One Night at Bookers BBQ

Not sure who Anna Suave is, but this write up is just too good not to share…

One rainy night, I went with the husband to Bookers. When I say it was raining, I’m drastically understating the situation. It was storming fit to break the sky. Massive claps of thunder. Daggers of lighting. Buckets of water dropping out of the sky.

Bookers, jammed to the rafters, and rocking hard. Black Cherry Perry was on stage that night – wailing away on the harmonica like his soul was on fire. Honestly, you’ve never heard a man play the harmonica that loud, or in such fits of bluesy passion.

It was like Twin Peaks inside of that joint.

In one corner, a blind man. Ostensibly on a blind date. Seeing eye dog sitting at his feet. Neatly pressed shirt. A single rose on the table in front of him. His lady friend has not yet joined him. I’m afraid to say it, but I’m pretty sure he got stood up that night.

In the centre of the room, a large and boisterous birthday party. Many happy women knocking back wine like it’s going out of style. Buckets of crab. Platters of ribs. They even had those bacon-martini things where they bring you a big slab of bacon with your gin. Balloons everywhere. Lots and lots of balloons.

And the midget. The mentally handicapped midget. The mentally handicapped midget wearing jodhpurs. The mentally handicapped, jodhpur-wearing midget who is pretending to film the interior with his imaginary 1930’s style hand-crank camera. Listlessly, though. It was like he put on the outfit, went out, and pretended to film people, but then discovered his heart wasn’t really in it for some reason. Say what you will about this man, he was an excellent mime. We could almost see his pretend-camera. He was that good. Suspension of disbelief was almost total.

Savage thunder-storm. Black Cherry Perry bringing down the house. Blind man on a blind date. Seeing eye dog pushed to the edge of reason. Shrieking d drunk women celebrating a birthday. Bacon everywhere. Sad looking Jodhpur-wearing midget with a pretend movie camera. Check.

Then the power went out. The room was plunged into pitch blackness. And all hell broke loose.

Black Cherry never missed a beat. When your name is Black Cherry Perry and you’ve got a snake-skin jacket AND a soul on fire, you need no microphone! He kept on wailing away in true artistic style. The seeing eye-dog, though, he lost his ####. He completely snapped and broke away from the blind-guy and leapt up onto the table with the drunken birthday women. The glowing red emergency lights clicked on just as the dog was in full leap. So here’s this big, beefy German shepherd, looking for all the world like a hell-hound with a job to do, growling, mouth open, leaping through the air toward a bunch of drunk women. Who naturally freak out and start screaming, waving their arms, knocking over chairs, and releasing a flight of birthday balloons into the air. None of which concerns the dog. He’s been cooped up in a hot, damp, noisy blues bar and taunted by the scent of ribs and bacon. He has one aim in mind and that’s to hoover back as many birthday appetizers as he can. So while the dog is chewing down the length of the table, snapping up ribs and bacon, the blind guy is calling frantically for his dog.

Or we think so. Because the noise. The noise! Black Cherry Perry is on a one-man mission to prove that you can cause permanent hearing damage without an amplifier. About a dozen women are screaming and crying, and no one, I mean no one, can hear what the blind man is yelling.

The scene was total chaos. Balloons. Harmonicas. Crying women. Seeing eye-dogs pushed well beyond the point of reason. There were crab-bits everywhere.

And in that glowing- red chaos, me and the midget shared a moment of understanding.

“Go!” I whispered to him. “This is YOUR moment!!”

And he charge-waddled off into the crowd energetically pretend-filming the frenzied scene with his pretend movie camera. Man, I sure hope he got all the shots.

It was quite the strangest night at a crab-shack I ever had.