Friday, March 07, 2008

At Anook's Tiki Bar

The atmosphere is set by low lighting, convincing artificial palm-trees, and the barely-perceptible exotic sounds of Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman piped in from unseen speakers.

Seated at the bar, sporting parkas and mukluks, are three or four dark-skinned men; stern, morose, drinking something steaming and fruit-flavored out of mugs that closely resemble Easter Island statuary. Crowded in around a nearby table, chattering loudly and gesticulating wildly, are five Inuit women. They wear the same skin-and-fur outfits as their male counterparts, but many of them have opted for grass skirts or sarongs over their sealskin pants.

In another part of Anook's, polar bears--honest-to-goodness, white-furred, ursine, polar bears-- are lounging in a steaming hot tub. Most of them are wearing loud, Hawaiian print shirts, and at least two are sporting pukka shell necklaces. Perhaps the be-necklaced one are females. It's hard to say, and with their reeking dead-fish breath, you really don't want to get close enough to inquire.

The evening is getting into full swing, and several Inuit men visibly cringe and reach for their harpoons leaning against the bar as one polar bear, having had too many mai tais, takes to the small stage and begins belting out a growly rendition of "Proud Mary."

Utterly failing to take notice are the emperor penguins on the other side Anook's. With utter disregard for the fact that they live on the opposite end of the world from polar bears, they've all ordered drinks with little paper umbrellas. They probably have no idea what's in them, they simply liked the umbrellas, pointed to the picture in the menu, and Anook served up a huge batch of them. Gregarious party animals that they are, the penguins have started a conga line, sashaying around the inside of one corner of the building and ending in a slide under a limbo stick!

At his favorite booth, right under the softly-glowing blow fish lantern, sits a brain in a jar. Against every rule of science, the brain is blushing. Recovering from this latest bout with the flu has been exceedingly disorienting.

No comments: