Monday, April 14, 2008



I spent this past Friday night in Ennis, Texas. No, I wasn't on work furlough or experiencing car problems on my way through Ennis. I voluntarily went to Ennis. The King Bucks were playing at an establishment in scenic/historic/stip mall-tastic Downtown Ennis. I have done some research into Ennis and just as I assumed, there is nothing remotely interesting or noble or noteworthy in the city's 140 year history. Wait, I take that back. Here's the two interesting facts I found:

- Ennis has the widest main street in America, possibly the world, due to the fact that it is actually two separate streets, each on opposite sides of the railroad track that runs through town.

- The median income for a household in the city was $38,923, and the median income for a family was $44,608. Males had a median income of $28,585 versus $22,855 for females.

I include that second fact because based upon my own rudimentary calculations, regardless of gender, approximately $12,000 of that yearly income is spent on jello shots.

The Wooden Nickel is actually a pretty nice little place. With the exception of their Big Buck Hunter which is unique if only for being the first such machine ever created and carved out of bedrock in a Flintsones fashion. The only problem is that The Wooden Nickel also happens to be the only place in the county that can serve alcohol after midnight. Meaning that, no matter what sort of crowd you travel with or what rung of society you dwell in, if you live in Ennis and you would like to get hammered you will end up at this United Nations of drunks sometime around midnight. And for some reason, you will become Mr. Pac Man and drinks will appear as dots to you and you will gobble them up in such a frenzied panic that you are completely unaware of your surroundings.

Seriously folks, this place is surreal. The stage is separated from the audience with a split rail fence. Conveniently, there's a balcony that overlooks the stage which gives members of Ennis's own Cossacks motorcycle gang a way to more forcefully and effectively demand that the band playing below them "play some ROCKNROLL!" It also allows their morbidly obese and dangerously intoxicated lady-friends to stand on chairs and perch dangerously over the band.

Now if you're a band and you're thinking: "Wow, this place sounds GREAT! I really want my band to play there!" I should give you a tip. There's some sound issues which I'm sure are being worked on around the clock to be resolved. So don't get too weirded out when, in the midst of experiencing ear shattering feedback, you see the sound guy walking through the crowd with a jello shot in each hand. Don't worry, he's probably really into your band. In fact, he may be so into your band that at some point during the show (mid-song) he will walk onto the stage with a beer in his hand and just sort of stand next to your bass player and nod along to the song you are playing. For a good solid minute or so.

This is the part where I want to give "shout outs" or "mad props" to some of my favorite people I was lucky enough to meet on Friday night:

1. Burnout Guy That Looked Like Andy Warhol If Things Had Gone Very Wrong for Andy Warhol - Yeah, like worse than being shot and dying after a botched operation. Like being the town drunk in Ennis. Anyways, I really loved it when you were telling someone about your love for music and how you loved "every type of music out there, man. Except the negro music. And that Mexican music." I hope every day brings you a new Dan Fogelberg record, metaphorically speaking.

2. Second Trimester Pregnant Woman Who Was Still at the Bar at 2:30am - Sometimes they say that when women get knocked up, they lose their edge. To them I say, not true. Because you were fierce. Remember when we were standing in the bathroom line and those two girls went in together and took a long time? I remember your response like it was yesterday. "What the fuck are those two bitches doin' in there? This motherfucker [pointing at belly] is pushing on my bladder and shit. Fuck, come on. I'm pregnant and I gotta piss, motherfuckers!" Don't forget to let me know where your baby registry is. I can't remember if it's Tobacco Town or Arby's.

3. The Tracy Morgan of Ennis - PLEASE. NEVER. STOP. BEING. AMAZING. You are a dancing machine. It doesn't even really matter if there's any music playing. I wouldn't have pegged you for a big David Allan Coe fan but I was wrong. My only real critique of your dancing skills is that I felt like sometimes you borrowed a little too liberally from Bill Cosby's opening credits dance. But your air guitar made up for that. I also liked how you threw the pool que on each turn you took. Keeps them on their toes.

4. Every Anonymous Person Who Likes to Go Up to Bands to Talk to Them or Make Requests Mid-Song - You guys are awesome. We have people like you in Dallas. But none who are bold enough to walk up to the band during their THIRD set to ask "WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO Y'ALL PLAY?" In an age where irony is all the rage, I was also glad to see that there's still people who, completely seriously, request "Stairway to Heaven" from a honky-tonk band.

And so to Ennis, I would like to offer my most heartfelt thanks for showing me a "good" time on Friday night. You guys sure do know how to "party" and "have a good time" which is admirable. It's like every day is some sort of extremely depressing Mardi Gras with you guys. I wish you all the best. I hope your children are born relatively Fetal Alcohol Syndrome free and I hope that your meth-related house explosions never result in multiple fatalities.

5 comments:

JD said...

That was a great story. My band is playing there this saturday. Should be interesting.
Thanks ~

Anonymous said...

Cobra!

The GilmerMetcalves said...

Sounds like our kind of place! We're going to be contacting their booking agent as soon as our Hill County Tour ends! Thanks for the tip!

Chloe "We Don't Need No Stickin' Soundman" Kleimenhagen with
The GilmerMetcalves,
Austin Texas, 2008

Brett said...

This was tears-in-the-corners-of-my-eyes-from laughing-so-hard-genius

Zarik said...

I dont even remember how the hell i found your blog anymore, but this shit is just hilarious. Thank you so much. You have a fan. Rejoice!