People watching: Adventures at Swallows Inn

(J. Q. Hammer)

Megan Crothers

This blog has not returned because of popularity reasons. I am not sure if anyone actually read the previous two entries, which meekly debuted last semester. Nonetheless, my harsh categorical observations are back with a newly voracious appetite for the common groupings of humans in various locations. Read at your own risk, for I do not censor based on, well, anything.

This entry is based on the specimens found at a very specific bar: the Swallows Inn in San Juan Capistrano. A very authentic western-themed attraction, Swallows typical draws in an enthusiastic older crowd. It could be the drink selection, the live music, or the various undergarments hanging from the ceiling, but people arrive at Swallows and leave their inhibitions at the door (sometimes along with their dignity). The place itself could merit it’s own article to hoard, but alas, there are people to observe.

The average age can’t possibly be under 40 years old, though most of the patrons there are much older. Upon entering, I was approached by a man named Pete. Pete shimmied his way over to me in his suede, fringe-trimmed chaps and obnoxiously large cowboy hat and attempted to start a sort of country dancing ritual with me by way of sporadic pelvic jerks, but I politely declined and descended further into the humid depths of the bar. The beverage selection was rather obvious, due to a sign that bluntly read, “If it involves a blender, we’re all out.”

A dingy corner housed a small, cramped band that spat out generic country beats like a factory, prompting movement on a small wooden dance floor. Those who chose to dance clearly had rehearsed, for despite most of them being impossibly drunk, they sped through the steps with a practiced precision.

Change scenes: now on the outdoor patio, I am engulfed in smoke. Between the indoor humidity and the smoke here, there is no safe air, and I briskly consider a gas mask for next time.

Upon scanning the area, I see the usual suspects: small groups of solemn-looking girls viciously sucking the life out of their cigarettes, hungry-eyed men on the prowl for a stumbling female with slurred speech, passionate couples who publicly check their partner’s dental hygiene, and those who hunch in a corner, alone except for their three friends: Jim, Jack, and José.

There were two people whom I favored quite a bit more than the others. Essentially, they were giving everyone at Swallows a pornographic show and–bless their souls–they weren’t charging us a dime. The male had his hands openly up his snared female’s shirt as he shamelessly groped, briefly lifting her shirt every now and then to allow everyone else to catch a glimpse of the pasty white skin which he was clawing at by the fistful. The female did not seem to mind this a bit, as her thoughts were more focused on holding her make-out buddy captive by coiling her leg around him like a python. This was all very entertaining for a while, but I was forced to look away for a moment and, when I glanced back, the male’s hand was perched like a claw in his hostage female’s crotch. So much for subtlety. I considered slipping them a condom but found it difficult to interrupt.

As the night drew on, everyone began to filter out and stumble home, including the two lovebirds, the girls carrying their auras of smoke, and the huntsmen, some of which were still holding in their paws a drink and not a drunk.

Hopefully, dear readers, none of you fall into any of these groups and you all know how to correctly enjoy the wondrous gems of entertainment your neighborhood western-themed bar can offer.