I know, I know, Gentle Reader – I’ve sworn up and down for years that I never want to be mistaken for straight ever again in my life. What business do I have putting such a thing on my List? Well, for one thing, I just adore costumes – and, for another, I like to know that I can pass, in an emergency. Like, for example, if I have to use the bathroom of a rural straight bar. Therefore:
The Task: Go to a straight bar and try to pass as some kind of dudebro.
The Execution: I knew that this was something I’d have to do before I left the Key Peninsula for brighter horizons. The K.P. is a bastion of redneckery and the sort of hypermasculinity that can’t be negotiated with and, while the people who live there are often good-hearted – well, I’ll just say that there’s been more than one occasion where I’ve felt myself to be in peril whilst in my natural guise.
Heidi, a dear friend and coworker, made plans to go out to the bar with me after my last day of work. Her fiancé, Paul, would join us there. Thus it was that, while dressing for my last day in Bremerton – a Navy town* – I decided to bro it up for the whole day, rather than just the evening.
Naturally, people saw through my clever disguise as soon as I said anything, and Heidi eventually demanded that I take the hat off until bar time, because it was so entirely out of character and looked entirely too douchey.
We got to the bar, and eagerly awaited our fellow bros. Jimmy’s 94th Street Pub is next to a wrecking yard, and the smoking area overlooks it. It’s hard to get more butch than that, n’est-ce pas? Working on cars and then beers with your bros? Indeed.
Heidi and Paul go to Jimmy’s all the time, and know the staff pretty well. I met their favorite bartender, who wasn’t yet on shift, outside in the smoking area. We chatted about what bars might be hiring in Tacoma, and she suggested several places – notably E9, a notoriously fratty establishment, as well as the West End Pub, because – and I quote, mind you – “[I] don’t look like the suit and tie type of dude.”
But I totally passed in front of bartender who should know better! So I was totally successful! Um, man.
Paul finally showed up, and we “shot the shit” about all kinds of manly things, like their upcoming wedding, and my burlesque photo-shoot. Yo!
The Verdict: It’s nice to know that I can pass, if I need to, even if I’d really rather not to. And I had a great night. Thank you, Heidi! Thanks, Paul! You guys are totally great bros, bro.
*A Navy town is basically like a college town, but with worse hair. Also, Bremerton is spectacularly run down.