Monday, October 30, 2006

Sock it to me (7/9/04)

Here's another selection from the early days. Notice how I actually give the "regulars" a little respect. I wouldn't do that now, although this is probably because the club has pretty much gone in the shitter since July of '04, and the "regulars" are all people whose open mouths I'd like to epoxy to the tailpipe of my car.

When you work in the same club long enough, you begin to notice the regulars. Every club has them. I tend to separate the regulars into two distinct groups. The first group are the 'normal' regulars. These are people who don't appear, on the surface, to have physical, mental, or emotional problems. They're people you'll see at work, at the gym, or at the supermarket. They might even be related to you.

The 'normal' regulars aren't bad people, in my book. They simply enjoy coming to the club, and make it a customary part of their weekend. They're generally well dressed and considerate, and will make a point of saying hello to club employees with whom they've developed a rapport. Clubbing is not my scene, but I've been a regular at enough bars over the years to understand where these people are coming from. They're likely productive, gainfully employed citizens during the week, and clubbing is how they choose to spend their time on weekends.

The second type is the one I'd like to examine today. I call them the 'misfit' regulars. These are people with obvious problems -- strange appearance, lack of social skills, and in some cases, physical challenges. They usually come to the club alone, leaning against the wall for hours, set apart from the shiny, happy crowd of revelers.

I was inspired to write this because we catered to the full roster of misfits last night at the club. Stevie was there. Stevie is a vertically challenged black guy with a glass eye. His style is 100% ghetto, and I can't understand a word he says. We all like Stevie, because he's hysterical. He'll set up camp next to a bouncer, not long enough to become irritating, thankfully, and blurt out unintelligible 'street talk' every time a woman with a sizable posterior passes by. He was standing on stage with me for a short time last night, and upon seeing a girl with particularly large breasts, Stevie presented me with the following suggestion:

"Yo, (unintelligible)(unintelligible)...I could hang my keys on that shit."

There's another vertically challenged customer whom we refer to as "The Fist." The Fist, unfortunately, has serious personal hygiene issues. He also deems it necessary to shake hands with every single bouncer throughout the course of the evening. We'd prefer to avoid touching him, so someone came up with the ideal solution of offering him a fist bump in lieu of a handshake. It makes him feel like we're allowing him to belong, a fist bump signifying a familiar acceptance, while preventing any palm to palm contact. I was standing next to Jamie when we 'fisted' him last night, and when he walked away, Jamie remarked, "Damn...That dude always smells like low tide."

These two fellows pale in comparison to the ultimate, all-time numero uno misfit I have ever encountered in a club. We call him "The Guy With a Sock in His Pants," or "Sock Guy," for short. Sock Guy is an emaciated, burned-out gentleman in his late thirties. He's evidently stuck in the 80's, consistently dressing in a tight pink Le Tigre shirt, pinstriped jeans, white Capezios, and a mullet with a bleached disco tail in back. His most distinguishing characteristic, however, is an obvious bulge in his pants, which he creates by stuffing a sock in his crotch. And yes, it's a comfirmed sock. We've asked.

Sock Guy doesn't do much during the night. He'll walk into the club, order a drink, and then stake out his spot for the evening. He stays in the same place, usually leaning against a post, for hours, nursing his drink and standing with his hips thrust forward, inviting people to gander at his bulge. Sock guy comes to the club every Thursday, and I've never seen any women talk to him. Ever. I often wonder why not. I'd think it would be an interesting conversation, merely for the sociological value of it.

At the very end of the night, shortly after last call, a customer pointed out an irregularity on the dance floor. A guy was sitting on the bouncer platform in the center of the floor beating off. He had his hand outside his pants, but it was completely obvious what he was doing. I walked over and gave him the 'cut throat' gesture, telling him to knock it off. He looked back at me, palms up, mouthing, "What'd I do?"

Full fucking moon last night. Had to be.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Cholesterol (July 21, 2004)

I have too much work to do on the book for the next few days to post anything meaningful, so I figured I'd go back in the archives and put up some "best of" posts culled from the material that was taken off the blog last year. For those of you who've picked up on this site recently, I started writing about this shit back in March 2004, so there's a lot you haven't read. I'll start you off with a random selection entitled "Cholesterol," written on July 21, 2004:

We were operating shorthanded at the Club again last night, so I was asked to do something of a 'split location' shift, spending the first half of the night at the front door, and the balance of it at my post by the bathrooms. I had never worked the front door of a giant megaclub like the Club before, my previous ID checking experience being limited to the door of the smallish bar/club hybrid place at which I worked in the 90's.

The system of entry at the Club is fraught with complications due to the haphazard layout of the place. In an inspired moment, it finally occurred to me last night why we employ so many bouncers. I had never considered the problem before last night, but the answer is obvious. In the beginning of the night, there are over thirty guys in attendance at the 'pregame' meeting, but they all seem to scatter once the club opens. Back by the bathrooms, I generally only know where about ten other bouncers are located at any given point in time. After fifteen minutes at the front door, however, I figured out where everybody else goes.

Unlike most nightclubs, the Club is a multipurpose venue, serving as a club, a catering hall, and a performance venue. The design and layout of the place are rather slapdash, the different sections of the club constructed, seemingly, as the owners thought of new ways to make money. The various parts forming the whole just don't mesh together very cleanly. For us, the biggest drawback of the facility lies in the fact that each separate area of the place has its own entrance, necessitating the posting of bouncers at various obscure points. With a $20 -- or more, depending on the night -- cover at the door, there's sufficient motivation for the industrious among the customership to attempt alternate means of entry. Additionally, as a courtesy, each club in the area posts a bouncers along the sidewalk as a means of pacifying the NYPD. We really, really don't trust these animals.

As a front door bouncer, these multiple entry points render things a bit more complicated than simply standing there checking ID's. It's a major pain in the ass, because you're expected to keep one eye on the street for people who appear to be plotting an attempt to sneak in. When you're posted inside the club, you'll intermittently hear reports over the radio of people who've been caught skulking around one of the side entrances. It was an interesting sight last night to actually witness some of the action I'm always hearing about.

My doorman-specific duties entailed running ID's through the machine and enforcement of the dress code. The latter part involves the most hassle, because it seems as though there exists an entire segment of society that hasn't the faintest notion of what attire is and isn't acceptable to wear to a club. Until now, I've excoriated the sartorial deficiencies only of the people who actually manage to make it into the club. I shudder to think about the collective mindset of the crowd we turned away last night.

A case in point occurred around 1:30 last night. Approaching me on the line was an obese gentleman wearing one of those J-Lo style velour sweatsuits, unzipped, with an untucked white tee shirt hanging almost to his knees. Envision a white Rerun. I'll not even comment on the hubcap around his neck, his scally cap, and the fact that he was wearing sunglasses at 1:30AM. I couldn't help myself here:

"I can't let you in dressed like that. You're wearing sweatpants, man."

"Awww, come on, yo. How 'bout if I tuck my shirt in?"

"Please don't. It'll look worse."

He conferred with his friends for a moment, and then they walked away. About ten minutes later, a call came in from a bouncer at one of the side entrances:

"HB, I got three guys tryin' to sneak in the (street deleted) entrance. We're walking them up right now."

The walk from the (street deleted) entrance took the bouncers and culprits past the front door, where they were confronted by HB. I was simply a bystander, but their vitriol was, evidently, held in reserve mainly for me:

"Yo, steroid muthafucker. You just scared that if you let me in, I'm gonna beat you down in front of your boys."

"Wow, fatty," I responded, following his impeccable logic. "You've discovered my deepest fear. I was afraid that if I let you into the club with sweatpants, you'd eventually come back and beat me up. Go home before you give yourself a heart attack, you fat fuck."

"Yo, fuck you!"

HB interjected at this point. "Guys! Guys! Guys! C'mon guys, it's 1:45!"


"The gates to the trailer park close at 2. You guys better head home before they lock you out."

Monday, October 23, 2006

Self-serving nonsense

The following conversation took place at work the other night, and it probably won't interest the majority of you in the least. I sound entirely arrogant here, but I have serious issues with commercial gyms and the methods by which they separate "members" from their money. And yes, this actually happened.

"Well," said the little skinny guy, "we have personal training services, too. You know, if you're interested. We can really get you going."

"Sorry, man. You're wasting your time. I don't live in this area."

"Where do you live?"

"Queens," I replied. "I live in Queens."

"We'll have a club in Forest Hills by next summer. Might be a good idea to jump on a deal with us now while the price is still low like this."

"Dude, I train at gyms. I don't train at clubs. I do this and this. Not this*."

"What gym do you belong to?" he asked.

"I go to a couple of different places, but I'm a big fan of Lost Battalion Hall in Rego Park, and Iron Island out in Oceanside. Chain gyms suck cock."

"I don't know those. You should really give our place a try. We could really bring your workouts to another level."

"So, what?" I asked. "You're assuming my "workouts" suck? Is that what you're saying? Dude, you've never even heard of two world class lifting gyms, and you have no idea who I am or what I do. How can you possibly tell me that you could improve on anything I do? What the fuck kind of approach is that?"

"Are you serious?"

"Yeah, I'm serious. I want to know what you think you're going to accomplish by telling me you can take me to "another level" without even knowing what "level" I'm on to begin with. Are you a trainer?"

"Yeah," he replied. "I train people."

"So, if I buy a membership to your "club," I can come to you for personal training?"


"And you think you could help me out?" I asked. "You think you could improve on what I'm doing?"

"I'm sure of it. We have everything you could possibly need, and our staff are all certified."

"How can you say that, though? You haven't even asked me what my goals are. You mean to tell me you're an expert on every single facet of training? Like, if I wanted to be a bodybuilder, you could help me out with that, but also, if I wanted to play professional football, you could get me there, too?"

"Come on, man."

"No, seriously," I persisted. "Tell me. You said you could take me to "another level." How you gonna do that? I seriously want to know. What's your athletic background?"

"I've been training people for twelve years."

"That's great, but did you ever do anything? I was a Division One athlete in college. I train at gyms where professional athletes train in the offseason. I was doing front squats this summer with a guy who plays for the Detroit Lions. What were you doing that day? Some reverse wrist curls and a half hour on the elliptical?"

"You made your point, man," he said. "I'm just trying to sell gym memberships here."

"Yeah, I know you are, but I don't like your approach. It's insulting, in a way. You have the name of a major commercial chain behind you, but that doesn't mean you know what the fuck you're talking about. You can't walk up to people and assume they don't know what they're doing."

"I didn't do that."

"Sure you did," I said. "You can't tell people you'll improve on what they're doing when you don't know what they do. Save that shit for people who actually look like they need your help, you know? Especially when you're trying to sell to bouncers. Seriously. Me and Frank would show up to your gym for a training session, and start chalking up and throwing weights around, and you'd regret ever inviting us down."

"We have tons of free weights..."

"Dude, stop. Please. I know your whole game. I have a certification from the NSCA, and I don't even use the fucking thing. Commercial gyms want you to buy a membership, and then they never want to see you again. You're not interested in helping anyone unless they come down and just curl some dumbbells and do cardio for twenty minutes. Anything that doesn't wear out the equipment and increase your overhead. I wouldn't set foot in a chain gym unless you paid me to show up. Especially one in Manhattan. I'd rather eat a bowl of broken glass."

He shrugged. "Suit yourself, then."

"Always do."

* I've been writing on this site for so long that I can now insert links in actual conversations.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Moved to tears

I wish Fox Sports would stop showing two things on their postseason baseball broadcasts:

1. People praying.

2. People crying.

If a baseball game compels you to either pray or cry, I wish I had your life. Many bad things have happened to me in my life. These bad things have given me something known as perspective. When you have perspective, you're able to develop a skill called keeping things in proportion.

Remember, you don't play for the Mets. I know I don't play for the Mets, which is why I never prayed when Carlos Beltran came to bat, and it's why I didn't cry when he DIDN'T TAKE THE BAT OFF HIS FUCKING SHOULDER AND LOOKED AT A CALLED THIRD STRIKE WITH AN 0-2 COUNT IN THE BOTTOM OF THE NINTH INNING OF GAME 7 OF THE NLCS.

When baseball games cause you to cry or call for divine intervention, you are lacking perspective, and you are unable to keep things in proportion. I wish my emotional history was so pristine -- and by "pristine," I mean lacking in events I'd term "devastating" -- that I'd consider, with a straight face, losing a baseball game to be something traumatic enough to cry over.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


I know I'm probably a little premature in writing this -- and I'll probably catch hell from those of you for whom knocking on wood has bearing on anything -- but it looks like the pendulum of New York baseball fandom is swinging back in the direction of Flushing, Queens. I've only been calling this one for ten years or so now, but it'’s happening again, and there'’s nothing I can do about it. This time, I'm not even gonna try. I'’ll just sit back and enjoy this one for as long as it keeps rolling.

Nouveau fandom doesn't matter to me much until I think about tickets, and what it takes to score a pair for Game 7 of the NLCS, or, dare I say it, for any home game of a potential World Series. I think about the hoops I'm going to have to jump through to get them because of all the Johnny-come-lately motherfucking bandwagon jumpers who'’ve suddenly figured out how to get to Shea Stadium after all these years.

Let me ask you a few things, though. The things I want to ask you will be difficult to answer, but they'll be along the same lines of the stumpers I ask every asshole I see walking around New York with a Yankees hat on:

"“Who played shortstop for the Yankees before Derek Jeter?" I'’ll ask them. "Name the three managers who came before Joe Torre. What the fuck is a Stump Merrill, and why did he ever set foot in the Bronx? Name one fucking Yankee besides Don Mattingly who was on the team before 1996."

So here we go again with the bitterness. It happens every time a team I like starts winning, because I'm the type who tends to stick with things. I've stuck with my Giants through Ray Handley and Dan Reeves. I was with the Knicks before Pat Riley came and saved the franchise, and I'’m still here to watch Isiah Thomas and the Dolans run it into the ground. Hell, I waited years to see Mark Messier carry the Stanley Cup around in '94, and I'm still here, waiting with my John Vanbiesbrouck jersey on, thinking maybe Jagr and Shanahan --– two of my contemporaries, for chrissakes --– might get to show me the same thing one of these days.

And I'm not even gonna start with the "You never played the game" argument I break out when people start crowing about their football teams. Trust me on this one, though. You people don'’t even know what the fuck you're watching. But that's another fight for another day.

Here'’s the thing: Where's Roger Clinton at these days? Still sitting courtside flashing gang signs at Larry Johnson? Still getting thrown out of playoff games at the Garden for fighting in the stands? Doubt it, but you get my point, don'’t you? Show a little something like the Mets did tonight -- I'm on the train home from watching the game in Manhattan as we speak -- and the bandwagon's wide open for all the jumpers to just pile the fuck on. Don't worry --– there's plenty of room. I'm looking at you, but I'm watching with a smile and a nod. Gracious, just this once.

Hubie Brooks? Who the fuck is he? Vince Coleman? Firecrackers? Bret Saberhagen? Bleach? What the fuck am I talking about? Jeff Torborg? Dallas Green? Art Motherfucking Howe? Are you serious?

You'’ll go to the games in your Pedro Martinez jersey, or you'’ll go to the bar, and your girlfriend will wear a little pink Mets visor and you'’ll get drunk and jump and scream and act like this means something to you. Good for you. That's good shit, you know? That's what we're here for. Have fun. Have a blast. Make as much noise as you can, because you're helping. Lord knows the Mets need that kind of advantage for Game 7, right? I still don't know who the fuck'’s gonna pitch, but that's not important right now. Oliver Perez? Not my problem right now. Not yours, either. Not on the way home.

I want you to think about something in the aftermath tomorrow (tonight), though, no matter what happens. Win, lose or draw, you're going to have to decide where to go from here. You'll need to make some choices. I'’ll give you some unsolicited advice to help you along -- some words of "wisdom" from nearly thirty years of uninterrupted fandom:

Sports are a lifetime thing. When you're in this for real, your team'’s picked out as a kid -- it usually goes by the first game you ever attend -- and that'’s who you roll with for the rest of your life, for the good and for the bad. You want to take on one of my teams after you move to New York? After you'’re a fully developed adult who'’s discovered what our Dads showed us decades ago --– that going to games is cool and fun? More power to you, but you don'’t have dominion over my type when it comes to how much this means to you. To me, it's an uninterrupted string. For you, a blip on your radar.

They're cyclical, sports are. Things will turn, and you won'’t like it, and you'’ll want to bail out. You'’ll find the next pink hat to buy -- the next bobblehead to put on your desk -- and the logo on the front won't match the one I'm wearing for a while. Don'’t worry about it, though. It'’s all good.

We'’ll still be here when you get back.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Get laid for free...

Here's more of "what we are up against," courtesy of CODE.TV.

The only one in this video who seems to have even a trace of self-awareness is the owner of the club, although even the Massengill at the beginning of the clip isn't nearly as confused as our Summer's Eve friend "AJ" seems to be.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

By a show of hands...

"Maybe," I think in my delusions, "this book I'm writing will be successful enough to get me on television."

"Maybe," I continue, abjectly refusing to snap out of my delusional state, "someone will want to interview me on camera. I'll go into the studio, sit down on a couch, and have some blonde in a skirt ask me all sorts of questions for three minutes."

And you know what'll happen if such a day as that ever comes? Certainly not this.

Whatever you may think of me, I can assure you that your initial reaction, upon seeing me on camera for the first time, will not be an overwhelming urge to hit me in the face with a brick.

Thanks to Margot for sending me this. I think I'll go give myself an enema now.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Nightmare Square

Here's some shit...

In a nod to taking a thirty pound shit on everything I believe in, I actually went to West Chelsea the other night. As a customer. I had never done this before. As much shit as I talk/write here about the area, I had never before experienced Nightmare Square from your perspective. Like I always say at the club, "The first time I ever set foot in this place was my first night at work." Crobar? Spirit? Marquee? Quo? Home? BED? Do I work there? Did I ever work there? Who the fuck knows? Who the fuck cares?

All I know is that I wouldn't be caught dead waiting in line to get into any of these places, and it's not because they're not "good." I'll make one admission here in the interest of illustrating my point: I don't work at Marquee.* I've never even looked in the door. I do, however, know a few guys who've worked there, and I've walked down Tenth Avenue several times when their line has been in full force. From what I've heard, it's still a halfway decent place to go, if you're into that sort of thing. When you go there, you're not walking into anything remotely approaching the Guido Inferno I have to deal with at my place.

I could easily get us into Marquee, too. In fact, I could probably find a way to get us in anywhere in New York. Any club, any street, any neighborhood, anytime -- odds are, I know someone who works there, or I know someone who knows someone who can call someone who works there. No problem. Access isn't the issue.

The point is, I wouldn't try. I mean, what the fuck's the point of these places? The music sucks cock, the drinks cost too much, everyone around you is bound, by natural law, to be an asshole, and I don't like shouting in peoples' ears and calling it conversation. Fuck that. There's something psychologically wrong with anyone who considers patronizing these places to be a good time. I'm convinced of this fact.

That said, I was one of you last week. Obviously, this pilgrimage wasn't my idea, but I went along for the ride and didn't make waves. Someone had reserved a (non-bottle service) table, so I went. I wasn't thrilled with this plan, but since I'm taking such pains to cultivate an image of accommodation, I decided I'd make the best of things and hold off on my litany of complaints until the following day. So, fine.

And everything was going along swimmingly -- really -- until something reminded me that West Chelsea is the worst non war-torn place in the world. This had nothing to do with Guidos -- there weren't any in evidence -- or fighting, or sluts, or crackheads, or seizures, or bouncer belligerence, or any of it. It had to do with the fact that I'm all too familiar with New York and its bullshit, and the knowledge that you can't get away from it when you're enough of a stooge to agree to a night in Hades.

"What did you guys order?" asked a waitress, approximately two minutes after a different waitress had brought us a fresh round of drinks, which, by popular demand, was going to be our last.

"I had a Stoli Orange on the rocks," I replied, "and I'm not sure what the others had. Why? Was there a problem with the tab?"

"Oh, no. No problem. We just made your order twice."


"We have your next round made already," she said.

"I don't understand."

"Your drinks are already made, so I'll bring them over now."

"That's okay," I said. "This is our last round."

"But they're sitting at the bar."

"O-kay, but we didn't order them yet."

Nice try, honey, but I'm from Queens, not fucking Kansas. I'm not about to be coerced into spending another fifty bucks by the old -- yet pleasantly new to me, if only in a comedic sense -- "We already made your drinks" routine. Are you fucking kidding me over there in West Chelsea? Sure, it's a pretty good hustle, but it's vaguely insulting, don't you think? Does anyone actually fall for this shit? Are there people who'd acquiesce to this crap? "Oh my God!" they'd exclaim, assuming they exist. "I'm so sorry! I don't want our duplicate drink order to go to waste! Let me choke down this fourteen dollar drink so I can hurry up and fork over some more money and get to the next one before all the ice melts!"

I had no idea. I feel so sorry for you people.

* I'm sure there are hotter places in New York right now than Marquee. In fact, I know there are. I'm using Marquee as an example here, however, because it's what I'm familiar with, and because I don't give enough of a shit to know any other example to cite.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Before I forget...

I know you read this, so happy birthday. Hope all's well. Had some people tell me to say hello.

So hello.

Cracked Pot

Sometimes we don't let you inside the club because you're a crackpot and we don't like you. Other times, we don't let you in because you're a crackpot and the people inside won't like you. See, if we don't like you, chances are someone inside will dislike you even more and take action. They'll call you names like "crackpot" and "nut job." Names can hurt. So can bottles and fists, when they take action. When they take action, that means we'll have to get involved.

When we get involved, that takes something called work, and that's not what we're there for. Who the fuck wants to work? All I really want to do, when I go to the club these days, is stand in front on the sidewalk and look pretty. Anyone who knows me knows I'm very pretty when I'm standing on the sidewalk in my suit. People tell me this all the time. "Rob," they say, "you're one pretty motherfucker out here on the sidewalk in your cheap-ass suit."

If you're a crackpot, and I let you in, and a call comes over the radio telling me you're in a fight, or that someone is throwing wet napkins at you, that means I have to come running into the room and do something about it, and I simply don't want to. It may also mean that some other bouncer is going to throw you out, and I, within moments, will be standing outside listening to your endless lines of bullshit about how you "didn't do anything," and how you'll "have my job in the morning," and about how my shoes are "cheap."

I like my cheap shoes. In fact, I like my whole cheap outfit. You think I'm going to spend money on this fucking place? You think I'm going to buy an expensive suit for you to fucking bleed on? The answer to both questions is a resounding "no," but I don't want to hear about it while I'm tired and cranky, especially from a crackpot that I shouldn't have let inside in the first place.

So if you're a crackpot, now you know why you didn't get in. Go somewhere else, please.

* * * * *

The Guido House added two palm trees out front! I'll get a picture up next time I pass it.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I'm sitting here, at home, relaxing before I have to leave for work. Tonight is allegedly going to be a "big" night, and everyone knows how much I love "big" nights. I love them so much because I'm due for eight straight hours without a single minute to myself. Eight hours of lines, and crowds and stupid, pint-sized, punk-assed Guidos asking me stupid questions about stupid shit I won't want to talk about. Eight hours of girls going into the mens room. Eight hours of knowing why. Eight hours spent kissing mob guys on the cheek, as if I know these motherfuckers from a hole in the wall.

Eight hours of self-congratulatory promoters telling me how hard they'd worked to make my night a royal pain in the ass. Eight hours of absurd door protocol, and expired licenses, and shitbags from Franklin Square telling me everything I've never wanted to know about their DWI arrests. Eight hours of thinly-veiled prostitutes, off-duty strippers, drug merchants and transvestites -- all of whom wanting a word with me at some point about still more stupid shit I couldn't care less about.

What do you have to look forward to in the next ten hours? Anything as interesting as that? What are you doing tonight? Going to sleep? Watching a playoff game? Grading papers? Finishing a report for the overseas account? Getting laid?

The weather's getting colder. They're telling me it's gonna be in the forties tonight. Nice night in Manhattan, the kind I like. Autumn in New York with all the trappings, and all that's left for me to do between now and the time when I'll be unconscious, five easy paces from this chair, is to keep chopping wood, you know? So I shower, I shave, I get dressed and I head in.

Try not to think about me.

The Hedgehog

"You let people take your picture?" asked Tony. "Fuck that, man. You never know who these people are. I wouldn't let nobody take my picture, I was you."

"I don't let anyone take pictures of me by myself. It's always with hot women, and I give 'em an email address and ask 'em to send me the shot. If they don't wanna do that, or they don't agree, then no picture."

"Who the fuck would want a picture with you?"

"Tourists," I replied.

"Come on, seriously? You're full a' shit."

"Fuck, yeah. You'd be surprised. People walk down the street around here and ask us to pose for pictures. I only do it if it's some hot piece of ass from out-of-state who wants to email it to me. Otherwise, it's no good."

"What?" he asked. "People want to get a picture with a bouncer? Who gives a shit?"

"I dunno, man. I guess if you live in Anchorage, Alaska, it's kind of a novelty to get your picture taken with a Manhattan nightclub bouncer, although I can't exactly see why that's a big deal."

"Anyone ever send you one?"

"Shit, yeah," I replied. "I got a lot of 'em. I got a whole file of girls on my computer."

"Sure, who needs porn, right? You're a sick fuck."

"How am I a sick fuck? You wouldn't want pictures of you standing around in a suit with hot girls posing with you?"

"Gives you plenty of material," he offered.

"Exactly. Lot easier than the real thing, don't you think?"

"Sex is overrated."

"Especially at our age," I said. "Pain in the ass."

"Yeah, all the shit leading up to it is better than the act itself. That usually kind of sucks."

"Pretty much, nowadays."

"It's hard on the wrists," he said, extending his arms to show me his palms. "Holding yourself up like that."

"Right. And then you start getting tired, and your arms collapse, and then you're all on top of 'em and shit, and they don't like that, so you gotta get back up in that fuckin' pushup position and keep movin'."

"And by the time they're ready, you're fuckin' shot from doin' pushups all that time, and you're sweatin' your ass off, and it's hard to even get the whole thing over with because you've basically been workin' out for ten minutes, or whatever, and the last thing in the world you wanna be doing at that point is bangin' a girl."

"Exactly," I said. "And then, when you're all fucked up and sweating and out of breath, and you can barely even hold yourself up anymore, they're expecting you to finish up, and if you don't, they get all emotional about it and think it's their fault."

"The whole thing's just a big, fat fuckin' mess, you ask me."

"You know, you don't always have to be in the same position. You can switch that shit up every now and again. Get a little variety into it once in a while. It helps."

"I wanna be like Ron Jeremy," he said, "an' just lay down and point at the fuckin' thing and say, 'There it is, honey. Hop on.' That way, I wouldn't have to do a damned thing. I could just sit back, put my hands behind my head, and not have to sweat like a fuckin' pig every fuckin' time."

"That's what I try to do."

"Yeah, but aren't you always pissin' and moanin' about how you never get laid?"

"Yeah," I replied. "That's kind of my thing."

"You ever stop and wonder why?"

"Not really. Too busy."

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Plumm Crazy

This happened at The Plumm sometime last week. I want to make it clear, before I begin, that I've never been to The Plumm, nor do I know anyone who works there. I especially don't know the bouncer in the photos, but I wouldn't mind meeting him or buying him a drink. Or hiring him, for fuck's sake. In any case, I have no horse in this race as far as The Plumm is concerned. I've heard of The Plumm, and I'm pretty sure it's somewhere in the West Village, but I couldn't tell you exactly where, nor, quite frankly, could I give two shits. It's just another place, among many, that I'll never go.

The way I'm hearing the story is this: Two female "celebrities" walked into the club, trailed by one "personal assistant." The personal assistant was several steps behind the celebrities upon entry, and the bouncers at the door didn't think he was a member of their party. In an effort to catch up with them, the personal assistant tapped the shoulder of the bouncer standing in his way and said, "Excuse me." Said bouncer then proceeded to set upon said personal assistant, rigorously applying a rudimentary restraining maneuver known in the business as the "I'm Pissed at This Little Pussy Shake/Jostle."

And, you know, having been a bouncer in New York for all these many years, I'm one-hundred percent certain that this is exactly the way it happened. Obviously, a guy who gets a door job at an upscale club in the West Village has to be some half-cocked dickhead who's just dying to lose his job by taking potshots at random people in line. That's how it works at nightclubs. Didn't you know that? You go into bouncing, you work your way up to a door spot, and that's where the fun begins. Like this cat at The Plumm, I've been waiting for the night where, without provocation of any sort, I can "wild out" on some unsuspecting really polite guy.

Because, as I've said so many times in the past, we're all "beefy thugs," and you're all perfect little angels. Why bars and clubs even hire us is a mystery -- you're all just so well-behaved all the time.

I've seen my share of celebrities at my door. Many of these anuses bring their "personal assistants," just like Nelly Furtado did. The way it usually works is, the drug-addled celebrity wanders around in a stupor while the wildly gesticulating "personal assistant" acts as though some ephemeral cure for cancer is waiting somewhere in the VIP room -- poised to dissolve within moments unless a half dozen bouncers immediately clear the way for this jerkoff and his/her posse of no-account loudmouths.

As always, however, the bouncers are the problem. Bouncers are bad. Celebrities are good. Some celebrities entertain us. They make us laugh, or we enjoy their music, or we marvel at their prowess on the athletic field. Others qualify as celebrities as a result of getting porked by people who entertain us, but bouncers are still required to treat them like "real" celebrities even though they're essentially incapable of anything other than functioning as somebody's sperm receptacle.

Maybe it's because I've gotten older, but there's really nobody among the current crop of New York's clubgoing celebrities who impresses me even a little. Not one, not when compared to how it must've been back in the day. Sonny Bono comes into the club while you're bouncing? "Oh, shit!" you'd have said -- while the man was alive, of course -- "It's Sonny Fucking Bono! Yo, Sonnaay!"

Nick Lachey's limo pulls up? "Dude," you'll say, either before or after his flacks and/or your own club management-types start acting like the fucking President just arrived, "fuck this fucking guy."

The facts here, as I know them, are this:

1. Any bouncer working the door at a high-end club in the West Village is being paid a relative crapload of money to do so. Why the fuck do you think I'm still doing it? Nobody in that position would lay his hands on somebody like this, at the front door, for no reason. Like the rest of us, he's got bills to pay and mouths to feed, and despite what the lot of you would just love to believe, the mythical "bouncer power trip" simply doesn't factor in when your job's at stake -- which it always is when people are watching. There had to be a reason. Trust me.

2. Bouncers get door spots at places like The Plumm because they're experienced, and because the club's owners trust them not to fuck around with the cash flow, or with anything that could potentially get the club in trouble with the law. I'm not claiming every door bouncer at every high profile nightclub in New York is completely trustworthy -- or sane, for that matter -- but the vast majority won't come unhinged without serious provocation, myself included.

3. People who work for celebrities are assholes. At any sign of adversity, they'll start dropping names, making threats and telling you you're about to be fired, and it eventually becomes difficult to digest if you have to put up with such shit all night. You'll inevitably be tempted to grab some cocksucker by the hair and smack him around, but you don't -- see #1 -- because keeping your job is more important than reacting viscerally to one of the several hundred people who talk shit to you on any given night.

Here's what I think happened:

The two celebrities walked in, and the personal assistant lagged behind for some reason. Probably, someone on the line outside was yelling something at the celebrities, and he stopped -- likely in the doorway, obstructing traffic, because that's what assholes do -- to listen to what was being said. By the time he turned to follow, the two celebrities had gone far enough into the club that bouncers had resumed blocking customers from entry. The personal assistant, at this point, stared blankly at the bouncer and pointed at the two celebrities. I'm presuming he did this because, in my experience, assholes don't ever speak in full, coherent sentences.

"What do you want?" asked the bouncer, legitimately having no idea what the guy wanted.

"I'm Nelly Furtado's personal assistant. I gotta go in there."

"Yeah? Then how come you're not with her? How come she left you back here? Why are they walking in without you and not even looking back? How come nobody told me you're on her list? Why is nobody telling me to let you in?"

This, I'm certain, is where it turned physical. Instead of engaging in a rational discussion with one of the doormen or a member of management, I'll bet the house that this long-haired little shitbag tried to push his way past the bouncer. I can guarantee it, because I've seen it so many times before. Hell, I've been the recipient of it, for chrissakes. He tried to push his way past, or "mooshed" the guy in his face, or made a little end-run, and the bouncer reacted appropriately and threw him around.

Why'd this happen? Because these fucking people are delusional enough to think they can do such things with impunity. Because they're arrogant enough to believe their "star" status -- or, in the case of entourages, the runoff -- extends to some sort of physical carte blanche, where people of "importance" can simply do whatever the fuck they want without any ramifications whatsoever. This includes slapping, shoving, punching and, of course, the throwing of drinks.

I'm siding with the bouncer here. I feel him.

Monday, October 02, 2006


"You ever wonder what people think of you here?" I asked Johnny the Cop as we walked around the block taking a cigarette break, sans cigarettes. We used to do this often, but then we stopped for some reason. Now we're doing it again. You people suck, and we need to walk away sometimes.

"What do you mean?"

"Well, you're a stupid one to ask about this, because you probably couldn't give two shits, but do you ever think about how people here perceive you?"

"What the fuck made you think about that?" he asked.

"These two dumb fucks that are about to get fired. I thought about it like that because I think that if they weren't so fucking irritating, they might have a chance to save their jobs, you know?"


"I'm serious," I said. "You look at the way some guys act, the way they're constantly talking about themselves and trying to make everyone see what fucking big shots they are, and when you look at the reality of the situation, nobody has anything good to say about either one of them because they're both just so goddamned irritating."

"What'd they ever do to you?"

"Nothing, but you get sick of people after a while, right? You try and have a conversation with some people, and you know they're not listening, and all it ever turns into is some fucking sales job that only ends up in me wanting to end the fucking discussion. I'd have some sympathy for these dicks, and maybe even speak up for (Soon-to-be-fired-Bouncer A) if I still wanted him around, but I don't, so I'm not gonna say anything. And I should feel guilty about it, but I don't."

"Why would you feel guilty? I always thought he was an asshole," he said.

"He is an asshole. I mean, he's not a bad guy, and he's not gonna do anything bad to anyone, but he just doesn't fucking get it. I don't understand how some guys don't see how bad they piss everyone off, you know? It's okay if I don't like you. Take Juan, for example. I don't like that motherfucker, but I can deal with him. I don't wanna call it respect, but there's a mutual something there with me and him. I don't like the guy, but he doesn't actively piss me off, so it doesn't bother me that he still works here. The guy's a piece of shit, but at least he knows when enough is enough. I'll give him that much credit."

"(Soon-to-be-fired-Bouncer B) is about as useless as tits on a bull."

"Everyone here's about as useless as tits on a bull," I said. "That's not the point. Think about it, man. If they were ever talking about firing you, I know about fifteen guys'd step up and say something. More, probably, because you're not perceived as an asshole. You irritate people, but you do it in a good way. When I talk to you, and you start pissing me off, I can walk away somewhere, but I always come back, right?"


"But it ain't like that with some of these motherfuckers. I just can't fucking put up with guys I want to avoid, and I want to avoid those two like the fucking plague. That's my whole point, man. Some people are just fucking dumb, and they don't know why they don't get any help when things start going bad."

"Who's asking for help?" he asked. "They trying to get you involved?"

"Sort of, but I think they know I don't want any part of this shit. (STBFBA) thinks I can talk to JD for him, but I don't think he expects me to. I think he at least knows he's too far gone for that. They're just pissing and moaning because they're about to get shitcanned, and they don't realize that half the reason they're losing their jobs is because nobody wants them around and they don't even know why. It makes you wonder."

"Wonder about what?"

"It makes me wonder," I replied, "what people think of me. Am I an "annoying motherfucker" like them? Do I talk too much? Do people like me? Would anyone stand up for me if I started having problems with JD? Or would people just say, "Fuck him," and watch me lose my job?"

"First of all, you wouldn't have those problems to begin with. And second, everyone in the fucking place would help you out if it came to that."

"Think about it, though. You talk to some people, and they annoy the shit out of you, right? Don't you wonder if you're having the same effect on them? Or on anyone else?"

Johnny smiled at this. "Do I look like I give a shit? I come here to make money, not to solve everyone's problems. It's a fucking job, man."

"So why can't some people just come in and do it?"

He shrugged. "We do."

"Hangin' out around the block drinkin' coffee counts as working?"

"If it does, you're the fucking Employee of the Month, kid."