On the Road

On the Road: 2002

The Bananen Bar
8 September 2002

First, let's start with my visit to O'Reilly's, my favorite Irish pub in Amsterdam. I ask the Irish waiter, one I haven't dealt with before, where the Bananen Bar is. It was recommended to me by a (female) friend back home. He said he's heard of it, it's where women put bananas in their... well... you know... and they shoot out darts out of there and stuff. He's never been there personally, but he's heard stories. (Yeah, right buddy.)

Anyway, after telling me where he thinks it is in the Red Light District (which would later turn out to be spot on), he comes back around a couple minutes later and asks where I'm from. I explain I'm from the United States, Colorado. He comments that he thinks that's a more conservative area. I agree. Far more conservative than Amsterdam. It's quite "open minded" out here.

He then asks what I'm doing out here. "Are you studying for college?"

I explain that I'm working on a project, training people, blah-blah-blah.

Little did I know his little "Are you studying for college?" question would be a form of foreshadowing.

Let me explain:
It's been more than 36 hours since my last shave.
I haven't had a haircut in a couple months.
I'm wearing a Feyenoord Rotterdam Football Club bomber jacket.
I, in short, am looking like a bad boy. A hooligan. The last guy a girl would want to take home to her momma.

And so, in such a state, I proceed over to the Bananen Bar. Once again, I state: It was recommended to me by a (female) friend back home.

As it turns out, one pays 40 euros for one hour within the bar. Drinks included. Once inside, you pay extra if you want to eat the bananas, the bouncer explains. You work that out with the girls.

I go inside. They ask what I want to drink. I see a neon Heineken sign behind the counter, so I say "Beer." They hand me one of the wimpy little wanker (no pun intended) glasses with the Heineken logo on it. For the love of Pete, people! What's with these child size beer glasses?!

I take my glass and go upstairs.

I'm dismayed.

Up the stairs I find four women, either totally naked or at least topless. They are... how do I put this delicately? They uhhh... Well... Their buns were so big, if they were squishin', you wouldn't be able to tell. (THAT is a joke the same woman who recommended the place to me should appreciate.)

OK. One woman was rather pleasant on the eyes. When I arrived, a man was licking whipped cream off her breasts.

I stand off to the side, absorbing it all.

That same woman walks by, to go wash off, and tells me I should sit up at the bar. She promises they won't bite.

I go to the bar.

A little chit-chat ensues. Turns out, there is only one option: 50 euros for 4 "shows." They split the money between the four women, each with a designated function: The banana woman, the dildo woman, the butt massage woman, the postcard "postmarking" woman, etc...

The dirty old man sitting next to me is hot on the tail of the plump Hawaiian woman. He keeps asking if there's an upstairs they can go to. She keeps saying, "No." A few minutes later, they move to the end of the bar and he's licking whipped cream off her boobs.

Here I am. In a bizarre little bar, watching glow-in-the-dark projectile dildos fly across the room, rocketed into space by the mighty muscles of a large ladies'launching pad. KLUNK! It slips through the bloke's hands at the receiving end and hits the floor.

Another guy is eating a banana, strategically placed in the chubbiest woman's netherlands.

Guys play with the dildo in the Dutch woman, as if taking a biology lesson... The Hawaiian woman's getting her ample cheeks massaged by the dirty old man...

Another older man comes up and asks for a Coca-Cola. He hands the fairly attractive one his glass. She balks - it's a beer glass and she can't pour him a soda in a beer glass. "There are rules in Amsterdam," she says frankly. She advises him he can go back downstairs and get a soda glass. After all, it's not far. Instead, he agrees to a beer.

KLUNK! Another dildo down. Stunningly, it's picked off the floor and one guy sticks it in a buddy's beer. He proudly takes it out and guzzles the beer.

The Dutch woman takes the dildo, washes it off, and makes a joke about it getting drunk.

Then the chubby black woman comes over to me and sits on the bar, chatting with me and the fairly attractive Dutch woman. The Dutch woman asked where I was from. I explained United States, Colorado, yak-yak-yak. She relays the info to the black woman when she asks the same question.

"He's sweet," the fat, topless black woman says.

They both look at me.

The black woman says it again. "He's sweet."


Now, for the cynical among you, this wasn't being said in a "let's get money out of the guy" kind of way. She was really taking me in and saying, "He's sweet." There was no other sales pitch or anything. It almost seemed like she didn't want to take my money. At one point, she even quickly brushed a hand through the righteously flowing bad boy hair on the left side of my head. It was weird, people.

And so it is that I finally came to terms with why I'll always be single. No matter how "bad" I perceive myself to be, women will always see me as simply "sweet."

It doesn't matter that I've high-fived Bruce Springsteen, swapped greetings with Bono on the rooftop of MTV in New York City, hauled my fanny almost around the entire world, and so on...

I'm just a "sweet" guy. Chicks don't dig that.

Maybe I should take a cue from Prince, who once painted "Slave" on his forehead as a protest against Warner Bros. Records. Maybe I should paint "Bad" on my forehead... "You know it."

By the way, I kept my 50 euros, thank you very much. After a few "weenie" glasses of Heineken and an hour's eyeful, I s'pose I got my money's worth.

Gotta go. My homework's due for my correspondence class in Asshole 101.

This good guy will win in the end, it's just a matter of time.

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