I met God last night while hunting a highly-sought after species through the desert: Kardashianus Celebrititus, perhaps better known by its common name, 'a member of the Kardashian family.'
Kourtney Kardashian and boyfriend Scott Disick were in Tucson on Dec. 2, reportedly filming some sort of college nostalgia bit for "Keeping Up With The Kardashians." (Kourtney attended University of Arizona.)
They took a campus tour, made the rounds at the ever-popular Gentle Ben's Brewing Co. and greeted fans. Things got too rowdy, and production reportedly halted. A planned bookstore scene had to be scrapped, as they were attempting to shoot average-day-at-the-campus-shop footage and what they had in front of them were lots and lots of screaming fans who apparently could not just, like, chill. But the real story for local Tucson residents lies not in where the "KUWTK" stars appeared, but rather in where they didn't.
Though billed to appear to film a segment at the Meet Rack (210 W. Drachman St.) between 7-9 p.m. on Monday night, it appears Kourtney and Scott never showed up. The announcement had promised, "Keeping up with the Kardashians, Season 8, will be filming a cocktail hour at the Meet Rack tonight! (Two of the Kardashians are confirmed to be in attendance). We will put the expected ETA between 7:00 pm and 9:00 p.m."
'KUWTK' Stars Fail to Appear at Tucson Dive Bar, Local E! Network Fans Disappointed
For the uninitiated, the Meet Rack is a local dive bar with a decidedly deviant theme and a loyal cult following, run by Jim Anderson (who goes by 'God') and located just north of the U of A campus. You will know God when you see him; from his bald head to his perfectly-curled handlebar mustache, his face will be your hand-stamp. (You can also opt to get permanently branded with God's face to score a few pennies off future food and drinks, but that's a whole other story.)
Visitors to the no-frills, cash-only bar will find cocktails with raunchy names, only PBR on tap and exactly one brand of bottled beer. There's a pool table next to the bar and small but adequate bathrooms. On a crowded night, though, the best spot to hang at The Meet Rack may be the smoking patio. Or, of course, the sex room.
Yes, sex room. God will gladly lead you on a fully-narrated tour of this kinky, not-so-secret secret space, located in the very back of the bar and accessed discreetly through a door hidden in plain sight. The tour is not for the faint of heart, though in reality all you will find in there on the average night is a gynecological chair most women have encountered before, a 'fun wheel' complete with four anchor points, and an antique chastity belt adorning a wall. There are a few other artifacts in the sex room, too, but some things should be experienced first-hand. Depending on the night, it is God's apologetically and well-rehearsed filthy narrative that provides the real tour 'color', or more aptly, 'off-color.' (If you'll never make it there and want a more in-depth run-down of the bar, the sex room and the multifaceted Jim 'God' Anderson himself, consult this eye-opening Vice article.)
Can't exactly picture Kourtney Kardashian and Lord Disick getting down and dirty at a place like this? Neither could we. But when we caught wind that the couple was slated to appear to film a "cocktail hour" segment of their E! reality show, we had to at least head down and check it out.
After all, we had questions. Would Tucsonans even care enough to show up? Was this a legit television event, or a clever marketing strategy devised by an always-cheeky bar in hopes of boosting Monday night happy hour sales by about a thousand percent? What would regulars of this particular establishment make of walking in to their neighborhood bar to find an in-the-flesh Kardashianus Celebrititus seated on their stool?
Several people we interviewed told us there are normally about a dozen people in the bar on a Monday night, so when they arrived to find their usual spot stuffed with 150 people, at full capacity by 7:30 p.m., they were confused to say the least. At least one regular patron, having found he couldn't get through the front door, casually let himself in through a rear entrance. The regulars, you see, couldn't have cared less about a Kardashian sighting in Tucson; they just wanted to drink beer out of their pitchers, owned by the bar but bearing personal markings and memories.
Outside, a line made up of some very dressed-up ladies and every third gay guy in the city began to form; soon, the line was down the block. Everyone on line and many of those inside the bar were on their smartphones, texting friends and checking Twitter for rumor updates. A few parents actually brought their young children to stand in the cold desert night air, outside a shady bar in an even shadier part of town, just on the off-chance those E! camera vans rolled by. Those on the Meet Rack's back patio began to feel lucky to have gotten in at all, even though, as of 9:45 p.m. (when this reporter called it quits), there was no Kourtney or LD in sight.
Though many doubted why "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" producers or cast would want to film at the bar, the bartender, K.K., assured us the appearance announcement the bar had put out via Facebook early Monday was on the up and up. "The people from E! were here yesterday. They had us sign all sorts of forms," K.K. said. When asked why there was no one asking for patrons to sign releases on the way in (as the announcement had suggested would be the case), the pretty blond bartender told us, "That's just because no one is here yet. No one from E! is here yet."
And no one would be. Though one guy on Twitter claimed to have seen Kourtney Kardashian and "camera crews" at the bar, his 9:59 p.m. tweet was countered by several more credible sources who were at the bar until at least 10:30 and assured us no one from the show turned up before they left. (When we pointed out the discrepancy with his claim, we received no response. We're pretty sure the guy was either trolling to amuse himself or trying to impress his female friends on social media; either way, we outed his lie and we're pretty sure he's not rushing to write us back to help verify actual facts for this story. One article we found this afternoon suggests they did make it to the bar, but that hasn't been verified. If anyone has information contrary to our article, please comment or contact the author and we will correct this report.)
Several Tucson fans who waited in the cold or sat around the bar for hours were disappointed and took to Twitter to vent. "I left at 10:20 and they hadn't shown up yet. Didn't feel like sticking around," tweeted one. "I literally stood at The Meet Rack to see Kourtney Kardashian," tweeted another. One woman theorized that the whole thing was a ruse. "Hahaha. That Kardashian s--t made my night. Epic win for The Meet Rack fooling all those chodes and making [money]."
According to the Tucson Weekly, the show's production company Bunim Murray "was unable to confirm or deny" an appearance was ever scheduled or even that any cast or crew was in Tucson for filming. Sources close to the bar have told us there is "no way" Jim Anderson or anyone at The Meet Rack lied just to get business in the door. "[This has] Kardashian publicity stunt written all over it."
To review, Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick were in Tucson this week and did descend upon the U of A campus, drawing huge crowds and setting off untold levels of girl-screams across town. But as far as we know they never showed up at the Meet Rack. (Other rumors suggested they would hit Sir Veza's or TD's West, but we don't think those panned out either. Guess we'll just have to wait until the episode airs to see for sure!)
Us? We were more than satisfied simply meeting God, drinking beer and observing the delightful confusion a single Kardashianus Celebrititus brought to town one chilly December evening.