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Squeezebox Hero!

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ARRRRR! The Squeezebox Hero and birthday girl Trish Bash at Sidebar.
Photo: Scott Berry

A pirate with an accordion walks into a bar.

No, seriously.

On Tuesday night at Sidebar, the infamous Trish Bash (according to her friends) was celebrating her quarter-century crisis. Vegas’ best bartender Jerry Vargas (according to the Weekly) was helping the Basher obtain a sufficient level of inebriation.

The Basher is not a fan of balloon hats.

The Basher is not a fan of balloon hats.

Vowing to stop by the Third-and-Ogden bar for only a few minutes since I’d been out every night since the previous Friday, I was just sliding off my barstool and asking for my check when in he walked: The Squeezebox Hero.

Maybe it was the rouge voice or the hyperactive child-esque energy when he stormed in, calling for Trish. Or perhaps it was the parrot secured to his shoulder. Better yet, the eye patch probably won me over. There was no chance I was going to leave now and miss this intrusion by the Downtown pirate.

He launched into a barrage of songs expertly played on the accordion. Is that “Freebird” I hear? And “Bennie & the Jets”! The Squeezebox Hero passed his “official songbook” to Trish, who still looked stunned while the rest of us exchanged glances and mouthed, “Who did this?”

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Squeezebox Hero

“I have some cheesy prizes if you can guess the song!” the peppy pirate yelled. He performed a few easily recognizable tunes and gave Trish prizes to fling at her friends with correct answers. But on the next song, the crowd was stumped.

“Wait!” I cried out. “I know this! ‘Chariots of Fire,’ right?”

Trish tossed a prize in my direction. I caught it, and looked at what I had won.

An individually wrapped cheese single? Ohh. I get it. A “cheesy prize.”

Deanna Rilling holds up her cheesy prizes

Deanna Rilling holds up her cheesy prizes

The Squeezebox Hero brought a hat made of balloons for the birthday girl, though Trish is actually frightened by balloons. Our friend Brandy sported the hat instead, though one of the balloons popped, so I channeled my high school job as a balloonologist to fix it (I’m not even joking).

After a rousing sing-a-long of the “Spongebob Squarepants” theme—in the key of “Arrrrrrrrrr” of course—the Squeezebox Hero departed, taking his inflatable sword and his self-proclaimed “cheesiest accordion show in the universe” with him.

“Okay. Who the fuck sent the pirate?!?!?” questioned Trish, half laughing, half angry, because we still weren’t able to deduce the mastermind behind the plan.

It definitely wasn’t me, but I have my suspicions…

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