I get tough with a Guido
"Yo, you work here?"
FUCKING PRICK. Yeah, sure, we all need entree, so to speak, but can't you fucking do better than to ask the guy standing at the door checking IDs if he's employed by the establishment he's fronting? I mean, come on. A smidgen of creativity will take you a long, long way when breaking the ice with anyone -- especially when you're in stacked-deck situations like those of the Guido-approaches-bouncer variety.
"Yes." I no longer tend toward captiousness with club customers. The whole "lone voice in the wilderness" thing hasn't been the sort of sacrifice I've been willing to continue making, even though the entertainment value of Guido-baiting is something one should never underestimate. In other words, at one point during my "career" I would have made an issue of this. I would have said, "No, I don't work here." I would have said, "I just like to stand here in a suit and look at peoples' licenses, and these bouncers humor me because I used to wear a helmet to school."
"Yo, I already got problems wif' some n---a in da lobby, yo."
"Who?" I asked.
"I ain't goin' there."
"You ain't goin' where?"
"I mean," he replied, "I ain't goin' there."
"Then why even say anything? What's the point of coming out here and telling me you have a problem with some guy if you're not even gonna tell me who it is?"
"Yo, whatever," he said, and walked inside.
"Follow him," commanded Supreme Head Bouncer for the Ages JD.
Must we? I mean, must we? Why are you people like this?
I suck at following people because I don't try particularly had to be good at it. Mostly, I stare at them. I look directly into their eyes until they're aware I'm deliberately provoking them. I do this because I want situations to end quickly. I want situations to end quickly so I can go back to the door and resume shaking you fuckers down for your cash. Following people is a waste of my time. This instance would be no different.
"Yo, you got a problem wit' me?"
"Oh, what? WHAT? What," I asked, singsong, "is your FUCKing PROBlem NOW?"
"Yo, why you muthafuckas all lookin' at me like dat?"
"Well," I replied, "I shouldn't really have to explain myself to you, but you told me at the door you were having a problem with someone, so now, as a part of my job description, I have to come in and watch you to make sure you don't get in a fight." I really said that. You should know by now that I always say shit like that. I'm known for saying shit like that.
"Yo, I don' need all you muthafuckas. Problems come my way, I straighten 'em out."
Part of bouncing is keeping the "tough-nut" act in check until it's time to let it out. I do this well, because after so many years of doing this, I've seen the futility of broadcasting. The other part of bouncing that matters is knowing when the time has arrived to let the customers in on the angry-little-man you're carrying around, because he's in there, toiling away, from the time you arrive at work. He's tugging on ropes and spinning pulleys and doing everything he can to convince you to simply let your shit out and be done with it.
These people, they know whether you mean it or not. This is New York, and these are street people, and they can tell. So you have to be selective about when you let the angry-little-man see daylight. You feel it out. You make sure the timing is there, because you're going to have to sell it, and sell it hard. Sometimes, though, it doesn't matter.
"Oh, you got a policy on problems? You straighten problems out when they come your way? Is that your fuckin' policy?"
"Yeah, I straighten 'em out..."
"Yeah?" I asked, my face directly in his. "So do I, motherfucker. But is it okay with you if I do my fuckin' job? I just wanna be sure. Is it okay with you we watch our own fuckin' place here? 'Cause since you got such a great fuckin' policy goin', I just wanna clear it with you before I do that. Is that fuckin' okay, asshole?"
"Tell me yes or no, motherfucker, 'cause now I know I need your fuckin' permission if I'm gonna do my fuckin' job. That okay with you?"
"Yo...I..." he sputtered, as a group of bouncers made their way over.
"You wanna stay in the fuckin' club?"
"Answer the fuckin' question," I screamed. "You wanna fuckin' stay? Are we clear on who's not gonna fuck around with who here?"
"Yo, no disrespect..."
"No," I said. "There's plenty of disrespect, motherfucker. You want me to put your head through the fuckin' wall? Is that a problem you're gonna be able to straighten out?"
"Keep your fuckin' mouth shut, you fuckin' pussy motherfucker. Oh, WHAT? You wanna swing? Go 'head, pussy. Hit me, you fuckin' pussy!"
"Yo, I ain't gon' hit'chu!"
"Get out," I said. "Go. Just get the fuck out."
And then he left, and that was that.