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"They're real," she quickly added, causing Charlene to note that a friend had once reported that he'd never felt genuine big boobs.
At this point, I figured it was time to bust the estrogen bubble. As the band took a break, I called out, "Hey, Rob, what do you think about the '80s making a comeback?"
"I had a glorious mullet," he said, running a hand dramatically over the now-missing hair that had once grown past his shoulders. "Not just a mullet a glorious one. It had the feathered sides."
"You gonna bring it back?"
"Not singlehandedly... although I probably could," he retorted, then shook his head. "I already have that stain on my record."
I understood. The mullet stain is a hard one to wash out.
Fortunately, some single guys showed up, including one in a pink shirt who introduced himself as Austin.
"I was just in Austin in August. It was hot... and fun," I said, searching for something to keep the conversation going. "Are you hot and fun?"
I was surprised that the universe didn't send me another divine bitch slap.
It did, however, send me Ginger a woman I'd seen in the bathroom earlier with a pink T-shirt that read "You looked better on MySpace" who was now standing on the sidewalk with a couple of friends.
My question "Where did you get that shirt?" launched a story.
"I have the ultimate bad MySpace date for you," she promised. "He said he was 45; he turned out to be 68. He said he owned his own place on the water. He lives in a trailer park on the Intracoastal. Then he asked me to drive to the bar, and he had no money. I had to have the bartender cover for me while I ducked out."
"So the T-shirt is real?" her friend Anthony interjected, surprised.
"Yes! I'm scarred for life," Ginger said, rolling her eyes.
And yet, she hadn't lost hope. She was still Internet dating.
It was probably just coincidence that Keith was soon playing "Faith" because he was also playing other cheesy covers to keep himself and his buddies entertained. Rob was twirling his sticks heavy-metal style for the same purpose (earlier, he had joked that the blood spatters on his drum kit were proof that he was "the best drummer this side of I-95").
Or maybe it was more than coincidence (it was past midnight and now officially the Lord's day.) Maybe the song's inspiration came from above. You know, like some post-smackdown comfort, a divine message sent via George Michael to Keith Michaud and then to our ears: "Hang in there, y'all, and in the meantime, have another beer."