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The Column

The Abandoned Lot is Always Greener

By nature, we are always wondering what else is out there. We always think that there's something better - that our lives can be fuller, our smiles wider, our girlfriends hotter. It is that logic that leads us to be single, frowning, and watching wrestling on a Saturday night.

"Steve," you may say (which is appropriate since that's coincidentally my name), "wrestling isn't on on Saturday nights."

Of course, the only people who know this are the single frowning people I'm talking about, and they DO watch wrestling on Saturdays. They taped it. When wrestling aired earlier that week, they couldn't watch because they were very busy alone in the dark, crying.

But that logic doesn't just lead us to be single, frowning wrestling fans. It also leads us to explore downtown Detroit on a Thursday night instead of just going to a hotel bar like the smart people.

If you've never been to Detroit, well, that's probably why you're still alive today. Let me explain something about the city. Detroit is so cultured that the name comes from the French for "of the roads" which is basically pronounced "de twa." Leave it to the citizens of this fine town to pronounce that "deetroyt." Detroit is known for the famous Wooward Avenue, the nation's first freeway. Woodward Avenue is a smart road, because it leads the heck out of Detroit.

I'd finished a show in the Detroit Renaissance Hotel for a fraternity convention, and a bunch of the guys asked if I wanted to come with them across the border to Windsor. They said Windsor was great - everyone parties, everyone has a good time. I told them that though it sounded good, I'd rather just go out locally. I was in the mood to stumble home and crash at the end of the night - not go through customs.

Luckily one of the guys agreed, and he (from this point forward he will be known as "Evan," which is appropriate since that's coincidentally his name) and I set out towards that famous deetroyt action. Our first stop was the hotel bar where we tried to round up a few guys. They said they were having am okay time there, and there was no need to go out. No need to go out? What, were they nuts? If you could have an okay time in a hotel bar, imagine how much fun it would be to go OUT!

A $5 cab ride later, Evan and I ended up at a local bar. That was an accomplishment because the concierge had trouble naming a good bar. We figured this was because the concierge wasn't a bar-goer, since he was tired from all that concierge-ing. It was actually because there were none to be named.

The first bar had four people, and one was playing Irish folk music. One of the other three was behind the bar, and the last two were making out. The next bar had even fewer people. The next bar had even fewer. The fourth bar actually owed itself people. And the fifth bar, well, we're pretty convinced it was a monastery with a tap.

We walked quickly from bar to bar, less because we wanted to find a good scene and more because we were terrified of downtown deetroyt. Finally, we heard voices. Two rather large men talking about going to a strip club. Or as they put it "let's see some boobies!" We assumed they meant the neighboring strip club because the only other boobies to be seen were their own.

We'd had it and decided to get a cab. The quickest way was to cut through the nearby "casino." I like casinos, and have been to several of them. This, however, was not a casino. This was five slot machines and a homeless guy. And by the looks of desolation on the faces of those at the slot machines, I'd guess the homeless guy had the most coins in there.

A $5 cab ride later, we returned to the hotel bar, laughing about how the best thing to do while you're in Detroit is to go to Canada. We met up with the same guys we saw there before our odyssey, who were still having the same okay time they were having before we'd left. And over the next few hours, we had an okay time, too. Sure, we were all still single - but none of us were frowning. Perhaps because the bar TVs were not showing wrestling.

Oooh, I hope someone taped it.

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