21st Nov2005

Marion Barry – 2nd Printing

by Will

“A chick who can screw AND quote The Rock? I’m gonna marry you!”

So, in honor of the one year anniversary of what is, by far, one of my best posts, I hereby present The Best of WilliamBruceWest.com, and reprint the entry that I like to call “The More, The Marion, AKA The Bitch Set Me Up…Again”.

“Watch out, ’cause here I come. It’s been awhile, but I’m back in style!”

Today’s Episode: “Oh No He Didn’t (Oh, YES He Did)!”

A little backstory: I’ve got a couple of friends at H&M who’ve never received “the blog treatment” before. Anyway, Juwan and Bruce are fellow retailers-in-arms, and we tend to have a good time whenever we’re at work together.

So, last night was Bruce’s birthday & he was throwing himself a party at the Banana Cafe. Well, I didn’t really know what to expect, but NOTHING could’ve have prepared me for what the night would bring. NOTHING.

I swear, folks…you’ve read some wacky shit on this site before, but NONE of it holds a candle to this crazy night in SE Washington…

So, Shelly and I decided to go together ’cause we didn’t really know where the place was. Let’s see…2 sheltered kids in S.E. DC. I guess we figured they couldn’t kill us both, right? Strength in numbers, and all that jazz…

The party started at 6, but we didn’t roll in until around 10. Bruce was way drunk, bless his heart! He was glad to see us, as he led us inside. Apparently, it was Karaoke Night @ the Banana. So, he leads us up the stairs, and what do we find? A room full of young, Black gay guys. They weren’t all gay, but you couldn’t swing a dead cat in the room without hitting one. Now, when I say this, I don’t mean it in a derogatory sense at all. I say it ’cause I have never seen a room so CHOCK FULL OF BLACK GAY GUYS!!!

I think what struck me, too, was that it wasn’t all stereotype. It wasn’t like the “Men on Film” guys from “In Living Color” (Wow, I’m seriously dating myself here). Instead, it was an array of NBA jerseys and denim jackets. They looked like they were in a G-Unit video or something.

Anyway, Shelly and I kinda look at each other; the White Chick & The Straight Guy. We were basically a bad UPN sitcom waiting to happen. But, what the Hell? We’re there to have fun, right? So, we get to the bar and Juwan’s drunk, too. I mean, DRUNK. But it was cute. He was kinda stumbling around. Every so often, he’d yell “Aw, this is my JAM!” and start dancing.

So, we’re drinking our SoCo & Cokes, getting settled, taking it all in. As I look around the room, I kinda start to feel like the last rib at a Black cook-out. There were all these eyes on me, ranging from “What’s he doing here?” to “Where’ve you been all my life, playa?” Now, for you frequent readers, you know that I tend to find myself in these situations ever so often. But this was only the TIP of the iceberg. Let the craziness begin:

A few minutes after we get our drinks, Bruce comes over and whispers, “Y’all will NEVER guess who that is over there!”

I ask who he’s talking about, and he points to a table near the window. Brace yourselves, folks

“That’s Marion Fuckin’ Barry!!!”

I look over and, “Holy shit, that IS Marion Barry!”

Yes, the crack-smoking DC mayor-for-life was sitting right there, about 10 feet from me. For all you uninformed, he’s that guy that Chris Rock loves to make fun of. I swear, he’s been milking that routine for 10 yrs….

Anyway, at the table sat Marion Barry and the cheapest, Sandra Clark imitation hoochie I have ever seen in real-life. This is one of those chicks who was clearly an escort. Not a hooker, but an escort. What’s the difference, you ask? Well, a hooker is someone you just pay for sex, while an escort is someone you pay to be seen with you. She might have sex with ya later, but that’s gonna cost extra.

Also, allow me to say that the good mayor looks like SHIT. I mean, during his recent campaign, there was talk of how bad his health was, but I had no idea it was THIS bad. The poor thing looked WRECKED…

“I’m gonna go say ‘hi’,” I said, as I rushed over to the table. Not really knowing what to say to a world-renowned figure, I offer my hand and say, “Congratulations, sir.” Hell, I didn’t really know WHAT, specifically, I was congratulating him on. Was it his recent election win? Was it his ability to find a woman to come out with him tonight? Was it the mere fact that he’s still alive? Damned if I know. I just figured such a phrase would make him feel good about himself or some shit.

He gave me a limp handshake and kind of mumbled something. I figured it was a pearl of wisdom from a man who’d clearly enjoyed a colorful life and career. “I beg your pardon?” I responded. Once again, he mumbled something. I leaned closer and asked, “What?” The third time, I heard him: “Do I have to go up to the bar, or will they come to the table?” Yup, that’s what the old fool asked me. I kinda stammered: “Uh…they’ll come to the table…..Did you need anything?” Yup, I was gonna buy old Marion a drink, but he just kinda waved me away. Yes, the good mayor and I were about to become enemies…

So, I decided to sing something, while Shelly & Juwan chilled on one of the couches. The first song was “A Song For You”, sung by the Temptations, but better known as a Ray Charles song. Surprisingly, the crowd seemed to like it, or they were just blowing sunshine up my ass.

When I was done, Shelly & I just kinda hung out together, the whole time trying to figure out how the Hell we ended up in a gay bar with Marion Barry?!!! But wait kids, there’s more!

It turns out Marion’s skank wanted to sing, too. How to describe her… Well, she was wearing an all black catsuit, with a chain around her waist. She thought she was cute, and Marion seemed proud to have her on his arm. That chick had the audacity to try to sing a Mary J. Blige song, and I don’t think she hit a single note in the song. But she was just smiling and singing like she thought she could sing. Marion decided to get a closer seat, but as I’ve said, he’s a bit out of sorts these days. As he started to sit down, his chair was tipping over and almost spilled him onto the floor. If someone hadn’t caught it from behind, he’d have fallen and I KNOW he wouldn’t have been able to get up! So, he sat there, drinking his drink, watching his girl. A couple of the divas decided to help her out ’cause she just wasn’t doing that song justice. When she finished, Marion smiled and clapped.

The entire time, we’re drunk, off in the corner, asking, “Is that REALLY Marion Barry?!!!’ Juwan would scream out, “Why is he HEEERREE?!!!” Bruce came back over, and I asked if Barry was a regular there. His response: “I ain’t never seen his crack-smokin’ ass around here before!” Barry’s like 4 feet away, mind you. I cringe and say, “He’s right there! He can here you!!!!” Bruce replied, “I don’t care! He knows what he is!”

So, the night continues on, and the drinks keep flowing. I decide to sing another song, but what to sing? Well, I went for the “ringer approach” and chose a song I already knew: This I Promise You (Which, btw, can be downloaded from my music section *wink*). So, I chose my song and signed up on the list.

Turns out, “Catwoman” had signed up for ANOTHER Mary J. song before me. I swear! So, I sat back and watched her butcher yet ANOTHER song, but I also noticed Barry talking to the DJ off to the side. Something nefarious was going on. I think he was trying to arrange for her to sing another song. I’ll be damned if I’m gonna watch THAT happen! You see, I was next on the list, and I wanted to sing my damn song.

I kinda got belligerent at that point. Ask anyone on that couch. “What the fuck is he doing?” I asked. ” I will fight Marion Barry! I ain’t scared of no old Marion Barry!” Sure, I wasn’t screaming at the top of my lungs, but I was vocal. That’s what alcohol does. It’s pure science.

I wanted to sing my song and, I’m sorry, there’s a line! Luckily, he didn’t get in front of me. Shelly swears I wasn’t going to do anything, but I don’t know…considering how surreal the night seemed, I kinda thought it was all a dream by that point anyway!

So, I got up and sang This I Promise You. It probably wasn’t the best venue for such a song; did I mention Black, gay, and S.E. DC? But I wanted to sing it anyway. I guess I was singing it for Alouise. That’s my girl, ya know? And we had THE BEST DAY on Saturday, so it was still on my mind. So that’s where my heart was.

During the instrumental part of the song, I got a little creative. I said, “This goes out to Bruce, on his birthday. And I also wanna give a shout-out to Marion Barry.” People kinda laughed and/or looked shocked. “What? He’s right here. We all see him!” I said. Did I mention that Marion was like 2 ft away from me? No? Well, he was. Yeah, it was dick of me. But in a drunk, funny way…

I think I got a little too into the song, actually. In fact, I think I might’ve been as off-key as Barry’s girl. Why, you ask? Well, this dude came up from behind me and said, “You’re lucky you’re cute.” OUCH. Back-handed compliments. Thanks, boys…So, I finished that song, and I think Shelly was the only one who clapped. Thanks, Shel! 🙂

But the night was about to jump the shark. Just when you thought it was safe, what happens next? Well, I’ll tell ya!

When I get back on the couch, who do i see heading up to the mic? I thought he was lobbying for his girl again, but it was something bigger than that. Something more unexpected. Something monumental. Yes, Marion Barry was gonna SING KARAOKE!!!

I’m about to lose my mind here!!! Am I really seeing this? Is he really who he claims to be?!!! It’s all a blur. And what song did he choose for himself? “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay”, by Otis Redding. Yes, I was about about to watch the tides roll away as Barry butchered a soul classic. We’re falling out of our seats in disbelief! We’re scrounging for camera phones and anything else to immortalize this moment. I yell,”Do you know how much Wonkette would pay for these pictures?!!!”.

He was beyond bad. It’s not that he was tone-deaf..it’s just that he wasn’t listening to the background track. Then, his lady decided to join him for the WORST duet….I can’t even….I’m fuckin’ blown! And to cap it off, you know how the song ends with a whistling solo? He sang it! No, he didn’t whistle it; he SANG IT!!! Words can’t explain…

When he finished, the crowd erupted. I guess we were all in awe of what had just transpired and, as they say in the ‘hood, “Marion was getting his propers”…Some of the guys helped him off of his chair, and after a few more political handshakes, Marion and ‘ho left the building. It was like a mass UFO sighting, though. For the next hr, we were all asking each other, “Did you see that?!!” or “Did that really just happen?” or, my fave, “Fucking Marion Barry?!!” It was like, for that night, we were all brought closer due to our shared ordeal. I can say that I’d do anything for Bruce, Juwan, and Shel. Well, maybe not ANYTHING, but you get the point. God bless alcohol and fallen celebrities…

The party wound down, we closed out tabs, and Shelly and I laughed about that shit all the way back to MD. I hope this made some kind of sense in print, but you really had to be there. And I’m sure it’ll never happen again, so you missed out. But from this day forward, children around the world will sing songs of the time Crack-smoking Marion Barry Sang Karaoke in the Gay Bar. And if you ever hear them sing these songs, you just tell ’em my name and that I was there on that fateful day.

Marion Fuckin Barry…

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