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Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Take a walk on the overpriced side
I don't know what it is. I go to work. I comb my hair. I even floss. I'm a real, nice guy but, for some strange reason, I don't know many drag queens. In fact, I'm not even on speaking terms with a single drag queen. Not a one. Zilch in the drag queen department.
I can't remember how the idea came up. Was someone celebrating a birthday? Were we going to meet someone there? Did all those pitchers at the Goose Hollow have something to with it? Whatever the reason, on Friday night someone at the table suggested a trip to Darcelle XV was in order. It could have Sho, it might have Pete but it was probably Autumn.
Darcelle XV is a drag club located in the heart of Portland's Chinatown. I can't say I didn't have a few initial qualms. Why pay to see fake boobs when Mary's Club and the Magic Garden (both of which traffic in real mamaries) are within walking distance? Er, wait, *real* boobs? In a strip club? Nevermi...
...these questions weren't helping matters. I convinced myself that, if anything, a trip to Darcelle's might offer handy tips if I ever run for senate on a GOP ticket and find myself trapped in an apartment over a Miami Beach club with my rail-thin daughter and an over-the-hill drag queen.
Apparently, one Darcelle isn't enough for Portland, thus the apparent need for fourteen others. After a gin & gin at Hung Far Low we headed two blocks over and into a whole new world. Darcelle XV was filled to the brim and overflowing with what at least appeared to be frothing-at-the-mouth secretaries. They were soused and howling like she-wolves at a Prince impersonator that had just taken the stage. As he played air guitar the bouncer held up nearly a dozen fingers. $10 for drag queens? As a wise man once said, "Funk 'dat!"
Outside we got a look at the marquee: an dozen lit-up superstars in heavy makeup with fake eyelashes stretching over the heads. The Prince guy was on there and was the only one shooting for a level closer to androgyny than Dame Edna.
But wait, there's more semi-interesting anecdotes to recount!
We made a beeline over to the Magic Garden where a stripper was busy tossing further scurrility on the evening by taking her clothes off to Ween's "Mutilated Lips." If you've never been, MG is a strip club/hipster hangout with a pretty amazing jukebox. Instead of AC/DC and Queensryhce, the dancers strut around to a litany of random indie rock tracks. Later another girl rolled around the stage as Frank Black shrieked about a "Wave of Mutilation."
Later we flirted with the idea of breaking into the Shanghai Tunnels but no one had thought to bring along a flashlight. There's at least one unlocked access point in Old Town but I'm not saying where. Instead we headed to Voodoo Doughnut to get a look at the "sacred doughnut" that was the target of a band of thieves last week. It survived the ordeal but it currently has a huge hole was poked in the side.
They were out of bacon-covered maple bars so I ordered one covered in Captain Crunch. While waiting in line we watched one of the "fryers" married two hippies while dressed in a Fat Albert meets the X-Files mask. After a shared smoke and having their feet outlined on the floor with pink chalk, they were officially linked in holy donut matrimony. After "man and wife" they dashed out the door.
ALIEN PRIEST GUY: "HEY! GET BACK HERE! I DIDN'T TAKE YOUR PICTURE!"
HUSBAND: "FUCK YOU!
WIFE: "WE'RE GOING ON OUR HONEYMOON!"
Here's a picture from the ceremony:
All in all, it was a quirky little night worthy of a Portland infomericial or bizzaro world Bacardi ad. Or at least I think so. Another detail I failed to mention: the bar designed to look like an interstellar subway station.
Anyway, click here for Autumn's take on the evening or here for Sho's rundown.