Life From the Bottom – Day 8

I woke up in a dinky truck stop somewhere in Indiana, not entirely sure where I was. I had retired to the van after our Bloomington show, in hope I could sleep off whatever vile contamination was creeping through my body. When I finally rose, the back of my throat felt like I have been blowing hot coals all night. I decided to run into the truck stop and see if they had some decongestant, and maybe an expectorant, so I could start to expel whatever demons have possessed my upper-respiratory system. I had a nasty wheeze, and my developing cough tasted like something out of an ancient norse culinary school.

We’re taking this donkey show to Cincinnati today. We’re playing with our friends The ZGs, Dead Tuth, Jared Hart, and Tommy Grit and The Pricks at The Northside Yacht Club. It should be a great show, and the rumor is that it will be Tommy Grit’s CD release show. When we got to Cinci, which was just a short drive, we were kind of at a loss for what to do. As has become a sort of tradition, we decided to hit up the Casino in downtown Cinci. I’m not big on gambling, so I opted to sit the games out, but Tyler found himself in the middle of a Craps game. Karl and I wandered around, watched a few hands of Blackjack, and without saying much of anything, we found ourselves in the queue for the buffet. Somehow I managed to get a free meal out of the deal. In fact, we all somehow managed to get free meals; Tyler won enough from Craps, and Karl hit on some slots. I didn’t get my crab legs, but a free meal is a free meal.

With our pride swollen from winning, we headed over to the Northside Yacht Club. The venue is owned and operated by the guys from the Dopaumines, who were playing night 2 of Mid-west Punk Fest in Bloomington. We met the bartender Val, and took the opportunity to charge up our various devices at the bar. Still bloated from the buffet I didn’t try any food at the bar, but from the looks of what was on other people’s plates, their menu is pretty awesome. The guys from Dead Tuth showed up a short time later, and we all hung out chatting for a while before the rest of the bands started filing in.

With load-in complete, and our merch table set up, the show was finally underway. We could finally kick back and enjoy the night. Dead Tuth kicked the show off, followed by Jared Hart, then The ZGs. Both the bands were super cool, and Jared and his partner Rocky did an acoustic set. We had a blast making new friends, and catching up with old ones. All the bands leading up to our set did a Rancid cover, which was hilarious. The sound guy even made a comment to us about how we needed to do one now if we wanted to be cool. Sadly we’re a bunch of rednecks from Kansas, and no amount of Rancid songs will make us “cool.” After our set it was time for Tommy Grit and The Pricks, who kind of reminded me of Motorhead a bit. Hell, their first song was called “Lemmy!” They ripped the stage apart with their sheer badassery.

After the show we headed over to Camp Washington Chili for a bite and to meet up with our friend Johnny. Camp Washington is open late night, and draws a diverse crowd of characters in the wee hours of the morning. We hung out until they basically kicked us out. I won’t say I was excited to try Cincinnati Chili, as I’m a little bit of a purest, but I was interested. From what Johnny was saying, Camp Washington is where a lot of the locals prefer to go, because Skyline is so touristy. On first inspection the chili looked delicious. It was piled high with cheese, beans and onions. Ultimately it didn’t taste bad, but I won’t say it was great either. I found it lacking on seasoning and spice. The spaghetti was an interesting accouterment, but I think it added to the blandness of the dish. Like I said, it wasn’t bad, but I found it ultimately lacking in flavor. If I were drunk, I’m sure I would have loved this dish. At least I can say I’ve tried Cincinnati Chili, I suppose.

We crashed out at a truck stop outside of Cinicinati. By the end of the night I was starting to feel a little better, so hopefully another night of sleep and I can finally exorcize the cold demons once and for all.