Oregon Tavern Age: Audition

It was noon on a Friday and I was reading a manuscript in a joint auditioning for OTA status. The audition wasn’t going well. Why? $7 drafts of craft malt liquor answered that question. Still, the joint was trying.

An OTA man shuffled in wearing shorts and a gut. He ordered a vodka cranberry and headed to the video lottery games, which aren’t really games at all. More like costly hypnosis sessions.

“Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield came on.

I want to tell her that I love her

But the point is probably moot

Moot! Moot! Moot! Hot damn vocabulary in a pop/rock song!

However, I must state for the record: it is never moot to tell someone you love her.

Moments later, an elderly Asian woman entered and started ordering the bar staff around to disinfect the gambling machines. Finally satisfied with their cleanliness after multiple wipings, she started playing two machines at once with astonishing alacrity. She wasn’t drinking.

“What I Like About You” by the Romantics came on. I saw the band one time at Starry Night in Portland. A ripping show.

In walked a large, very large OTA man wearing black sweats, a black t-shirt, and a trucker hat. Tattoos of spiderwebs covered his arms and neck. Somewhere in the unknown universe, this looked cool.

He ordered a beer and went to the machines and was soon whooping and hollering while playing Flush Fever.

Willie Nelson came on, a nugget from the 70s. I instantly became sad in the unique way only Willie’s songs from that era can make me sad. Not a bad sad. A good feeling of sadness if there is such a thing.

It was time to leave.

The joint was still auditioning as I walked out the door.

I’ll inform them later if they make the cut. At the moment it was looking pretty good —spiderweb tattoos and Willie, you know?