Thursday, June 29, 2006

Everything that's bad

Every morning, I open my email inbox and find at least one letter from someone asking me how to get hired as a bouncer. People find this site on Google daily by searching for "club bouncer jobs" or "how to become a bouncer." It seems I have a job that's coveted by many who aren't currently doing it, and despised by those who are. Strange how that works.

I can't blame anyone for wanting this job. It's not the worst part-time gig you can have. When you look at what we make hourly -- it can be obscene when you're up front -- for standing around and doing virtually nothing, it's understandable for people to want to go after a nightclub spot. I'd never try and talk anyone out of it, either, because that'd be hypocrisy of a sort I've never understood.

You see this type of thing a lot with guys who work on the NYPD. Some city cops I know do nothing but badmouth their job. When a young guy walks up to a veteran NYPD officer and says he's starting the academy, the response is universal: "Why the fuck would you want this job?"

My response to them would be: "Well, you fucking took it, didn't you?"

I'm not going to take you down that road with bouncing. There was a point in my life -- about two-and-a-half years ago -- where I was absolutely desperate to get a bouncing job. I called up the few bar and club contacts I had and literally sat waiting next to my house phone, with my cell phone in hand just in case, for someone to call about a job. Any job. It was my good fortune to have come up with a premium spot right away -- something that doesn't happen to everyone, I should add -- and I wouldn't trade the past two-and-change years for anything in the world.

Why? Because book deal aside, bouncing has kept me solvent. What other part-time job enables you to make an entire month's rent in one or two weeks? Where else can an average guy with limited skills and a limited education do this legally? The point here is that I'd never dissuade anyone from getting a bouncing job because doing so, for me, has been nothing but a home run.

That said, I'd like to offer another list, written in particular order. Again, I'm not trying to talk anyone out of trying to get a position in the "field," but I want to give you a few things to think about before you go looking. Working in the nightclub industry can be lucrative and fun, but there are disadvantages as well, so if you're really interested in taking this job on, you might want to consider this list of:

The Top 10 Things I Hate About Club Bouncing

1. The hours suck, and the commute is a royal pain in the ass. Here in New York, you can't get around the fact that you won't be leaving work until at least 4:30 AM, and occasionally later. In Manhattan, sometimes the only reason a club will hire you is because you're willing to do this on, say, a Tuesday night, which can be murder on your schedule if you have a day job. And if you don't live in Manhattan itself, good luck with the commute. It blows cock at any hour.

2. Getting hit. Some guys go years without having it happen, but it always eventually does. And even if you're used to it -- through a combination of training and experience, or simply because you're a hardass New York street guy -- it's still a bitch when it happens, and it always makes you question whether the job is worth the money they're paying you.

3. The worst music in the world, played at earsplitting volume levels with no letup. Get earplugs. That's all the advice I'm giving on the subject. It takes a hell of a lot of experience to be able to tune it out like I can. Most new hip-hop is utter crap, house music sounds like dried-up shit in a shaken can to me, and anything else clubs play is nothing I'd be listening to at home. It's a disaster, and it's something to which you'll have to get accustomed.

4. Incompetent new bouncers and the time it takes to weed them out. I've written extensively about how everyone hired at the "big time" clubs in New York is "vouched for," but even when such a system is in place, management is bound to bring in some jackasses from time to time. And when you're inside working with them, you'll know they're jackasses long before management ever will, and it can take weeks, or even months, to get rid of them. It can be extremely frustrating to watch guys stand around and do nothing during fights, knowing they're taking home an identical paycheck to yours.

5. Legal problems outside the club. Serious shit happens in clubs. Assaults, rapes, drug busts and sometimes murders. Every so often you'll witness one of these as it happens, and you'll be hauled into court and told to testify. You may be forced to spend multiple days in court, which is about as pleasant as taking a plunger up the ass. You'll get a check from the city to reimburse you for your lost wages -- from your day job -- but it's nothing to write home about, and the club itself will not be paying you for this time.

6. Fellow employees who consider themselves too important to ever learn your name. Listen, I'm nobody special. I've said this a thousand times. But I've been working at this place for over two years, and I'm posted at the front door. Anyone who wants to put people on the guestlist has to come through me, or at least be in my proximity for a time. There are people who've worked at this club for the same amount of time I have who still haven't learned my name. I don't care about this in terms of being personally affronted, but I still think it's a disgrace to be that unaware of your surroundings. As a bouncer, you'll be working with dozens of people like this.

7. The threat of more serious violence than just getting punched. We're threatened every night. Every Guido we throw out promises to come back and "bust a cap" in us all. We deal with known wiseguys all the time. We confiscate weapons from people every fifteen minutes. I was stabbed once. The threat is always there, and it's real.

8. Hygiene and cleanliness. People who hang out in clubs are dirty. They drink and use drugs to excess, and they're overly promiscuous. And I'm no fucking prude, believe me. There are more sexually transmitted diseases in play in the Meatpacking District alone than in all the Red States combined. These same people are dancing and sweating and bleeding all over the place, and they all want to shake our hands on the way out the door. It's disgusting.

9. Boredom. Here's the best tip I can give you: don't wear a watch. If you do, consciously force yourself not to look at it, because "bouncer time" runs at a different pace than time for the rest of the world. You look at your watch and it's 1:00. An hour goes by, you look at it again, and it's 1:05. That's how bouncing really works. It's just that boring.

10. Guidos. See last two years of blogging. See book, due in stores around Christmas. They make everyone and everything around them miserable, and yet there's no getting away from them if you want to make any money as a bouncer in New York.

And no, I won't write you a reference.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Juicehead Mating Ritual

So, yeah, I've done steroids. I want to get that straight with you, the readership, right off the top. This website is all about honesty, and I'm no fucking Barry Bonds. Unlike some, I'll admit to being a pin cushion at one point in my life. I'm not proud of having done steroids, and I'm not proud of my family having found out about it. This is something I did nearly a decade ago, and I'm not about to start making excuses for experimenting with "the bean" at this late date, because I've already taken all the abuse in the world from sharper tongues than yours. Trust me on that one.

Steroids made me big and strong. They made me huge. They ripped me to shreds, as it were. Sometimes they made me get angry, but not often. I couldn't really tell if the steroids were making me angry, because I'm an angry person in general. It's hard to differentiate. Sometimes they made me sick, but I was young and stupid and knew I'd live through it because I was me.

And steroids made me as strong as a motherfucking bull.

The one thing steroids didn't make me do was dance like a retard. See, I'm not a dancer. I can't cut a rug. I'll step on your feet and knock you down and make you wish you'd never asked me to come on the floor in the first place. And the steroids didn't help with this.

Guidos, by contrast, love to dance. And Guidos love steroids. And somewhere, deep down in the farthest reaches of the Guido endocrine system, is a special, secret, genetically inalterable compound that forms a bond with their steroids. The steroids get into the Guido bloodstream, and they swim around and make the Guidos' biceps really, really big and veiny. Once they make the Guidos' biceps grow -- a priority, you see, as opposed to the elusive "Guido Leg Day" that's rumored not to exist at any gym in New York -- the steroids find a way into the aforementioned Guido endocrine system and an irreversible process is set in motion.

This process is a violent one. The Guido is shaken to his core. He begins to twitch. He can't help this. Some Guidos open their mouths and say stupid things like, "Yo, n---a! Dis my song!" when the reaction begins to take effect. Others start to clap as if they're listening to live music. This is silly, because it's only a DJ playing some prerecorded melange of electronic nonsense, but the steroids -- stacked with Grey Goose, cocaine and God-knows-whatall -- make the Guidos think they're at a concert and they act accordingly.

And so, they're up. They're jumping. Pointing at the DJ. Hugging one another. Pumping their fists in the air. The chemicals have taken hold, the reaction is in full swing, and it's time to present to the nightclub world the finished product:


I'm going to explain how to do this, and I want you to follow along at home or in your cubicles. You, the readership, can be my guinea pigs because I'm not sure whether the Juicehead Dance can be properly executed without the aid of an ass-ugly striped french-cuffed shirt -- sans cufflinks, of course -- and a headband. I don't know whether you can get the same effect without hair glue and threading, so do me the courtesy of trying this for yourselves. Here's what you do:

1. We'll start with the footwork. What you need to do is practice skipping in place. Imagine you're skipping forward -- much like a fairy or pixie -- but remain in place. You're doing what I call a "double tap," in time with the music, with each foot. As you begin to master this "double tap," try to put a bit of spring in your step, getting higher off the ground with each successive repetition.

2. Now, make fists with both hands. Touch your fists -- they should be about an inch apart -- to your forehead and keep them there. Your palms should be facing, and your thumbs and forefingers will be in contact with your head with the pinky side of your fists facing outward.

3. With your fists still touching your forehead, flare your elbows the same way a Guido would when he talks on his cellphone. Once your elbows are properly flared in true Guido fashion -- as far upward as you can possibly get them -- it's time to introduce proper Juicehead arm action.

4. Tilt your head back so your line of sight is at a forty-five degree angle upward. In other words, if you were to draw a straight line from ceiling to floor -- through your body -- your line of vision would form a forty-five degree angle to the segment of the line from your head upward, and a one-hundred thirty-five degree angle to the segment extending down to your feet. A useful verbal cue is to imagine you're staring at the goal on a regulation basketball backboard.

5. Extend -- I believe a more accurate term for this would be "pump" -- your arms in time to the music, aligning this extension precisely with the line of vision you've established. This is done by alternating the pumping arm. Left, right, left, right, and so on. At this point, it is advisable to continue holding your hands in a "fisted" position. Some advanced Guidos may choose to execute this pumping action with their hands forming a "hang loose" gesture, but this is a matter of preference.

6. It is imperative to remain "on beat." A good rule of thumb is contained in the following formula:

One "double tap" with feet = One fist pump

7. Facial expressions are crucial to the success of any Juicehead Dance. I know it's difficult to concentrate at first, but try to maintain this until the dance has ended.

8. Another important consideration is rigidity. Juicehead Guidos know they must remain in a rigid, flexed position at all times -- even when sleeping or eating -- and when you're doing their Juicehead Dance, you should follow suit. When you raise your arms, make absolutely certain to flex them as hard as you possibly can. And you must take care to maintain this rigidity throughout, remembering that time-tested Guido axiom:

Elasticity eradicates credibility

9. Now put it all together: the "double tap" skip, the head tilt, the facial posturing, and the alternating "pumping" and "flexing" of the arms. Hold it together until a visible sweat stain forms on the back of your hideously ugly pseudo-silk shirt, and you're there. Don't forget to grope someone's girlfriend, get in a fight, get thrown out, say stupid shit to the bouncers, and get arrested, and you, too, can be a dyed-in-the-wool New York Juicehead Guido.

Now go forth, my n---as, and make dem bitches sweat'chu.


For another take on a similar topic, go here.

Monday, June 26, 2006

This Guy

I have a problem with another guy at work. If you know me, this should come as no surprise because I have problems with lots of people. Problems galore. Every new relationship is nothing more than a problem-in-development. Every existing relationship is either a problem-in-progress, or maybe a problem-we've-gotten-past. But this guy? This guy, I've really got a problem with.

He's not a bad guy, this guy. We're always friendly at work. We've occasionally been friendly outside of work. One morning, after a particularly rough night of off-duty drinking, I called him and we talked on the phone for over a half-hour. The conversation was very pleasant, and after I hung up the phone I sat and thought, "You know, this really isn't that bad of a guy." I called him because he'd called me the night before, looking to see what I was doing. What I was doing at the time was drinking and fighting and making a nuisance of myself at somebody's special event, and what I called him for the next day was to recount the events of the previous night. I called him because he tends to think of me as a comical figure, as do many of the bouncers with whom I work, and I knew he'd appreciate an account of the mess I had made.

So I like this guy. One might even say, in a moment of weakness, that we're friends.

When you're in the nightclub business, you work alongside attractive women. Lots and lots of very attractive women. Hostesses, coat check girls, guestlist girls, waitresses, bartenders, shot girls, rose girls, camera girls and the like. They're everywhere. Many of these very attractive women are also quite personable, and if you're like me -- a bouncer who doesn't come off like a mutant -- you'll eventually befriend a slew of them. They'll stop by throughout the night, and you'll talk. Exchange pleasantries, maybe. Shit like that.

I wouldn't so much call it a "fanclub," but I have my little team of fairer-sex coworkers that comes around to see me from time to time. I enjoy this. So would you. I enjoy this because I seem to attract the ones who see the club for what it is, and know they're only stuck there temporarily. They come up to the door to see me and we pool our negativity. I dispense advice and pretend I've never fucked anything up, and they listen to me and tell me they "love" me, in the way that nightclub employees say they "love" each other, which isn't really love at all but some other thing that's probably closer to "sort of like."

Sometimes I kiss them hello. They come to see me, in their club outfits and all, and I give them a hug and a kiss hello and then we talk about things like how badly "this place sucks." After the initial hug and kiss hello, we move apart in order to proceed with this discussion. Generally, we'll stand a few feet apart and we'll talk about that sort of thing. I like talking about how badly "this place sucks" because it's usually what's on my mind while I'm working. There are sometimes other things on my mind, and sometimes I express those other things, but at 2:30 AM on a Friday night the first thing that usually comes up is how badly "this place sucks." Most times, this can't be helped.

But back to this guy.

This guy is a guy who doesn't offer that separation. He doesn't grant people those few feet. If a female coworker comes to talk to him, he'll give them the same hug and kiss hello, but he won't let go. If you're a girl, and you want to have a conversation with this guy about how badly "this place sucks," you'll need to have this conversation while you're sitting on his lap because that's where he's going to steer you. This is the way he seems to need his interactions with women to go. And if you're a girl, and you're nice enough to ask us if we want some water, and we say yes, you're going to have to go through the whole hug and kiss hello process with him again when you come back. Even if you come back three minutes later. When you come back with our water, he'll pull you in and you'll end up on his lap.

This guy is a guy who can't carry on a conversation if women are walking past because he has to touch them. He touches them because he's hitting on them. He hits on every woman that walks by, even if he's in the middle of an important conversation with you. Even if you're in the middle of a story you're telling at his behest. If you're planning on talking to this guy, you have to be prepared to be interrupted every third sentence because he's going to turn and walk away from you and put his arm around every girl he sees.

This gets irritating. So irritating, in fact, that I've often told him how irritating it is. He finds it odd that I would get irritated, and asks me why it irritates me that he hits on women. He wonders if I'm gay or something. I tell him I don't find it irritating that he hits on women. I find it irritating that he hits on every woman. I find it irritating that I can't get three sentences into a conversation without having to stop what I'm doing while he turns around and hugs some random girl. I find it irritating when someone calls him on his radio, and I have to interrupt his conversation with said random girl to tap him on the shoulder and tell him someone is calling because he's pulled out his earpiece in order to more comfortably fondle said random girl.

This guy gets laid a lot. He pulls tons of "ass." This is a fantastic thing, and I often congratulate him for it. I think every guy should pull as much "ass" as this guy pulls. I think, however, that sometimes you have to do your job instead of trying to pull so much "ass" all the time. I think sometimes it's advisable to concentrate on what you're doing. I think it's best not to be known amongst the female staff as "handsy." I think that's a bad designation to have when you're being called that by people you're working alongside, even if you don't care about them because they're just club people and they don't count. I wouldn't want to be thought of as "handsy." I wouldn't want people to roll their eyes when I approach, and I'd feel bad if they thought they needed to stay away because they didn't feel like sitting in my lap every night. And I really like it when women sit in my lap in various states of unadornment.

When I think about this guy, I'm reminded of the Law of Diminishing Returns. The way I remember it, the Law of Diminishing Returns is about production. You keep putting crap into a machine, and it produces something. Eventually, you reach an ideal amount of the crap you throw in -- the number of inputs required to generate the maximum output of whatever it is you're producing. Add anything more past this ideal amount and you'll actually decrease your production.

This was explained perfectly to me by a college professor once. He taught the concept in terms of drinking beer. You go into a bar, and you have one beer. Two beers. Three beers. Four beers. After four, you're flying. Feeling great. You're the life of the party. Then you have a fifth, and you've never had a better buzz in your entire life. The world is yours. You then drink numbers six, seven, eight and nine, and now you're not feeling so great. You're bloated. The room starts to spin. You toss back number ten, and you find yourself bent over the bowl wishing you'd never even had the first one. You should have stopped at five.

Now, this professor was Chinese and didn't have much of a tolerance, but I skewed the numbers a bit in my mind and eventually realized this was the perfect way to explain the Law of Diminishing Returns to an Irishman.

This guy gives me a new way of explaining it.

The Law of Diminishing Returns says "Enough is enough." It says it's okay to hit on women, but not at the expense of your job and your coworkers' collective tolerance for your refusal to pay attention. It says groping one girl is okay because we all need someone to grope. That fondling two or three or four girls is okay because we should all be so lucky. But fifty? A hundred? To turn your back on every conversation and run away simply because you have to touch someone? Fifty times a night? Three and four times during the span of a single conversation? That borders on the pathological, no?

So what the fuck am I doing wrong?

Thursday, June 22, 2006


I've been busy editing the book this week, so I haven't had much to post aside from my very sensitive little missive about the girl at the courthouse. I'm sure everyone appreciates how insightful I can be, and how I'm in touch with all sorts of feelings I'm capable of having when I see a girl-I'd-pork in the clutches of some prick who just lost his license. It's the most wonderful, liberating experience to be able to express my feelings like that to you.


Now that we're done holding hands, it's back to work tonight, and back to normal posting very soon. I miss that. I'll try and find someone to choke tonight, just for you. Then I'll hang around until he says something stupid, and I'll write about it.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Fucking A

I took care of a parking ticket today. My payment was long overdue, the powers-that-be were threatening me with suspensions, and nobody I know is capable of "fixing" such a thing. So I had to go down in person and pay at the window.

Since it was an old ticket, they had to "pull it" to figure out the fine. They told me I'd have to wait a few minutes, so I took a seat on a bench across from the cashier's window. The bureaucracy seemed angry with me today. They were angry about the ticket, but even angrier about my wanting to hand them my money. I told them, "Maybe I can just give you my seventy-five dollars, and you can give me a receipt for paying you seventy-five dollars, and I can go home while you straighten things out and be angry with each other," but they weren't accepting suggestions from the Silent Majority today, so I waited.

There's a courtroom down the hall from the cashier's window. People were trickling out of the courtroom intermittently after their cases were decided, and I could hear snippets of their conversations while I sat on my bench.

"Revoked? What means revoked?" asked the unrefined voice.

"It means you can't drive for six months," answered the more polished voice. "You can apply for a conditional license, but revoked essentially means you won't have a driver's license for six months."

"So how I'm s'posed to get to work?"

"I don't know. That's something you're going to have to work out for yourself, but I'd strongly caution you against trying to drive. If they pull you over, you're going to jail."

They rounded the corner and came into view. "Polished" was an attorney. He carried a leather briefcase. "Unpolished" looked like a nightclub customer. His dress-for-court-wear differed little from what he'd likely worn the night he was pulled over. I drummed a house beat with my fingers and instinctively waited for him to dance. The man had lost his innocence long before the judge revoked his driving privileges. Polished makes his living dealing with the Unpolisheds of the world, and his attitude and demeanor toward this particular Unpolished told me exactly how he felt about his life.

On the heels of Polished and Unpolished was someone I hadn't expected, yet wasn't entirely surprised to have seen: the requisite beautiful young girl. She wore a denim skirt and a sleeveless blue blouse, and wore them well. She had sandals on her feet and her toenails were decorated with little designs. I couldn't make out what these designs were because I didn't want to stare. They may have been daisies. She was what you'd call a "piece of ass." In another life, maybe a few years ago -- having never seen her with him -- I would have pursued the sex.

"You have to pay your fine and surcharge at the window," said Polished, impersonally. "And make sure you get a receipt. Good luck to you."

Unpolished slumped on the opposite end of the bench from me, the girl beside him. He stared at the floor, considering the ramifications of being "revoked." She placed her hand atop his, stroking the webbing between his fingers. Neither said a word. They didn't look down at me. When she crossed her legs, I snuck a glance and thought about the sex again, and then my name was called, and I went to the window and paid my fine. I made a point of failing to thank the angry clerk.

I thought about Unpolished and his girl on the way out. I'm thinking about them now. I'm not thinking so much about Unpolished as I am about his girl and what thoughts ran through her mind while she sat on the bench and stroked the webbing between his fingers.

I'm not wondering how beautiful girls end up with assholes. That's too easy, and I don't have to wonder about it much. If you end up with an asshole on your arm -- whether male or female -- it's because you're flawed. I'm flawed, and I've had the occasional asshole on my arm. You get stuck with an asshole because you think very little of yourself. Or the sex is phenomenal. Or you're after money or drugs. I know this already. So do you.

I'm wondering what's there when all that you "see in him" is gone. When the whole alpha male act gets tired, and what you're left with is a semi-literate manual laborer with poor work habits who's just been told by the State of New York that he's no longer permitted to drive on its roadways. What happens then? Is your love for such a person so unconditional that you'll continue to sit and stroke the webbing between his fingers even though he's just been metaphorically castrated by the judicial system?

I wonder about her parents. Had they cared? Had they put ribbons in her hair and made her sit at the kitchen table and work her multiplication tables? Had her father run after her the first time she rode without training wheels? Had he known she'd end up with Unpolished, stroking the webbing between his fingers on a bench outside the courtroom?

I can't pretend to know what transpires between the two of them. I looked over at this man, and he had nothing. No command of his native language. No idea how to dress for a court appearance. Probably never opened a book voluntarily in his life. But he had her, and she was beautiful and I wondered what would happen once they walked out the doors of the courthouse.

Monday, June 19, 2006


Posts are forthcoming, but it's been a busy weekend and I'm in dire need of some sleep, so I'll take the easy way out and answer some email:

I work at a bar in Houston and I believe our bouncing staff is too small. Given that each venue has it's unique qualities, what is a good general ratio of bouncers/patrons? I can provide more information about the venue if necessary, but I just want a number to give to my boss, as I think we're truly understaffed (tonight, our ratio was 1:125 or so)
Thank you!

Dave, I've worked in both extremes, and I'd much rather be overstaffed. I've done bar bouncing with one other guy in a place that could hold a few hundred, and it's not something I'd prefer to do again. Being outmanned is unnecessarily dangerous. When you're overstaffed, the pressure's taken off. Guys get breaks. The same people don't have to take the lead in every fight situation. And as you've probably figured out, you don't want to work someplace where all you can see are customers, and the nearest bouncer is in some other room.

I'd say you're doing well if you have a minimum of twenty bouncers per thousand patrons. Your bar's ratio indicates to me that you're severely understaffed. Of course, a lot depends on the clientele and the layout of the place -- here in New York, many clubs have several different "rooms" -- but I wouldn't feel secure with anything less than twenty-per-thousand. In fact, if I were staffing a bar, I'd want more if I could get the money for them.

Look at it this way...

Let's say you have a staff of twelve bouncers for a crowd of a thousand, and a four-on-four fight breaks out. The twelve of you get everyone outside, but you're having some trouble keeping the combatants from continuing to go after each other. Then, in the middle of all this, another call comes in for another fight. What happens then?

Unless your staff is really, really good, you're pretty much fucked. Now you'll probably have to call the police, and the whole thing turns into a big clusterfuck that could've been avoided had management forked over another $1000 or so for seven or eight more bouncers.

Hope this helps.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


For the longest time, I haven't wanted to do this, but I've finally joined up with the lot of you people and made myself a MySpace profile. You can find it at

I don't know what the purpose of having such a thing is, but I will be checking it regularly in order to figure out the attraction.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Stupid, silly life

You know what I don't understand? And I'm being serious here. I don't understand for the life of me how I've managed to stretch this blog into two years of telling you people about bouncing in fucking nightclubs. It's times like these where I sit back and say to myself, "You must be a very fucking talented guy, because you pretty much have the stupidest fucking job on the face of the earth, yet people still want to read about what happens there."

You know what happens in clubs? Nothing. Nothing happens. A few thousand people stand around and get fucked up. Sometimes, they go back to the bathrooms to take leaks. Other times, they go back to the bathrooms to do coke or get blowjobs. Afterward, they go back to where they were, and they stand there for a few more hours. Occasionally, they dance. The men look like retards when they dance. The women don't, so the men follow them around and try to encourage the sex.

A mating ritual ensues. This ritual has made me realize that the people I'm dealing with at the club are several steps down on the evolutionary scale. The women shake their tail feathers. The men strut and preen. Sometimes, they fight over women. Animals do this too. These people can eat a fat dick.

When they fight, we throw them out. Outside, they say a lot of really stupid things. Sometimes they say things that are so stupid that I come home and write them on my website. They're all experts in the use of the double negative. None of them did nothing. All of them did something. I listen to them for a while, and then I get tired and want to go home and go to bed.

When that would happen, I used to take the train home. Sometimes I took the subway, but then I moved and started taking the Long Island Railroad. You take the Long Island Railroad from Penn Station, which is a place that sucks. At 4:30 in the morning at Penn Station, every drunk from every bar and club in Manhattan is waiting to take the train home to Long Island. In Penn Station, they shout, they fight and they throw up. They're socially unacceptable. They made me very tired, so I decided it was time to start driving to work. This meant I'd be putting a lot of wear on my car, and spending money on gas, but it beat sitting around Penn Station with a bunch of drunken Guidos. People who make too much noise in public places are called "cocksuckers."

People are generally nice. When people go to nightclubs, they're not quite as nice as they would be, say, around their mothers. I'm usually very polite around my mother unless she's yelling at me for being such a disappointment. If the whole world would simply act the same way in public as they would around their mothers, society would be a lot better off. Most people don't take their mothers to nightclubs. Some do, and this may sound like a nice thing to do, but I've found that people who take their mothers to nightclubs aren't exactly what you'd call "normal."

Bill Murray made a movie called "Groundhog Day." We've all seen this movie. He keeps waking up to the same shit, day after day after day. I think all bouncers share this same joke. We all reference this movie when we're together talking at the club. I don't know this for a fact, but I'll bet this happens at other clubs. I don't think we're the only bouncers who say this.

Most customers think bouncers are stupid. Most bouncers think customers are stupid. We're the ones who are right. We're being paid to be at the club. You're paying us so that you can come to our place of "business" and dress and act like fools, and to do things that will damage your health. Eventually, you'll meet someone who will give you an incurable venereal disease. Or a wart or a sore. That's not a very healthy thing to spend your money on, when you think about it. But you won't think about it because customers aren't very good at thinking.

Sometimes you make me so angry that I have to strangle you, but that's okay because it's what they're paying me to do. They say, "Remember that time that Rob choked that guy? That was awesome. He's a very good bouncer." Which is kind of an unimportant thing to be unless that's what you're paid to be, in which case you may as well try to do it the best you can. This occasionally involves making you uncomfortable, which is okay because I probably don't like you.

This is okay, too, because I don't like most people and you shouldn't take this personally. If I did like people more, and was a little more sociable, maybe I wouldn't have had to be a bouncer in the first place. Maybe I'd come off better in job interviews. If I had some charm and maybe what you'd call a winning personality, people would have been more tolerant of all the mistakes I made when I was younger. They weren't, though, so I had to stop making so many mistakes.

I try not to make mistakes because it's what you'd call a defense mechanism. When you make too many mistakes, you attract attention to yourself. This is what the customers try to do when they come to the club. When they do this, they look like retards. Kind of like they do when they dance. I don't want to attract attention, and I don't like looking like a retard, so I don't make mistakes as a bouncer. Except one, and that was a stupid, silly one that nobody even noticed, so I pretend it didn't happen. I said something stupid in front of some people, and almost restarted a fight that I had helped break up. That was dumb. But the fight didn't restart, so I caught a break. And since I caught a break, I don't count that one as a mistake.

When you don't make any mistakes, the people you work for think you're a really good bouncer, so I guess I'm probably a really good bouncer. Which means I'm very good at doing nothing most of the time. It means I'm good at standing in one place and killing time and talking to people. It's not very hard, and sometimes you see funny things, like I said. But sometimes that's bad because I'm not laughing at people because I like them. Usually I laugh because I hate you. I'm not in a position to judge you or offer you advice, but I hate you anyway. Which is fine, because I'm nobody.

Bouncing is silly. This is what I've learned in two years. It's a very silly job that contributes very little to society. Bouncers have very silly goals. Some of us want to get laid. All of us want to get laid, actually. Some of us don't want to get laid in connection with our jobs. That's me. I don't want to have sex with anyone from the club. I think this is a wise course of action given where I work. If I worked someplace better, maybe I'd want to have sex with women there, but I don't want that out of my club, because I think the people are dirty and I don't want to get a wart or a sore.

Most of the time I'm thinking about food. I want to end my night at the diner. Or with pizza or at the bagel store. It's a stupid, silly job where you're not thinking big thoughts. My big thoughts are about bagels. My biggest internal debate is butter versus cream cheese. In the summertime, I like butter. In winter, cream cheese. There is a connection with the seasons. I don't know why this is, but I like having a new thing to think about while I'm doing my stupid, silly job. Sometimes I go to the bagel store and drunks are there, making noise after a night at a club. If you go to the bagel store after the club, you should be quiet. People who make excessive noise at the bagel store are also called "cocksuckers," and can also eat a fat dick.

This coming weekend, we'll do it all over again. I'll show up at the club about two hours before you get there, and I'll start setting up the door. If I didn't show up and start setting up the door, life would go on for you as well as for me. This should make me sad to think about, but it doesn't. I don't know why, but this is how it's always been because bouncing is stupid and so are nightclubs.

And that's the way it goes.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Afterward, at the diner

"Thought had a thought," said my former boss Butthole. "Thought thought he could swim. Thought drowned." Butthole liked to hold meetings.


"Now," Butthole continued, rather incoherently, "my father-in-law, I hate the man. I don't mean to be pejorative here, but I'm the fucking king. And I know the whole thing with getting girls is part of the gig, but I want you guys to be swivel-heads. Talk to all the women you want, but your head is on a fucking swivel. Am I clear?"

Not really.

But yeah, Butthole, I see your point. It's part of the gig. It's always been part of the gig. The parade of prime poontang that happens past me on any given worknight. And plucking the willing straight out of the line can be the easiest thing in the world for a bouncer to do, once he's got a little bit of knowledge and a whole lot less scruples than he had before he came into this business.

Scruples are for the stupid. Those without foresight. Those who can't see into a future without a barrel filled with docile fish. Bouncers who don't know what life will be like in ten years, when they've got two little fucknut kids and a fat wife who's obsessed with window treatments. Men who can't see themselves a decade down the road, awake in bed in the middle of the night, pining away for the days when a different piece of ass was available any night of the week, and securing a new landing strip entailed nothing but the sharing of drink tickets and the asking of a name.

"You know what I don't get?" asked Johnny between bites of his cheeseburger deluxe.


"I don't get that dumb fuck Jimmy," he said. "The guy's bangin' thirty, forty different broads a year outta this place, but when he found out his wife was cheatin' on him, he was devastated. Devastated. Guy wanted to fuckin' kill himself."

Guy refused to do his job after that. Came in late. Slept in closets. Didn't answer the radio. Did the wrong thing. Lost a tits job. Won't ever get it back. Already been replaced.

"I don't fuckin' blame him," I said. "Not the way he went off the fuckin' deep end, but I don't blame him for gettin' sick over it."

"Why not?"

I poured salt in my cup of brown gravy, then stirred it with a handful of fries. "Because there's a double standard about this kind of shit, that's why not."

"Why, because it's okay if a man does it, but if a woman does it, she's a fuckin' whore?"

"No," I replied. "It's more of a self-interest type of thing. If I do it to you, it's okay, 'cause it's what I wanted to do. But don't you even think about fucking doing it to me."

"So, in other words, if you were a woman, you'd think it'd be okay to slut around all over the place, but if your husband slept with some other broad, you'd wanna kill him? Wouldn't you think you had somethin' like that comin' to you at that point?"

"First of all, I was female, I'd be the biggest fuckin' slut you ever saw in your life. I'd be banging every guy who could prove he had a job. People would look at me walkin' down the street, and they'd be sayin', 'Look at that broad. She's gotta have about eight different inputs, that dirty fuckin' whore.'"

"This comin' from a guy who turns down phone numbers," said Johnny. "I don't think I ever met somebody who talks outta more sides of his mouth."

"Then why the fuck you gotta play devil's advocate all the time, you old fuck? You never cheated on your wife? And don't even tell me you never thought about it, you fuckin' liar. And if you caught your wife fuckin' around with some other guy, don't tell me you wouldn't want to put a bullet in the both of 'em."

"Why would I wanna put a bullet in him for? Ain't his fault."

"So what the fuck's your point?" I asked.

"All I'm sayin' is that maybe this fuckin' guy should settle down a little and relax. You do what he's doin' for as long as he's been doin' it, that's shit's bound to come home on you eventually." He signaled to the old Greek for a refill on our coffee.

"I still think it's disgusting. I think the whole fucking thing's disgusting. This whole atmosphere. How a married man can't think of this as a job, and he gets all caught up with every piece of twat that comes and sits on his lap and goes and ruins his marriage and his fucking family. The guy's got kids, John. He ever think about his kids when he's doing this shit? How they're gonna turn out all fucked up? I think it's fucking depressing, is what I think."

"That's one word for it."

I scraped the last of the cheese from my fries off the plate with my fork. "You know what? Don't get married in the first place if you think you gotta do that shit."

"Easy for you to say, but most married guys like him can't afford a fuckin' divorce."

"Then sign a fucking prenup if you think you're too much of a scumbag to stay married."

"You got a girlfriend yet?" he asked, stacking his empty plates.

"I dunno. I'm workin' on something."

Johnny started in on his coleslaw. His pickle had a stem. I don't eat diner coleslaw because I know others don't eat it either, and I know they recycle. "Okay, so you're workin' on somethin'. That's good. You like her?"

"Yeah," I replied. "I do."

"You got anything else on the side?"


"Then lemme ask you somethin'," he said. "What would you do if you found out she was bangin' some other guy while you were out here workin' all night?"

"That'd be it, man. Fuck that shit. I'd cut that shit off right then and there."

"What if it was another woman, though? What if you found out your girl, or your wife or whatever, was gettin' it from another woman? What would you do then?"

"I guess I could go two ways on that," I replied. "I think I'd rather have a girlfriend decide she wanted to be with another woman than have to go around thinkin' she liked some other guy's cock better, you know? That would kinda suck. But the other way I look at it is that if I was in a relationship, whether I'm married or whatever, I wouldn't want her to be with anyone else. A man or a woman."

"You're all banged up, you know that? You listenin' to yourself?"

I balled my napkin and tossed it on my plate. "How'm I fuckin' banged up?"

"Kiddo," he said, "I been tryin' t'get my wife to bring another broad home for twenny years."

Thursday, June 08, 2006

So you've been tossed...

Here's another list. This one can help keep you from getting yourself beaten up, so I'll venture to say it contains some of the more useful advice I've provided on this site. See, there's a certain way to get yourself thrown out of a club and still maintain your dignity. And even if maintaining your dignity isn't high on your list of priorities, you really don't want to find yourself in the fetal position trying to decide whether to shield your nuts or your face while a half-dozen pissed off bouncers in steel tipped boots take out a lifetime's worth of frustrations on you.

So, if you're an asshole, you should read this. If you're a guy who's in the habit of "asking around" about bouncers because you need to know which ones you shouldn't "fuck with," this is for you. If you're a sidewalk lawyer who doesn't understand that "I din't do nothin'" actually means, grammatically, that you did do something, you need to follow my instructions. To the letter.

Some of these tips may seem obvious to you, the civilized reader, yet bouncers see this sort of shit every night. Every single night. So if it's on the list, it's something we have to deal with regularly, and it's something about which you need to be cautioned. If you're an asshole, that is. Which you may just be.

Ten Things Not To Do When You Get Thrown Out of a Club

1. Don't spit at anyone. I know what you're thinking. This is like telling someone, "Don't shit in your hand and smear it all over yourself before a date," but you'd be surprised at how often it happens. Or maybe you wouldn't, if you've been reading this site long enough. Fact is, nothing, short of an actual punch to the face, pisses a grown man off like being spat upon. Most bouncers will take a serious run at you if you spit at them. And when a bouncer takes a run at you, more will follow. Unless you're prepared for that, do yourself a favor and restrict your abuse to the verbal kind.

2. Don't take off your shirt. This, I've never understood. As I've said before, I've been in my share of scuffles, and I don't see any advantage in ripping your shirt off in a bar or club fight. "Professional" bouncers won't be intimidated by the massive sweep of your lower lats, and the fight itself won't last long enough for you to have to worry about your shirt leaving you at a disadvantage by giving me something to grab. At best, you'll be going home shirtless, because the thing's going in a fucking dumpster before you're ever getting it back. The more likely scenario involves your mom picking gravel out of your back with tweezers tomorrow morning when you wake up in agony.

3. If you'd like to offer us a bribe to get back in, don't do it in full view -- and within earshot -- of the entire bouncing staff. If you want to try this move -- and it occasionally works, incidentally -- calm the fuck down and hang around for a while. See if you can manage to talk to one of us alone. That's your only chance. If you shout your offer out in front of all of us, you've killed the whole thing because you're asking us to break the rules in front of witnesses. Personally, I've never taken a bribe from someone who's been tossed -- I think it's wrong because it could potentially endanger someone -- but I've seen it happen. So be discreet.

4. Don't offer to fight every bouncer on the sidewalk. Okay, so we're laughing at you. Making you feel like the asshole you know you are. You're out here by yourself, standing in front of ten of us, and you're infuriated because you know you've become our source of entertainment. You know what? Just leave, while the leaving's good. The more you yell at us about how you'll "fight all of youse (us) right now," the higher the probability that someone's going to call you on it. And you won't win.

5. If you're being dragged out, don't take a swing at us when we let you go. Remember, I'm not your enemy. If you hadn't been fighting, I wouldn't have interfered with your evening. This is my job. I'm getting paid for this. There's nothing personal involved. You're being pulled out of a nightclub by a bouncer. Big fucking deal. You're not the first, and you won't be the last, so when I let you go, keep your hands to yourself. When I give you that last little push, it's because I want to create some separation between the two of us, not because I want to fight you. People have thrown punches at me before when I've "released the choke," and I've found it's best to be careful. When I shout "Don't fucking swing!" at you just prior to letting go, take my advice. Please.

6. Don't prolong the nonsense by standing on the sidewalk and shouting at us for fifteen minutes. Admittedly, this is partially our fault. No bouncer wants to go right back inside to their box after tossing someone. After several hours in a club, fresh air is a blessing, and it's not something from which we enjoy retreating, at least not right away. People need an audience, though. As long as there are bouncers in the vicinity, they'll continue to scream. I've found that if you throw somebody out, the best thing you can do is to turn around and walk back inside. If they're tossed out a side door, slam it in their face and leave them outside. Guidos need attention. They're not, however, predisposed to shout at brick walls. Still, dear customer, understand when your night's over and simply go home. We're not outside because we want to hang out with you.

7. If you feel you've been ejected unfairly, voice your appeal to the correct member of the staff. Ask for the head bouncer. If you've been in a fight, he'll be nearby. In a reasonable, measured tone, explain your situation to him and show him that you're neither a threat nor a problem. What you should not do is start pleading your case to every random bouncer on the sidewalk. There's a chain of command on any bouncing staff, and if the guy you've chosen to shout at says, "I can't do anything for you," chances are he's telling you the truth. Find out who's in charge, and go directly to him. And stop inflicting yourself on me, because I couldn't give two shits.

8. Don't walk around on your phone and tell us your "boys" are coming. Put the cellphone away. Nobody's coming. If you're on the phone for more than five seconds, you're full of shit. And you're an asshole. Your "boys" aren't going to risk injury or possible arrest -- not to mention making a forty-five minute drive from Staten Island -- to avenge anything that's happened to you tonight.

9. Don't ask me if you can go back in and get your friends. If they don't know you've been tossed, they probably know they're better off without you. If they have any sense, they're wondering which of them was the asshole who invited you to come along in the first place. Call them. Text them. Go wait in your car, if you're the driver. Go wait outside the car, if you're a passenger. Somebody will eventually notice you're gone, and they'll come looking. And next time, don't be a dick and this won't happen to you.

10. Don't tell us you're coming back with a weapon. Think long and hard about what's been happening lately at New York's bars and clubs. We're taking this shit a tad more seriously now. If you do threaten us with a weapon, you're not leaving. You're liable to have the shit kicked out of you, and we may even choose to call the police. The head bouncer at my club has a zero tolerance policy with regard to threats of this nature, and I'm in complete agreement. Why take the chance that someone's telling the truth?

And get home safe. We sure do want your business next week.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

My Friends

The idea of me ever being offered a book deal -- or any sort of deal whatsoever -- came totally out of leftfield for most of my friends. For all of my friends, to be perfectly honest. I have a lot of history with a lot of people, and none of them, until this past year, have ever thought of me as a writer. Far from it, believe me. It's something I've had to explain to everyone I know, and a good many of them probably still think I'm lying. One conversation between my friends "Clint" and "Andrew" comes to mind:

"Have you ever read Rob's website?"

"No," replied Andrew. "What the fuck kind of website does that idiot have?"

"It's a blog."

"A blog? You mean, like, one of those personal journal type things? Who the fuck wants to read that shit? Sounds like a waste of time."

"That's how he got his book deal," said Clint.

"From his blog?"

"From his blog. Still think it's a waste of time?"

Andrew considered this for a moment. "I still think," he declared, "it's a waste of my time."

Andrew works for a living. He's married with two kids and drives a minivan. His wife has a job in the city as well, but she's on maternity leave. I'm fairly certain she makes more money than he does. Andrew wakes up at six in the morning, takes the train into the city for work, does his thing for ten hours, then comes home and helps take care of his son and daughter. He and his wife bought a house on Long Island about a year ago, and things have been tight, but they're managing. Of course, there's always something that needs to be done -- landscapers aren't in the budget, so Andrew just made a $400 investment in a mower -- and the two of them don't have time for much else besides what you might call "life maintenance."

Andrew doesn't read my blog. Andrew doesn't read anyone's blog.

Patrick did two years upstate on a drug charge. When you grow up within the five boroughs, "upstate" usually means "prison." When he got out, his father helped him restart his life by getting him a shot at the plumbers union in the city. He's working as an apprentice right now, waiting for an opening. It's a tough union to crack, and some of the things he has to do are downright disgusting, but he's not complaining because the work's been steady, even for apprentices. Pat's problem is that he has trouble steering clear of some of the things that've derailed him in the past, even after having done time. He spends way too much time at the bar. I won't say which bar, because I don't know what else he might be doing in there besides drinking. And he blows entirely too much money at the OTB, but he thinks that's okay, because he has a system. He's always had a system. And it's bound to kick in any day now.

Pat doesn't read my blog. Pat doesn't read anyone's blog.

Rich is a New York City firefighter. He works somewhere in Brooklyn, in a neighborhood where the only white people passing through are teachers, sanitation workers, firemen and cops. Like most FDNY guys, he trades shifts so he's at the firehouse for two twenty-four hour shifts per week. And like most FDNY guys, Rich has a "side job," working as an electrician for the balance of the week. I've worked many electrical contracting jobs with Rich over the years, and I've learned a shitload about building and construction in the process.

Rich has a computer. He uses it to look at porn most of the time, because he likes that sort of thing. I like it too, but probably not nearly as much. I emailed him once, and never received a reply, so I called him to ask why this was. He told me it was because he forgot his email password because he never sends anyone email. I told him he could save the password in his computer, and that his email service would sign in automatically. He didn't understand this, exactly, so I dropped the subject.

Rich doesn't read my blog. Rich doesn't read anyone's blog.

They say there's anger in the world, and that people need authors to give a coherent voice to the feelings people are having. Angry feelings about a wide variety of things. We need ideas. Somebody's saying that "real men" are becoming extinct, the world is becoming "metrosexualized," and that we need fresh voices to do something about this before we, as men, are transformed into a generation of pussies. I don't know who's saying this. It's just some shit I've heard.

The way I look at it is, if you have the time or the inclination to walk into a bookstore and buy a book, you're already ahead of the curve.

See, the world's a big place. Bigger than the internet. Books and blogs have no reach, at least not with the people I know. And unless I'm completely out of my mind, I think the types of people I know are exponentially more common in the world than the people you know. My thing is, I've never worked a corporate job. Never had the chance, and wouldn't want to if I did. My other thing is, nobody I know, really, has ever worked a corporate job. At least not in terms of being shoved into a cubicle and forced to live vicariously through somebody else's movies, shows, books and websites. I don't know anyone like that. When I first started this site, I wrote between jobs, late at night, when I was done being out there, living, and getting angry for my own damned self. And knowing damned well why.

Of the three friends I've mentioned, Andrew's your best shot. He reads, when he has the time. Trouble is, he rarely ever has the time anymore, what with the kids and all. And if you tell him that something he reads is going to redefine his gender or his masculinity, I'd love to sit back and watch the response that he, as a stressed-the-fuck-out parent, homeowner and taxpayer, would give you. Good luck with that.

As for Pat and Rich, they don't read much. Pat reads the Daily Racing Form and watches the Yankees. Rich studies for his FDNY promotional exams and watches the Mets. Occasionally, they read the New York Post while eating egg sandwiches and drinking coffee at five in the morning. Pat doesn't worry about reading my posts while fecal matter is seeping out of the drains in the floor of a project bathroom in East Harlem. Rich doesn't worry about my overuse of adverbs while he's responding to a five-alarm in Brownsville. Andrew doesn't worry about whether I keep comments on my site or not while he's taking his turn doing the 3 AM feeding of his newborn son.

Nixon called us -- and given my platform, I now have to use the term "us" loosely -- the Silent Majority. I think, when you're out here in the "real world" -- the world where people care about "real world shit" like changing diapers and making sure you have a good lock on your toolbox and using nail clippers to trim your calluses because it's a bitch to rip them -- you'll find that things simply roll along like they've always done. That people are too busy with the mundane to give a flying fuck what some gang of eggheads is telling them about what it means to be this, and what it means to be that. That what matters is getting to work on time so your job's there waiting for you tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that. That people are more angry about paying $3.50 for a gallon of gas than they are about being emasculated by popular culture, because nobody I know pays attention long enough to even know it's happening.

For my money, therefore, I'd have to say it's not happening.

Trust me on this one, folks. If you're reading this blog, or any book or blog for that matter, you're in the minority. You're out there on an island, alone, and you're destined to be alone there for the rest of your days because you're outnumbered -- a million to one -- by the Andrews, Pats and Richies of the world.

And for that, oddly enough, I'm thankful.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Fine. I'm enabling comments for a day. Satisfied? Happy now? You said you needed something to do at that shitbag job of yours, so here you go -- line after line of bouncer abuse to kill even more of your precious time.

What I figure is, I'll get this over with today so I don't have to hear about it ever again. I'll do what you want because I don't want to be worn down. I'll capitulate because I don't want to hear anything more on the subject. I'll acquiesce because I'm really a pussy, and that's how it goes. That's what pussies do. They cave. They throw in the towel. They know what they're up against, and they know they're beat, so they simply bend the fuck over and take it.

Which is what I'm doing here by restoring my comments section. But it's only back for a day. No more than that. And it's all because someone -- who shall remain nameless -- needs to be entertained.

So it's a free-for-all. Comment on anything you'd like. Pick a post you hate, or a post you love, and let the world -- or me, or one special pain in the ass who simply must have this today -- know how you feel.

And yeah, I already know. I'm an asshole. I'm pompous, egotistical, misogynistic, white trash, full of shit, not a real bouncer and I'm lucky to have a book deal. The lion's share of each blog entry is lifted directly out of my Thesaurus. And my friends and family all hate me because I "think who the fuck I am." You don't have to tell me any of these things, because I readily admit them all.

Have fun while it lasts, fucker.

Monday, June 05, 2006


How many of you have a Wikipedia link?

Busy weekend. Posting will resume later today.

***Judging by the emails I've received, this post needs to be clarified. When you click on the Wikipedia link above, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page. There's a direct link to this website.

***Thanks for removing it! That's something I'd have pulled. Nicely done!

Friday, June 02, 2006


Read this. And this. Evidently, the bouncers of Boston refuse to take it any longer, and they're giving it back to you sons of bitches with stun-guns, broken glasses, flashlights and mace. "City officials" are "outraged" that Hub doormen would ever dare lay a hand on any of the precious little angels who patronize the bars and clubs of the Athens of America.

Because, as you all know, it's always us. Never you. You're all perfect. You never do anything to start any of this shit. You all hold your liquor like champs. Coke? Meth? K? GHB? Doesn't even have an effect on you, does it? Doesn't make you change your behavior one damned iota. Hell, that's why you do it, right? It's all social. You're back there snorting lines off the toilet seat because, well, you're meeting new people, and that's what it's all about. The club's just a big ol' peace train. One big flower-powered communal lovefest, with joy and sunshine and rainbows and puppies and big bright pink balloons. And here we come to ruin it.

I whipped out my stun-gun tonight, and one of you put a daisy in it.

No, you people -- you fucking customer-type people -- don't do a damned thing. It's all unprovoked. I mean, I got out of the shower tonight, and it was all I could do to keep myself from going next door and pistol-whipping my neighbor. That's how chomping-at-the-fucking-bit excited I was to get down to the club and commit felony assault.

You're "disgruntled." And "rowdy." On occasion, you'll even become "unruly." You're never "fucking psychotic," of course, and the fact that you're often "pathologically reprobate" with "uncontrollable violent tendencies" never seems to matter once you've been smacked in the mouth by a bouncer. Once that happens, you're all a big bunch of spotless fucking saints. Pure as the driven snow. The future you'd likely have spent in the gen-pop of a maximum security establishment upstate is now described as "promising." You're a credit to society. We all love you.

But it's a love conditional upon my smashing your orbital with my Motorola. Or cracking your mandible with my Maglite. Or choking the living hell out of you until you go to sleep and stop trying to hit me, even if you started the entire goddamned fucking thing. Even if you snorted and swallowed an entire fucking pharmacy, forcibly dragged two girls into a bathroom stall, then hit me over the head with a bottle when I tried to tell you "no."

So something needs to be done, they're saying. Bouncers need to be monitored, because we're a violent lot, predisposed to murders-for-hire, rape, stun-gun assaults and God-knows-what-else. We need training. And licensing. And constant supervision. And the intervention of a gang of camera-loving politicians who shouldn't have permitted the nightclub industry to become such a nuisance in the first place.

And it's because you're all perfect. And I'm just "beefy." And the whole thing strikes me as nothing but a massive, steaming pile of horseshit.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Anonymity, again

"You try to make yourself out to be some kind of mysterious figure," she says, "but then when people meet you, it's all such a load of shit. They're gonna be so disappointed."

Of course it's a load of shit. What the fuck were you all expecting? I'm a fucking bouncer for chrissakes. And not only that, I'm not even one of the memorable ones. As I've said before, I'm strictly rank-and-file. I didn't make it to the front door by dint of height or charm or movie star good looks. I'm there because I'm a "senior employee" who's gone well over two years without calling in sick. I'm there because I'm never late, and because I don't drink on the job, and because whenever something needs to get done, I'm always around. I'm there because I'm trusted.

So if you're waiting for something special, you're shit out of luck.

A slew of new readers came along in the wake of the shootings last week -- and the subsequent spike in hits I received as a result -- and several have questioned my desire to remain anonymous. Some think I'm misguidedly overplaying the whole thing for effect. Others believe I'm simply paranoid. The truth, they claim, must fall somewhere in between.

In reality, however, I simply want to keep bouncing. I've got a door, and I don't want to give it up before it's absolutely necessary. The money's too good, and just like the rest of you, I need as much as I can get my hands on. And by staying anonymous, I don't have to be "the bouncer who's writing the book" just yet. I don't have to have my employers looking at me like I'm some sort of jerkoff. I don't have to worry about my fellow bouncers thinking I'm exploiting them. I don't have to worry about random customers coming down to "try their luck" with the guy who's been publicly insulting them for the past two years.

And maybe I won't have to worry about some much more serious issues, either. Because now that we know bouncers kill one another, it maybe seems like a better idea for yours truly to maintain that low profile I've worked so diligently to cultivate.

Every time something happens at a nightclub, I'm approached by the media. They have questions. They want interviews. One -- to whom I refused to speak -- emailed me regarding a "retarded" story "concocted" by his editor. He asked me to provide a few quotes about bouncers who've become hit men. I told him I didn't know any, and tried to put him in contact with several who've become accountants. Last I heard, he hadn't called anyone on that list.

I had the following email exchange with a magazine reporter today:

Him: Heya man, I enjoy reading the blog. You are probably sick of talking to the media already, so I just wanted to ask if maybe you could kick down the names of a few "reputable" security companies that provide bouncers to the big Manhattan clubs. I'm working on a story about how bouncers are licensed, and wanted to interview a few of the companies. I won't mention how I got their names. Thanks much

Me: Honestly? I have no idea. I've never worked anywhere that uses them.

Him: Do you have a sense that a lot of places use them? I remember reading in your blog that the places you've worked would never even let a Littlejohn character in off the street for an interview. I thought you were referring to the use of private security companies.

Me: None of the places I work use them. Most of the "better" clubs hire only people they know and can vouch for. That's what I meant about Littlejohn. If a guy has a reputation like that, someone will know, and he wouldn't even get consideration.

Him: Any chance you could help me find someone to talk to about nightclub security? Someone who is knowledgeable about the industry? I don't need to use any names in the story. Everybody is so hesitant to talk about this stuff.

Me: I wish I could, but I doubt it. They're hesitant for very good reason.

Him: I imagine you're right about that.

Well yes, actually, I am right about that, and I'm going from my own experience here. I'm happy to sit here and write an anonymous blog about this shit, but I'm rather disinclined to put my livelihood in jeopardy in order to provide a few paragraphs worth of information for a newspaper or magazine article that pretty much covers the same shit I've been writing about here for two years. And I'm reasonably certain everyone else in the business feels the same way, at least in terms of revealing the kind of information journalists are looking for. Especially in the New York nightclub industry, because when you cross people there, you'll get a bullet to the back of your head before any subpoena ever arrives.

Think I'm kidding?

Melissa Lafsky said it best. Once, when Newsday made mention of her in an article about job bloggers -- an article in which I wasn't mentioned -- I petulantly said something to the effect of, "Well what the fuck do they think I am? It's my local newspaper, for fuck's sake."

Her reply was perfect. "It's because you're still anonymous. You don't get that kind of stuff because people want a name and a face. And some facts. The way you're going, once you're no longer anonymous, you'll get all that stuff. But not while nobody knows who you are."

And it'd be nice. It'd be a peach not to have to nix everyone who comes along. It'd be a pleasure not to have to turn down the same major magazine -- twice -- because they insisted on printing my real name, complete with picture. And I'm sure I'll be doing all that, and more, when the book comes out. You think I don't want that stuff? Who wouldn't want that stuff?

But I've not gone after any of that stuff because I like to work, and because I wouldn't be working in the club business for very long if my employers knew what I was doing. And even though the things I'm writing about them aren't really that bad, I'd still rather not run the risk of losing my door income. Or my life, for that matter.

So I do my talking here, on this website, in a controlled environment where I'm the judge, jury and executioner of what makes it into "print." It's been working for me thus far, and there's no reason to tinker with the system I have in place. I go to work, I get paid, I come home. I write a blog entry. I work on the book. I'm making my money and I'm paying my bills and everything's right in my little corner of the world.

And until I "hang up the earpiece"* and walk out the back door for the final time, that's how it has to stay.

* * * * *

* This is not my quote, but I've been waiting for over a year to use it.