I arrived at the bar sometime around ten, much earlier than I usually do, but I felt like getting a head start. "Live Nudes" flashed on the neon sign in downtown Hollywood, Florida. On the west side of 201st street, in a neighborhood where the glory days passed with the Reagan administration, sits the underground Hell's Angels watering hole "Rough Around the Edges."

Flyers that advertise the place promise "Girls, Bikes, Beer, Pool" and yet, it delivers so much more. On any given night, a collection of drugs, used condoms, strippers and gallons of alcohol can be found inside the four concrete walls that contain all the devious conduct. It's every town's typical dive bar, except instead of being populated by alcoholics, it's a getaway for drugged, crazed, testosterone-driven, homicidal, maniacal Hell's Angels. Chapter 27 to be exact, based in Fort Lauderdale. They make the brief trip on a nightly basis on their motorcycles.

When I arrived in the parking lot, there was a lot of action taking place. The parking spaces were hard to see because they faded long ago and had formed hundreds of tiny cracks . A game of dice was taking place, and a few people were passing pot to each other. A young couple was having sex in the backseat of a shiny blue 1983 Chrysler New Yorker. The Hell's Angels have neither fear nor respect for the police, since they know any police officer who wants to go home at night would not dare try to stop them.

Four biker guys in leather standing at a bar
The smell of leather and arm pits reminded me of a tired, sweaty cow.
Above the front door, the words "Chaos Breeds Life" are inscribed in red paint. Once inside, a stench—a vicious cocktail of beer, piss, vomit, and cigarette smoke—hit me like a bus slamming into a group of school children. The inside was poorly lit and the dark cloud of smoke made for poor visibility. Tiny John, a 350-pound 6'7" beast of a man with a lazy eye, guards the front door. If someone is not "in" with the Angels, then John makes sure they are bounced out the door. But I was "in," so in I went.

A chaotic cycle of noise howled through the room like a mad man on the loose. I find this chaos to be quite pleasant. A blend of Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seeger, SteppenWolf and Metallica records play on constant rotation. Patrons do their best to sing along and they aren't the most accurate renditions, but are very entertaining. So much so that I can't help but join in.

The walls are lined with Americana pop art, something that I find very odd for a "biker bar." The bar runs the length of the entire place. A few tables in the middle remain mostly vacant. People order their drinks and then head around back to the outside of the bar called "The Backyard." In the back corner of the house are three pool tables. They are your standard issue, green felt pool tables, nothing too shabby. A group of large gentlemen are engaged in a game when suddenly a fight breaks out. Why? I'm not sure. I step up to the bar and order my glass of whiskey with a beer chaser and enjoy the brawl. It is not broken up until a pool cue is busted over the head of a man wearing a faded blue Kid Rock t-shirt. The shirt rapidly changes to a dark purple as it soaks up the blood pouring from the gash on his forehead.

As I enter around the back, I come into contact (verbal, not physical) with a prostitute, whose halter top bears fresh stains. It is not my place to judge her as a person, so I don't. But the next few minutes of conversation turn my stomach. She explains that for fifty dollars I can watch her perform oral sex on three rottweilers, which the bartender has been force-feeding Viagra for the past week. I tell her that while it is a very hard offer to pass up, I just don't have the time.

It was there that I came to the conclusion that I did not belong at this place. I was a decent person lost in a sea of freaks. I made my way through the mess of the place and arrived at the parking lot that was still alive as ever. I got on my Harley and rode into the night.


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