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Northland Exposure

A field trip to Parkville turns up all the oddness we'd expect out of the Northland.

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Our initial plan during a Saturday night foray to Parkville was to drink in the quaint, antique-filled part of town. Sadly, the American Legion hall was empty. And when we stepped into the Power Plant Restaurant and Brewery, we had to dodge a couple of kids. Nothing quashes a bender like the presence of children. So we continued north on Main Street to an area of Parkville we didn't know existed: the soulless strip-mall section. Dun-dun-duhhh!

That's what we found at Nick and Jake's, which is apparently the hangout for Parkvilleites. We stopped there for a much-needed (read: alcohol-absorbing) food break with research assistants John, Cece, Laura and Asa. We immediately noticed a highly inebriated group of natives dicking around in the bar area — which, by the way, is kind of a cool space. The bar is oval-shaped and festooned with a ton of TVs, which befits Nick and Jake's sports-bar reputation. Anyway, the drunkoids consisted of two chickies and three guys being all buddy-buddy — we wouldn't have been surprised if cries of "I love you, man" emanated from the triad. The guys tried to sing along with David Bowie's "Fame," but they didn't know the lyrics and just belted out "FAAAME!" every eight measures.

Then, something happened. One man stomped out, followed by one of the women. A few more took off, and soon the only one left was a guy in a light-blue denim shirt. He had the sort of voice that was set on bellow, so we heard him semi-apologize to the staff by saying "Listen. Sorry. I come here with my family ..."

A few minutes later, we were at the bar when we heard him ask, "Where the fuck did the whores go? All the fucking assholes left." Alas — any family-man street cred that he'd built up was now gone.

When the obnoxious guy aggressively said something to us from across the bar, the Night Ranger went into don't-make-eye-contact mode. A woman behind us said: "See that guy? When he looks at you, you should laugh like you're laughing at him." The woman explained that Denim Shirt approached her group, hit on her friend and became rude when she rebuffed his advances. He even began with the line, "Hi, I'm really rich." Charming!

We needed a change of scenery and headed to the intersection of Vivion and Antioch roads, where two bars awaited us: Attitudes and Latitudes and its neighbor, Wetherbee's.

Because of the proximity, we noted crowd overlap be-tween these two 3 a.m. hot spots. Our first stop was Attitudes, which, despite the Jimmy Buffet-inspired name, was not a mellow, beach-themed bar — though fake palm trees and neon-framed ocean murals were nice touches. Upon paying the $3 cover, we were greeted by the thudding beats of Nelly Furtado's "Promiscuous," played at an ear-splitting level. After getting Bud Light bottles, we eyed the interesting assortment of folks. Jersey-clad guys rocked it with MILFs in low-cut tank tops and form-fitting hoodies. Above them, one of those spinning balls flashed different colors and illuminated the dance floor. We saw a guy with blindingly white tennis shoes bend forward and rub his ass against a chick's crotch in a role-reversing moment. We appreciated this strike for gender equality in crotchal-assal contact. Behind them, on a raised platform, a woman gyrated alone to Eminem and Nate Dogg's "Shake That," and in one strippertastic move, she reached between her legs, grabbed the railing and bent over. We were impressed by her flexibility.

The rest of the crowd proved to be less flexible when it came to the business of going on record and being photographed. Then again, when you've been tackled by a cop for getting into a girl fight, as 22-year-old Kelly told us had happened to her, we wouldn't want our picture in the paper, either. Kelly, a blonde in an Old Navy hoodie, said the fight happened next door after another woman called her a bitch. That's one of those bar-fight trigger words that leads to hair pulling and foxy boxing. With that in mind, we decided to head next door to Wetherbee's, the scene of the fight.

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