Princess Kennedy ((second on left)) rubs shoulders with politic afiffiicionados during Drinking Liberally at Piper Down. Photo: Jon Carlisle
For the beer issue, I decided I would check out one of the many ‘with drinks’ groups in town. No Green Drinks—cause hippies make me vomit in my mouth—Vegan Drinks I’ve been to, and Writers with Drinks is tired and affected. After careful consideration, I thought I’d dust off my red skirt suit and take a chance with Drinking Liberally. Drinking Liberally is a national organization that meets in pubs ‘cross America to talk and drink over the hot button issues of the current state of affairs. The Salt Lake group meets bi-monthly at Piper Down.
I thought I’d surprise them in all my tranny glory, testing the liberal limits of the group and the Piper Down crowd. I wanted them to not know that I was showing up so that I could actually get a feel for their group, get involved in the political discussions and find what it is about this group that gets them drinking. Lord knows I need no excuses to perch at the end of a bar, so it really intrigues me when people need to form a group to do so.
I called in the three most political people I know— Ben Downing, David Berg and DJ Justin Strange—to be conversation buffers, as I am probably the least political tranny in the world. I felt that if someone was there to guide me in conversation, I could at least bullshit my way through it. How hard could it be, right? Strange told me that he had gone once and it was just a bunch of people talking about health care reform and the capitalization of big business. That’s all well and good, but what about the drinking? In my head I thought it would be funny to saunter in there in all my finery, belly up to a table of six or so middle-aged men drinking lager and throw questions at them about gay marriage and other GLBT rights. HA! The joke was on me.
I arrived to Piper Down to find that it was ‘Meet the Candidates’ night. It seems that the group was caught off guard with the 200 people that showed up to listen to the 25 or so candidates that came out to promote themselves. Instantly, I totally shut down. I went into a panic due to unpreparedness. FUCK! Why didn’t I take the time to find out about the candidates so I could hit them with the kind of award-winning journalistic questions to which my readers have become accustomed?
The following is an account of my evening:
Completely taken aback by the sight of the massive group of politicos, I found my Drinking Liberally contact, a pretty red head named Laura Arellano with the same overwhelmed look on her face. She introduced herself and told me what was happening that night, explaining that the candidates had ‘Hello My Name Is’ stickers on and to “feel free to flow about the room to ask questions.” That was the last time I saw her. I sent my cohorts to the bar for libation while I ran to the smoking patio in anxiety. While out on the terrace, someone noticed my state and introduced me to some guy with a name sticker that said he was in district 25. I asked him what that meant. He scrunched up his nose all pooey-faced and responded with, “is that all you’re going to ask me?” Buh-xcuse me? I didn’t know this was liberals wearing drinks, Councilman ass-face!
The best part was when an older Mr. Rogery-type gentleman was given the Princess Kennedy intro, truly testing his comfort zone. His mouth got all dry and cottony and he paced in a circle for what seemed like five minutes or so with a blank look on his face, completely unfocused on what was being asked of him. I have nothing but shear elation when I have this effect on people. In my own mind, it’s because he realized he was in the presence of greatness. Ben took the reigns and got him to sit down, chill for a sec and make him feel at ease with GLBT rights questions. As soon as his politician voice/hand gesture movement thing started, I lost interest and started texting. From what Ben said, it was mostly positive.
Finally, political power house Davey Berg showed up. I grabbed him to escort me through the room and ask hard-hitting questions while I smiled and nodded my head in a Jackie Kennedy fashion.
I met the lady that applied for her candidacy on craigslist, which totally reminded me of the hot guy I met on craigslist who I had been hanging out with for a while before he up and joined the Marines. I’m so excited that he gets out of basic training next week, I can’t wait to see him.
Next, I met the gay candidate. At least I think he was gay. He was the only one at the group drinking and had beautiful eyelashes. He was wearing lip gloss, and that so doesn’t go with tweed! The only suit that should be accompanied with lip gloss is a shiny, dark blue, fitted David Bowie look. For (might be) gay shame!
Then we stopped and talked to Sammy Something, DA candidate, (very good looking—I’ll vote for him). He was standing by the mirror, and I caught a glimpse of my hair, which I hated. I can’t believe I wore a side bun! I’m worried that it’s going to be all wrong for the outfit I’m wearing for my lip-sync later at another club. That was IT! I had to go redo my ‘do. Besides, this club was tired. Where in the hell is the DJ, for God sake?
Although my experience with Drinking Liberally was utterly overwhelming, it did seem like Candidate Night was atypical compared to what usually goes on.
For more information about Drinking Liberally visit drinkingliberallyslc.org.