Nothing Draws Your Attention at a Bar Quite Like a Human Skull Ashtray

A few years back I did a show at a bar in Florence, South Carolina. It was a bit of a dive – dimly lit, with an ever present smoke cloud circling around the ceiling. A friend of mine was headlining. It was a late show – supposed to start at 10 – and we got there at 9:30. As soon as I walked in, I freaked out.

Over in the corner, behind one of their many pool tables, was a large ashtray designed to look like a human skull.

It was scary looking, but I’m not sure where this thing belonged. And who is it for? A cult leader who got frustrated with people throwing cigarettes on the floor at his meetings? “I told everyone, if you want to worship the Dark Lord, do it with a CLEAN FLOOR. And if I find so much as ONE BUTT on the sacrificial slab, I’m letting the goat live and we’re going home without Satan’s power.”

I don’t smoke, but if I did I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable using a human skull to put out my cigarette. Even a fake one. What if at the last second it rouses from some kind of ancient slumber after a spell was cast on it by a witch? “Oh my God, I’m back! I can feel again…AHHH! What the hell man? I just wake up from a 200 year old coma and you have the gall to BURN me? Not cool.”

I guess it’s kind of comforting. After all, whatever depraved soul came up with the idea for this thing also opposed littering. He may be all about the dark arts, and exploring the evil side of life, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t also recycle. It takes just as much effort to separate paper and plastics as it does to draw the blood of a virgin, after all.

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