It’s a Sunday night and a few members of the Dive Team have gone abroad. Through the light mist of snow, we find ourselves in the bustling metropolitan area of Tahoe City. A cultural hub. On one side of the one street: a thrift store featuring pornographic posters of 80’s hunks, a theater that plays one movie a day, a soap shop, a bourgeois boutique with the name “Tipsy Gipsy”, and a candle shop. On the other side: a lake. Besides these arts and culture institutions, there were also a few electric spots where a kid could wet their whistle. And oh, did we plan on wetting our whistle.
While we did want to drink, that was secondary to our main objective for the night. For the main goal was much more dignified, debonair, worldly, and suave. We were out to hit the green table top and push some cue. We were out to play billiards. No, not pool, biiillliiiiaaarrdddsssss.
We approach our first billiards joint. We see tattoos and sweat through small windows. This is where we want to be. This would be our spot for the evening. Our turf. Wait. Unfortunately, one of us forgot our ID and the establishment did not grant us entry. That’s fine. That’s not the kind of place we want be anyways. That kind of rule-abiding, docile energy is NOT one we want to associate with.
We make our way a few doors down to something better. One with a relaxed and cool air. One with a pool table on a bit of a stage to really highlight its importance. One that didn’t card when you walked in. One that was essentially the same as the other one except for its security. We had found our spot for the evening. The following will be an in-depth study of the bar and the people its contained.
This is the kind of place that gives styrofoam cups as to-go containers. This place has a gorgeous jukebox with curving thick lines for the neon to dance. It is broken. This place has a cutout of James Dean nestled near the bathroom. This place has pennants of essentially every California sports team hanging on the wall to instill a sense of local patriotism?? I can’t decipher that one. This is the kind of place that has three loose trays of stale Chex Mix, Goldfish, and pretzels. It also has a bowl of stale cheese balls. Can’t forget that. This is the kind of bar that recognizes that the food they have provided does not necessarily hit all food groups for its patrons and decides to throw in a free dessert. For the final course, they have chucked loose MikenIkes, Hot Tamales and Skittles in a pitcher. By the looks of it, they have also just thrown some loose candy in the air. to see where in the bar it falls. The have staged a couple to essentially fuck on one bar stool to give the necessary vibe of grit every bar should have.
I hope you have been able to use this imagery to paint a lovely photo in your mind. For the final visual challenge, I would like you to picture a group of young Poterish men playing pool. I would now like you to picture us walking in with confidence, seeing the one table occupied and then swiftly taking a seat in the corner. We eventually walk towards the table of boys with tiny beanies and cut corduroy slacks. We share some fun conversation but then identify ourselves as folks from Santa Cruz. They were LA boys who thought they were important enough to go north, gentrify SF, and then have the audacity to claim they were from SF. At a certain point, we overhear them use the phrase “Santa Cruz chicks” as if it had a negative connotation. We took this as “ya, they’re fun, cool, one could even say hot, but they definitely have pubes.” The boys left for a smoke and then left for good. They huddled together and shared one teal, full-bodies menthol American Spirit. As I believe in journalistic integrity, I feel as though I should say that for that last sentence I was speculating. We all know I’m probably right. Anyways. We traded quarters for some true classic fun.
We played billiards like gods. We drank Dos Equis out of a plastic pitcher like gods. We scooped stale snacks out of aluminum trays with our bare hands like gods. And we did all of this, with pubes. Like god. damn. gods.