by Zack Kouns
Hello out there all you Grackle Jacks and Janes starving in the Polynesian night. Bet you wouldn't be against some good chow would you, kitty cats? You know what they say: “You got to break a few grackles to make a bathtub.” With this motto in mind and a bellyful of dark Kentucky Dreamz and Mr Midnight “threatenin ta take over” I headed down Route 79 South from Chattanooga to Atlanta en route to Trader Vic's, nestled in the dark impenetrable mountains of a downtown Hilton Hotel. Morgan “GUEST”, Pony “Payroll” Bones, Jenny “Moon” Tucker and I stood in the parking garage for a while “collecting specimens” and offering folks the “get acquainted” kit but they hurried past. Guess they saw Midnight's bowie knife? That Hilton was a fucking maze! Found a new continent in the basement people by disco balls, chairs, dark dreams of lost races and lamp shades that had the faces of sorrowful children. We all contemplated a new life down there, on account of they was offering family beard buffets: “FAMILY HAIRLOOMS. All the beards you can glue on your face from deceased family members. A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY.” I was locked in the cellar for several years when I was a boy in Mesopotamia, so I changed my tune and we continued the hunt for this mirage called “Trader Vic's.” We soldiered through a cheerleader convention and Lamar's horses stampeding everywhere. GIDDYUP. Suzanne pinned against the elevator trying to not get trampled. You'd never guess. It was the only elevator in the joint that led to that elusive Tiki Bar. The waitress was a real humdinger, sweatnails! She had the text to Jo Stafford's 1948 torch song “Haunted Heart” tattooed on her face and you could tell she'd spent more than a few nights “drinking the blood of Saturn's son.” I ordered Mussels and a Mai Tai. When in Rome. The whole time I was trying to enjoy my meal this little feller at the table was rambling on about how he would rather be drinking dollar beers in the cemetery or some such place. He sounded like a tinny banjo who puts on a smart pantsuit, some mascara and makes a run for the State Senate. I would have liked to have thrown up in his plate of food but since he didn't order any, I had to settle for throwing up in mine after I drank a galaxy of mussel juice. All in all friend-o, I'd give “Trader Vic's” 4 out of 5 Tiki Torches.