There are signs I may be getting old -- although I like to attribute them to things like global warming and international terrorism. Gray hairs pop up in odd places; I spend as much time peeing as I do drinking beer; hangovers last at least 48 hours; and I haven't liked any new music since the early '80s. I remember when music was dangerous and subversive -- and not just because of its blatant use of profanity and sexual references. Our parents knew that what we were listening to was inappropriate, even if they couldn't pinpoint why. Today, though, a single rap "song" is capable of killing devout Christians outright -- or so leaders of the Parents Television Council insist. These are the same people who want the FCC to crack down on ABC for airing the Who dropping an F-bomb during "Who Are You?" at Live 8 -- never mind that this is one of the great songs of all time and has been played this way for twenty years. These people need to spend less time badgering the FCC and more time making sure their kids don't grow up to be serial killers or, worse, Christian conservatives.
Our viewing standards are not quite as stringent. Even so, before going to the movies, we like to prepare ourselves with several hours of drinking. Often this leads to our missing the movie entirely, so we made sure we'd be in position for Wedding Crashers by imbibing at the Hard Rock Cafe (500 16th Street). Not only is this bar conveniently located in the Denver Pavilions, but as a place that celebrates everything that's right with rock and roll, we assumed the Hard Rock would welcome our witty brand of obnoxious fun with open arms.
We were wrong.
500 16th Street
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I knew we were in trouble the moment I found our disaster, as I greeted fellow Institute members in a typically loud fashion. The tables around us shot such deadly looks our way that we were momentarily cowed into quietness, and the rest of our group had difficulty locating us. Usually, the rattling of mugs and deafening roar of laughter and competitive conversation make us easier to find than a nuclear test site. JP was very rightly worried about our immediate future, and it only got worse when Dr. Etiquette was shown the yellow card for dropping an F-bomb.
With our highly intelligent and vindictive group, that warning only raised the frequency and amplitude of R-rated discourse. We felt totally justified; after all, the rock relics at the Hard Rock belonged to legendary hedonists whose spirits would certainly consider our bad behavior an homage. Even more supportive of our cause was the array of nasty videos playing on monitors throughout the joint. The Jewish Representative sagely noted that while we were being chastised for our language, Billy Idol was sneering and singing about his totally healthy relationship with an extremely young lady wearing futuristic clothes in a series of pseudo-bondage settings and poses.
If they were ever actually to leave their homes, I'm sure members of the Parents Television Council would try to shut down every Hard Rock in America. Instead, we were in danger of being shut out, and we decided to leave while we could still walk out loudly with our dignity intact.
Life is fraught with danger. I could get hit by a Lance Armstrong wannabe in head-to-toe spandex going thirty miles an hour on the sidewalk. I could trip and fall in front of a fully lit, packed theater, taking out the Oriental Representative and two other people on my way down. I could walk into a bar without tap Guinness. I could go to a restaurant/bar and get seated next to a Bible-study group. So before you turn on your TV or step out your door, be sure to check with a higher authority like God or an Institute of Drinking Studies representative to see if it's safe.