May 25, 2006
I went to the Cafe Buenos Aires last night for tango dancing. They have a live band playing Argentine tango music every Wednesday night from 7ish until 10, and there’s recorded music after that.
When I got there, around 9:30, the restaurant was nearly full, with three couples dancing in front of the band. I wandered around to the back room, where I found a long table with several people I knew from the classes I’ve been taking, and sat down at the end. On my left was a woman in her thirties who I had danced with in the beginning class earlier and who had urged me to come. On my right was a younger woman who I didn’t know.
Further to my right, an olive skinned man with close cropped hair who I recognized as one of the higher-level dancers who occasionally helps in the beginning classes was being familiarly teased about the women soon to be throwing themselves at him, now that he’s a bartender. The woman on my left (unfortunately, I don’t remember her name) explained that Al, the guy to her left, owned a topless bar up on the Mesa.
I looked over at Al. He’s quite clean-cut, about my size, and wears large black Buddy Holly-style glasses. A few tatoos and a greedy glint short of my mental image of a strip club owner, but I suppose it takes all sorts.
“A few times,” she continued, “he’s done a tango night there. We called it ‘Topless Tango’”
“Neat,” I said. When at a loss for words, I revert to unthreatening retro slang.
I tried to imagine how that would work. Did the strippers know how to tango dance, or did the dancers let it all hang out? Or maybe the club was closed, and the space was just used.
“Topless.” She clarified.
Yep, I thought, I got it. Topless. As in without tops, titbare, light heart and funbag free.
“Tapas.” She enunciated. “A tapas bar. Tapas Tango. Sometimes it’s mistaken for ‘topless.’”
“Ah, yes,” I chuckled as we both pondered the humor of such a hypothetical situation.