SUPER EGO Every time I think of change, I think of robots cutting my hair. Possibly this is because I ate a lot of toothpaste as a kid. But even more possibly, it's because each time I used to come to on the sidewalk outside the old Transformer hair salon at Page and Laguna, I'd think, "Listen, Wanda. You seriously gotta do something different with your eternal teenage life." Then I'd cheerily swoosh the asphalt off my mismatched Keds and go again.
But all the signs were lately lining up for a cosmic automatonic buzz cut, at least in clubland. Yes, yes, I know we're trapped in a the-more-things-change-the-more-they-stay-the-same apocalyptic retro loop, but things were getting seriously weird on the spinning wheels tip. I dashed to the Hush Hush Lounge for a supposedly glam party a couple Saturdays ago, but when I got there it was closed, dark, shuttered, boarded up. Sold overnight (again) — everyone expelled. So I jetted to the Expansion to meet cute Israelis for Jager shots — same thing, dammit. What the hell was going on? Was I a bar curse?
Then three new hot spots were revealed in quick succession, all with highly confusable names: Shine (shinesf.com), Stray (straybarsf.com), and Slide (slidesf.com). I'd like to think the sibilant lisp of their similarity is yet another Snakes on a Plane viral marketing strategy, but really, are we there yet? And to power-top it off, some new bling-bling break-dance bar called Double Dutch opened in the old Cama spot, biting both name and concept from Double Dutch Disco, the superstar alternaqueer party of the past eight months. Way to be tone deaf to the scene, brahs.
But the real hot hearsay on the transformation front was Bruno's, reopened after months and months of remo, shedding its smoky mobster steak house past for a Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Mission via Marina makeover. Hell, I'll bite — it sounded horrifying. Besides, I'd been needing to hit up more straight hangs, really. When even your boyfriend says you're getting too gay, it's time to toss out the fuchsia wrist limpers and purchase a nice George Foreman or something. Worse, in the blizzard of mind-blowing gay-las I'd been attending lately, I'm afraid I'd come to think of het bars in general like I think of Toronto, which, to quote my club chum Cyril, is a place where all the trannies are named Chris. I hate that.
So me and Hunky Beau hop on the sexy motorbike and head out, eager to sip Corzo Cadillac margaritas by a (hopefully fake) fireplace and pretend to pick up nubile blond sales executives with our extensive ironic vocabulary, Norelco-groomed stubble, and wacky printed shirts. At last, a change was a-gonna come!
But just look what I get for being prejudicial. We're cruising up Mission Street, trying to remember exactly where Bruno's is, admiring the dazzlingly slumped-over fauna of the local panorama, when — bam! We crash headlong into the trunk of a parked cop car. Whoops. I pull a total John Woo and flip over the wreck, landing fabulously spread-eagled on the uneven pavement. Dazed, I look up into a halo of stunned hunky cops and the curious gang members they'd been interrogating, flashing lights eerily glinting off jet-black visors and tarnished gold teeth. So this is heaven, I thought. Well, pass me a box of Trojans. Looks like I've got work to do.
We're OK, the bike and the cop car are totaled, and the next night we hauled our bruised egos to Bruno's for a chill-out dose of Peach Bellinis, leopard-skin carpeting, Lauryn Hill on the turntables, copious Kewpie doll paintings, and busty servers kneeling to take our order. Sure enough, BtVotD was looped on the giant plasma screens, but the fireplace was real, the gimlets were strong, the booths had been replaced by a long communal dining table, and the ahi burgers were under $20. And hey, guess what?