Sorry I missed last week’s post. Too much going on these days. Back on track now
Close to a decade ago, I was at a work site in Dallas with a team from the midwest. The second we got to the site, the entire discussion was going back to some fucking country bar they went to a long time ago. But, they insisted on calling it “the honky-tonk.”
So, we go there, and its fucking huge. Like if you took a super Wal-Mart, took all the shelves and shit out, that’s how big this fucking place was. I got one of the reasons that we keep Texas in the union, and sat down. We happened to be there on like a throwback country night. So, i start guessing the set list, and I nail every one.
They asked me, how the hell I knew all this stuff. Well, I grew up in the honky-tonk.
From when I was born till about age 10 or 12, my dad played in a country music band. At that point, it was alot of big 90s country hits, some classics, just drinkin and dancing stuff.
If its not clear, I basically travelled with the band. I remember endless nights of sitting by the mixing board, playing with the 2 or 3 toys I had brought with me. They kept me out of sight, cause you know, kids that young aren’t supposed to be in country bars. But, I was always a silent child. Better seen and not heard. So, I played with my toys while people got drunk and rowdy and shit around me.
As a result of this experience, I have an encyclopedic knowledge of what country bands of that era were playing. At one point in my life, I could line dance. My parents even dressed me up in the clothes and shit. I had boots, a hat, a little belt buckle. The works.
My dad eventuallly got tired of being on the road so much, so the band broke up.
One would think this was reason enough to hate going to a country bar. But no, it runs deeper and odder. Cause first off, I don’t necessarily hate the music. Don’t get me wrong. There is shit I fucking hate, but alot of the classics I enjoy. The first song I ever learned all the words for was All My Ex’s Live in Texas, lets put it that way.
No, I hate it for a bigger reason. It feels like LARP’ing. Cosplay. These people at these country bars, I would see them in regular life. They were bankers, car salesmen, etc. But on friday and saturday night, they would don the duds that let them become a rodeo star or some kind of cowboy.
You listen to some of these songs where they just list country shit, and it just feels fake. Most of these people’s life is dominated with the mundane as everyone else is. But, just for that moment. They can live the dreams that never existed.
And it wasn’t my dreams. I never wanted to reverse course. Forward has always been my motis operandi. Being in a honk-tonk feels regressive to me. Like you yearn for a time that didn’t actually exist. It’s like a big joke that I don’t want to have anything to do with. My eyes were always toward the stars at a young age, and nothing is more toward the earth than songs about fishing or getting drunk on a lake.
Now. ALL OF THAT SAID. You know as well as I do dear reader, we have a rule here. Whatever helps you escape the unfathomable depression of existence for 5 minutes, and you don’t hurt anybody, is fine with us. So at the end of the day, if you like going and LARP’ing for an era when you were a farmer instead of an insurance salesmen, have at it.
Jus’t don’t pull me in it. Its not the world I want to pretend I live in.