We’re on a boat, motherfucker.

One of the only things I knew I wanted to do in San Diego was go to this nebulous place I’d heard of where these guys sit in a bar, facing off at separate pianos, and play against each other for hours and hours and hours on end. I didn’t know what it was called, or what exactly “dueling pianos” really meant, but I really wanted to go.

So we went!

Rob was telling me about it while we stood on line to get in, and how the piano players will literally play anything you want, no holds barred. And if they don’t know it, they make it up. So we stood in line thinking up songs they would NEVER be able to play, songs that would sound ridiculous on a piano, and scheming evil plots to embarrass the piano players for ever and ever.

Before we get to that, though, can I just talk about the weather for a moment? Because I just want to say that the weather for the first day of our trip was an interesting factor in just about everything we did. First, we left New York amidst an incredible snowstorm that left somewhere between 15-20″ of snow on the ground. It was still snowing when we left our apartment to go to the airport. How we left on time is a mystery to me, but I’ll take it!

And then when we got to San Diego, they were in the midst of their own winter storm. In San Diego, of course, a winter storm is a half an inch of rain, but please do not underestimate the power of half an inch of rain in one of the sunniest places on earth, people. Because trust me when I say it all comes down at once. And they have no idea what the fuck to do with it.

Oh, and there was also a tsunami warning while we were there, too, just because it added to the comedic effect. I thought that was a nice touch.

OK, so now that you know the weather situation, you can imagine what it was like for us standing in line to get into the Shout House. But to HELP you imagine it, please witness this video:

Yeah, so we were on line – in THAT – for an hour to get in, and we were extremely lucky not to have been the ones who were standing directly underneath that sudden whoosh of water when it came out of nowhere.

You guys, the Shout House was a million times better than anything I ever imagined. They literally played EVERYTHING. Billy Joel, Barry Manilow, Elton John, Journey, Blind Melon, Garth Brooks, Queen, Air Supply, Toto… I took some video, but before I could get anything really wonderful, I was asked by a rather large security dude to put the camera away. Damn copyright laws. Anyway, after we got a table and a suitable pitcher of beer, we pooled together all our fives and singles and Rob filled out our request form. He dropped it on the piano with gusto and flair. It was actually a beautiful thing.

There are four piano players. They play two at a time and switch off hourly. If a guy gets a request that he doesn’t know, he crumples up the request form and tosses it to the other player. If he doesn’t know it, it waits for the next team. We saw our little piece of paper get tossed around a bit, we saw the players conferring, we saw them count the tidy sum of cash. We were sure they would not play it.

An hour and a half later, they played it. And it was awesome. We knew it was ours by the introduction alone, which was a question for the audience as to how we felt about songs with bad words. Of course that was met with raucous applause, and so the song began…

My video of this is absolutely terrible, because I was afraid Large Security Dude would take away my video camera and smash it to smithereens, but there may be enough there to at least have a vague appreciation for the level of awesomeness that was attained that evening, if you can get past the fact that all you can see is some blurry lights on the ceiling and at times the sound of my obnoxious laughter and screaming completely overwhelms your senses to the point of vertigo. Witness:

And our vacation was only just beginning…

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