Saturday’s itinerary did not include a squalid strip club, where a transvestite swiped our IDs between surgically created lady parts, then jammed folks’ faces into her silicone-plumped rack. But when in Farmingdale, Long Island, you do as locals do.
Initially, our brewery-tour crew only planned to visit Farmingdale’s Black Forest Brew Haus, an alternative to Astoria’s Bohemian Hall. The German-style microbrewery promised the reckless revelry we craved, especially given our Oktoberfest-timed arrival.
“Oom-pah bands!” I urged. “We’ll glug beer from glass boots.”
“I’ll take a rain check,” my better-half said, begging off to organize her office.
“What’s more thrilling than eating sausages the size of sexual aids and drinking liver-taxing quantities of beer?”
“Organizing paperwork. My room’s a mess. Don’t become one, too,” she added, sending me and a gaggle of friends to suburban Farmingdale, a land of dingy gas stations, cemeteries, boxy corporate parks and Black Forest (2015 New Highway, 631-391-9500). It looked as lively as Dresden during the Allies’ insatiable bombing. Where were the farting tubas? Dancing maidens? Men wearing suspenders?
“It’s 12:30,” a dirndl-clad waitress explained. “We just opened.”
Point taken. We perused Black Forest’s expansive, Bavarian-chic interior—wood, beer steins and sizzling meat’s perfume—before selecting the sunny patio. We sat down with feet kicked up. A scrawny waitress with a floppy raven ponytail produced a notepad.
“Know whatcha want?” she asked, her accent more Lawn Guy Land than Germanic.
Sausage and buckets of beer. The latter arrived in towering, man-killing mugs, each one three fat fingers below full. Shorting aside, the hefeweizen was light and lemony, while the pilsner was sparkling and crisp. The Oktoberfest was amber blah, but the schwarzbier (meaning literally “black beer”) was a roasty, refreshing dark lager. Food-wise, the veal and pork bratwurst were fat, lager-braised and snappy, served with spicy mustard. There the fun ended. Our harried waitress was too busy to refill our licked-clean mugs, turning us into teetotalers.
“Who leaves Oktoberfest sober?” I wondered, as we returned to the train station, near which awaited Crystal Café (801 Conklin St., Farmingdale, NY; 631-249-0411). The brown-roofed bunker’s sign read live adult entertainment, accompanied by an illustration of a neckless slug woman wearing thigh-highs, arms raised like she won Olympic gold. Around the parking lot milled leather-jacketed men, who spoke with unfiltered-cigarette rasps.
“Are you guys swingers?” asked a goateed guy revving a pickup.
“Not today,” someone replied.
“My old lady won’t come near the Crystal!” he cackled.
His words were catnip to our crew, who boldly entered a mirrored, midnight-dark realm where loneliness trumped lust. On stage, a bikini-wearing mom pumped her pelvis to pulsating techno. Men with Jabba the Hut physiques eyed her and televised football with equal disinterest.
“Whadda we have here?” asked a tall, tan woman with a protuberant Adam’s apple. She wore Daisy Dukes and a fringed top cut millimeters below her plum-size breasts.
“Stopping in for a drink,” I explained.
“IDs,” she commanded, extending a hand with fingernails long enough to scoop eyeballs like ice cream.
She swiped my license between her legs, grabbed my package and then cupped Dave’s baby maker. “You’re both good,” she cooed enigmatically.
Following the genital fanfare, women huddled around a Sexy Photo Hunt machine; guys hit the bar. “What’ll you fellows have?” asked a pert blonde with pep-squad glee. I ordered a Coors Light, while the rest grabbed Bud—$9 and $8, respectively. The bare-breast surcharge was in full effect.
Thing was, the Photo Hunt–engrossed women saw more bare flesh. The dancer stayed clothed, until a customer inserted currency into crevices never intended by the Federal Reserve. Only then did she reveal her feminine wiles, flashing as fast as a strobe light.
“Now that’s entertainment,” Dave said, sipping a few bucks of beer.
I glanced at my phone—4:40. We had two choices: linger and listen to thumpa-thumpa techno and participate in capitalism-enabled nudity, or cut our losses and catch the 5:06. Sometimes, quick decisions force unexpected common sense.
“Bottoms up, gentlemen,” I said, as we downed our beer and slunk to the door.
“Uh-uh—not without saying good-bye,” said the ID checker, like a huntress thwarting her quarry’s escape. She grabbed one mustached friend’s face and smashed it between her bosom, making motorboat noises, then she lunged for Dave. He faked left, right—right into her bear hug. Dave’s mug mashed between her cleavage, his arms windmilling wildly, she began screeching and pogoing—an impressive feat on high-heeled feet.
A buddy would’ve saved Dave from bosomy asphyxiation, perhaps with a well-timed shove to an airborne transvestite. I scampered outside into the searing sunlight, searching for a do-gooder to fit that bill.