Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Kasbah

There is some amusing Rest Room grafitti popping up on email, which reminds me...

My favorite and most memorable toilet graffiti was scribbled on a dirty wall of the funky Men's room in the Kasbah Bar on Chicago's Black westside in 1951 or '52. My recollection is that a couple of young squirts named B.J. and George were the only two white folk who hung at the Kasbah's horseshoe bar, usually till 2:am when the spirited bartender sang out, "You don't has go home but you gots to leave here!"
The basic attraction at the Kasbah was the small band that played the blues every Friday/Saturday until closing time. But when she was on duty, a beautiful bartender named Inez was a major attraction in herself. I can't say that I remember her exact looks, but I do know that I've never seen a dark-skinned model, singer or actress that I thought was her equal in physical attraction. I made my play for her, of course, but I didn't do any better than the soul brothers and the word was that nobody scored with Inez. She was courteous with most patrons, sometimes friendly, but always aloof.

Which brings me to the toilet wall. It was covered with the usual gross suggestions and personal slurs but right above the urinal was scrawled: INEZ IS SELF-CONSCIOUS! Psychology is where you find it.

The photo above is a real connection to the Kasbah. On one side of the room was a small bandstand where the piano player and drummer worked. On the planks beside them sat an amplifier. It's cord stretched across the floor to the electric guitar being fingered by a young man, just as depicted in this recent poster.

The band was good and the young guitarist really seemed special to my ears. Ladies often bought him drinks and sometimes sat with him, but he, like Inez, played an aloof hand. I never spoke to the guitar man, but I did ask Inez if there was something going on with them. She almost rolled her eyes and shook her head on that thought.

Uhn uh! She said. That man is too full of himself for room for a woman.

Oh yeah, psychology is indeed where you find it.

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