Hippo Chips

hippo-chips-at-the-club-hippo-in-baltimore-marylandI found a relic while rummaging through unpacked boxes.  It is a Hippo Chip.  Hippo Chips were given out whenever someone purchased a pass to the dance side of The Hippo Nightclub in Baltimore.  Once a certain amount were accumulated, the chips could be redeemed for a free dance ticket.  Man, The Hippo ruled my ass from the late 80’s to the early 90’s (up until the time I moved to Seattle).  I was there at least 4 nights a week, often staying till the ugly lights came on at closing time.  My BFF’s, back then, consisted of 3 lesbians.  We’ll call them Stevie Nicks, Frenchie, and Loyola.  Stevie Nicks took me to my first gay bar.  I was with her when I did my first slow dance with a guy.  I was so nervous.  The song was “More Than Words,” and it felt like the prom dance I never had in high school.  Stevie Nicks would often sit at the bar, grab a napkin, and render an image of someone at the nightclub (usually a cute guy).  Then, she’d show the sketching to the person, and I’d flirt with the dude the rest of the night.  Frenchie and I often played pool together.  We weren’t that good.  But, I guess we were just extremely confident.

Church
Back during my clubbing days at The Hippo, my most favorite song was “Losing my Religion.”  That R.E.M. classic quickly became my coming-out-of-the-closet song.

Because we’d perform the most outlandish moves, and the ball would travel (at a snail’s pace across the table), knocking in our target.  We’d control that billiard’s table at the astonishment of the more experienced players.  Some were so arrogant that they wouldn’t shake our hands, once the game was over.  I can’t say that I blamed them;  because it was clear that we had a lot of luck on our side.  Loyola was my primary dance partner;  because Stevie Nicks and Frenchie didn’t dance as much.  I can remember tearing up the floor to:  “Emotions,” “Unbelievable,” “Strike it up,” and “Good Vibrations.”

Well, it’s time to stop reminiscing, as I need to finish unpacking.  I mean, it is 12/29/17;  and I’ve been here since 3/31/17; and I am still not settled in my new home!

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