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A Tale of Two Titties

The Nightfly is befuddled by Rice Village mating rituals

Some nights just get away from you. You make plans to hit the track, but it's a struggle to get up off the couch, much less out the door. If your standards are as low as mine, damn near everything you find on the tube is tolerable enough to keep you wallowing on the sofa. Before you know it, it's 12:45 a.m., and you've spent a good portion of your Saturday watching a Dawson's Creek marathon.

"Shit! Is that really how late it is? What are we going to do?"

Some ideas are batted about -- what's the best way to combat a sober weekend? Fast?

A lonely Red Bull cowers before an onslaught of the 
Marquis's towering teas.
Brian McManus
A lonely Red Bull cowers before an onslaught of the Marquis's towering teas.

"Let's go to the 'Quis for some tea," someone says.

Good call. It's tea time -- Long Island iced tea, to be exact.

The Marquis II, on Bissonnet near Kirby, is an institution. Their trillion-ounce Long Island iced teas are the stuff of legend, and at only $8, they're a great way to get back into the game after a slow start. The bar is a bit loud and frat-ish for my tastes, but to hop on the tipsy horse I'm willing to bear both noise and rich boys.

We park and walk up to the front door. The huge plywood sign on the roof has been partly ripped off. It informs us that we are now entering the "Mar." No worries -- the "Mar" is a destination spot so popular it need not worry about proper signage.

I haven't been here for quite some time, but the cop who takes my ID is the same one it's always been, with the same bad toupee. The noise inside is deafening. The bar is stacked three deep. Dammit! It's 1:05.

We wait our turn and procure our sweet sobriety-slayers. My drink tastes a bit funky. It always does until you suck down about half your icy glass -- at which time it begins to taste like the nectar of the gods.

I'm tooling around the sizable crowd. The men are dressed in button-up polo shirts -- some are even pink (thanks, Kanye) -- and ball caps with bent bills. I imagine each of them has some story about coming thisclose to being drafted by the Devil Rays or Padres, if only it weren't for their elbow giving out senior year.

The place is packed so tightly, it's hard not to eavesdrop on your closest neighbor's conversation.

"Bro, you know the deal: You go to a strip club, you call me" was a good one.

As was "Bro, I did not tell her that, bro."

"That's what she said, bro!"

"Then the bitch is lying, bro."

But outpacing them all was this gem of an exchange between a guy and a girl:

Guy: I'm a psych major at UH.

Gal: Cool.

Guy: You've got great tits.

Gal: Thanks.

Thanks? That's where the slap across the face is usually inserted! What's going on here? Is this guy such a smooth playa that he can rattle off lines like that with no negative consequences? Is it the 'Quis tea? I'm working on my second in 20 minutes, so when the young lady excuses herself to the bathroom after a few minutes of lighthearted tit talk, I approach this magician.

"Man, that girl has great tits."

"I know, man," he says. "I just told her that same thing!"

He gives me a high five. Not kidding.

"Do you know her?"

"Naw, just met her tonight."

"Weren't you afraid she'd knee you in the balls?"

"What for? I complimented her. It's not like I called her fat or anything. "

After a couple minutes of banter, his euphoric high sours. Perhaps he mistakes my tone; I mean to inquire, but he seems to think I'm accusing him of something. At any rate, he's sick of me and my questions. "There's plenty of pussy in this room," he tells me with an air of "Class dismissed." "Go get your own."

I suck down the last gulp of my tea. Just as we're about to walk out the door and hit up the Montrose bar Poison Girl for last call, I see my new friend look at me and mouth the word "faggot." I contemplate planting a fat wet one on his lips, but reconsider after thinking long and hard about the riot that would no doubt ensue. I don't want to be responsible for even more thrown-out elbows.

We arrive at Poison Girl, order our drinks and walk around. This bar is the antithesis of the Marquis II. It's new, the girls are tattooed, and the only caps being worn are of the trucker variety. You'll find pinball here, but there's no Golden Tee machine in sight. I'd like to see that Sigma Chi dude "compliment" one of the painted ladies in here. She'd crack a bottle of Lone Star over his head.

But it's not just the women in the room who are light-years away from the kind you find at the 'Quis. The sensitive indie rocker dudes here are at the other end of the spectrum as well. They like their adult beverages served with a little slice of PC on the side.

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