Sometimes I work at a local music venue called Reuben St. Café. It's the only all-ages venue around for miles, so it's where all the punk kids go and annoy people whenever they get kicked out of the mall.

A bunch of friends of mine work there and sometimes they get short-handed, so they call me up and pay me twenty or thirty bucks and a meal to take money at the door and keep people inside (it's a no-reentry place). Of course I always do it. It's never fun. I have a black marker that I use to tag band members and people on the guestlist so that they can bring their stuff in and out without any hassle. Little straight edge kids always ask me if they can borrow it so they can draw big X's on their hands. I say go for it; the ink is filled with heroin and AIDS.

One time there was a very popular band playing a show there. The band is called the World/Inferno Friendship Society. They're a "cabaret" band. They're pretty good.

They're also the most annoying sons of bitches to ever land a show, ever. Not them, personally, but their fans. Good lord, their fans are absolutely unbearable. The kids who go to see this band are the worst kinds of mallrat. They're artsy. They're snobby. They're obnoxious. They're in high school. Ever been to the mall and slipped and fell in a puddle of 6th-9th grade kids who are all decked out in Green Day, Hot Topic, Korn, or whatever-type gear? Imagine them, replace the Hot Topic gear with ratty old goodwill-bought suits (but retain their annoyingness), make them appreciate some shitty pretentious French art, and you've got the World/Inferno Fan Club.

So anyway, I get that dreaded call one Friday the 13th and I hustle on over to the Café to take peoples' money and yell at them. As I try to pull into the parking lot, I find that the line to get in is so huge that they are stretched across the lot entrance. With my brain already reaching vehicular-manslaughter-mode, I decide to be polite and wait a few seconds before tapping the horn. My body, however, misread my brain's message as saying "Lean on that fucker and call them faggots!" which I promptly did.

Big mistake. Have you ever called an artfag a fag? They take a lot of offense to it. One little shit came over and kicked my car's fender. I got out of my car. Then I noticed that the kid couldn't have been older than 15. What would Jesus think if I fed this kid his teeth with my boot? I gritted my teeth, shrugged it off, got back into my car and found a parking space.

"Stupid Battery Laws," I muttered as I kicked and pushed my way to the front. Just as I got there, the promoter of the show, a guy named Dick, runs up to me, panting, "Charlie!" (He calls me Charlie). "These fuckin' kids are all paying with $20's and we're out of $10's. Can you run to the bank and get some?"
"I dunno man…"
"Please? If we don't get $10's soon, we're not gonna be able to let any of these kids in, and…"
"I'm on it!" (Haha! I'll take hours! Let them wait! I hope it rains! Angsty, angsty rain!)

I grabbed the wad of $20's from Dick and started on down the street. I didn't feel like driving because trying to find a parking spot again would be a debacle. The nearest Commerce bank was awfully far, though. As I walked on, trying to think of somewhere closer, the sky opened up and a beam of light pointed me to the answer: The titty-dancing club, The Cat House, that hung just off the corner of Main St.

This will be my bank, I thought.

I walked into the bar. Before the door could shut behind me, the bartender shouted at me, "Whaddya want?" Startled, I made eye contact – yes, he was talking to me, and he looked as though he hadn't even seen an ID in 20 years. I shrugged and said "Yuengling Black & Tan," and he promptly poured one for me.

This wasn't all that surprising. You see, I am the only 18 year old I know of who has a mustache. Yes, a moustache.

YES, a moustache.

I'm not talking about a "guido-stash" or a "korea-stash" or any of a whole host of ethnically pigeon-holed facial hairstyles. I don't even mean a hippy-stash or a beard. I am a full-blooded Irish Catholic and the only hair on my face is a giant squirrel crawling across my upper lip. No goatee. No beard. No sideburns or chops. Nada. caucasian. I have a clean cut hairdo and a dad-stache. Just thought I'd clear that up. (Note: SpellCheck underlined all of those "-stash" words except for "hippy-stash")

You see, better than any fake ID is a good, quality moustache. Nobody expects a person under the age of 35 to have a moustache, let alone somebody under the age of 21. A good bartender… and I mean a REALLY, REALLY good bartender, might get as far as giving you a double-take, but never, ever will he card you if you're flying the flag of the Downturned Standard Moustache.

So I take my seat at the bar and take in the surroundings. It's then that I notice this is the most Jerseyed out establishment in all of New Jersey. The bar siding and walls were made of some exotic wood that must have been imported from only the rarest firewood yards in the Pine Barrens. The walls were decorated with automated trophy fishes that were probably bought from Asbury Park back when its heyday was actually celebrated on a holiday called Hey Day. And the barstools……… were green.

This was quite a place. I downed my beer and ordered another. It wasn't until Black Sabbath came on the jukebox and the old man next to me started complaining about the hip new music the kids listen to these days that I remembered that I was supposed to make change for about $300 over twenty minutes ago. I call the bar-tender over. He plops another beer in front of me without even looking at me. Not what I had in mind, but then again I don't mind it at all. "Sir," I say, finally getting his attention. "Do you have about thirty tens I can break with?"

He shook his head. "Nah, I don't. But one of them probably does."

I turned slowly, slowly, slowly, dramatically, slowly around on my barstool to face… the dancers' lounge. Aw, shit. I'm in the shittiest titty bar in the shittiest town in the best state in America, and I have to consort with a stripper who works there. Brilliant.

I pay the bartender, who was nice enough not to remember giving me the first two drinks, and made my way into the lounge. There were two dancers there. One was a pretty blonde girl who couldn't have been more than nineteen. The other was the mother of my high school crush, Veronica, who looked up at me with a pleasant grin on her face. Oh, shi
"Hey, you there!" Dammit. She sashayed on over to me. Yes, she was a MILF, though I had never realized this when she was wearing her mom-clothes.
"Hello," I said, immediately wishing I had never grown my handsome moustache. Too late; I was in her stripper-trap.
"This is no place for a nice boy like you, Chas!" she shouted heartily.
Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssh. Jesus, I am going to drown ten puppies for every minute you make me endure this, so help me Satan.
"Actually, I'm just here to break a wad of bills… you see, we need tens over at work, and I was wondering…"
She shot her hand up to silence me. "Of course, hun. How many do you need?"
"Thirty…?"
"I got it right here." Relieved, I sighed and watched as she produced a wad of tens from her carrier bag. They were nestled neatly inside…… a pair of see-thru panties. Oh, great.

We exchanged the wads of money (got I wish there were a better word I could use than "wad" right now) and a few words about school, life, etc. I found out that Veronica was doing very well at college and the reason her mother was dancing was just to keep fit and also because her deadbeat husband had found a loophole so that he wouldn't have to pay child support. I said he must be a horrible man for doing such a thing. Inside, I knew I would like to take notes from him for future reference.

After thanking her, I ran as quickly as I could back to the Café. The damn place was packed and the door was still swamped with kids trying to get in. World/Inferno hadn't even gone on yet. It didn't matter to me, though. I was just happy to be out of that awkward moment with my high school crush's stripper mom.

"What took you so long?" Dick asked as I took my place behind the cash table.

I shook my head in exasperation as I peeled the fake moustache off my upper lip. "Long fucking story, Dick."