Ya Got Trouble, My Friends

It’s summertime in Lake Elsinore. How do I know? Three reasons. One, the lake is extremely foamy and green and repulsive and is beginning to resemble a huge vat of nasal discharge. Two, it is so hot outside that persons unfortunate enough to be wearing a heat-attracting color such as black are spontaneously bursting into flames. And three, all the young people are saying, in unison, “What is there to do in Lake Elsinore?”

What is there to do in Lake Elsinore? That is a question which has been pondered by philosophers for thousands of years, and no one has come up with a satisfactory answer, which may explain why philosophers never make much money. We young people have pondered it, too, and we haven’t had much more success than the philosophers, but I am pleased to report that there is at least one fun thing to do here: Go hang out at Billiards.

Billiards is a popular teenage hang-out located on Grand and Corydon in Lake Elsinore. As the name implies, they have pool tables there. Or perhaps they are billiards tables. I don’t know the difference, and frankly, it’s way too hot to be looking anything up.

I recently went to Billiards with my friend Nick in order to conduct extensive research, and to make fun of people. I figured Nick was qualified to accompany me because he, himself, has a tattoo. There were about fifteen people there when we went. Most of them were playing pool (or, possibly, billiards); a few were sitting at the bar, smoking cigarettes and cursing; and a few girls were sitting on chairs doing nothing. They weren’t even speaking to one another. They were just sitting there, vegetating. I am assuming that they were plainclothes-female-16-year-old security guards.

In order to play pool/billiards, you must pay 50¢. This seemed reasonable to me, so Nick and I played two games, and he won both of them. Then, a guy who was sitting at the bar attracted Nick’s attention because the guy had a tattoo. Furthermore, Nick pointed out to me, it was a fresh tattoo, meaning that the guy had just gotten it earlier that day, and I might add that the guy did not look very happy about it. In fact, he looked as though he had just had a needle pierced repeatedly into his flesh, and then, to add insult to injury, had to pay for it

The tattoo (or “tat,” as people who have them call them) was of a wizard, and Nick told me that the tattoo artist had not done a very good job. This makes sense to me, because of the tattoo artists I’ve seen, none of them look like they would be very good at doing anything, except maybe killing people. But who am I to judge.

Anyway, nothing particularly exciting happened while we were at Billiards, although you’ll notice that this didn’t stop me from writing about it. I understand that on weekends, they have loud local bands play there, and that’s when the place is jam-packed with sweaty teenagers. So if you’re looking for something fun to do in Lake Elsinore, this is about as close as it gets.

Or, you can drive to Temecula.

(Eric D. Snider is a college student living at home in Lake Elsinore for the summer. He is always on the lookout for something fun to do.)

I was trying here to be a real local columnist, writing about local things. I seem to recall that the Californian people asked me to do this. At any rate, this is a decent column. Billiards is no longer open, which is unfortunate. It really was the first teen hangout that Lake Elsinore had had in quite some time. Temecula, by the way, was a more prosperous, more heavily populated city 10 miles south of us. If you wanted to go to the movies or eat at Denny's, you had to go to Temecula, because that's where those things were. Lake Elsinore has since acquired movie theaters and a Denny's (as well as a Wal-Mart, I might add), but when I was in high school, there was nothin'. I suspect the teens in Temecula claimed to be bored too, but they had no right to be, what with the movie theaters and Denny's there, the little snots.