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Last modified: Fri Jun 8 05:29:05 PDT 2001


This naughty picture has been censored by our friends at Geocities

alcohol does wonders keeping one warm

Sister RoxanneRolls says aloha

blow, boy, blow!

gqb entering half moon bay

real men drink JD

Going incognito is the best way of ending up on the site

Don Ho would be proud

Let's dig for burried treasure

the gqb crowd in their sportiest look ever

Joe pounds back a screwdriver

Beach Blanket Bunghole: May 12, 2001

Fag #1: (groan) "Ooh, I can't do this anymore. It's just getting too difficult."
Fag #2: "What, being conscious?"”
- overheard by GQB'r Joe W., Sunday brunch, May 13

You people. You're going to be the shrieking, flailing death of me. For three days following Guerrilla Queer Bar's Beach Blanket Bunghole attack on beach-town wholesomeness, my smile muscles were jammed in the "on" position. Frivolity, thy name is "110 party people on three buses going south on Highway 1."

We started from the corner of 16th and Bryant, much to the surprise of the SFPD, Safeway/Old Navy shoppers, immigrant day laborers (from the facilitating agency a block away), and volunteer dog walkers from the nearby SPCA. Costumes included water wings, vintage men's and women's bathing suits, a sailor in hot pants, another sailor, a young horndog in a bathrobe, Speedo, and blue cowboy hat, and a sea of Hawaiian shirts. When one woman got her first glimpse of the scene, she stopped, looked, ad snorted. Without a word, she stood there with a straight face and gave us a dignified round of applause.

We had two Green Tortoise buses and one big sleek-and-shiny regular charter bus, and that "Priscilla, Queen of Walnut Creek" driver Dr. Bong Hit was nowhere to be seen. The chances of another epidemic of excruciating bladder strain (EBS) seemed small.

We launched with a quick cheer, the echoes of which were quickly drowned by the pressing of beverages to lips. On my bus, the vodka-soaked maraschino cherries were an early hit, albeit a hit that people had to chase with shots of their cocktails. Beach balls were inflated and tossed around. Each bus's Surf City Ken was subjected to all sorts of unspeakable things that I'm sure no one reading this has any difficulty imagining. The theme from "The Love Boat" was a big sing-along hit, as were Beach Boys tunes. The air was thick with anticipation and the smell of coconut-scented suntan lotion. Two thoughtful gentlemen had dear little tiki-totem cups for their rum punch.

We drove to our trip's southernmost point, Half Moon Bay State Beach (that's what it was, even if that's not its real name). We dismounted the buses and ran onto the sand to catch the last hour of cloudy daylight, with the wind whipping our colorful outfits and turning nipples into frozen flesh-shards. The genius with the tiki-totem cups pulled out tiki torches and lit those, lending a realistic luau atmosphere. Some guys got the volleyball net set up, and some Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence joined in a game, complete with rotating players and a couple of spikes. Looking like Grace Kelly the Hooker in her head scarf and sexy short skirt, Shannon managed to bop the ball while keeping her clove cigarette going in one hand and holding her cocktail in the other. After an hour of playing and running and entertaining all the RV campers who had lined themselves up along the dunes, someone grabbed the megaphone and announced it was time to get to the first bar. Another person grabbed the megaphone and made the announcement in Spanish, then someone else in Italian, someone in German, someone in Farsi, and so forth, just like that. Before anyone could blink, our oh-so-worldly group had been summoned in seven languages. Cool, huh.

So on to the first bar: Cameron's British Pub, a friendly and hokey place, with shuffleboard down one wall and a red, double-decker "smoking bus" just outside the backdoor. We filed in, got beer and wine (no hard liquor here), and made ourselves at home. Soon enough, Cameron himself set up the karaoke machine, and the hootin' and hollerin' commenced. A whole passel of GQB'rs did "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." Three more offered unsolicited backup gyrations for an unaffiliated woman's quite-good rendition of the Doobie Brothers' "Long train Running," complete with air harmonica ("Without love, where would you be now?/Without looooo-uve." ROCK. OUT.) A poignant moment was offered by our cowboy and a sailor, slow dancing while a middle-aged regular crooned Kenny Rogers' "Lady."

Speaking of doobie: After we had been there for about half an hour, Dee, a sixty-something shuffleboard player who had been there all night, walked out back by the bus and demanded to be smoked out by whoever was holding. After some surprised and delighted pocket shuffling, she was satisfied. The only sad part of this stop on the trip was the look on the faces of the two very good-looking young women who had been laughing on their barstools all night with apprehension that turned into participatory glee. "Don't leave, don't leave," they begged, as the last of us filed out to head to the next bar. "We're singing a song for you." But with so many people, it's a fool's errand to redirect the flow, so they ended up singing "Dancing Queen" to the regulars who were still wondering what had happened. And to the stoned Ms. Dee, of course.

And one thing about the whole evening: I have never seen such an organized group of garish doofuses in my life. We either have this thing down to a science (which seems unlikely) or everyone happened to be on the same wave(get it?)length all night.

Bar #2 was Old Princeton Landing, in very small Princeton-by-the-Sea. A roadhouse by any definition, we were a little worried about the predominant neck color when we scouted this place. As well, the furniture looked ripe for a Patrick Swayze-type bar brawl or two. We're not ones to court danger too directly, but they seemed nice enough when we were in there twice before, and we knew they had bands on the weekend. When we arrived, we negotiated a $50 cover for the whole group, and we flowed in.

Once inside, we beheld shocked expressions and a band fronted by a large African-American woman with a huge mound of dreads on her head. (Everyone in the bar was white before we got there was white.) Wow. What's she doing here? What are we doing here? I dunno. Let's freak out. So she let it rip with lots of R&B and disco standards, and it seemed we were the crowd she had been waiting for her whole singing career. Her bra became heavy with dollar bills, and she stopped one over-familiar guy from making a direct deposit: "It'll cost you more than a dollar to touch those!" she yelled as he reached for her décolletage. A fellow organizer ran into me on the packed little dance floor, and all I could say to him was: "Delirium!" (This is a word I feel I overuse in the context of these little reports, but it seems to just get more appropriate.) At one point, a tough-looking bearded guy walked directly up to Sister Bea and got up in her clown-white nun face, which she assumed was about to be punched. Instead, he broke into a wide grin and gave the classic encouragement: "You go, girl!"

After about an hour of this dancing and wild-eyed stupidity, we took to the buses again, and did the ˝-bar for the evening. We dropped by the little place where the idea for GQB was first hatched during a Popcorn Anti-Theater trip in February of 2000 (I think that was the month). We stopped the buses outside of the back door of this little bar, and told the crowd that this was a parade only, a walk-through, and streamed in through the back door and out the front, offering leis to the crusty old farts on the bar stools as we passed by. Some refused, some accepted, and it was a while before they realized that we were not going to stop. Some of the crowd paused to go to the can, but all in all, we ran about 100 people through the place and were back in the buses in about fifteen minutes.

At this point the party seemed to be unstoppable. We could have landed in the middle of a funeral and not been too discouraged. The last stop was Nick's, a restaurant/ bar/dance floor place on the ocean, stuck in with a couple of motels in a little parking lot farm in scenic Pacifica. Nick's is the kind of place your great-aunt from Detroit might appreciate. They had a band playing when we arrived at 11:45, set to finish at midnight. The manager, or owner or whoever he was, got spooked and cut them off as soon as he realized the scope of our invasion. This man was the most startled guy we have come across in our year of uninvited visits, the kind of character who is so uptight he needs a shoehorn to perform a certain bodily function. Anyway, we got drinks while he kept the now-canned tunes down low, as if loud music would make us explode or sodomize each other on the bar, or something else impolitic. A couple of guys danced happily to the subdued music, not letting their spirits be dampened. Highballs were strong if small, and the bartender had a nice Ellen Burstyn air to her. She was having a good time, and we were having a good time, regardless of what her boss thought. We tried to get him to turn the music up or change it, but he proved himself to be as useless as tits on a bull. Several people went out to see the waves up close, and one young man stripped and ran into the cold, cold waves. One with the ocean. Feeling no pain. Cue that siren song from "Little Mermaid."

By this point, the Sisters had picked up the very cute, very young concierge from the motel across the way, and we headed back to the city. The scene on the buses was a mix of giddy, subdued, unconscious, amorous, and undressed. We dropped some folks off at The Stud, though many stayed on the bus, wondering what in the world anyone thought they should do or say in a bar at this point in the evening. The buses were evacuated back at the Safeway after a full seven hours of inspired, seamless lunacy, and we all lived to tell the tale. We didn't even leave anyone behind.

Thanks to all who made it. For all of you and for and for those who did not make it, please note: Guerrilla Queer Bar is a year old at the end of this month, and our anniversary party will be Friday, June 8, in a big wonderful space to be announced very soon. This is the big party you've always hoped someone would get off their ass and throw for you. There will be room for everybody, and we will be in one place all night. You don't have to buy a ticket in advance. It will be a night of surprises, a collaboration between us, the large and boisterous GQB crowd, and some of the most scintillating and disrespectful entertainment that San Francisco has to offer. Mark your calendars.

 
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