Pat Benatar hair, big belts over shirts, and pegged jeans are everywhere any night of the week up on Pine Street, but no one's dressed particularly '80s at '80s night at Noc Noc. At heart, Noc Noc's a goth bar; witness the mummified dark angel presiding over the proceedings, a disco ball at her feet ready for punting, if only sports weren't so deeply uncool. The attire on Tuesdays might best be described as goth-casual. It's what the Pat Benatar—hair crowd would've made fun of you for wearing to school on a Tuesday in the '80s, and you would've skulked and muttered obscenities and impugned their conformity. While black is de rigueur, personal touches are tacitly permitted, e.g., a straw cowboy hat accompanied by mirror-frame sunglasses; a fedora; a trench coat made of tweed rather than leather or latex. The only person who stands out is the Paris Hilton look-alike, terrifyingly thin, with a limp bleached-blond ponytail and an expanse of skin from her top ribs to below her hipbones. (This girl is everywhere—how and why? She always looks like she must be cold.) You might think the rest of the crowd here would single her out on the dance floor and peck her to death, but she is sweetly tolerated, even embraced, by those who know what it is to catch crap for your style.
A surprising range of '80s hits plays—Duran Duran, the Violent Femmes, the Cure, Michael Jackson. The DJ responds to a screamed request for Prince with "Kiss." Styles of movement resemble choreography for Peanuts characters. One petite woman, doll-like in a '40s-style pencil skirt and black-and-white platform heels, plants her feet wide, slowly flipping her head back and forth while waving her arms down low. A guy hides behind a floppy curtain of hair, dancing primarily with his shoulders. Everybody's having a great time; only an old Beastie Boys song clears the floor.
Back at the bar, an unidentifiable '80s B movie is playing on the flat-screen TV. An alien theme leads to conjecture that it may be Earth Girls Are Easy, but the appearance of a giant, crazed clown confuses the issue. The bartender settles it: It's Killer Clowns from Outer Space, apparently an unsung classic of the decade. Bottles of Miller High Life are being served hand over fist; at $1 each, it's the champagne of beers at, possibly, '80s prices. (A supposedly mixed drink proves to be bracingly akin to a glass of pure vodka.)
Sucking sounds in the stalls are reported from the men's room; in the ladies', there's a man. He stands, regarding the sink. It unfolds that someone's dropped a ring down the drain, and he departs obligingly to find the proper tools to liberate it.
On the sidewalk outside, a woman's administering a spanking. A jealous bystander says, "I would like an ass-slapping, too! Don't you dare withhold." She does not.