I think I’ve figured out what’s wrong with my town. I’ve watched it grow up from scary urban wasteland to gentrified post-suburban neo-yuppie masturbation sock, and there’s just a little something that’s off. A sort of sanitized soullessness that breeds boredom and frustration. And hookers can fix that. Wouldn’t it be nice to walk down Georgia Avenue and get propositioned a few times? There are certainly some individuals who need a good, cheap blowjob — from the arrogant, socially-retarded president of the historical society to all of those whining simpletons who defend pretentious shit bars.
But, I will admit that streetwalkers may be crossing a line. Therefore, I propose that the next Silver Spring bar not be a pretentious shitfest but, instead, we do what Bethesda has done for their hookers. Open up a place like Tommy Joe’s, which seems to mysteriously shirk all the Orwellian laws of the People’s Republic of Montgomery County.
I lived in Bethesda for a few years in the early 90’s and, let me tell you, that was a town that seriously needed hookers. Now, thanks to Tommy Joe’s, you can have your pick of strangely redneck or faux professional girls at a cheap rate, and get lost with them in the warren of back rooms. And then enjoy a theme park-style re-creation of what it was like when we were allowed to smoke inside. This can all be lubricated (heh) with Very Large Mixed Drinks and, maybe, a drunken ten dollar game of Buck Hunter. Which is…awesome. Seriously.
There’s a lot about Tommy Joe’s that’s awesome, actually. It reminds me of a weird roadhouse bar in West Virginia that my friends insisted on driving 45 minutes to every Friday night when I was in college. Get drunk for ten bucks, go home with a girl whose actual given name was something insane like Windy Farms, and then fuck her while her three kids stared balefully at you from the other room of her dismal trailer.
Though, of course, Tommy Joe’s presents a thinner, more attractive version of Windy Farms. Here in the greater Metropolitan Area, there’s a demand for the heroin-chic, two-toned hair sort of girl. (For the Silver Spring resident, we’ll need tattoos of cat paws on each breast.)
A hooker bar may well be the bar that I finally decide to open. I was going to go for the vintage speakeasy thing, but Jackie cornered that market with her new Sidebar. Assuming that a speakeasy was actually a place where rich people went and paid through the nose for drinks that took ten minutes to prepare and were frothed with meringue and flaming, fresh-picked violets.
Not that that’s a bad thing. I’d love to badmouth Sidebar but, fuck, I can’t stop going there and ordering crazy drinks. My girlfriend loves the Aviator, and I love paying $11 for a small gin and tonic that’s made by gin monks (if you get the right bartender). That’s Jackie’s great power. You love pretty much anything she touches, even if it’s not quite right. The Quarry House is the prime example. This fine, old basement bar that used to be quite scary, actually. Before Jackie, you went down there and all you could get was beer and a couple of wine choices. At the bar sat a cast of characters that you would only ever see in a high school level creative writing class from that kid who just discovered Hunter Thompson.
The place was, otherwise, failing and empty. Then Jackie came, touched it with her wand, and it became an uber-chic “dive” bar with a beer and bourbon list to die for. And food. And vibrant, rocking life. By far the best bar experiment in all of the Maryland suburbs.
But…not quite right. Because everybody should go into a dark basement bar, at least once in their lives, and sit in silence next to an angry dwarf who is wearing a shoulder holster and prone to pulling out a gun as big as his arm and telling you all about it.
No place for that in modern Silver Spring. Which… Well, now that I type it out, I think that’s probably a good thing.
Where was I? Oh, yes! Hookers. We’ve got the Greek mafia bar, the faux-Irish mall-bar, the secret egg-themed happy hour, a few loud chain bars, a pretentious fuckhead bar, the vintage-themed bar, the awesome basement bar, a pirate-themed bar, and the Lotus Café, which gives my uncle Vietnam flashbacks and, even for those of us born after the war, feels like it should have grenade nets over the windows. Talk about an eerie slice of Saigon.
So here’s my proposal. I take over the old corner that Mayorga was in before they decided to take their lousy coffee and terrible service to Takoma Park and I open the Hooker Bar.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: Well, that’s what the now defunct Gallery lounge tried to do. But no! Gallery was actually a cocaine bar, and there is a big difference. (Weirdly, Jackies has become the new cocaine bar. I’ve stepped into their bathroom a few times and it was like walking into the “So Beautiful and So Dangerous” segment of Heavy Metal.)
I’ll just go ahead and steal the formula that has made Tommy Joe’s a success. I’ll have a small cadre of regulars who are all 60+, male, and appear to have an infinite supply of disposable income but are otherwise unassuming and approachable. They’ll be intermingled with high-powered businessmen for the early happy hour and wealthy yet desperately lonely college kids for the later happy hour. Throughout, there needs to be a good 30- and 40-something vibe. The important thing to remember is that you don’t want rich-looking people. Suited pencilneck geeks are usually drones. You want the well-dressed casual wear guys who turn out to be bankers, lawyers, and surprisingly high-level government officials.
Knock out a ceiling, cover it with tarp, and set up an “outside” bar and smoke lounge to keep everyone inside, drunk, and flirting.
I sometimes wonder if the girls have a business agreement with the bar. Like there’s some sort of kickback going on. Or maybe it’s just that Tommy Joe’s is the only place in Bethesda that doesn’t make you want to lunge across the table and bite your server’s face.
Let’s work on names. Go ahead and make suggestions in the comments section. Whoever comes up with the best name gets a free blowjob from my hostess, Windy Farms, on opening night. And, look, if you close your eyes and pretend that the three kids in the other room are dolls or something, it’s really not so bad.