Class dismissed.

Senior Class 

Class dismissed.

One thing we've always liked about scientific theories is their versatility in applying them to everyday life. For example, when extrapolating from the Running Into Your Ex theorem (it always happens whenever you look like crap), you get the one rule that's endemic to our big small town: the Law of Increasing Returns. If you grew up here, you will invariably run into someone from your past over the holidays, when everyone comes back to town -- usually at the bars, when you're stinking drunk. For a certain segment of the population, though, this scenario usually overlaps, Venn-diagram style, every weekend at the Class Reunion Lounge in Blue Springs.

We had ventured out to eastern Jackson County with Research Assistants Melissa and Joe, two EJC natives, who explained the culture of the area over predrinks at a neighboring bar.

"It's the EJC," Joe said. "Everyone's related."

"My dad used to hang out at Class Reunion," Melissa said. Joe added, "When I told my mom I was going there, she said, 'Oh, be sure to say hi to so-and-so' -- my dad's friends."

Indeed, it was primarily an older crowd that was rockin' out at the CR. "If a MILF doesn't hit on me, I will be very disappointed," Joe said. Upon entering, we walked under a set of mannequin legs in a cheerleader skirt that dangled from the ceiling. The spacious room was packed -- especially the dance floor, where the DJ was playing his retro (and some right-now) hits from a booth made from a pink Cadillac that matched the one parked outside the entrance.

"This place is fucking amazing," Joe said. "It's like time has stopped in this bar." A couple of regulars later gave us the lowdown on the place. "This is a meat market," said John, 46. "Anybody anywhere can get laid here. I run into people I haven't seen in thirty years. I run into people I saw last week. That's why everyone comes here."

"There aren't too many bars for people my age," said his friend Danny, 45. "It's about half regulars, half new people."

Being among the new people, we acclimated ourselves to the place by drinking large glasses of Jack and Coke (a bargain at $3.75). One warning: The bar takes only cash. After watching some line dancing (where do people learn that? Is that the equivalent of the secret handshake for the clubgoer set?), we noted the predominance of gold chains and femullets in the room. "I think that one is a Kentucky Waterfall," Melissa said, pointing out one. When asked why it wasn't, say, a Missouri Compromise, she said, "Well, the back is kind of thin. Like water."

We soon noticed a guy dancing with his reflection in a mirrored wall. Sadly, "Dancing With Myself" was not the song that was on.

"Um ... were you just dancing with yourself in the mirror?" we asked. "Brandon," 28, just grinned. "I look good!" he said confidently. "I just saw someone who looked pretty damn good ... and it turned out to be me!"

We slowly edged away. Our attention was then drawn to a guy who was pole dancing around a support beam by the main bar. We don't know about you, but whenever we see a guy humping a support beam, our Pavlovian response is to enticingly wave a dollar bill in front of him. This seemed like a good idea at the time; little did we know that our seemingly small action would unleash the Neon Green Thong -- which was revealed when he dropped trou.

We stuffed the dollar down the front of the thong, taking care not to touch anything. He claimed to have been a former stripper and even gave the NR a lap dance. He also made another bold claim: "I can make your clit stand up and dance by itself." Later, he dropped trou again on the dance floor, burning the image of the Neon Green Thong onto our inebriated minds.

"Hey, whatever happens at Class Reunion stays at Class Reunion," Melissa said.

"If you have any other questions about that night, just ask," Joe said later. "It is very well-kept in my 'nights I can never forget, in case I might be able to make money in a blackmail scheme' file in my frontal lobe."

Ugh. Another law we applied to that night? The one of Vanishing Returns.

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