Monday, April 30, 2007


The problem with being someone who’s not constantly grinning and glad-handing is that people eventually start thinking you’re an angry guy. That’s my problem. People meet me and think I’m an angry guy. They think this because I’m so dead set on being left alone by assholes and inconsiderate cocksuckers that my social reticence tends to leak into the ebb and flow of my relationships with people who aren’t assholes and aren’t inconsiderate.

Thing is, the vast majority of people I come across at work are assholes and are inconsiderate. With me, at work, I’m used to being ignored and shelved with the second-tier and the less important – in places and positions where nobody’s getting treated like any kind of star. I’ve moved through the ranks because I’m honest and effective, and not because I’m particularly charismatic or aesthetically pleasing at the door. I’m not even all that big, as you’ll all eventually find out. I am, however, pretty fucking good at what I do, which is why I get my respect from the people who need me where I am.

When you come to my door, none of this matters to you. You don’t want to flirt and hobnob with the likes of me. I have calluses on my hands anyway, and sometimes they get scratchy when I stand outside all night picking at them. It’s the faces and mouthpieces that you’ll want to get in with, because they’re the ones who’ll make you feel good. They’ll give you what you want and make you feel important – like a somebody, for once – because that’s what you’re doing down here in the first place, isn’t it?

I’m happiest being quiet at the bottom of the pile. No show. All go.

I’ve never developed a taste for all the disingenuous bullshit that goes on at the door, so I’m just an afterthought to most. People in the nightclub business offer respect based upon the amount of money an individual can spend. I grant mine commensurate with how much they contribute. Who am I? I’m nobody. I don’t contribute much, but I destroy nothing. When politicians come into the club – and they do, for various reasons - some bouncers fawn all over them because they’re known. I fawn over nobody, known or otherwise. Politicians are people who spend inordinate hours convincing me to give them jobs. Like me so you can have the privilege of paying me. After they get these jobs, they turn around and fuck me sideways. They should be holding the fucking door for me.

When you act like I do, and say the things I do, people classify you. They take your file and they toss it into an assigned slot. They think you’re angry and they want to know why. When you fail to tell them what they need to hear – mostly because you don’t think it necessary – they smile at you condescendingly and tell you what they want you to know about life. They feel the need to “throw the angry guy a line.” They want to haul you back on board the USS Goodwill so you can strut around the deck with a big juicy grin on your face like all the other mindless jerkoffs to whom weekend nights at Club Guido actually mean something more than a paycheck and sore feet.

When you’re in the minority, it rarely occurs to anyone that you could be right. The smirking majority isn’t likely to wake up and see that there’s nothing healthy or positive or good about a gathering of thousands of drunken, drug-addled pieces of human garbage, most of whom are carrying sexually transmitted diseases. If I don’t think there’s anything of value to be found in such a place, there might be some substance to what I’m saying because I’ve spent more time there than most. I look around and see people doing destructive things to themselves and to others and I don’t like being there and I don’t like them. I like the money I make as a result of all of it, but this doesn’t necessarily mean I have to do my job with a smile on my face.

Still, they wink at you as if they know better. They laugh at you as though they’ve been enlightened and you haven’t. They talk to you as if it’s just that simple to “do the right thing” and come over to their side, as if the right thing to do is to accept these people and their bullshit as something natural and correct. “You’ve strayed,” they say, “but all you have to do is turn that frown around and come back to the flock. Not everyone is an enemy, you know.”

What they don’t take into account is that there are things – I’ll call them “truths” – that are absolute. I know these things better than I know my own name, and even the smiles and chortles of those who think they “understand the problem” can’t overcome the fact that certain of these truths are universal.

These people who come to my club three nights a week and drink and drug themselves into oblivion? They’re not good people. They’re people with psychological problems that will inevitably devolve into physical ones. Most of them suffer from massive chemical dependencies. Those who don’t are simply world class narcissists who can’t go through five minutes of their lives without shamelessly drawing attention to themselves and everything they own. And none of them – not a single motherfucking one of them – has any idea how to coexist with the rest of the population in a reasonable, considerate, hassle-free manner.

If I play their game – and smile and laugh and “go along to get along” – the natural order of things comes out of alignment for me. I’m a flounder on the dock. If I don’t play their game, I’m a curiosity. An angry guy at whom the crowd can laugh and roll its collective eyes.

Being different, however, doesn’t make me wrong.

Friday, April 27, 2007

After Work

Lots of swinging jaws last night. Scads of them, and one guy walking around with coke on his forehead. More on this next week.

Also, someone alerted me to the presence of this place. I need someone to go there, for me, and order an "I am Enraged," with a side of "I am Homicidal" and some "I am Permanently Fucked in the Head and Have To Take a Massive Shit" to wash it down.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Me and Mommy...

...discuss the state of the world.

“Oh, stop. People don’t do that.”

“Yeah, they do, Mom. They do it all the time.”

“Why?” she asked. “Why would anyone want to do that? I can’t believe anyone would do that in this day and age.”

“Are you serious? It’s this ‘day and age’ that’s causing all the goddamned problems in the world.”

“People seriously call each other racial slurs in fights at that place?”

“Happens all the time,” I replied. “Every time something happens, it always turns racial. You know that guy Stan I’m always talking about? The guy who used to play for the Jets?”


“Someone calls that guy a n----r at least three times a night. Sometimes more.”

“Oh that’s so low class.”

“Who the hell do you think I’m dealing with every goddamned night?” I asked. “Low class? You wanna talk about low class? Believe me, you have absolutely no idea what goes on in these places. None.”

“Who’s doing this? The Guidos?”

“Pretty much. And you know what? Everybody thinks the whole thing’s so damned funny with the spiky hair and the eyebrows and all that crap, but it’s like a cancer with these kids, it really is. With a lot of them, it goes a whole hell of a lot further than just what they’re wearing or what they do to their faces and hair. A lot of these kids are just straight-up pieces of garbage.”

“I can’t wait until you get out of that job,” she said.

“Why? You think it’s only about that stupid club? These people are everywhere. They’re on the roads driving around. They’re growing up to be adults, some of them, and they’re taking these goddamned attitudes of theirs with them.”

“I don’t think any of this should be going on.”

“Any of what?” I asked.

“These nightclubs. I think it’s disgusting, the things you tell me about.”

“I don’t really mind the high-end clubs. If people have money, and they want to go out in the city and spend it and have a good time, I have no problem with that. It’s these places like mine that I can’t stand, because of the damned lack of civility around here. It’s absolutely insane how narcissistic these people are.”


“And the problem,” I interrupted, “is that they don’t just disappear when I walk out of the club at night. These kids are everywhere, and they don’t have a goddamned clue about life. Not a goddamned clue, and that’s why everything sucks, because too many people around here are just absolute pieces of crap who treat everyone else like shit, excuse my French.”

“How much longer until you can quit?”

“Are you even listening? This has nothing to do with my job! There’s just this attitude that too many people have in New York where if they don’t know you, you’re automatically an enemy. They can’t coexist with anyone else. It’s not like they can just go about their lives and leave people alone. Everybody has to be openly hostile to everyone else. On the road, in the store, in the club, on the phone, on the train…everywhere.”

“They way people drive in this…”

“Driving? Driving? Don’t even get me started on driving. People drive like they know what they’re doing, and they don’t. They tailgate and weave through traffic, and they’re not good enough drivers to do it. They don’t have the skills. I wanna go up to every idiot who cuts me off and say, ‘You’re not a good enough driver to be going around not signaling turns,’ because they’re not. Trust me on that. I was a professional driver for years. I could do shit in my car that would make your heart stop, but I don’t. If these people really wanna race, I’d kill them, but you can’t do that because you supposedly have to have some respect for the other people on the road, although you wouldn’t know it around here.”

“I went to the defensive driving course,” she said, “and…”

“It’s a cancer. These people don’t have a damned clue. It’s like the lady who walked by with the stroller when I was mowing your lawn last summer. You’d figure she’d be smart about it and wait until I was looking so I could take the mower to the other side and let her go by, or maybe she should have gone to the other side of the street, but no. Just abject stupidity. I turn around and she’s standing right next to a running lawn mower with a baby in a stroller. I mean, how goddamned stupid do you have to be? These people have no idea, because nothing bad ever happened to them before, and they don’t pay attention to any of the bad shit that happens to anyone else because they’re too wrapped up in themselves and their own ignorance.”

“Now that was ridiculous. These young mothers don’t understand…”

“No,” I said. “They don’t. When I was a kid, we knew how to cross the street. You wait until it’s clear and then you run across. Then I grew up and got a driver’s license and I couldn’t understand why people kept wandering out into the middle of the road thinking I’m supposed to stop for them. Then when someone gets hit, they run straight to their Congressman and demand a traffic light or a stop sign, which nobody’s gonna stop at anyway because nobody gives a crap about obeying the law in the first place.”

“I think you really need a vacation.”

“I don’t need a vacation. I need to go to sleep, and when I wake up, I need for the collective IQ of the greater New York area to be higher than sixty-five. That’s what I need. Half the people I meet these days are so goddamned stupid they should be wearing helmets.”

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Already Been

Back when I needed the money a hell of a lot more, I used to care about the shit that went on at the front door. I’d monitor the whole damned show, comparing – in my head, of course – the cash flow I was raking in with the totals everyone else was posting. Despite all the requisite bouncer lip service about “having each other’s back” and “trusting our teammates,” every door guy worth a shit has, in the recesses of his mind, a preprogrammed spreadsheet that’s ready for trotting out when someone from management calls us on the carpet for financial improprieties.

I was no exception to this rule. In most ways that count, I’m still not. As long as I’m posted at a door – book “celebrity” notwithstanding (as fucking if) – both my internal cash meter and my fellow-door-guy bullshit detector are always running. I’m constantly keeping track, whether the job means anything to me anymore or not, because I’m running on instinct most nights, and my bouncer instincts have always served me well.

What does this mean? It means that if you’re working the door with me, and you try to lowball management with your kickback at the end of the night, I’ll know you’re planning on stealing before you’ll even take so much as a single step in that direction. If you donate too much, I’ll know you’re trying to make me look bad. I know the required percentages and I know what you’ve made, and if you think you’re slipping anything past me at this stage of my door game, you’ll be doing so at your peril.

What else does this mean? It means that if you’re a customer, and you’re trying to get something – admission, let’s say – for less than market value, I’ll know that, too. I’ll know you’re a cheap bastard and I’ll know you’re not to be trusted – not that any of us have ever trusted any of your sorry asses in the first place, mind you. But still.

The way it works is, someone will want to hustle a group of people into the club without waiting in line. Five is a nice round number to use for purposes of illustration here, because at $20 a head – remember, my club is well past its peak – a group of five represents a quick $100 I can put in my pocket to count toward my kickback tally at the end of the night. Customers who choose this road to entry tacitly agree to pay twice – they pay me to save themselves a twenty minute wait, then they go to the cashier’s window and pay the actual cover charge. Some of this line-busting payment goes to me as my reward for soliciting it, and the rest goes to a preordained assortment of management-types. Everybody wins. Even me, for once.

There’s only one group of people who could possibly take such a well-oiled mechanism and gunk up the entire works so it chokes and falters: the customers. Those goddamned, piece-of-shit motherfucking mutants who line my sidewalk and show me, nightly, that it never, ever pays to trust another living soul aside from your mother – and even she can be a little shaky from time to time, right?

So, I’m standing on my side of the barricade, minding mine and everybody else’s business, when this piece of shit from Franklin Square – or some other such nightmarish locale – comes strutting up, asking me if I can “squeeze in” six people.

“I’ll take care of you,” he says.

I tap Freddie on the elbow and jerk my head ever-so-slightly toward the small opening between the barricade and the cheesy faux-balustrade fronting the club’s entryway. Freddie knows exactly what this gesture means, because it’s the same one we’ve been throwing each other every five minutes for years now. He knows it means he’s on his own with the line for a bit while I transact business with the Head Guido and his crew of ne’er-do-wells.

Reaching between the iron spokes of the barricade, I take a wad of bills from his hand. With a practiced motion, my chin at my chest, I deftly flip through the stack with my left hand while the Head Guido turns to direct his group to the opening. A twenty, a ten, and several singles. He’d handed me a grand total of $42: a staggering sum, for all the wrong reasons. I kicked the barricade flush against the concrete rail with an audible snap, closing the opening and barring them entry.

“Dude,” I said, passing the money back through the barricade, “what the fuck is this?”


“Did you think I wasn’t gonna take a look at what you gave me?”

“What?” he said, gracing me with the universal palms-up Guido-playing-dumb gesture that continually sets me on the verge of collapse. “It ain’t enough?”

“Take it back, and have a good night. I think you guys’ll have a better time down the block.”

“Yo, no disrespect, but…”

“Listen,” I interrupted. “There’s plenty of disrespect. It ain’t even about the money. You’re tryin’ to be a scumbag, so don’t even try to pretend you didn’t know how much you had to pay. You gotta be fuckin’ kidding me.”

The Head Guido stepped away and conferred with his friends for a minute, after which time he came back to the edge of the barricade and tried to make eye contact with Freddie. Freddie looked over at me.

“Take it,” I said, waving my hand dismissively. “And make sure you count whatever he shows you.”

Freddie leaned his forearms on the top of the barricade, his right hand covering his left, with his right foot wedged between the spokes. This is our cool pose – the one we reserve for important bouncer-customer confabs. He nodded as the Head Guido spoke quietly into his ear. After a while, he reached through the barricade, straightened up, and examined something in his hand. He shook his head, muttered a few words I couldn't quite make out, then handed the item back through the bars and stepped back to the door.

“That guy sends his apologies.”

“What’d he give you?” I asked.

“You ever feel like you’re on Candid Camera when you’re standin’ up here?”

“Every fuckin’ night.”

“I mean,” he said, “it’s gotta be a joke, right?”

“Did he at least throw in another twenty?”

“Nope. He handed me a roll of singles wrapped up in a twenny and said to give you half ‘cause you were mad at him.”

I turned the podium a gentle little half-revolution and checked for donuts. People bring Freddie donuts all the time. Freddie is a man who likes a good cruller at three in the morning. I’ve been dieting lately – you know, “leaning out” for the summer and all that – but this motherfucker made me need something with a reward in the middle. I opened the box. Nothing. Bollocks. “I once thought about goin’ to medical school, you fat fuck, you know that?”

“That a fact?”

“Yeah, man. I really did. No shit.”

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I looked up at the muraled ceiling and the one-piece crown molding that spanned the length of the room from door to back wall. I scanned it inch by inch, expecting to find evidence of a seam, but the piece hadn’t been cut. It hadn’t ever been cut. Such a long section of crown molding, especially with the sort of detail routed into this one, is an expensive proposition. When top-corners of walls catch your eye, as they tend to do mine, the seams are the first thing you notice. There’s always a seam because nobody – nobody short of an egomaniacal North Shore lawyer with a vendetta against gravity – wants to spend that kind of money just to make the trappings of one’s bathroom pass the visual inspection of a neurotic bouncer who has trouble taking leaks.

For sufferers of bashful kidney syndrome, nightclub bathrooms are the big leagues. They’re places you don’t want to be when you have to do what you have to do. This is because there’s too much noise, and too many people, and your mind tends to shift into an poorly timed state of hyperfocus which, while helpful in most everyday tasks, prevents the shy bladder from functioning at optimal levels – if at all.

The key is to somehow get your mind off your immediate situation. The less you think about the act of taking a leak, the more likely you are to get the job done in a reasonable amount of time. Bashful kidney has little to do with confidence. It’s not about size, or girth, or the fact that you’ve been walking around with moth balls in your drawers for the past six months. Nobody in the bathroom gives a shit about any of that, I can assure you. Problems arise when you concentrate too hard. You end up wanting to finish the thing so badly that you unwittingly will yourself not to do it.

The people alongside you don’t help matters, either. They do stupid things. They shout at each other and at nothing at all. They’ve succumbed to the cancerous yearning for attention that pervades all things here in New York, so they’ll produce truckloads of excessive noise and bother the living shit out of everyone within earshot. This helps nobody. If you’re standing in line at a bank of urinals and your bladder’s about to burst, what sense does it make to scream and yell and stanch the flow of half the people you’re hoping to hurry along?

I think about things like this and I have to stop myself from asking questions. I know I can’t ask, because people are generally incapable of taking the extra logical step necessary to understand that what they’re doing is counterproductive. We have a name for people who don’t possess the ability to think one move ahead of the game. They’re called assholes. Only an asshole thinks he can get someone to urinate faster by shouting at them. I’ve found that this behavior takes place most frequently at Yankee games and at nightclubs – places where, coincidentally enough, assholes tend to flock in droves.

Say what you will about Guidos – and I have – but I’ll give the sons of bitches their share of credit. I don’t know how they do it. I’ll stand at a urinal in an empty club bathroom before my shift begins, and I’ll know I’m somewhere I don’t belong. I can’t piss in places like this. Never could. I suppose it’s a skill I’d eventually be able to cultivate, but asking me to deliver in a place like this is the ultimate in losing propositions because I simply haven’t trained for it. I couldn’t imagine being asked to perform, piss after piss, night after night, in an environment like that. It’s not conducive to urinary success. I fail to associate nightclub bathrooms, at least when they’re packed to the rafters with screaming juiceheads, with anything even remotely approaching the concept of flow.

So what I do, even when I’m alone, is study crown molding. I think about miter boxes and coping saws and cornices and soffits and anything else I can possibly think about to keep my mind off the starting of the stream. I used to work math problems in my head. Sometimes my lips would move while I did this. For whatever reason, the number eight was always magical for me. I’d go up the chain, eight steps at a time, multiplying things out until I’d accomplished what I’d come for. By the time I’d hit one-twenty-eight, I’d invariably be done. This idea, however, was hardly asshole-proof and proved a miserable failure at deflecting assholes’ incessant attempts to penetrate the collective consciousness of everyone along the wall.

I avoid such scenes now. There are ways around it. At work, I use the employee bathrooms. If I’m ever in a club, I’ll throw a bouncer a few bucks to use his. If I’m at a baseball game, I’ll take my leaks during play – as opposed to joining the mass exodus up the stairs after the bottom of an inning. You miss less of the game that way simply because you won’t be spending as much time waiting in line.

Best of all, you miss the shrieking Guidos and their phat gold chains.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Stall Talk

I had no internet service all weekend because Verizon's outsourced tech support blows cock...

“I was thinking about doing something a little different this week.”

“Different with what?” she asked.

“Different with the site.”


“Because I was sick last week,” I replied. “I’ve been wanting to get this shit moving again for a while, so I figured if I could have a theme week, I could keep concentrating on this and maybe have a full week of posting for once.”

“You should want to do that anyway. You’re supposed to be some kind of writer now, no?”

“Yeah, I guess. But it’s kind of hard to think about anything else when you’re so fucking constipated that you start hallucinating about great dumps you’ve taken in the history of you.”

“True,” she said, putting the hood of her sweatshirt over her head. It was getting cold on the roof. We’d brought beach towels with us, but spring in New York has been a tad slow to arrive. “What kind of theme are we talking about here?”


“Bathrooms? Does this have anything to do with you being…backed up…all week?”

I looked out at a roof garden across the street. I’m not used to this part of New York yet – the part where people try so hard to simulate nature by cultivating ten-by-ten greenhouse and terrarium spaces atop the concrete and rebar structures they and a thousand other crammed-together people call home. I grew up in New York City, but not here, and not like this. If you mailed something to my house and addressed it to “New York, NY,” followed by my zip code, I’d receive it. Unlike here, though, I’d had a lawn mower in the garage and a lawn to mow. I thought some about this rooftop culture as I looked, and I thought about bathrooms.

“ I was gonna do it anyway.”

“Before or after your intestines almost split at the seams?”

“Before,” I said, “but being fortunate enough to have had to go through my recent troubles at home made me realize how good I have it.”

“In what way?”

“Did I ever tell you about the time I took a shit at Yankee Stadium?”

“No,” she answered. “Is there any way I can prevent you from doing it now?”

“I got all fucked up and drunk the night before, and then I went to see the Yankees play the Red Sox in an afternoon game. ‘Round about the third inning or so, I had a bit of an emergency.”

“Probably not the best place for it.”

“Dude,” I said, “I was in this fucking disgusting stall, with puke and piss and shit all over the place, and a hundred drunk guys on line outside, and I was hovering over this fucking bowl tryin’ to blast it all out.”


“The ironic thing about it was that even though the place was beyond fucking wretched, they still managed to have two full rolls of toilet paper in the dispenser. Saved my motherfucking life that day, I’ll tell you that.”

“And your point is?”

“My point,” I said, noting the inviting glow of the windows across the street as the onset of the gloaming brought to a close the first truly nice weekend day of this year, “is that there are a lot worse places to take a shit than my house.”

“Such as?”

“Well, the club, for one.”

“Ah, yes,” she sighed. “The song remains the same. Tell me something, though.”

“Tell you what?”

“Have you ever been in the women’s bathrooms there?”

“Yeah,” I replied. “I have. Many, many times.”

“Have you ever actually tried to use one?”

“No, but if I had a nickel for every GHB and roofied-up girl I’ve found sleeping in there and had to call an ambulance for, I’d have a few extra bucks in my pocket right now.”

“Yeah,” she said, “but you’ve never had to go in and use one when some insane crowd of girls is there fighting over every inch of space.”

“Hey, at least you get some privacy. Nobody’s asking you to stand shoulder to shoulder with ten other assholes whipping your schlong out and pissing into a trough cut into the wall. That sucks, I can assure you.”

“Well, let me assure you of something, in case you’ve never noticed. Women’s public bathrooms are disgusting. Have you ever seen what’s in those stalls? There’s shit everywhere and everything’s wet. And forget about trying to sit down. When you first close the door, there’s so much crap on the floor that you’re more worried about where you’re going to stand while you’re trying to make the whole operation sanitary enough not to throw up.”

“At least,” I said, “you don’t have to stand around pissing while a bunch of shithead Guidos stand there and yell stupid shit at each other.”

“At least,” she replied, “those Guidos don’t hang out outside the door of your bathroom doing pushups so they’re pumped up when they grab your ass and ask you to come to their table.”

“You’ve seen that?”

“You haven’t?”

“No,” I said. “I really don’t have anything to top that.”

“Don’t worry about it. I don’t think anyone else does either.”

Friday, April 20, 2007


This week sucked the cock. First, I got sick. Really fucking sick. Then, I watched the Virginia Tech coverage sixteen hours per day and thought, among other things, about how I nearly went to school there back when their athletic program wasn't so great and they recruited step-slow, inches-short guys like me.

Then I thought about the day back in 1993 when Colin Ferguson rode past my old house on a Long Island Railroad train, then pulled a gun out of a brown paper bag and started firing ten minutes later.

Then I thought about how he acted as his own attorney and cross-examined witnesses:

"And is the shooter present in this courtroom right now?"

"Yes. It was you."

"And how," asked Ferguson, "can you be so certain of the shooter's identity?"

"Uhhh...because I saw you shoot me?"

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Laid the Fuck Up

Nothing today. I'm still trying to figure out how to get from my bed to the bathroom without stopping for a hallucination break.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Sick as dog.

Monday, April 16, 2007


“Yo,” said the Guido as he left the club, “it’s brick out here, n---a!”

“It’s what?”

“It’s brick, yo. Brick.”

I looked around for help with this one and found nothing. I was alone. Desperately, desolately alone. “What the fuck does that mean?” I asked, palms up, in a state of legitimate wonderment.

“It means it’s cold out here, n---a.”

“Why do you keep calling me that?”

He shrugged. “Come on, yo…”

“And why can’t you just say that it’s cold out? Why do you have to say it’s ‘brick?’ How did that become part of your lexicon?”

“Yo, you know Freddie?”

“Of course I know Freddie,” I replied. “I stand out here with him all fucking night.”

“Freddie’s my boy. I come here every week.”

“What the fuck does that have to do with the price of peanut butter in China?”

“I take care of Freddie every week,” he said, extending his hand. “What’s your name?”

“Dave,” I answered, taking his hand. “But what the fuck are you talking about?”

“I don’t know, n---a! All I know…all I know…is that I got to get away from this crazy muthafuckin’ bitch in there.”

“Can we please get back to the original topic?”

He snorted, clearing God-knows-what from his nasal passages. “Yo, all I know is that there’s some crazy-ass bitches up in here, and n----s be lookin’ at me sideways all muthafuckin’ night. All muthafuckin’ night, you feel?”

“Do me a favor?”


“FOCUS!” I shouted directly into his face.

“Yo, why you trippin’, n---a?”

“Look, all I want to know is why you said it’s ‘brick’ out here. You know, instead of just assessing your relative feelings about the climate and informing me that it’s simply ‘cold.’ That’s all I want to know from you. Is that too much to ask?”

“You got a cigarette?” he asked.

“Yo, Freddie,” I called. “Gimme a cigarette and your lighter. My boy here needs a smoke and this is absolutely fucking fascinating.” Freddie obliged with a Parliament, and the inquiry resumed.

“You don’ smoke?” he asked.

“Nah, man. That shit gives you cancer.”


“Listen,” I interrupted. “Are you gonna answer my original question? I mean, I got you a fuckin’ cigarette and I even lit it for you. You need anything else, man?”

“I’m aight.”

“Then why’d you use ‘brick’ instead of cold?”

“’Cause it is brick, n---a!” he replied.

“You sure the use of the word ‘brick’ wasn’t some last-second play for attention while you were leaving? Just so you could shout it out and let everyone out here see you’re street enough to know what ‘brick’ means?”


“It’s okay,” I said, patting him on the arm. “I totally understand, dude.”

“Yo, what’s your name?”

“First and last?”

He dragged, squinting, on his Parliament. “Huh?”

“My name’s Karl. Karl Marks. Like the economist, except I spell my last name differently. M – A – R – K – S.”


“Listen, man,” I said. “You have a good night, okay? I gotta get back by the door.”

He moved in for a hug. “Yo, you be here next week?”

“Yeah. Get home safe.” I looked down the sidewalk for a few seconds, thought of something, then flicked him on the arm with the back of my hand. “Where you from, anyway?”


Commack? On Long Island?”

“Dat’s the only Commack I know, n---a!”

“Goddamn,” I said. “That explains a lot.”

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Duke Case

I wrote this a year ago.

They may look like people I wouldn't like, but I don't know them personally so I have no idea about that. What I do know is this: if they didn't do it, they didn't do it.

Instead of excoriating the wealthy for cashing their way out of trouble, let's focus on the real enemy: public "servants" who bleed us dry under the guise of advocacy. In this case, the affluent white guy we need to hate is the crooked motherfucker who decided the right thing to do was to put three innocent people in prison in order to win an election.

When we start holding marches to protest people like him, we'll be a lot closer to a solution.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Still the best Guido clip ever.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

For No Particular Reason

Something curious happened last Friday night…

“Do you want to meet us for happy hour?”

“Meet who?” I ask.

“Just me and a bunch of people from work. Nothing crazy. We’re gonna go to a bar near my office.”

“Okay. Tell me where I gotta go.”

“We’re meeting up at a place called the Black Finn on Fifty-Third and Third, right by the entrance to the subway,” she said. “You’re taking the train, right?”

“Yeah, that’s the E. I’ll be there around seven.”

Now, at seven o’clock, the Black Finn was very nice. I grew up in cookie-cutter New York spots like this, and their atmosphere is always familiar and comforting to me. The interior was brighter and breezier than your typical midtown Irish bar. The bartenders were fast and efficient, and there was a decent selection of beer on tap. I noticed that one of the “hot chick” bartenders had absolutely no idea how to pour a pint of Guinness, but since I don’t drink the shit – too stereotypical for me – I didn’t pay this much mind and certainly didn’t hold it against the place.

So I drank. And drank. And drank some more. I spoke at length to people I’d just met about all sorts of shit. I watched the end of the Yankee game. I went outside for some air and shot the shit with the bouncer, who turned out to be a halfway decent guy. I came back in and drank some more. It was fun. Time passed.

And then I went upstairs to take a leak and saw the bathroom attendant, his wares spread out across a table. Uh oh.

Now, Irish bars don’t have bathroom attendants – at least not the ones I customarily patronize. They’ll have a couple of urinals, a couple of stalls, and a sink to wash your hands. The better ones are kept clean. The majority reek of urine and disinfectant. All they ask in return, provided you’re a hand-washer, is that you fetch your own paper towels or press your own button on the air dryer. That’s all. Even at my worst, I’m capable of taking care of business in the bathroom by myself. I prefer it that way, in fact.

This woke me up some. Trouble was afoot. The presence of a bathroom attendant in a bar is never a good sign, and all five senses were up and firing as a result. As I moved back downstairs to return to our group, I noticed that the music had changed, as well – from a tasteful jukebox mix of things I liked, to…

Club music. The dance cancer.

“Jesus,” I said. “When the fuck did they start playing this shit?”

“Look around.”

Sure enough, the place was packed to the fucking rafters with Guidos. Saturated with them. I’d been so preoccupied with my immediate perimeter that I hadn’t seen the occupation, but the Gweeds were everywhere. In about a two hour period since I’d last taken stock of the bar’s demographic, everything had changed. Each way I turned, I saw scads of them – dozens of vertically-challenged spiky-headed cocksuckers clad in blue Italia fleece, frantically scanning the room in search of someone to irritate. Guidos aren’t happy unless they’re hassling someone. I’d been down this road before, and it wasn’t my road of choice. I snatched my coat from the back of a barstool and put it on.

“Be right back,” I said, my hand on her elbow.

“Where are you going?” she asked.

“I gotta go outside and make a call.”

Of course, in any establishment frequented by Guidos, the words “excuse me” are completely devoid of meaning, so there were about a half-dozen near-fights by the time I made it to the door. I vaguely remember grabbing one young gentleman by the elbows and moving him brusquely to the side when he insisted on standing his ground. You have to do that sort of thing to Guidos when they dig in.

Outside, I called Johnny the Cop.

“Dude, you wouldn’t believe this fuckin’ place I’m at.”

“Where are you?” he asked.

“In the city. Place called the Black Finn on Fifty-Third.”

“What about it?”

“I been here all night,” I said, “and it’s fuckin’ filled with fuckin’ Guidos!”

“In midtown?”


“Geez,” he said. “That’s pretty random.”


Tuesday, April 10, 2007


I’ve griped on this site in the past about people giving grandiose “life updates” on their blogs as though people actually give a shit. I’ve even apologized for writing a few of these of my own. I’ve rightfully been upbraided for doing both things – although I’ve deserved it more for bitching about the former than the latter.

Nobody should set himself up as the ultimate arbiter for what should appear on other peoples’ blogs. It’s hypocrisy on my part to play this role, because when I get email regarding content my first response is to say, “Well, dude, I haven’t received your subscription check yet, so I think I’ll be retaining my position as editor of my own blog. But thanks.” As usual, I do nothing but complain no matter which end of things I’m on.

That said, it may please some of you to hear that my little hiatus is coming to an end, and that I’ll be posting regularly on this site again. I’ve been off doing some other shit lately – working, mostly – and I haven’t had the time nor the motivation to write about much of anything. My nights at the club have been rather uninspiring as of late, consisting of little more than standing around shooting the shit with people for hours on end. There’s nothing new about that, obviously, but the difference this time around is that I haven’t been paying any attention whatsoever to the poor Guidos.

For the past three years or so, I’ve carried a pad and pen in the inside pocket of the cheap-ass blazer I wear when I bounce. When something funny happens, I write it down then come home and chronicle it here. These past few months, I haven’t been doing that. I haven’t been doing much of anything, to be perfectly honest. Mostly, I’ve been concentrating on helping some other people out with various things in their lives while I sit around in limbo waiting for the whole book release process to finally get legs and start moving. None of these “things” have involved writing, either, which is probably not a good thing because I need to be doing this on a more regular basis in order to stay in practice. Lord knows I need the reps.

As for the book, you’ll have to excuse all the delays. They’re nobody’s fault but my own, and they’re not really “delays” because I keep tending to make up my own arbitrary publishing dates based on informal throwaway discussions with people at HarperCollins. When I say, “The book will be in stores in April,” I’m pulling things out of my ass. I really have no idea. If you want to stay up to date with something approaching reality, stop listening to my nonsense and check my Amazon page because it’s exponentially more accurate than the information I’ve been providing.

Why has the book taken so long to come out? It’s been a combination of factors. Everyone who knows me personally is aware that I’ve dealt with some serious shit over the past year. This “serious shit” has, unfortunately, drawn the process out quite a bit. Also, this wasn’t some fly-by-night piece of shit that HarperCollins wanted me to write in two months. Fortunately for me, they want the damned thing to be good. I take a fair bit of pride in my work, and I’m lucky enough to have this project in the hands of people who feel the same way about theirs. Instead of pumping out some second or third draft of a piece of shit, we’ve gone through the multiple “passes” necessary to get the thing the way we want it.

Aside from that, there’s not much else going on. Just work. My training and diet have been insane lately, and I’m pretty happy about both. I’m at a new gym now – one that has more of the “toys” I like - and I’m finally doing my thing with a group of people who don’t blink when I start slapping myself in the face before a heavy set of squats, and don’t question me when I make one of my frequent, ill-advised forays back into fight training. That makes me very happy. Instead of being an object of curiosity at the gym, I’m now in a spot where I fit in very comfortably and I’m getting some serious work done.

On that note, there’s something I want you to take a look at if you’re at all interested in what some very influential people – including me, believe it or not - have to say about training and fitness. A few months ago, my friend Alwyn Cosgrove asked me to contribute some writing for a project he’d been working on. Alwyn is one of the best strength and conditioning coaches in the world, and I use many of his suggestions – especially his brutal barbell complexes – on a weekly basis. He’s also survived cancer (lymphoma) twice, and decided, on his own, to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (if you know me, you're well aware that cancer is an extremely personal subject for me) by putting this together. I wrote a three page essay for him on how to get your ass in shape and learn the “right” concepts without paying a personal trainer, so if you’re interested in supporting the worthiest of causes, please check it out. Based on the people involved, I guarantee you’ll find plenty you can use.

Finally, I hate the fucking Long Island Railroad with every fiber of my being. Can someone please explain to me why these lazy motherfucking LIRR conductors are permitted to close off three-quarters of the cars on overnight trains? They corral everyone into the middle five cars on the train, and half the people getting on – a good portion of whom are intoxicated - can’t find seats. One more car, guys. Open one more fucking car and we can all sit down. I know it’s really, really hard to punch tickets for an extra hundred feet, but can you please just fucking give it a try?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Click Twice

Click Twice

Click Twice

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

NCAA Thoughts

Joakim Noah was abused during the game on Monday, but his team won. He looked and spoke like a talking anus in the interviews after the game. I don't know Joakim Noah personally, but from what I've seen, I wouldn't like him very much. He's the Christian Laettner of the twenty-first century. Like Laettner, he'll be little more than a spare part in the NBA.

Joakim Noah, however, is still a junior in college. When I was his age, I was an asshole, too. I wasn't nearly as tacky, nor did I sport two NCAA Championship rings, but I was an asshole nonetheless.

In ten years, Joakim Noah will understand the problem.

Monday, April 02, 2007


“Dance floor! Dance floor! Dance floor! Dance floor!”

“Dance floor!” shouted JD, pointing into the lobby of the club, which is what he says and does when we’re understaffed and he wants me to run inside for a fight. When something happens, he wants me inside because I’m the most physically capable of the door bouncers, but he never explicitly tells me what to do. He simply mimics the call and points, and I’m in motion. This happens often.

Most times, when I’m coming from the door, I’m the last bouncer to arrive at the fight. On my way in, I’ll meet a group of bouncers on their way out with some miscreant in tow, and I’ll reverse field and head straight back up front. That’s what happened on Friday night. Within thirty seconds of leaving the podium, I was on the sidewalk again.

This time, someone took a swing. The customers we’d tossed decided they wanted to fight. There were five of them, and twenty of us. Their odds were poor, and they all ended up on the ground. We punched them and kicked them and choked them. According to the “inside guy” bouncers, they deserved it because they’d been a problem the entire night. All of them, to a man, had been a problem, and now they wanted to fight us because several bouncers had the audacity to call them on their nonsense.

Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever witnessed a group beating, but I have. Many times. Group beatings are difficult to coordinate if there are too many people involved. Everyone stands in the way of progress, and if the recipient of the beating does the right thing and “turtles up,” nobody lands a clean shot. You’d rather be beaten by twenty people than by two, because two people have room to land their strikes. Twenty people don’t. They’ll likely be inflicting more damage on each other than on you.

A twenty-man beating will always look worse than it actually is, even when nothing’s connecting. One bouncer, fearing a potential homicide, will inevitably call the others off. This fear will spread rapidly, and the beating will stop. Miraculously, the “victim” of the beating will then stand up and loudly proclaim, to everyone on the sidewalk, that “twenny juicehead muthafuckas couldn’t beat me down!”

Once this happens, the “victim” has a choice to make. He can either turn around and walk away, or he can continue to crow. Most opt for the latter. They’re sure they won’t be on the ground again anytime soon, so they stand there on the sidewalk and tell us we’re pussies for fighting them twenty-on-five. They tell us we can’t handle them one-on-one. They tell us this for as long as it takes for the police to happen by and stop their patrol cars out of sheer curiosity.

The ironic thing here is that nobody wants to admit to being bested by only one or two bouncers. When the police show up, the “victim” of a proper beating will invariably claim to have been attacked by at least ten of us. In Guidoland, that’s the only way a Guido could possibly lose a tooth or break a rib. This is rare, however, because proper beatings are rare. Most people, unfortunately, don’t receive their comeuppance when they need it.

Our “victim” will go home that night having learned the wrong lesson. If twenty bouncers can’t keep him down, he’ll assume himself to be invincible. Fighting one guy will be a mere bag of shells after he’s proven, on the sidewalks of New York of all places, that he can’t be hurt by twenty. So he’ll do it again. And again. And again and again and again until someone finally targets his ass and nails him – which, if we’d handled things correctly last Friday, should have been our privilege.

I’m not a fan of gratuitous beatings. I don’t like hitting people. The novelty of it all wore off years ago, and now I find the process to be tedious and mostly unnecessary. I’m capable of violence, but I’m not a violent person. Some people, however, need to be beaten up. It’s that simple. They need to have the shit kicked out of them. They need to wake up in the hospital, handcuffed to a bed, so they can say, “I’ve been an asshole and I should think seriously about changing my ways and not bothering people anymore.”

There are two things you learn:

1. When you want to administer a beating, let one or two highly skilled people dole out the blows. The rest should stand back in support roles and wait their turn. Too many cooks spoil the broth.

2. Don’t do the “victim” any favors. If you try to help him, you’re only making yourself stand out from the others and it’ll come back to bite you in the ass when the guy decides to press charges. Fuck him.

Head bouncers, I strongly advise you to address these issues with your employees. With your help, we can make this a better world - one well-placed boot at a time.