Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pimp my Dive

I've found my new Backyard gang. Apparently they come every other week just to listen to Mark. Of course I've noticed them before (they've been coming for three years) but I've never done anything about it, always preferring to sit alone.

That was before they renovated Backyard, so that there is effectively only one good table in the whole place. And that's the table Peter books before he comes. When I got in, I went straight up to said table, saw them there and asked Peter, can I sit here?

He grinned, yes, please do.

We've seen each other for roughly three years and this is the first real conversation I've had with them.

Ng, his buddy, said later that night when I thanked them for letting me sit at their table: "It's our table (including me in that our), you're always welcome."

Seems like there is this code among the true Mark appreciators. You sit there, you listen to the music, you don't bother nobody, you don't flirt, you don't try and catch anyone's eyes, you don't try to engage anyone.

In fact, these two guys are so well-bred, they don't even make song requests.

Why? I wanted to know.

Well, we prefer to be surprised, said Peter. Then he started telling me about House at Pooh Corner which, like me, he first heard at Backyard. He sighed and said it was a year since Mark had sung that. He doesn't seem to want to sing that anymore.

So I texted Mark (who had disappeared into the bowels of the Backyard on his PR rounds) "Christopher Robin and I walked alone..." and went on talking to the two guys. Suddenly he was there by my side going, saying yes boss and grinning like a maniac. I pointed to Peter, he wanted to hear that song. Mark said, no problem and it was the second song in his second set.

He was much more at ease with the new stage today (although he still hates it, no more intimacy, no more cosiness). People shouted out requests or sent up little pieces of paper and he laughingly obliged or sang a replacement song if he didn't do the one they asked for.

Mark's eyebrows shot up at my choice of seat and once, when he sang a song for the "monday night guys" (by which he meant Peter and Ng), he added, and their new member. I think he was much amused.

I went to see my Ashley yesterday and apparently, I'm going bald. He tsked tsked at my head and provided me with a special shampoo to use over the next four months. He said, it's serious oridi, if you don't start doing something about it now, you're going to complain in a very short time.

Nothing loth, I bought the shampoo, sighed loudly, and proceeded to wear my cap to Backyard (now shy of my shiny scalp). Jennifer (the other Jennifer) walked straight past me and then said, oh my god, I thought you were a boy.

I grinned. It was Standard Six all over again. Yeah, that was the idea.

Backyard is shaping up nicely. It's a different place now. Peter and Ng, who've been coming here a lot longer than I, discussed it seriously. It's become posh. I liked it when it was a dive, a little dingy, a little frayed at the edges (but then I like old things), but all three of us admitted, that the old place had its drawbacks, especially when there was a crowd (Fridays, Saturdays, holiday eves) when there was elbow room only and not even that.

Now maybe some of my posh, dive-resistant, finicky friends will come.


Tudor Rose said...

I love having a dive. Mine comes with fabulous friends, bartenders who know my drink (if not my name) and a super yummy hummus plate. I've been trying to decide what to do for my birthday, but I think a night there would be quite splendiferous.

Jenn said...

When's your birthday?

Tudor Rose said...

November 12th. I'll be the ripe old age of 29.

Jenn said...

Yay. Another November child. Ripe you may be, honey, but old? You're still an owlet.

Tudor Rose said...

Hmm. Point taken. I suppose then that I just feel old.

Jenn said...

29 was an interesting year. And then you turn 30 and find out that nothing has changed whatsoever. It's just a mental thing.

Anita Gabriel said...

Okay okaye..I ll go to backyard with you, already.

ha ha ha....

Jenn said...

Hahahahahahaha! How did you know I was talking about you?

PS: I was.

John Calica said...

I am really glad I saw My Backyard back when it had that dingy, hole in the wall pub vibe going on.

"...It's hard to explain how a few precious things, seem to follow throughout all our lives..."

But hey, sometimes, things become better when they become posh-er, I guess? He he he

Jenn said...

Dunno, I liked it the way it was. But new is good. Isn't it? If you ever come back here (and please time your visit to be here on a Monday night) we will have to go check it out.

And I swear that old bear whispered, John, welcome home....