You’re on a road trip, you’re thirsty, and you’re driving along a lonely town’s main street. Just past a funky book store and a pet crematorium, you catch glimpse of a purple palm tree, and against better judgement you stop. You’re about to step into…
You thought I was about to say: “The Twilight Zone.”
Nah, it’s more like Northern Exposure.
But what’s really trippy, within a few moments the bartender proclaims your outlook on life. You know, if you’re an optimist or a pessimist. My God, you’ve been exposed by a complete stranger, one behind a Podunk bar no less.
“Oh The Horror!”
The trick involves no magic, no extra-sensory perception, just an acute eye. It’s really quite simple. Personally speaking, the skill has its genesis in an elaborate April Fool’s prank – one which had our quaint little town up in arms. A prank that resulted in petitions, calls to aldermen, and threats from many to never again patronize our fine establishment.
Did I mention there was a lot of snickering behind the scenes?
We told the town we were changing the name to the 1000 Bra Bar. The idea was inspired by a regional tourist trap, the 50000 Silver Dollar Bar. It’s a gawdy place designed to part you from your money while showing off 50000 Silver Dollars laminated into the bar top. Really? Who wants to gloat over 5o grand when we can admire dangling braticiples?
Why would anyone be upset about this? Okay, we also said that the relic road sign would be replaced by a large bra with flashing red lights for nipples.
For months we spread the word, telling the old-timers you can’t stop change. Change is good, we need a breath of fresh air. We went as far as saying we had investors to purchase neighboring buildings and open Great A.S.S. – that’s the Great Adult Super Store! Mobs were being mobilized.
We advertised a name change party for April 4th – we’re shifty buggers, the date alleviated suspicion of hi-jinx. Though on April 1st, the day the new sign was to be installed, we informed the public there was a glitch with the sign’s production and that we would reveal the design at midnight during the grand event.
On said date, the place was packed, many to hang their bras on the ceiling, many to have their last drink before the ultimate sacrilege – the name was officially being ‘changed’ at midnight.
On that magical night, during the first raising, a fond memory was made: In the middle of Jimi Hendrix’s rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner, as the crowd stood with hands over hearts, a traveling couple walked through the front door. They stood slack-jawed watching a bunch of yokels saluting bras as they were stapled to the ceiling. I motioned for them to take off their hats and place them over their hearts. My glare shouted: “Show some respect and listen to the song!” Think Hanson brothers in the movie Slapshot. They complied.
Prior to midnight, a contingent of locals were going to walk out for the last time. “We refuse to drink in the 1000 Bra Bar,” their war cry. I managed to finagle their leader into staying for the unveiling of the new sign.
At the witching hour, two bra clad gals climbed upon the bar. Anticipation filled the house. What could this crazy sign really look like? With the appropriate amount of fanfare, the girls unveiled a banner reading: “April Fool’s from the Sportman’s Bra.
To this day, each bra-raising is accompanied with a salute and the playing of Jimi’s rendition. A raising is never planned and it’s completely spontaneous. Whenever a lady is so compelled, the ritual is reenacted. The most random occurrence, an autumn Monday afternoon when a limo full of Seattlites stumbled in for a pit stop.
“That’s all well and good… but what does this story have to do with knowing one’s outlook?”
The answer is simple. If one doesn’t notice the bras during the first few minutes of their stay, I consider one a pessimist. Why? Take a look at the picture to your right, they’re flippin’ obvious. (Please ignore the Mexican bearing cupcakes.) If you don’t notice ‘em you’re head’s down and one would presume you’re bummed out or too focused on draining your drink. Experience dictates a rapidly drained glass is always half-empty and a drinker with a half-empty could find a fifty on the floor and complain that it wasn’t a hundred.
The following April Fools, we managed to outdo ourselves and pissed off more people. That’s a story for another day.