Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Close

You and your "boys" have had one hell of a night out. You finally all made it into the club -- together this time -- without one of those mongoloids at the front door barring your admission because "it's a swordfight inside." Nobody fought. Nobody's too shitfaced to stand. Nobody had anything slipped into their drink, and you've still got some money left because the bartender in back -- the hot one who was "such a fuckin' cunt" last week -- hooked you guys up all night.

Your SIM card has at least a half dozen new numbers, and the "bitches" all live in Howard Beach, just like you. Jackpot, kid.

Still, the evening's far from over. It doesn't officially end until you walk out the front door and run the meathead gauntlet through to the early New York morning. How you manage to get this done can have a huge bearing on the overall quality of your experience, because nothing good ever happens on the way out of a club. Trust me on this one. The five minutes between taking your first steps off the dance floor and calling a cab to take you home can be the most trying period of your night, and it's critically important to make sure you do everything properly.

So, as I'm wont to do, I offer the following pearls of wisdom regarding the proper procedure for exiting a Manhattan nightclub:

1. Do not get in a fight after last call. I could have said "Don't get into a fight on your way out," but I've decided to be a tad more specific here. Once last call is announced, you should be making your preparations to leave. You should NOT be arguing with other patrons, talking shit to bouncers, or doing anything other than settling your tab, retrieving your coat and figuring out how you're getting home.

Once last call is announced, bouncers see the light at the end of the tunnel. We're thinking about diners and omelettes and sleep. The misery is about to end, and going home is imminent. If you decide to pointlessly start shit with someone after 3:45 or so, you're now potentially extending our night, and our frustration is likely to explode in your face. And it's gonna hurt tomorrow morning.

2. Don't stand in or in front of the doorway. If you're blocking the doorway, how are people supposed to leave the club? And when I point out the fact that you're obstructing traffic, why do you get mad at me? Is it because it's the inherent right of every Guido to block doorways at every club in Manhattan? JUST GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE WAY.

I know, Carmine. It's just another bouncer power trip.

3. Enough with the excessive loudness. We know, Guido. You simply love the sound of your own voice. You shout at your friends. You shout at the "bitches." You shout rap lyrics at me as I try to keep from dozing off at the door. You shout rhetorical questions of great importance to all of us -- "WHERE DA FUCK IS MY BENZ?" -- leaving us wanting less and less.

You're a douchebag. Just shut the fuck up and leave.

4. Do not engage in long, melodramatic goodbyes with bouncers whose names you don't even know. We're not friends, dick. You think my name is "Sergio." Therefore, we don't need any extended hugs, handshakes or promises to see each other soon. I know you'll be back tomorrow night in all your tack-i-fied glory. A simple, blanket "Have a good night, guys" will be sufficient to leave each and every bouncer at the door with a positive impression of you and your friends. Skip the maudlin artifice, please.

5. If you've come by car, don't drive around the block, double park in front of the club and blast dance music out the windows of your white Escalade. You've been bombarded by that shit all night, so why would you want to play it in your car? And why do you think anyone's going to be impressed when you do this? You make yourselves look like complete assholes, you're practically begging the NYPD to pull you over, and I have yet to see a "hot chick" go bounding off the sidewalk and into your car as a result, so stop.

And spare us the patented "Canarsie Pier Peelout" as well.

6. Don't try to walk outside with your drink. Just finish the fucking thing. If I take it away from you, don't stand there and argue your right to walk down a New York City sidewalk with an open container. I'm doing you a favor, because the cops are everywhere, and you're a summons waiting to happen.

7. Don't touch me. This applies to everyone, obviously, but I'm addressing this one to women who "go the distance" and think it's cute to nestle up against us at the end of the night. My current Asian fixation aside, I've never liked being touched in any way by drunken, coked-up women leaving the club. I'm sorry, and this may sound like misogyny again, but people -- especially women -- are dirty when they leave clubs. I know, logically, that this doesn't apply to everyone, but I'm usually disgusted by the parade of filth I see walking out the door at closing time. The last thing I want is for anyone to be rubbing their exposed flesh against me following a night of God-knows-what at a nightclub.

8. If you leave, you're not coming back in. So make sure you have your shit together, and your people together, before stepping onto the sidewalk. We're tired. We're fed up. With every scumbag who leaves, we're another step closer to our beds, and allowing you to "swim upstream" and walk back inside goes against just about everything we believe in as human beings.

Everyone's leaving. Your friends will be right out. You're not going back in to look for them.

9. Do not engage in Public Displays of Affection (PDAs) in front of us at 4:30 in the morning. Great. You've met some slut, and now, before you go your separate ways, it's time for one last exchange of saliva. I'm happy for you. I'm all in favor of Guido Love, just Not In My BackYard, please. Do us all a favor and walk around the corner before you jam your tongue down her throat. That's not the kind of shit we want to look at after spending eight hours watching you have seizures on the dance floor.

10. Buy my book when it comes out. Apropos to nothing, but a sound piece of advice to complete any list.

And no, I didn't find your cellphone.