First the cat, then I'll discuss the models.

I'm an ex-pat New Yorker living in London. I work for an Investment Bank, and I had my life together in a major way back in Manhattan. I made art. I published magazines. I had gallery shows and I simply did not want to move to England.

But now The Mutant is here in the UK so when I head out for a Saturday afternoon drinkup (as the locals phrase it) I prefer to visit pubs that are quiet and uncrowded. I'm sure noders will understand my motivation here; fuck TV I like to read!

In the immortal words of Steven Jobs - "TV On, Mind off!".

Anyway, when I first moved to London I used to go to a place called 'The Camden Brewing Company', simply because it was quiet. Even better, they had a cat and I could use my pocket laser beam to drive their kitty nuts. What fun!

This cat loved to hunt, and as soon as I entered the pub and had sat down at the bar the animal would quickly approach me and MEOW! loudly while looking intently at me. She wanted to play!

Unfortuntely for me and the cat the owners of this bar got a trendy Thai chef, and overnight the fucking place went from a quiet and placid pub to - after being written up in Time Out London! - the kind of velvet roped dump that wouldn't let a heavily tattooed artistic fuck like myself in any more.

The hell with them!

So I started going to a place down the road called the Drum and Monkey. It was aptly named for the rather large mural of - guess what? - on their sign facing the road.

An old man's dive, I immediately liked it because I encountered a curious collection of late 1980's punks and early 20th century war veterans. The punks controlled the sound (Front 242, Prong, Iggy Pop, etal) while the old guys - deaf to the noise - were always excitedly talking about 'The Big One'. It was a balance of power that worked.

It was only after I'd been accepted as a regular and got on speaking terms with these excellent medal wearing gentleman (some of them over here in Europe still do that shit and as a country boy I think it's WONDERFUL!) that I learned from these guys that they were talking about WW 1 and 1917, NOT as I'd assumed, about World War Two.

But thats ok.

The pub owner was always bitching about business, or more specifically the lack of it, and having just completed a Masters Degree (in business no less !) I one day opened my BIG FUCKING MOUTH and told him about Hank.

Hank owns the Mars Bar , located on third street in New York. My friend Tracey bartends there. Hank will ONLY hire BEAUTIFUL BABES as bartenders.

Fair enough. But this jerk that I thought was an idiot takes me one step better and cuts a deal with a modelling agency.

So from now on, he is hiring only MODEL bartenders.

The first week it's pretty much as normal, maybe twenty people tops the entire three hours I'm hanging out, drinking pints of Stella Artois (5.2% alcohol), reading Barrons and Mac User. And wow - now this guys got some radically NICE looking bartenderesses! I might like it here!

Next week we've got twenty new faces, all male. Word is getting out.

But now the owner is doing something sleazysmart. He keeps the heat up and the doors shut. Models sweat too you know!

So by the third week not only can I see about forty new faces, all male. I can also see - under the slacks and tight skirts sticking to sweaty model legs - THONGS.

Damn. The sweaty models are wearing fucking THONGS! OH NO!!

Next week the ENTREPRENEUR has a rope and a doorman outside and I can't get in no more. Too crowded. He don't need my cash any longer.

No local colour, no war veterans, no 1980s types, no tattoos, no Mutants allowed. I'm bummed. Without protest I leave.

But on my way home I see a few familiar faces.

So now I'm drinking under the train overpass with a bunch of the WWI guys and the punks.

It's ok.

The old dudes light a fire and the cops leave them alone 'cause of their age.

We all talk about enthusiastically about "burning the Kaiser" (its the old guys idea), but in the end all they do is char some sausages.

Thats all right.

I bring a case of beer and my G3/333 PowerBook with about 100 hours of MP3s.

The old guys bring blood sausages and war stories and the punks look surly and hang out and we all get along fine.

Fuck the models.

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