Man, down

Last night, just prior to closing time, George, Ray and I end up in the tiny vestibule of CBGB, winding down from an evening of “Midwest Mayhem” at the City Museum. Suddenly, there’s a crash near the door and a young man – wearing one of those “flame shirts” that are still all-the-rage in certain areas of town – is lying on the ground. Thankfully, in some small measure, he’s face up, but there’s still a quality about him that suggests “more than drunk.” He’s actually Cartoon Drunk: arms splayed to his sides, momentary consciousness minimal, an almost beatific look about him.

After Ray and some other bystanders prop up the wobbly lad and deposit him in a nearby stool, he gives sitting the ol’ college try. But short minutes later, there’s another bang and the poor fellow’s in the same straits as before, marking time on the thinly-carpeted, seldom-scrubbed CBGB floor with upturned stools surrounding him like crime tape.

With a rush and a push, he’s hoisted back to his feet, where his three lady friends (oh! the crime of this!) compose him for that long, 15-foot walk to the front seat of someone’s car. There, he’s piled in, allowed to stew in his own juices for a moment, or two, as his trio of companions ponder the situation. Soon, the Pontiac with Illinois plates is moving, heading south on Grand.

All of which, of course, yields this obvious question: Is there any floor in St. Louis you’d less like to land upon than that of CBGB? Even with a night’s sleep to consider it, there seems no clear answer to this.