>>> Bang for Your Buck
By staff writer David Nelson
October 16, 2005
Essential New Word of the Week: flailtard (definition hint: out of control)
Like anyone, I’ve had my fair share of evenings at home with only me, a six pack of Miller Light, and reruns of Sanford & Son. During my university days, I would be found at any of the bars that dotted campus, each one more generic than the last. That’s how I realized that there’s something about a really exotic location that makes the taste of alcohol that much better. Extensive research by hobos with Tourette’s Syndrome has since proven it: The more outrageous and unusual the location, the better the drinks. And if that’s true, you’ll find me enjoying all my future beverages from a bar on Pluto made entirely out of Wonder Woman’s star panties. But until science figures out a way to make that happen, I’m here to show you the most exotic drinking places that do exist. I don’t even mean the type of bar that travel shows find in Outer Mongolia, where the cover charge is a goat and the only drink available is fermented yak’s milk. No, I mean truly exotic. So where can you go when you’re sick of the neighborhood pub, and what will you be served there? Let’s take a look:
1. Outer Space/ The Future
(The Star Trek Experience – Las Vegas, NV)
Yes, even the stars themselves are open to the thirsty traveler. At the Las Vegas Hilton, there is a Star Trek exhibit that features, among other things, a replica of the bar used on Deep Space Nine. Most drinks available for order are meant for two people, but bear in mind that you are in fact at a Star Trek exhibit, making it likely that your sorry ass is alone. If it’s too much for you to finish, try calling on one of the nearby geeks to assist you. These geeks used to be called Trekkies, but now insist on the less derogatory term Trekkers, which is the image control equivalent of a child molester donning a snazzy new hat, or a pirate adding a cartoon panda to his ship’s flag.
Adding to the exoticness of the location are several space robots and aliens, hopefully employed by the bar, who mill around and make conversation with horrified patrons. I have to say, the costumes are pretty realistic. Just remember this: If you’re enjoying a beverage, and some kind of cyborg threatens to assimilate you, it may or may not be the genuine article. The best case scenario is that your alien friend is a Star Trek enthusiast, and not a killer android from the future. Either way, it’s your duty to punch it, and maybe steal its space pants.
The prices at the Star Trek Experience are a little steep. Fortunately, you’re mere steps away from a casino, where you can easily make enough money at the blackjack tables to cover your bill. As long as you’re related to Rain Man. Actually, the prevailing Star Trek economy probably won’t even accept your primitive paper money. When you’re ready to go, you’ll probably be presented with a picture of a baby, indicating that you now owe the house one live human baby, preferably your first-born.
Drink to watch for: The Warp Core Breach – 32 oz of vodka and fruit juice served by a bored alien waiter in a crazy futuristic bowl with dry ice, so it bubbles and smokes. As awesome as it sounds.
2. An Ice Fortress
(Absolut Ice Bar – Jukkasjärvi, Sweden)
Every year in this quaint northern town, a hotel and bar are constructed entirely out of ice. That sound you just heard was your face totally being rocked. I mean, think about it, everything in that bar—the chairs, the bottles, the door—all made out of ice. To me, it sounds like the kind of place super villains would hang out, and eventually Batman would crash through the ceiling. I know what you’re thinking: Jukkasjärvi isn’t really the name of a city, it’s just some random letters smashed together. You’re probably right. But go there, and you’ll discover what it’s like to NOT NEED ICE CUBES IN YOUR DRINK! Because your glass…is an ice cube, bitch. Apparently, as you enter, you are provided with a coat, hat, and gloves. I’m sure that’s for the many tourists who book a vacation at the Swedish Ice Hotel and arrive wearing only Speedos and Hawaiian Shirts.
According to its website, frequent celebrity guests include Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, and Van Halen. One can only assume that means the post-David Lee Roth version of Van Halen, since rock-and-roll that red-hot would surely melt the place down.
Drink to watch for: Apparently, newly invented drinks based on Laplandic blueberry juice will be served out of specially designed glasses. And if that doesn’t sound totally charming to you, your idea of a good time is probably stomping on innocent kittens.
(Alcatraz BC – Tokyo, Japan)
If you ever fancy a drink in the Roppongi neighborhood of Tokyo, be careful you don’t wind up in Alcatraz BC, Japan’s premiere prison-themed bar. Now I’m a very culturally sensitive person, and I’m willing to accept that the Japanese come from a culture where Octopus Demon Porn and streetside panty vending machines are common, but this bar is seriously fucked up by any standards. After entering, the host/warden will cuff you, frisk you, and lead you to your cell, where a guard/waitress will yell at you, humiliate you, and ultimately, take your order.
Japan is probably the only country in the world that could pull this type of concept off. In a Mexican prison bar, you would have to be stripped naked and given only a bucket to pee in. In the U.S. your order would come with a side of sodomy, and instead of tipping your waiter, you would stab him with a shiv made out of a cocktail umbrella. But in Japan, everyone eats enriched salaryman nutrient paste and lives in coin-operated sleeping cylinders, so this type of bar must be quite exhilarating.
Drinks to watch for: Needless to say, there will be Japanese drinks like sake and plum wine, but in keeping with the theme, they have probably been fermenting in some hidden barrel still under the floorboards.
4. The Past
(Burp Castle – New York, NY / Kind House Ruins – Tokyo, Japan)
If time travel is your thing, head on out to New York City, where you can visit Burp Castle, a bar with monks, torture implements, and all the other trappings you would expect at a bar from medieval history. I don’t know whose idea it was to name the bar after a bodily function. “Burp” is especially lame but I’m guessing all the good ones were taken. At this bar, you’re likely to hear the chanting of Gregorian Monks, which is still slightly less annoying than karaoke.
Drinks to watch for: Apparently there are over 250 varieties of beer, but who are we kidding. You’re here for the mead. It comes in both mulled and non-mulled formats.
Or, travel further back in time to an era where dinosaurs were more than animatronic exhibits at Disney World and comedic foils for Whoopi Goldberg. In Tokyo, visitors to Kind House Ruins walk into the belly of a huge dinosaur, and instead of being slowly digested, enjoy fabulous food and drinks. Fossils line the walls, and patrons seat themselves around the enormous ribcage of a something-or-other. Apparently, these ribcages are not to be taken home by customers who want to re-enact the opening credits of the Flintstones.
Drinks to watch for: If this bar were in an English speaking country, there would be drinks with names like Vodka-saurus Rex, and Extreme Saber Tooth Radberry. However, since it’s Japan, you’ll probably find drinks like: Memories of Ancestors in the Land of Wind and Ghosts, or, Burning Cherry Blossom Happy Time Fun Drink.
5. Under the Sea
(Red Sea Star – Eilat, Israel)
Moses may have parted the Red Sea, but I bet he never drank a Harvey Wallbanger at the bottom of it. This exotic location is not the wonderland of prepubescent mermaids and wisecracking Rastafarian crabs that Walt Disney would have you believe. Nevertheless, the Red Sea Star in Eilat, Israel gives customers the opportunity to get wasted at a depth of five meters below sea level. That may not sound like much, but keep in mind, that’s like eight Danny Devitos. The bar apparently overlooks one of the most diverse coral reefs in the world, home to many varieties of unusual fish. However, since the place is technically on Israeli soil, expect to see the odd rusty menorah or grenade among the sea life. The bar serves seafood snacks, which is kind of perverse when you think about it. I mean, they wouldn’t build a steakhouse in the middle of a high-density veal pen. Eh, maybe in Texas.
Drinks to watch for: Maybe Manischevitz, if you can stomach wine that’s sweeter than teaching the world’s hearts to smile from the back of a candy-coated unicorn.
(Casey’s Draft House – Pittsburgh, PA)
Unless you follow up your Jack and Cokes with LSD chasers, you’re probably not accustomed to having your shots poured by a 3-foot man in an Elvis suit. You’ve also never been to Casey’s Draft House, where Monday Nights were dubbed Midget Madness, and for a mere $10, a wee person known as “Manboy” would charge out of a 4-foot box to pour drinks for anyone within his limited reach. Please take a moment to clean yourself up, because you no doubt had an orgasm after reading that last sentence. Needless to say, there are some people who couldn’t appreciate how awesome this is, but Manboy maintained that his presence made customers happy. Even when you’re not surrounded by midgets, alcohol tends to give you an inflated sense of self-esteem. At Casey’s, be careful you don’t loudly declare yourself king of the Oompa-Loompas. I’ve also heard of a bar in Portland where a midget walks around in a sombrero filled with nachos for patrons to snack on. At the risk of sounding controversial, this reporter would like to eat that midget’s hat.
But neither of these bars compares to a renowned 1970’s Chicago joint simply known as the Midget Bar. It doesn’t exist anymore, but legend has it there was a midget bouncer, a midget bartender and, maybe, a midget owner. The bar and the bar stools were half as tall as a regular bar. Everything in the place was set up for little people. The Midget Bar was exactly what it advertised, a bar for midgets. I like to pretend that I could still go there, maybe play a game of darts from my knees, and loudly boast about my ability to dunk a basketball or browse the top-shelf pornography at my local convenience store.
Drinks to watch for: Not sure, but do you think when midgets drink shots, they treat them as regular-sized drinks and use straws and whatnot? Because that would be seriously funny.
Essential New Word of the Week:
flailtard \flejl’tard\ n (1999) : a flailing retard, not in the literal sense, but in the sense of someone who is so drunk that his very limbs become inadvertent weapons as they thrash about unpredictably. This word originated in Las Vegas, where my buddy and I were accosted by someone who's blood alcohol level was reaching Boris Yeltsin proportions. Even something as simple as waiting for the elevator required him to establish a 4-foot perimeter so as not to clock anyone with his spastic tics. He was being kind of a dick, too, so I called him a retard, quite safe in the knowledge that between my friend, a casual but long-time student of various martial arts, and myself, the Ultimate Fighting Champion, we could take him. He was ready to defend his honor, so he called us out, and shambled through the casino to the parking lot, where, for all I know, he waits to this day. Who has time to fight when there's blackjack and dollar Heinekens? This fellow, however, leaves a legacy that is the inspiration behind a great new word. Additionally, the suffix -tard has proven to be somewhat useful, denoting various types of incompetent people. Someone who plows his way past you on the street is a zoomtard. An incompetent sexual partner is a fucktard. The possibilities are endless.