It’s never a good feeling. When you end up somewhere you know, but got there by surprise. This time, it was a club in the Mission called Brunos. It’s not that I found the club itself unsettling, or that I expected to have a poor time there (in fact, the girls and I had a BALL, the music was BOMB, and we even had an unexpected Black Harvard reunion with some out of towners!). No, the problem was, in what feels like a past life (allllll the way back to last summer) I had been to this club before.
As was the case in the latest instance, the time inside the club was great. I was hanging with a friend from school who was living in Oakland for the summer, and a group of guys we’d met through another school friend. It was when we got outside that things got a little odd.
We were standing on the sidewalk just outside the doors when the nicest guy began lamenting the fact that he didn’t have a hot dog. Apparently right then, at that moment, this kid wanted nothing more in life but a hot dog. I offered him a sad smile, and knelt down to fix the strap on my shoe. Finished, I stood up, looked around, and the Nice Guy was standing next to me. Eating a hot dog. Let me clarify that actually: he was finishing the hotdog he had already half-eaten. What kind of magic? When I asked him exactly that, he laughed. Not laughed and pointed around the corner, mentioning that he was Olympic Sprinter, or laughed and said the stupid hotdog fairy came and gave it to him, but he didn’t bring any sauerkraut … Just laughed. Ok …
We ran across the street to catch up with the rest of the group, rounding the back of their car just soon enough for me to hear one say to another, “Oh sh**. We gotta get rid of the gorilla.” Naturally, I stopped short. What in the … did he say Gorilla?!
“I’m sorry. Yall said you got a gorilla in the car?”
“In the back seat, yeah. We won’t have room for yall if we don’t get rid of it.”
“Oh … Um … You know what?! I can just cab it home. It’s no big deal …”
“Nah, nah. Yall gotta come back to Oakland with us! The party’s not over!”
During the course of this exchange, the Nice Guy had grunted and tugged and *yoinked* the giant offending gorilla out of the back seat. It was white. And huge. And (praise Jesus) stuffed. As he got the hulking mass down onto the sidewalk, a pleasant young couple walked by, obviously steering clear of our foolery. Nice guy decides to call out to them: “HEY DUDE! You want this gorilla for your girl??”
The Guy and Girl stop short, look at each other, and then look at us. The Guy looks at Nice Guy, squints at him with a look of disgust and complete confusion, and explodes:
“HELL YEAH I WANT THAT GORILLA MAN!
Give me that sh**!”
The hand off complete, Guy, Girl and Gorilla walk hand-in-hand-in-paw into the starlit night.