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© 2004 The Beast

Tail Hunt

Aloha Buffalo, I'm Back for More

by Zac Gersh


            While traipsing about the South Seas the last coupla years, dithering my time between what can be described as a pathological devotion to laziness and a knack for flagrant exhibitionism, I almost forgot what it’s like going out in Buffalo. Now back in town, at first I was hoping to get laid right quick, or maybe even coerce one of those parking lot blow-jobs from your typical local bar trash; but then I found it just that much more engaging to observe the freak-show going on in the home of my wayward youth.

            For instance, running into my ex at Cozumel was a treat. She’s the sort of Catholic private school girl bestowed with an ungodly allowance of good looks, destined to marry a St. Joe’s quarterback, which, after reflecting thereupon, makes me wonder what the hell she ever wanted with me in the first place.

            I’m no good, is the Nut of it. “I haven’t seen you in three years,” one damsel affirmed at Frizzy’s, upon seeing me again, “and you’re still the most arrogant ass I’ve ever known.” Still, I place myself on a much higher plane than your typical Buffalo guy, who, I am surprised to find, continues the late 90s tradition of tight-ribbed t-shirts, black leather jackets, and hair that is combed from the back, spikey up front.

            Maybe you know what I’m getting at. After a seemingly endless row of shots of So-Co and lime—it’s Buffalo; what can I say?—some idiot, with just such metrosexual fatigues on, came after me because I was talking to a girl I haven’t spoken to in some five years. Wonderful. A gentleman such as myself avoids altercation at all costs, so luckily, the chap’s friends, rather than come after me, laughed when I inquired as to whether men’s clothing is sold where one can purchase ribbed shirts.

I might be a marked man yet, for, having Western New York’s only Hawaiian license plate at the moment, I’m easily spotted. What’s cool, I learned from this incident, is this: to be, like, thirty, and start fights. Only in Buffalo, I’m convinced, this happens.

Now in the fiftieth state we had some military knuckleheads that scrapped, but they mostly fought amongst themselves, or picked with the locals, explaining to them how, despite the fact that our government overthrew theirs in a fit of extrajudicial, free-market fury, they—the noble savages—should be grateful for having their freedom protected. Yep, there’s interesting quid pro quo going on everywhere these days.

But this isn’t to diminish the facility with which Buffalo drinks. For that, I will always remain proud, putting it up against other debaucherous cities such as New Orleans, Memphis, Kansas City and San Diego. Plus, we drink Canadian beer—requiring a far more advanced tolerance than that of, say, Miller Lite.

Regardless, I’m a black sheep in this town. I suppose I can make my Nichols brethren proud by sporting any number of the dollar-fifty shirts I picked up in a Chang-Mei, Thailand, bazaar—those with a tiny alligator emblazoned across the breast—but I just can’t stomach it whilst looking in a mirror. Nor can I, for that matter, countenance the folly of everyday life—at least not yet—consisting of employment, girlfriends, salaries, and the like.

I’ve maintained my sphere of influence over the precious psyche of Buffalo women, thank God. That’s the kind of thing you never forget, or lose a hold of. I had one such lass, a UB law student, asking me to pull out my piece at Jimmy Mac’s, because later, if should I choose to do so, she wouldn’t mind if I came all over her face.

While declining to whip it out—with my heritage some 50% Irish, I really ain’t packing all that much heat, anyway—I made out with her for old times sake. It seemed like the more appropriate course of action, what-with Jimmy Mac’s being an upscale, proper establishment. Moreover, I was able to live vicariously through my high school days, as if, when sixteen, on the patio at Locker Room or against the back bar at Brick. 

This I know for sure: that, despite earning the pittance of a Teaching Assistant’s salary (and doing so for probably the next five years); in desperate need of a skilled haberdasher, my wardrobe consisting, as it does, of board-shorts, sweater-vests, and long-sleeve t-shirts; and that I’m an all around pedantic fuck with no qualms save my own brand of elitist dissipation—I have something to offer this place, even if only a tonic to the affected blue-collar substrate, almost, at this point, mythical in proportion.

 If anything, it appears as though bureaucratic malaise has overpowered our senses. I mean, Christ-on-a-stick, folks: the coke-blowing and insecure male posturing out at the bars right now is disturbing; it’d be nice to ship some of these lost souls to a Robert Bly men’s movement camp, and, you know, let ‘em figger themselves out the hard way.

Whether it’s because UB moved out to the North Campus, a post-modern death camp of isolationist, womb-like comfort (say what you want about South; at least it’s got some fucking grit), or that everyone seemingly has a job with M&T Bank, I couldn’t quite say. People still drink, but there’s a palpable anxiety around town, one, unfortunately, that not even the booze can shake off.

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