty bar, and said, "I'm not so sure about this whole straight thing."

Joe sang Sweet Caroline, and the whole bar chimed in. Bamp, bamp, bahm.  So good, so good, so good!

I asked the male karaoke emcee, Jeff, if he would sing Friends in Low Places, and he said, "It's one of the about 10 country songs I know, and I'd be happy to sing it. He eventually did, and it was a real popular sing-along song as well.

Before heading back to our place, we stopped outside a pet shop, and watched two of the cutest little puppies for sale romping about. They were cute, but they were "show dogs," and one was $1100 and the other one was something like $750.



Back at the room, I did what I rarely do—turned on the TV in the room—and flipped through the channels. I landed on PBS, where a movie in progress captured me.

I knew immediately that it was a movie version of some literary classic, but didn't recognize it all. As each character name was spoken, Mr. Elliott, Lady Russell, Captain Wentworth, none of them rang any bells. Miss Musgrove, Lady Dalrymple, it went on. Still nothing.

While it continued, I got out my laptop, and started googling these character names, and eventually got a hit, though surprisingly, it was rather obscure; that is, it didn't just pop out as Jane Austen's Persuasion.

I've never heard of this novel of hers. What I watched of the movie, which was probably the last third, made me want to read the book.

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