In addition to my lovely and talented girl Jane, I had another inside line for the 4-1-1 on Austin. I had somehow wound up on the top floor of this particular Sheraton, and those of you in the know will know that top floor equals club level. The club level is beyond awesome. Not only are you invited in to the lounge for a delicious breakfast every morning and a delectable assortment of hors d’oevres and inexpensive cocktails every evening; you also have access to the lounge itself 24/7, and can help yourself to all the bottled water, granola bars, fresh fruit, and mac daddy single serve coffee drinks you could ever dream of having. There was also soda and juice, if you’re the type to dream of that sort of thing. For me, it was all about stuffing my bag with endless adorable little water bottles, and dizzying amounts of caffeine. Sadly, there was no bathroom in the lounge.
My first experience in the club lounge was early in the evening before Jane arrived. The hors (as affectionately referred to by Corey types) and drinks were being attended by a young, thin white guy with side burns and chunky glasses. Have you ever been to Austin? That description fits roughly 49% of the population. He was a very nice and helpful boy/man (God, I’m old…he was such a boy but he was serving drinks, so I guess I have to call him a man), and he was also very chatty. Jane arrived in time for us to catch the tail end of the grub that evening, so we hightailed it up to the 26th floor and no one else was in the room, so we sat down for a proper chat with Dan the
Man Boy. He pumped us full of ideas for places to go that night, and we had a few laughs and a few Shiner Bocks and everything was lovely and then Jane abruptly shunned Dan, and that was a bit of a conversation stopper.
Anyway, Dan was spot on that first night in suggesting great places for us to eat and drink, we had ourselves a great time, singing his praises.
I think Jane even felt a little sorry about the whole shunning thing. The next day we ran into Dan in another part of the hotel, and we thanked him for his great suggestions and mentioned our plans for the evening. We were going out for fancy dinner then on a quest for live music. Quest is definitely too strong a word for the act of seeking out live music in Austin. You‘d have to work really hard to avoid live music at any time of day or night in that town, but Jane told me some weird story about a guy playing guitar with his tongue last time she was there, and that was something I was willing to avoid, so our quest was more about just finding the sweet spot with music that we wanted to hear. Dan was a musician (of course he was!), and told us that he was going to see a band on 6th… but then Dapper Dan’s wan face fell into worry as he warned us not to visit 6th Street that night. I waited for Jane to shun him, but instead she asked for an explanation. Dan explained that there was a festival in town that weekend, and the crowd on 6th would be very “urban.” We promptly shunned his nerdy racist ass.
Jane and I enjoyed a delectable dinner and then made a point of ignoring Dan’s exhortation and headed right down 6th.
And straight into perdition.
We’ve already established that I’m old, and Jane’s my older sister. So we’re both old, but we’re also extremely cool and awesome and gorgeously fierce babes on the prowl, so it’s not like we were peering over our granny specs through the veil of our cornettes. The street was blocked off so it was all pedestrian traffic, and sweet 8.6 pound baby Jesus, that crowd was strutting. We walked about half a block before Jane said: “I don’t want my daughter to go to college here.” I just kept repeating: “Her vagina is out!”
Oh, those girls. Those girls! I wanted to simultaneously drape them with cloaks and wash their faces and slap them silly and call their mothers. I don’t even know how to describe this without sounding like Regis Philbin, it was just so shameful. Beautiful girls with bodies of all shapes and sizes, shoved into the most disturbing get ups that barely covered their dainty bits. I don’t mean mini skirts, I don’t even mean booty shorts – I mean no pants at all! Outfits that Rhianna can just barely pull off when performing. Teetering on stilettos, talking smack, taunting the boys who lined the sidewalks to watch them go by. It was bewildering. It was humbling. To the mothers of girls, it was terrifying.
We got the freaking frack out of there and stumbled toward home, almost giving up on our quest just because the sobering effect of the experience had actually made us sober (damn it). But then, just across the street from our hotel, we found this crew
And Austin promptly redeemed itself.
I’m sorry for doubting you, Dan. And also for the shunning.