The sun was intense and I could taste the Texas cedarwood as my homemade mustache wax melted into my mouth. If it wasn’t for the other ingredients—vegetable shortening, artisanally smoked beet sugar and Doritos Ranch dust—it would have been unbearable.

I dragged the kiddie pool out from the side of my domicile. Mr. Harada was on his way over, and we planned on relaxing in luxurious coolness in the front yard, where we could submerge ourselves almost to our belly buttons. I imagined the passersby admiring our nonchalant posture: butts wading in water, knees bent, feet on the yellow lawn, and forearms casually resting on beer coolers. It’s not the pool that makes the man, but the man who makes the pool.

The garden hose was running full tilt when Mr. Harada arrived, but to our heartbreak the pool was not even a quarter full after five minutes. The compromised basin leaked the majority of the liquid in less than a minute. The situation was dire, so we called our old friend Larry the Limo, who arrived at the helm of a mid-1980s limousine with a pool in the rear. The water was a bit greenish, but Larry assured us it was safe. We dove in and made our way to the best bar in town: Uncle Buck’s Fishbowl and Grill, located inside Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World.

The place is a bowling alley split in two by a large bar area. It’s designed to look like an upside down sunken schooner. From the bar, looking up at the ceiling, patrons gaze upon the deck and can clearly make out the bow—the bowsprit is missing due to some catastrophe. What’s more incredible is that the sunken schooner’s deck house, where the Captain would reside, is actually right side up, and serves as a dining room.

If that wasn’t enough to make this a UNESCO world heritage site, the entire space is filled with life-like fish that are cast correct to their actual size. A small school of fiberglass Bluefin tuna reside above the top-shelf booze. If you’re not familiar with how massive tuna are, go have a drink and think about it.

In a way, the Fishbowl is a more humane way to introduce your children and less educated friends to the immense physical size of ocean life than taking them to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Also, it’s a restaurant, and everyone can chuck bowling balls down the lanes. It would only be better if the schooner had a few bowling balls imbedded into the hull.

The Fishbowl is a sight to see. Its extravagant design brings in clientele that yearn for a simpler time, displayed in hyperbolic excess. It’s a great lure, just like the assortment next door that attracts the largemouths.

Uncle Buck’s Fishbowl & Grill
5160 Cherry Ave, San Jose