He who wears elf shoes is keeper of the toys.

Last nights gig was way out in the middle of nowhere, two hours outside of Guangzhou. I wasn’t prepared for that long of a ride in the loaf mobile. It’s good that house fans are mounted all along the inside of it’s breadbasket interior, or else I would’ve lost 5 lbs sweating. Also, I forgot my ipod and everyone else had headphones. Fuck.

When we arrived, we were clearly in the middle of nowhere. It didn’t even look like a city. The club was called V8 club, and it was a large three level place with a two level club on the lower levels and a few dozen KTV rooms on the top floor. I don’t know if they had a theme party before we got there, but the entire place is summer-themed. Fake palmtrees, sand, photos of women in bikinis all over the walls. Even a few blowup killer whales; sweet.

The most interesting parts were the coreographed dances. In clubs in America, a DJ plays, people dance, and.. I guess that’s sort of it, but that’s enough to have a great time. In this place, they have half a dozen dance routines performed by 8 girls who are constantly changing outfits in the changing room just behind the DJ booth. One dance was Thriller-themed, with all black tophats and neckties, another was a more traditional asian fan dance, another with them wearing all white, etc.

After the third or fourth routine it dawned on me; China doesn’t have strip clubs, but this is what it has instead. In between dance routines guys would get on wireless mics and sing various Chinese songs, most of them famous songs that everyone knows and sings along with. This is cool with me, but the part that really fucks me up is that all of these songs are really slow and depressing he/she-left-me songs. I can distinctly feel the I’m-so-depressed-I-could-die atmosphere, but apparently I’m the only one who really dislikes it. People clap, wave their hands, lean around rhythmically, and do all the things that people do to sappy love music.

Also, the toys. Oh Jesus, the toys. This is something that I first witnessed in Guiyan. One of the gigs there went really well and the floor was packed with a few hundred people. All of a sudden someone hands me a trash bag filled with something while someone else gets on the mic and says something that I can only partially understand: “WHO WANTS IT?!?!”

Just before people go absolutely apeshit, I come to find that the bag is filled with stuffed animals, keychains, and mostly worthless Coors junk. The kind of stuff you’d trade in tickets for at an amusement park or video arcade. You wouldn’t tell that by the crowd though; you’d think I was throwing out steaks at Auschwitz. I threw handfulls of toys and junk into the crowd and people are screaming their heads off wanting more. Three girls managed to lean almost entirely into the DJ booth and make a swipe at my hands, making me drop a bunch of them on the floor. I figured they really wanted them, so I gave them to them, but that didn’t even stop them.

Anyway, the same thing last night. Guy tosses out toys while singing, people lose it, then at the end he has THE BIG BEAR WHICH EVERYONE WANTS. It’s maybe the size of a football. He prances around with it, pretending to throw it in every direction, teasing everyone, for about 5 minutes.

The word prancing is especially fitting here because the guy had elf shoes which curved up at the end. They looked kind of like black slippers you’d wear around the house. This is a fashion fad which hasn’t caught onto me yet, so for now he’s Santas little Chinese helper.