Drink to me.
The End of the World Saloon
World’s sleaziest bar
Let me say this about that.
I love sleazy bars. The people you meet in sleazy bars are unemcumbered by any pretension which allows you to immediately find the soul of a place. There are many classic sleazy bars around the world, although most of the really great ones are outside the U.S. My favorite is in the tiny village of Alicetown, on the island of North Bimini in the Bahamas, called The End of the World Saloon.
The End of the World can generously be described as a ‘dump’. It’s basically a small waterfront shack whose ‘bar’ is a large wooden ship’s door, stretched across two rum barrels. Chloe, the bartender, is a jolly… 350 pound Bahamian woman that defines ‘laid-back’. The bar has no A/C but the place stays cool, thanks to a sea breeeze blowing into an opening in the back wall, through to an opening in the front wall. The End of the World has no real doors. Large pieces of plywood are nailed over the front and rear openings when they close the place. In addition to Chloe, the other ‘regulars’ consists of the ‘town dogs’, who come in and lie on the sand floor to escape the midday Bahamian heat. No one is quite sure who the dogs belong to.
I have been to The End of the World many times but one occasion stands out. Four of us couples took a sea plane from Miami to Bimini for a weekend of debauchery. As usual, the first place we hit on arrival was The End of the World. As we approached the entrance, a large disleveled drunk, with a freaking rag mop on his head, blocked my way. I learned later his name was Stewart.
Stewart: “This is my bar and you can’t come in.”
Shambo: “Just hold on there Scooter. If you don’t get out of my face, I’m gonna take that rag mop off your head and shove it up your ass.”
Stewart: “It is my birthday, and this is my bar and you can’t come in.”
Shambo: “Oh, I’m coming in the bar and if you don’t want this to be your last birthday, you better get outta my way.”
I figured as long as I had three guys backing me up and Stewart didn’t have a platoon of Marines inside to rip our heads off, I could do my Chuck Norris act and get away with it.
Stewart: “Tell you what I’m gonna do. I’ll let you all in, but since it’s my birthday, you’re not allowed to pay for anything.”
Stewart instantly became my best friend and we drank like sailors for the rest of the afternoon. When we were ready to leave, Stewart reached into his pocket and gave Chloe a fistfull of Bahamian bills without bothering to count. I felt kind of bad because it was obvious Stewart was a bum and we probably just spent his life savings. But hey, I’m no angel either.
Stewart followed us out of the bar and started insisting that he show us his boat. Yeah, right. He kept on and on about this boat, so we figured he bought us drinks all afternoon, the least we could do is go look at some garbage scow. But as we were walking down the dock of this really upscale marina, we spotted this magnificent 72 foot sports fishing yacht with a couple of guys and four gorgeous women waving at Stewart. As we climbed onboard, drinks were served and our wives were offered a tour of this sports fishing yacht. Stewart called it a “fishing boat”, but the damn thing had a grand piano in the main salon.
I got to talking to one of Stewart’s friends on the boat and confirmed the boat REALLY was Stewart’s. I asked him if one of the bikinied hotties was Stewarts wife. His friend said no, they were hookers that Stewart had flown in on his jet for the celebration.
Shambo: “You mean for his birthday?”
Stewart’s friend: “No. I just bought Stewart’s company for $84 million and we decided to have a little party to celebrate.”
So, the moral of this story is: The next time you are in a sleazy bar and you meet a guy with a rag mop on his head ……… just what IS the moral of this story?
And, that’s all have to say about that.