Fun Is Where You Find It

wildoatsI was listening to
the Talking Heads
this morning at the gym….

their EP “Wild, Wild Life“.

I got to wonderin’ —

…… just how much
of a wild, wild life
am I livin’ these days?

I mean,
I ain’t wearing fur pajamas —
I ain’t riding no hot potato.

It ain’t fair,
I tells ya.

Perhaps it all boils down
to what a person considers ‘wild’.


the fact that fur pajamas
do sound a little too
warm for my taste.

So then,
I got to thinking about
how the whole concept
of ‘wild’ has changed
over the years….

Back around the
turn of the century,
folk’s ideas of a wild night
could get ….

…………. well, pretty weird,

If you were to ask a Victorian,
or Edwardian-era person
where the ‘wildest’ times
were to be had….a

Assuming they didn’t slap
you for the impertinence of the question,

– they would probably say “Paris”.

Even then, Paris was
THE happenin’ place.

Sure, home of the famous
French Postcard.

( ooooo lala and all that ) —

The infamous ‘Can-Can’,
in dance halls like
the Moulin Rouge,
and Folies Bergère —-

…. and the very strange
‘Heaven and Hell’ Clubs.

These clubs,
mostly located in the
Montmartre section of the city,
—– made modern ‘Goth’ clubs
look like Shakey’s Pizza.

Dank, dark, depressing —
and intentionally so —

most people who went there
did so for the atmosphere.

And, of course,
the friendly service —

a newcomer would be greeted
by a screaming group
of ghoulish garçons –

“Enter and be damned,
the Evil One awaits you!”

cabaretThe inside one of these clubs was supposed to be creepy–

“Large, heavy, wooden coffins, resting on biers, were ranged about the room in an order suggesting the recent happening of a frightful catastrophe. The walls were decorated with skulls and bones, skeletons in grotesque attitudes, battle-pictures, and guillotines in action.”

The coffins served as tables, and bars —

and you might be served by someone
dressed up as an angel, a demon,
maybe even ole Beezlebub himself —

You might be seated at one of those ‘tables’,
and your waiter would rise right up out of it.

Once you got over montmartrethe shock of it,
you could place your order —

Weird mixed cocktail concoctions of
Absinthe, Benedictine,
Campari, and Champagne
with names like:
Death Takes a Holiday
” Brain Fluid Crush ” —

Yes, then you could sit back
and enjoy scenic vistas like this:

neant2“Crevices in the walls of this room ran with streams of molten gold and silver,

— and here and there were caverns lit up by smoldering fires from which thick smoke issued, and vapors emitting the odors of a volcano.

Flames would suddenly burst from clefts in the rocks, and thunder rolled through the caverns.

Red imps were everywhere, darting about noiselessly, some carrying beverages for the thirsty lost souls, others stirring the fires or turning somersaults.

Everything was in a high state of motion.”

All the while,
…… being cajoled and insulted
by the bartenders and staff —

“Drink, Maccabees!
Drink these noxious potions,
which contain the vilest and deadliest poisons!”

There were a number of these clubs,
according to “Bohemian Paris of Today” authors
William Chambers Morrow and Édouard Cucuel, writing in 1899 …..

With names like:
” The Cabaret of Nothingness ” ,
” The Cabaret of Hell “.

If it all sounds all too Ninth Circle of Dante’s Inferno for ya …

…. well, you might have the right idea,
but without all the glamour .

But I have to say,
as mind-numbingly morbid as these places seemed to have been,

(they are all long gone–
the last one closed after the German invasion during WW II–
— talk about hell on Earth, man),

enfer1They are a very interesting social phenomena,

especially viewed from a present day perspective.

Part ritual,
part fantasy,
Part puerile,
part recherché,
Part farce,
part outrage.

And as a reminder that we all could use,
especially today, to —

Live It Up Every Day, For It Might Be Your Last.






9 thoughts on “Fun Is Where You Find It

  1. Paloma says:

    I’m not sure if I’m scared or turned on by the arrow nipple ….

  2. Sort of reminds me of last year’s Christmas party.

  3. Interesting, wild look at what people considered to be fun.
    I think if a person enjoys fun they can always find it. Or they can start some! 😉 😛
    Yes, living each day to the fullest!
    HUGS!!! 🙂

  4. ktz2 says:

    Yeah I’d read about those bizarre yet fascinating clubs, and I was totally blown away by the fact the Victorias were doing that. But now I recall it seems fascination with the ‘macabre’ wasn’t entirely rare–remember those weird cards they had, like the giant bugs chasing children & dead bird Christmas greetings. .

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