Monday, January 29, 2007


There’s not a hell of lot I see at work that I’d ever want to emulate. For example, it’s likely been well over two years since something someone was wearing was intriguing enough to compel me to ask them where they bought it. That doesn’t happen anymore, because the things I see people wearing at the club are things I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing on my worst motherfucking day.

I suppose it’d be restating the obvious to tell you that I don’t see much in the way of customer behavior that I’d like to add to my arsenal, either. In fact, I don’t think I’ve heard a genuinely clever pickup line since I went back to club work in 2003. Unfortunately, this dearth of verbal acuity also applies to most of my fellow bouncers. Simply put, I’m surrounded by fucking morons, who for the past three years have shown me exactly what not to do in every conceivable situation.

One common thread I’ve noticed over the past few weeks pertains to the club-bizarre boyfriend-girlfriend interactions I’m forced to observe for hours on end. If you ever want to see how to maintain a healthy relationship with your significant other, just head down to the club and watch these animals for a few hours, then go out in the real world and do the exact opposite of what you’ve seen. If your actions remain in diametric opposition to those taken by most club patrons, you’ll manage just fine. You’ll manage because damned near everything you’ll see them doing is dead fucking wrong.

I’m now completely certain that “normal” couples don’t go to nightclubs together, and no matter what you people tell me about your own experiences to the contrary, you’ll never, ever convince me otherwise. Once or twice, on special occasions, it’s fine to head down to the club for your yearly seizure. But if you’re taking your girlfriend to the same fucking club, night after night and week after week, there’s something seriously wrong with you, and there’s something seriously wrong with your relationship. It’s not healthy. For my money, it’s the most unhealthy thing you could possibly do, especially when what you’re dealing with here is a club with a reputation for having been overrun by drug addicts, mobsters, dickheads, fuckwads and every other degree of unclassifiable scumbag-ism under the sun.

Still, I feel badly for some of these people when I’m watching their interactions, because they’re never both at fault when something goes wrong. One side of a couple will be bad for the other, but it’s not usually mutual, and when shit starts happening, it’ll be obvious to us who’s at fault. You want to say, “Honey, you shouldn’t have come here with him.” Or, “Dude, she’s bad news. I know she’s hot, but she’s gonna land you in jail or dead one of these days.” You pretty much want to say this to everyone coming up the line.

From a male perspective, I couldn’t deal with the latter. If I’m dating you, and your behavior causes me to get into a fight, you’re done. I’ve been down that road before and it’s nothing I’d particularly like to revisit. If I’m dating you, and one of your ex-boyfriends decides to punch me in the face, you’re done. If you punch me in the face, you’re done. If I get arrested as the result of something you’ve initiated, you’re done. If I’m doubled over on the sidewalk, getting the shit kicked out of me by ten bouncers because of you, you’re done and you’re probably getting sued, so retain counsel.

I see this shit happen to these poor stupid Guidos every fucking night, and I can’t help but feel for them because I’ve been there. I know what you’re thinking here, too. More often than not, you’d like to say to me, it’s the guy who’s bad for the girl. And you’re right, but only to a point. This isn’t always the case. And when it’s the girl who’s bad for the guy, violence invariably ensues because men are fucking idiots and they can’t solve their problems any other way.

Think about it. You’re out with a girl you think you’ll be nailing that night. She ends up starting shit with someone, and now you’re caught in a situation where you have to either stand up for her or bail out – and you can’t bail out because she knows a shitload of people you know. When word of your “back-down” gets out – should you choose to go that route - you’re fucked. Embarrassed. Ashamed of yourself. You’ll be forced to leave Staten Island forever, and that’s something you simply can’t let happen.

So you do what you think you have to do. You step up. You move in. You fight. You fight because you still think you’re going home and getting laid when all is said and done. You fight because you think fighting is what you’re supposed to do. You don’t know any better because you’ve never been with anyone who’d do this to you, so you’re not expecting it. One minute you’re sipping on Grey Goose and watching her ass as she leads you toward the dance floor, and the next thing you know, you’re in front of the club with your shirt off because something inside you refuses to let you turn around and go the fuck home.

You see the worst of it as a bouncer. You see what you need to avoid doing, and you learn to avoid it. You see the people you shouldn’t be associating yourself with, and you avoid them, too. This job teaches you that. You learn what not to drink. What not to ingest. What not to consume. What not to wear.

Most importantly of all, after three years, you eventually learn that all the dumb motherfuckers in New York hang out in the same club.