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Monday, May 19, 2008
A trip to Wanker's Corner
Imagine a bar with driftwood tables and peanut shells on the floor- a bar where nicknacks cover every available surface, making it look like a Red Robin after a truck full of antiques crash-landed through a wall. A Double Big Gulp-sized, mutated neighborhood hangout with bras stapled to ceiling where chain-smoking ex-fratboys and truckers laugh their asses off when the DJ plays Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal." The sort of place where you half-expect vampire strippers to jump out of the walls at any second ala From Dusk 'Till Dawn.
Would you ever want to set foot in such a joint like this? Ok, probably not but curiosity might get the better of you when you hear its name:
Wanker's Corner Saloon and Cafe- located in lovely Wilsonville, just a 15-minute jaunt down I-5 from downtown Portland.
I don't know if the term "wanker" meant something different way back in 1933 when it opened in its original location. According to Wikipedia, the story goes that the bar originally sat at an intersection dubbed Wanker's Corner in Clackamas County, named for a local resident's surname. Regardless of whether or not the whole thing is a decades' long gag, which I'm sure it is, the current owners encourage the theme. Have a look at Wanker's Corner's kangaroo mascot on the bar's website. I guess that's funny, in a Mad TV, t-shirt-at-a-truck stop-kinda way.
I'm a lilly-livered Portland liberal but I've set foot in plenty of places in this state where I shouldn't have: Ted Nugent concerts, monster truck rallies and, well, eastern Oregon. Despite being only a stone's throw from the metro area, I don't think I've been anywhere in Oregon where I've felt more out of place than at Wanker's Corner.
A colleague and I fled for the door after a round, only to find ourselves trapped by a small army of Axe Body Spray-types pouring out of a stretch Humvee. To put it one way, that damn thing was like a clown car for douchebags. They just kept coming. Once we were out of there, we spent another five minutes penned down in the parking lot because the Humvee had our car blocked.
Still, I'm glad to know Wanker's Corner is out there. The staff didn't cop an attitude, despite the fact that we clearly didn't belong there, and I'm not about to turn my nose up at free peanuts. It's exactly what a place like this should be and at least one step up from a Hooters. I'm sure the food is better and the beer menu is head and shoulders above what you'll find at one of those chain restaurants that serve "legendary" wings that, quite frankly, taste like sawdust.
Live long and prosper, Wanker's Corner. Y vaya con Dios.