This is a tale of a show I did at the Roadhouse Café located deep in the backwoods of New Hampshire. I love how they added Café as if it added a touch of elegance. You’d swear you were dining in Paris if it weren’t for the spit cups on the table and the Toby Keith music assaulting your eardrums with the ferocity of a pride of famished lions preying on a 3-legged elderly gazelle. As a general rule of thumb, if your establishment adorns its walls with cattle skulls, the Roadhouse is probably a more than sufficient name, assuming that someone in the area has already used the Shithole. You could really apply the premise to any local eateries, such as Roscoe’s Bistro, Tyrone on the Green, and The Dead Possum Tearoom (which incidentally has the most delightful Earl Grey this side of the Bronx River).
Did I mention the cattle skulls on the wall? The last time I done seen that I was watching the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. In an alcove located behind some Plexiglas above the kitchen was a display of severed heads reminiscent of Madame Tussaud’s Trailer Park Wax Museum. The best part of the morbid display was the John Deer and Hess hats sitting atop the heads and the two plastic ducks randomly placed in the display. I would not have been the slightest bit surprised if my food was served to me by a mute, disfigured ogre wearing a mask made of human skin.
The next thing that caught my eye was a most confused jukebox. This particular music machine had a video screen to inform you of the endless musical possibilities at your crusty little fingertips. They showed a picture of Brooks and Dunn, then LL Cool J, then Jewel, then the local karaoke star/bar whore, then Clay Aiken. Someone really needs to sit down with the jukebox and have a heart to heart talk with it. They need to point out the guy sitting alone at the bar wearing an I’m With Stupid hat, eating alligator tail and watching NASCAR, and politely point out that if it plays LL Cool J, the aforementioned feller will break open your screen with a broken PBR bottle and then pee moonshine all over your precious little jukebox innards.
I soon took the stage to the worst butchering of my name humanly possible. Afterwards the host actually asked me for clarification of my name. He said, “ is it Jerry Gersten or is it Jerry Gerstein?” I had no idea how to answer that question. For those readers lured to my blog by some freaky Google search on Jeff Gillooly’s penis, Snooki’s Vagina, Wal-Mart Whores, or JewSoap, my name is actually Jesse Gersten.
The stage was sitting next to a giant rack of pots & pans with Christmas lights blinking in the background. Hanging from the barn-style ceiling were cardboard stars, and on the ceiling itself were advertisements from local businesses such as Adam’s Bakery and Ye Olde Bait Shop. It was enough to make even the most dyslexic illiterate a scrabble champion, or vice versa.
Other items of interest around the room included random pink flamingos, a knee high clock sitting in a corner of the room, some frog-moth thingy hanging from a string, a giant porcelain mermaid with shells covering her privates, a Moose Trail sign, and lots and lots of hub caps and license plates.
There was also a large collection of the most bizarre books you could imagine. This will have to wait for a future post, as I cannot do justice to a carrot in an Elvis outfit within the confines of this post, much less the confines of my head.
Oh, and the bear. How can I forget the bear? There was half of a large angry brown bear protruding from the wall just west of the redneck wax museum. This bear was in full growling mode with all of its razor sharp teeth just waiting to bite into some tasty out-of-towner. It was not unlike the Country Bear Jamboree, except instead of leading the crowd in memorable bear sing-a-longs, this bear would growl, “you got a real purty head”, before devouring you and your family. Like most bears, this bear was carrying a ukulele and had a tiny little sheriff hat perched atop his furry grizzly head. As if this was not enough, and apparently it was not, there were three colorful Hawaiian lay wrapped around his stocky neck. The ukulele and sheriff’s hat obviously weren’t quite festive enough. What put it over the top was the “Hawaiian shit” that Bobbie Jo had purchased just days earlier at the dollar store.