The Enrique Experience Longing for an exotic vacation? Then leave your passport at home (along with all your other valuables, for that matter) and head to Imperial Beach’s Honey Ko (1436 Palm Ave.)
“FBI, buddy!” a regular named Charlie yelled in my face, holding up the thumb on his right hand as if it were a gun. His left arm was missing, and, at that point, so was my sphincter control. In the commotion, he managed to fall off his barstool, and though helping him up would’ve been the proper thing to do, after noticing his wet shorts, I just left him there like a turned-over roach.
“He loses balance ’cause of the arm,” bartender Rosy explained as she served up some pretzels from a jar labeled “pork rinds,” which I immediately stress-ate.
An outdoor sign dubbed the dive “The place to go,” but I guess I was there on an off night, as the aforementioned salty gimp and I were the only patrons there.
“Drink, drink, dance party,” a flashing LED scroll in the corner instructed. Next to it, several likenesses of the Santo Niño de Cebú, a Filipino representation of the Child Jesus, kept watch.
“He for good luck,” Rosy affirmed. One of the few porn claw-machines to exist outside of East County also calls this place home.
“Guys always get the dildo,” the barmaid said in her thick Pinay accent. “They go crazy with that.”
By then, Charlie was contemplating eating a banana he’d acquired from God-knows-where, but opted to point and laugh hysterically at it instead. He then bumrushed me, started screaming oddities, cracked himself up and began foaming at the mouth. Clearly, Santo Niño had taken the day off.
In an effort to create a diversion, Rosy nervously dashed to the juke and played Toby Keith and Willy Nelson’s insta-classic, “Whiskey for My Men, Beer for My Horses,” along with a slew of boot-in-your-ass sort of jams.
“You know, this is the perfect place for parties,” the Thrilla from Manila boasted. Apparently, it’s also the perfect place to be scared shitless. She then recounted her decade-long adventures working at the now-defunct Whirlybird down the street.
“I left my soul there,” she mused.
She then paused and, alarmed, noticed Charlie heading toward the back of the bar like a banshee.
“No!” Rosy yelped. “He gonna go pee-pee in stock room again.”