Chuey mixes up a "Chuey special," with extra Chuey-juice...
"It's like Terri Schiavo night in here," cracks my pal and personal hero Chuey the Rock 'n' Roll Midget. "You know, tryin' to stay alive."
I glance around. The crowd's almost two deep at the world's first ever fully-functioning midget bar, located just inside the door of that Scottsdale den of debauchery known as Giligin's. Clearly, Chuey (born Santiago Jimenez) is used to even more action on the Friday and Saturday nights that his mini-bar is open for business. But already his tip jar is full and hot chicks are coming up, giving him smooches on his Oompa-Loompa mouth, their boyfriends looking on with pride. Wenches who briefly doff their tops for the wee mon can earn a free drink. Chuey says it happens at least a couple of times a night.
I believe it. I know from writing about Chuey last spring in the cover story "Mouthful of Midget" that Chuey's a serious dwarf star, hosting along with Giligin's owner Cap'n Mike their notorious Wheel of Fear Factor on Wednesday nights, a cross between Fear Factor and Wheel of Fortune. Contestants eat everything from dog food to duck embryos to earn points towards a free keg of beer. Hot squalies are encouraged to flash the crowd for mega-points, and regularly do, as Cap'n Mike and Chuey bombard the drunken audience with politically incorrect one-liners.
Like this one from Chuey, who also calls himself the Satanic Hispanic, "I love Jesus, I mean Hay-zus. He mows my lawn every Saturday." Or, "Hey, Cap, know what's the opposite of Christopher Reeve? Christopher Walken."
Though Chuey emcees other nights at Giligin's and has tended the main bar before, Cap'n Mike came up with the idea of giving the ribald little fucker his own space to sling drinks, capitalizing on Chuey's runaway popularity. The bar's built to meet Chuey's needs, at about 3 1/2 feet in height so that the 4'3" Chuey can easily work it. It's fully-stocked, with a glassed-in refrigerator, a sink behind the bar, a flat-screen TV, and its own stripper pole for inebriated hotties to get their grind on. There are little stools so the big people see eye to eye with Chuey, and the crooked bartop is of faux gray slate. A neon sign announcing "Chuey's Mini-Bar" with the outline of a big yellow sombrero hangs on one wall. And the entire bar area's decorated Mexican cantina-style.
The midget bar's killer "mini bar" sign.
Chuey says the bar's been open for four weeks now. "It cost Cap'n Mike about $10,000 and took six months to build," he informs me, adding an un-PC shot at the Cap'n's Jewish heritage. "It takes Noah one month to build an ark, but it takes this Jew six months to build a midget bar."
If you're easily offended, stay the eff away from Giligin's. Employees chime in on the sound system from time to time, messin' with the customers. At one point in the evening, with a couple of Scottsdale ho's dancing on a stripper pole on the other side of the main bar, Chuey chimes in on the mic, "My seven-year-old niece gives better lapdances."
Have other people Chuey's size come through to bend a pint-sized elbow? Chuey says a couple have, but that in general, a lot of his fellow dwarfs and whatnot take offense at his use of the word midget to describe himself, the Little People of America in particular.
"They don't like me because I call myself a midget, and don't go to their meetings or donate to them," shrugs Chuey. "You should not be alive on this planet if you can't take a fucking joke. If people get pissed at me, I tell 'em, `Go home, write your congressman, tell him Chuey sucks.'"
Bartending does wonders for your sex life, according to Chuey, who says he prefers "tall white women" to chicks his own size. His most recent conquest? A teacher from Surprise with whom he hooked up after closing time. He shows me the napkin with her cell phone number on it.
"She was a brunette, and had red panties," smiles the quarter-Casanova. "I take care of my customers."
That Chuey's gotten more female action in his 25 years on this planet than I'll ever see, I have no doubt. Christ, the guy's already been on The Jerry Springer Show four times. And I think he could easily be a regular on Howard Stern, if Stern producer Gary Dell'Abate ever came calling, taking the place of Hank the Angry, Drunken Dwarf, now deceased. Chuey's a lot funnier than Hank was, and though he drinks, I've never seen him as loaded as Hank used to get.
However, there are people who're jealous of Chuey's fame, notably some regular-sized bartenders.
"What am I supposed to do?" he asks, throwing up his little arms. "Apologize because God made me a midget?"
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The Rock `n' Roll Midget at rest...
Giligin's is located at 4251 N Winfield Scott Plaza, Scottsdale, AZ 85251. Phone: (480) 874-2264