Weather Forecast


Joe's Prose: Denim Days and dressing up in other ways

Five local women recently went out on the town to celebrate their "Sex in the City" party. If you can guess which character is being represented by which woman, you get a prize of, um, Carrie Bradshaw's 'do? OK, here are the actual participants, from left, Kate Torbenson, Sarah Sutter, Lisa Schuler, Steph Sutter and Holly Blihovde (who said that she, like Bradshaw, is also a writer). Photo by Joe Winter

You've never seen denim quite like this, and maybe that's a good thing.

The start of this edition of my quintessential entertainment column could be seen as faded (pardon the newsprint/Janis Joplin reference) as the jeans of Denim Days. Other words come to mind as well, when you consider these are sometimes aging ballplayers dressed in very short and tight jean skirts and small denim tops, showing off their hairy legs, and in a few cases their well-honed beer bellies.

The fun-filled, dress up-dress down event was held recently at Pudge's and was sponsored by, we're not quite sure, but there were a lot of Hudson River Rat baseball players to be found in their (lack of) finery.

One of their wives said she was "raising it up a notch" by making an appearance in a tasteful white denim ensemble. She was talking to another ball player who was in a tux because he'd stopped in with a wedding party, thus filling up the place. He had to go, he said, because his rented bus was leaving.

A regular at Ellie's met a member of the Minnesota Wild, Stephane Veilleux, at the Xcel Energy Center through an event sponsored by the bank at which he works, and said the bad boy persona stops at the Xcel doors. This actually nice guy was the first to extend his hand in a greeting. In a related item, when he worked at a St. Paul restaurant, patrons included Coach Jacques Lemaire and some of his players, prompting offers of freebies from the staff. They were told that this really wasn't necessary, and a Wild staffer soon called back to make an offer of his own, free hockey tickets to repay their generosity.

Another regular used to live in Madison, and was not a fan of now-Viking-Coach Brad Childress when he worked as a key assistant for the Badgers. The story goes that the local guy managed to get a golf gig at an exclusive Madison-area country club, and the coach the Packer fans love to hate was seen at the edge of the parking lot snuggling up to a woman who's not his wife. Childress received a sarcastic wave, just to let him know the eyes of Wisconsin were on him.

Just as the press should be for a local woman who swears she was born during a Packer-Viking game. And the players union thinks that their labor is tough!

Speaking of medical issues, the cold and flu season is upon us. Forrest Elert, a longtime bartender at Dibbo's, formerly worked at a Twin Cities hotel and recalls the time he met Mick Jagger in an elevator. Elhert coughed, and Jagger asked him to please turn his head, since he had to perform that night and couldn't afford to lose his voice.

The live music at what was Twisted has stopped -- at least temporarily -- with a change of ownership, and the last solo acoustic performance was by the lead singer from Deviant Distraction. The swan song was a requested "Every Rose has its Thorn," which worked its way into a sing-along. Other parting tidbits were: A shrimp-eating contest where the winner downed 45, which could have been more if she'd not had spaghetti beforehand, and the black tie 10th anniversary party of Ink Factory tattoos, which was notable for women dressed as fashionable flappers -- one of whom had a totally backless dress with topical body art of a tree winding all the way down.

Bartender Adam Wekkin said he'd planned to bring in a buddy to Mudds 'N Sudds over the summer months to play Hawaiian music, but there is no word on whether the Pacific Ocean was actually bridged for that. This is one of the places around town that has really picked up some business by airing Ultimate Fighting competitions, and it was never busier than when that was combined with the going-away party for "Shannon to Seattle."

Dancing the night away at Dick's were two extremely tall people -- the woman was the shorter of the two and she had to go at least 6-foot-3. Is this the meeting, in Hudson, of the NBA and WNBA?

Some other partiers, in sandals and togas and wreathes in their hair, got on their cell phones (did they have those in ancient Greece? -- We've heard that there's bad reception on Mt. Olympus, and imagine those roaming charges!). That same night, a bartender accused me of making too much of a mess while using a straw to spontaneously blow bubbles into my beer. Back on Olympus, it would have been too much work to try the same thing with the much thicker mead.

Other pieces of party information, if you can carry a tune: Four guys formed a fully-kicking chorus line to a Black Sabbath karaoke rendition; a favorite Ronnie James Dio song caused a woman to congratulate the singer on a chance meeting two years after it was performed, and prompted her to offer him a chance to photograph her wedding; and a weekly karaoke guy said he originally got his groove on studying piano, but quit because he couldn't stand the teacher's coffee breath.

And lastly, considering elections were just held (and you thought you'd heard the last of them), EMT Mike Bahneman recalls being summoned to the aid of a woman who had fainted during the presidential visit to Lakefront Park. He was helped by Bush's personal physician, and a bit later the Secret Service said that he should wait and meet the president, who was standing 12 feet away. Bahneman was instructed not to move his arms and any other part of his body quickly, but that he could shake Bush's hand. Bahneman added that Bush is quite short, uses a stand behind his podium when speaking, and that even though he is a Democrat, the experience was pretty cool.