Getting Drunk in the Afternoon With the Mexiclan at Doheny's World Famous Tartan Room

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Gustavo Arellano
Art (left) and Vic: working-class heroes
[Editor's Note: We all know local music and dive bars go hand-in-hand. So in the interest of merging the two together on Heard Mentality, we bring you our nightlife column Dive, Dive, My Darling. Read this week as our Mexican-in-chief, Gustavo Arellano stumbles into the dive bar scene to find crazy stories, meet random weirdos and guzzle good booze.]

One of the happiest moments of my life involved my cousin Victor, passed out on a chair. It was during a party at our mutual best friend Art's house, a bacchanal so epic that Art's beagle broke through a screen door, jumped onto the dining-room table, and ate a whole bowl of guacamole since everyone was too borracho to notice. I was the least wasted--just half a bottle of Wild Turkey for me!--so I remembered everything perfectly.

I was also sentient enough to see that Victor was unconscious from drinking too much. I tried waking him up by pinching him, by screaming his name into his ear--nothing. Then I remembered something that would wake Vic from his slumber: "Even Flow" by Pearl Jam. It's Vic's favorite band of all time, and if Eddie Vedder couldn't awaken my primo, then it was time to call the coroner. We found Vic's iPod, raised the volume to spleen-disintegrating, and pressed play. The thunderous opening riff shook the house, followed by Vedder's breathless tenor--and then it happened. Victor began convulsing, head still down but playing air guitar--hallelujah!

Every time we go out drinking, we always bring up that episode, especially to newbies to our Mexiclan, the name radio legend Tom Leykis gave to my group of drinking misfits. There's Vic, the Godfather (who has the ability to produce free, expensive tickets to any sporting event with the snap of his fingers); Vic's brother, Cousin Plácido (as nice a guy as you'll ever meet who nevertheless knows the most racist jokes this side of Stormfront); and Art, who has appeared in these pages more than once. Although we hang out all the time, we hadn't gone out to drink in a while--until I invited Vic to join me at Doheny's World Famous Tartan Room in Garden Grove to get drunk during the day.

This is Vic's second local, after TJ's in Placentia. On a weekday afternoon, the place was dead, dark save for ESPN on the television, a digital jukebox playing Waylon Jennings, and green Christmas lights that were the only wearing of the green in the tavern. "But at night, it's all regulars, Guti," Vic said, calling me by the nickname that my cousins from my mom's side gave me when we were kids. "Karaoke, darts, pool, MILFs"--and I trusted Vic on that latter point, since Vic began bedding MILFs long before it was cool. The lone bartender greeted Vic by name and took our orders--I had already downed Scotch neat and Maker's on the rocks, so I decided to start light with Jack on the rocks.


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