Night Out at The Cove

February 21, 2007

I have information galore that I've been meaning to post for the last couple of months but haven't for one reason or another. It's kind of embarrassing to post a story from the week of Christmas this far after the holiday, but there are two reasons that I'm okay with it. First, it's an observation that needs to be shared with the world at large who's never tried to drink in a bar in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Second, nothing ever changes in this bar, so everything short of the candy cane covered sweater will be just as true this coming Saturday, next Saturday, and the first Saturday of July 2009.

Even though it is a town with a four-year university, Natchitoches is really hard-up for places to hang out. I'll explain.

More than anyone else I know, Mrs. theskinnyonbenny stayed friends with her good friends from high school. She has three classmates who are still very close friends. If you've been around this site, you might not know them by name, but you've seen their pictures, read about how much I like their kids, and in Shelly's case, seen daily photos of the icy cold slum that she moved into last year. Doesn't seem like much? It's 10% of their senior class. The equivalent for me would be to keep up with 35 members of my senior class. I couldn't even name that many of them.

Megan's folks.

When we're in Natchitoches during holiday weekends, there are often other friends up there for the same holiday. More than once, we've been sitting around nursing our drinks at 10:00, and we notice that the staff is putting chairs up on the tables and trying to get home. Manhattan this is not.

Sometimes, a bar will open up for a little while, but by the next trip it's already closed. So it comes down to two places: Antoon's and The Cove. For some reason, we're much more likely to go to The Cove. I understand that I've been to Antoon's, but I can't really picture it. I don't think this is because I drank to much; I think it's because the place is so dull that I bothered to remember nothing about it.

The Cove is a small smoke filled bar attached to a restaurant that is always closed by the time we get there. The bar runs down one long wall, and a DJ sits up against the opposite wall. Between them is a dance floor. The edges have tables, but I don't think there are more than three to five tables on each side of the floor.

To visit The Cove is to step back into 1991. The music would probably even have been considered stale in 91, but the bar selection is right from my early college years. I would be much more confident in my ability to order a Miller High Life than I would be in getting a Blue Moon. (But MHL is pretty good to my taste buds, as long as I didn't start with a good brand earlier in the night.)

Line dancing. See the joy. Can you deny that if all of the nations' leaders in all of the world had to line dance together that there would be peace on Earth?

Most of all, the line dancing craze is alive and well at The Cove.

A large group of us were there one night right around Christmas. I'm sure I've forgotten a lot of the highlights, but here's what I recall:

  • Boobsie (aka Megan) has embarrassing parents. I thought that she was a little old to be embarrassed about being at the same bar as Mom and Dad, but then I saw her folks in action. Her mom had a bitchin' red sweater, covered in tiny three-dimensional candy canes. She looked like one of those felt board where preschoolers can go stick other felt pictures to make a scene, but one where any given toddler's only choice was yet another candy cane.
  • They danced enthusiastically but horribly for a number of hours. I didn't think it was that bad, so at one point, I went out to dance in their company. Once I got close, I could hear that Megan's dad was singing along -- pretty loudly -- to Cool and the Gang's "Celebration." AND HE WAS SCREWING UP THE WORDS! "Ceeeeeeel-la-brate fun times COME ON!" Funny stuff.
  • The sweatsuit-wearing woman dancing with the old guy.
  • Amanda really worked hard to fit in with the line dancers. Every time a line dance would start, she would crinkle her face a little in thought. I bet she gets the same look while trying to muddle through complicated lawyer documents. But she would move her feet in with the crowd, but a quarter-beat behind. An in a minute or two, she would have it down pat. I bet she can still do them.
  • I made a game of picking the next song from the playlist. The choices were pretty obvious: Strokin', Play that Funky Music White Boy, Brick House, etc. You all know the playlist, and if you were ever in a wedding band, you could have performed the entire playlist. But I was money on my picks. A couple of times I picked the very next song, and often I picked a song and it was played within that half-hour. Then again, the playlist probably repeats every 90 minutes or so, and it's probably been the same playlist every time I've been there since the early 1990s.
  • The coup-de-grace was the somewhat attractive but trashy chick who was dressed to kill. She had a midriff-bearing sweatsuit, in the pattern of that pale desert-storm camouflage. And she was dancing with a guy who I will only hope and assume was her grandfather. Except that she was kind of grinding, so I'm not sure what I should hope. But it was a sight to see -- but only in Natchitoches.
  • This one's kind of hard to explain. I was using Shelly's camera, trying to take a stealthy photo of a pair of chicks who were dancing with each other. But right at the last second, they kind of turned my way, so I made a pivot and hit the button taking a picture of God-knows what. Except that I had turned the camera right into the front of some other girl's chest. A big 'ol close up of her boobs is what I got. I think she turned out to be a friend of Shelly's and was a good sport about it. I notice that Shelly didn't forward me that picture though.

I haven't had any pictures up from near Christmas or from New Years Eve. Shelly and Stacie were nice enough to forward me photos from that stretch, and I've combined them into one collection which you can open here. They're worth a look.