You knew it was coming.
It's what you come here FOR.
We went to The River City Tavern in Parkersburg, which has changed hands yet AGAIN. We've been there several times and they were decent before. Tonight was an exception for two reasons.
The first reason, it was karaoke night. That shouldn't need further elaboration, but I'll go ahead anyway. See, it's nice when hanging out with friends (especially ones you haven't seen in a while) to be able to actually talk to one another and be heard. This is why I was happy that we weren't going where we usually go, Buffalo Wild Wings (B-Dubs). Now, I DO like their overpriced wings, but you can barely hear the person next to you let alone someone sitting at the Last-Supper-esque row of tables we need to accommodate everyone. Since this is Memorial Day Weekend and there's a UFC fight on Pay Per View there we couldn't get in, so we went to River City.
And I was glad to be away from B-Dubs so that we could have conversation if not the aforementioned tasty, yet overpriced, wings (I really can't stress OVERPRICED enough), but also because of the Karaoke Principle. The Principle states that the more you hate karaoke multiplied by how much you try to avoid it equals the likelihood that you will encounter it.
The only exception to this is Punk Rock Karaoke at Circus on High and Fifth in Columbus, which I actually LIKE. This has a LOT to do with the fact that it's at a goth bar and nobody sings country music there. Well, except the occasional Johnny Cash song, but Cash was as goth as country could ever get and if you have a problem with Johnny Cash you can go goddamned fuck yourself.
Anyhow, many a time have we gambled with the Karaoke Principle and many a time have we been auditorally raped. Most notably by these three cackling harpies that used to go to B-Dubs EVERY karaoke night (which is to say every night that we were all able to assemble together) and sing the SAME DAMN SONG.
That damned song? Why that would be Earl, by the Dixie Chicks.
How bad was their singing?
It made me feel bad for EARL.
Made the Dixie Chicks sound a lot better by way of comparison though...
Come to think of it though, that song always bothered me even before those screeching gorgons got a hold of it.
I mean, basically it's a song about a girl in a small town who, for whatever reason, waited a little too long to get hitched or something and there was only one available guy left, the titular Earl. She never mentions anything about being attracted to him or loving him or even seeing a single positive quality in him whatsoever, just that he was the only guy left. So she married his ass and get this, Earl, as it turns out, isn't Prince Charming! I know, right! He's an abusive pigfucker of a shitbag! So because Earl is, well, EARL, now he's got to die. It's like wanting a puppy, but there are no puppies left so instead you take the pit bull from the back that nobody wants and when it turns out to want to rip your flesh off rather than say, play fetch, you bash it's fucking head in with a shovel.
I understand that some people are trapped in shitty towns and sometimes make bad decisions and whatnot. I also understand that there are a LOT of shitbag guys out there who abuse women and Earl was undoubtedly deserved to die. I'm just critical of the reasoning here. It would be one thing if she thought she was in love with him, or one drunken night after the big football game she got knocked up and she felt she HAD to marry him, but there's nothing like that in the song. It's literally: "Wanda looked all around this town and all she found was Earl".
She had ONE thing she was looking for in a man and that was that he, well, basically existed. Beyond that she didn't seem too goddamn picky did she?
All I'm saying is you don't scrape the bottom of the barrel and expect to get a fresh, shiny apple.
And you sure as hell can't blame the apple. Or at least not that gleefully.
Guys like him DO deserve to die and all, we're on the same page there, I'm just sayin...
Anyways, where was I?
River City was perfect till the Karaoke started. Partly because we were all drowned out by shitty renditions of Eagles songs (fortunately though, no Dixie Chicks) and partly because that's when my food arrived, which brings us to reason number two, my food SUCKED.
See, it's River City and they at least USED to be known for decent seafood. I like seafood and have ordered, at least twice in the past, the fish & chips which were quite satisfactory. It was a nice big, deep-fried fish fillet with steak fries. Tonight I got, well, you know the really cheap-ass, 'minced fish portions'? The really shitty ones that you got with your high school lunch? The ones that if you took them to the zoo and tossed them to the penguins (or really ANY fish-eating animal) they wouldn't recognize them as food? I got three of those resting on fries that were so small and poorly cooked that I couldn't eat them all.
Let me give you a second to process that.
I am a fat bastard. One of the fattest you're ever likely to meet (at least till my surgery comes through) and I was served food that I could not finish.
Someone that lives close to Rich Sanders may want to go over to his place and see if he hit his head when he passed out after reading that last statement.
To add further insult, the 'fish' cost me $9.99. I know for a fact that I could buy a whole box of those goddamn things for just over $2 AND a 5 lb bag of frozen french fries and it wouldn't have cost me $9.99. And furthermore I'd have FUCKING COOKED THEM PROPERLY!
I also had a dinner salad which was ok, and split an appetizer sampler with my sister which was also just ok.
Essentially I paid $34 and change for a microwaved meal from the Walmart freezer section that I could have prepared better myself at a fraction of the cost.
That $34 included like a $4 tip that was automatically added to my meal. Granted, my gripe wasn't with the waitress, she was good, but I hate this bullshit of automatically adding the tip to the meal. It's not a TIP that way. It's a SURCHARGE.
Anyhow, that's Murdoch's River City Tavern at 3420 Murdoch Avenue, Parkersburg, WV 26101
I shan't be going there again. Avoid it at all costs.
Matter of fact, if my stomach follows through with what I think is coming on I may have a whole new list of reasons for you to avoid it in the morning.
I may be building up to a Ring of Fire...
UPDATE: Tossed and turned all night, not that unusual, and had nightmares about zombies, slightly more unusual than you'd think. See, I almost never have dreams, at least not ones that I can remember. Gee, I wonder what could have brought on some fucked-up dreams?
Also, I realized why River City didn't serve the same quality fish as before. It's most likely due to the entire Gulf being covered in BP Oil, but you know what? If they had said "Due to the oil spill we're not serving fish." or "The fish isn't up to our usually quality, we recommend you order something else." then I'd have happily ordered something else, but they didn't do that. They brought out 'fish' of a quality that McDonalds wouldn't have served and charged me the same price as they would have for fresh fish.
I'd have sent it back, but nothing ruins a good time out like someone being a dick to the restaurant, even if said restaurant truly deserves it.
Again, that's Murdoch's River City Tavern at 3420 Murdoch Avenue, Parkersburg, WV 26101
If someone you know wants to go there then please pass this story on.