Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Today is my birthday. I have mixed feelings about this.

Of course, I’m thankful for having reached another birthday because, by all rights, I could have been wiped from the face of the earth about a dozen times over during the course of my life – and also because too many people I’ve known and loved actually have been. That’s the first thing I think about on my birthday, and I suppose still being around is the thing for which I’m most grateful.

Next, I’m thankful for the fact that people think I’m much younger than I actually am. I still have to show my ID to buy beer or get into bars despite theoretically being old enough to have fathered the guy proofing me. This is because I’ve never been married, I have no kids, and I’ve never smoked crack. Stay within the confines of that trifecta – single, childless and crack-free - and you’ll still look young long past the age where most guys you know are bald and fat and can’t make it up a flight of stairs.

Getting older bothers people like me. It probably bothers people like you, too, but I’d like to think it bothers me more because of who I used to be and what I used to do. Chronologically, I’m now another year removed from many things I’ll never have the opportunity to do again. Psychologically, these things happened centuries ago. Physically, I might be in the best shape of my life and can probably still perform well, but nobody’s taking applications for thirty-something rookies nowadays. This makes me sad when I think about it, because I know things now that would have made life much easier back then when I should’ve known my ass from my elbow.

Too late, though. Thanks for playing, now go get a job.

I know what I know because I’ve gotten used to taking pride in the accomplishments of people I’ve helped, instead of walking around bragging about shit I’m doing. On my birthday, however, I temporarily think more about what I’ve missed than what I’m currently hitting.

“Does this mean,” asked Clint, “that we have officially hit the age where doing becomes teaching others to do?”

“Seems like the next best thing.”

“Still ain’t the same, though.”

“Not even close.”

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Thanksgiving is an odd time for me. I’m working tonight, and tonight always sucks because it’s the worst bouncing night of the year. After that, I go without sleep and engage in the one unselfish, unspoiled, uncorrupted thing I still do with my life. That happens tomorrow morning.

So, things for the next twenty-four hours are mixed. It’s the bad followed by the good followed by sleep.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Don’t bust my balls too badly tonight.


I broke up multiple fights tonight and threw multiple people out. This was rather strange for a Tuesday night, but I’m glad it happened because I needed to be tested. I needed to be tested because I’ve been acting like a pussy lately, and maybe, somewhere in the back of my mind, behaving like a pussy for an extended period of time has made me wonder whether I really am a pussy.

This has nothing to do with bouncing.

So I was tested tonight, and I passed. At Point A, I was standing at the door feeling sorry for myself. At Point B, I was standing up to a coked-out jackass so he wouldn’t try to go back inside and get himself killed. Somewhere between the beginning of Point A and the conclusion of Point B is when the important part happened – the part where I remembered who the fuck I am, and what sort of behavior I won’t accept from myself.

Sometimes it takes throwing around a Guido to let you know you’re still alive.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Another Stupid Update

Sorry about the lack of quality posting lately. I’ve been having my requisite – at least for me – “personal issues” the past couple of weeks or so, so I haven’t had much time to sit down and write anything of substance.

I think you probably won’t want to hear about how I waited for four hours in a Social Security office the other day just to place an order for a replacement card. My powers of observation weren’t exactly honed to a fine point that day, so I have nothing interesting or funny to say on the subject.

I’m also a little Guido’ed out for the week, so I really don’t feel like addressing them, either.

I just finished reading Angle of Repose, by Wallace Stegner. It was very good. You should read it, too. I also read A Coffin for Dimitrios, by Eric Ambler, and Teddy Atlas’ autobiography. Both were interesting.

Have a good weekend, everyone. I will be back in force next week. Seriously.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Boiling Point

This will be a very straightforward story of how a bouncer can be pushed only so far by an imbecile before he blows his stack and wants desperately to use violence to solve the problem. A bouncer - at least a patient, fair-minded one like I try to be - will blow his stack and resort to violence only when customers forget their “place” – and their physical limitations – and push and push and push until someone ends up getting pissed off and pushes back.

That’s what I did on Saturday night. I pushed back. This customer didn’t do anything particularly bad to me, either. The pushing was the result of a combination of factors. Every time I had to deal with this guy, he didn’t react the way I thought he should. This, obviously, isn’t always a bad thing. I’m not a person who goes around thinking that everyone should do exactly what I expect them to. That’s not realistic, and I’m a guy who thrives on the realistic. The problem with this jerkoff was that even though I was taking care of relatively minor infractions in his case, he always did something significantly worse than what I was expecting.

He also repeatedly called me “Chief” and “Boss.” In this story, I’ll be calling him “Door Prick.”

It started when he came to the door with two of his friends. They all had sneakers on – a violation of our dress code – and one was already so drunk he was swaying.

“Guys, we got a dress code tonight. No sneakers, and you need a collared shirt.”

“Blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah, blah blah blah blahblahblah.”

“I don’t know what to tell you,” I said. “You’re gonna have to get her on the phone and get her to come out here.”

“Blah blah blah, blahblahblah?”


A few minutes later, a female bartender came to the door, told me they were friends of hers, and asked if I could let them in.

“I gotta see everyone’s ID.”

“Come on, Boss. She just said to let us in.”

“Dude,” I said, “just gimme your ID.”

He opened his wallet – his license was behind a plastic sleeve – and held it six inches from my face.

“Take it out of there, please.”

“Why? You can’t read it through there?”

“Are you always such a dick?” I asked.


“You’re a dick, man. You’re acting like a dick and you’re talking like a dick. You can’t just hand me your fucking license like a normal fucking person? You have to be an arrogant fucking dick because your friend came out and you think you’re getting over on me?”

“Yo,” he said, “I’m twenny-five! You seen me before, Chief. Why I got to take my ID out if you seen me before?”

A half hour later...

“Can you come inside for a minute?” asked Nick the Manager. “There’s an argument at the front bar.”

Guess who?

“What happened?” I asked a girl who Nick the Manager told me had been involved.

“That guy,” she replied, pointing at Door Prick, “kept bumping into us and was very disrespectful. Very disrespectful. He’s gonna get knocked the fuck out…”

“Just relax,” I interrupted. “I got it.”

I walked over to the offending group.

“Listen, do me a favor, okay? You guys shouldn’t even be here in the first place, but I let you in against my better judgment even though your man here acted like an asshole. One more fucking thing and you’re gone. Don’t go over there, don’t look over there and quit acting like a fucking asshole or I’m throwing you the fuck out.”

A half hour later, he’s wrestling with his friend at the bar…

“Can you do something about that?” asked Nick the Manager.

“Guys,” I said, “you gotta knock it off.”

“We’re friends!” said Door Prick.

“You always got something to say, don’t you?” I grabbed his arm and pulled him toward the front of the bar. “Now you’re fuckin’ leaving.”

He tried to pull his arm away, but I wouldn’t let him, and he wasn’t the type to throw a punch. His friends were laughing at him. Nick the Manager opened the door for me and I shoved him out to the sidewalk. I wanted to punch him in the face.

“What the fuck you gonna do now? You wanna fuckin’ mouth off now, motherfucker?” He was backing off. I kept moving toward him. We moved, in this arrangement, down the sidewalk toward the front of the next bar.

“What’s your problem, Boss?”

“You wanna be a fuckin’ pain in the ass out here? Little harder when someone calls you the fuck out, right? C’mere, motherfucker. Where the fuck you goin’?”

He turned and walked away. Quickly. I followed.

“Rob!” yelled Nick the Manager. “Let it go!”

I kept following him. The bouncers from the bar next door were watching.

“You better turn around, motherfucker,” I called to him. “I’m gonna kick you right in your fuckin’ ass!” Nick the Manager had his hand on my arm. We were half a block down from our front door. Door Prick kept looking back at us, but he wasn’t saying anything because he was alone and wasn’t sure if I’d keep following.

“Motherfucker,” I muttered, turning back to the door. “I hate little fuckin’ dickheads like that.”

“You can’t chase him all the way out here like that,” Nick the Manager said. “I got nobody at the door now.”

“You should’ve stayed there, then.”

“And let you go beat that kid up?”

“Why?” I asked. “You think you could’ve stopped me if I wanted to?”

“No, but I can always fire you.”

“Maybe I’ll call your bluff and go back around the block. You’d be doin’ me a fuckin’ favor, anyway.”

Monday, November 12, 2007

Great Story

Here is where you find out that I don’t know things. Decent looking girl comes up to me last night and says this:

“Can you let my cousins in? They’re coming in about ten minutes.”

“Why are you asking me if I can let them in?” I ask. “Is there something wrong with them?”

“Can you just let them in? They’re emo, but they’re so nice.”

“They’re what?”

“They’re emo,” she says.

“What the hell is that?”

Thursday, November 08, 2007


“You want to know what’s funny about the whole experience?”

“What?” I replied, wondering what one thing could possibly be funnier than all the rest.

“I’d be standing there in my spot, and I’d see these two dudes get in a fight in front of me. I mean right in front of me, and these two idiots would be squared off all half-assed and kind of looking at me while they were doing it, and I’d just stand there and not do shit.”

“Why should you?”

“No,” he said. “I wouldn’t do shit because I wanted to see what they’d do. I wanted to see if they’d actually try to hurt each other.”

“Sometimes they did.”

“Yeah, sometimes. But other times you just know they wanted me to do something. They both wanted to just square off, have somebody jump in between them, yell at each other like a couple of pussies, then walk off and tell everyone they got into a fight at the club.”

“I did the same thing,” I said. “You think I actually cared about anyone’s safety in that fuckin’ place?”

“You cared about your own.”

“Oh, hell yeah.”

“If I ever go out looking for another club job,” he said, “I’ll just tell the guy who interviews me that I can work security. I’ll tell him I’ll stand in his club and keep myself secure.”


“You remember that fat dumb fuck Cuban cigar guy who used to hang out down in Vince’s room?”

“Tony?” I asked.

“Yeah, Tony. I hated that motherfucker. This one night he gets into an argument with a bunch of guys down there, and Vince asks me to walk him down the block to his limo ‘cause the cops had the whole block barricaded and the limos and cabs had to pull up all the way down the end. Now, he knew I couldn’t stand him, so it was really awkward. I just told him flat-out, ‘If anything happens, or anyone comes after you, you know I’m not getting involved, right?’ And he says, ‘Yeah, I know, but thanks for walking me out.’”

“That’s the irony of it all when these idiots throw you a hundred bucks to walk them across the club. I’d take their money, but what the fuck did they think I was gonna do if someone came up and did something to them? Protect them? Get involved? Are you fucking kidding me?”

“The biggest idiot on the whole staff was Kevin,” he said. “If something started, he used to jump right into the shit without even calling anyone, like it actually fucking mattered. I remember one time somebody started yelling about there being a fight up by the steps, and I ran over and he was choking one guy, he had another guy pinned with his knee, and he had some asshole on his back. He ended up with his eye practically hanging out of the socket, and I was like, ‘Dude, what the fuck’s the point of that?’”

“Fuck that. I’d make the call then wait for everyone to show up. No fucking way I’m jumping in first.”

“Like I said, I used to stand there and wait to see what they’d do. See how far they’d take it when they realized I wasn’t gonna jump in.”

“Right,” I said. “See if they’ll fight to the fucking death, or something.”

“Exactly. Imagine if the club was like Gladiator? Every time you came down to drink, or dance, or whatever, there was a chance you’d get picked for a fucking death match with some other guy right there in the VIP.”

“Yeah, and they’d stop everything, and all the other Guidos would light torches, and the DJ would play that da da daa daa daa da da deee da theme they played on the old Star Trek whenever Captain Kirk got in a fight.”

“And,” he said, “if one Guido tried to pussy out and get away, the rest of the Guidos would throw his ass back onto the dance floor because it’s to the death and you can’t get away until somebody makes the kill.”

“That,” I said, “would make it worthwhile to bounce in one of those shitholes again. If we set something like that up, I’d work for free, man.”

“We could film it on our phones and put it on YouTube.”

“Fuck it. We could put the shit on pay-per-view and make a mint. Who wouldn’t shell out a few bucks to see it when the champion Guido gets sick of killing all the other Guidos and just flips out, puts his shirt back on and yells, ‘Are you not entertained?’”

“Then,” he said, “he’ll walk out in a blaze of glory with ‘You don’t need nuuuuuthin’ at all from me…’ playing in the background.”

“And we can show him walking away down Tenth Avenue with the song from the first Rambo movie playing. ‘It’s a loooooong road…when yer on yer own…’”

“Carrying a bucket of ice with his wife beater over his shoulder.”

“Then we fade to black,” I said. “That’s some good shit right there.”


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Voice From the Back

“You have to be kidding me,” I said. “Right out in the open like that?”

“No, man,” replied African Joe, his Nigerian lilt heavily accenting the no and minimizing the man. “Not right out in the open. It was in the back where it’s dark.”

“Aren’t there cameras back there?”

“No cameras, man. Cameras are all outside that back door. No inside.”

“Shit.” I ran a palm over my head, which my Russian barber had buzzed the hell out of that afternoon at my request. “Twice a month?”

“At least twice a month. Sometimes more. Never less.”

“That never happened to me. Never.”

“Dat’s because you always up at the front, man,” he said. “You never inside anymore with us. Mebbe you come inside sometimes, you can do it too!”

“Goddamn, man. I wouldn’t even know how to go about doing that. How the fuck do you even start that process in front of everybody like that?"

“It helps to be black, my friend.”

“Oh, shit. It’s always white chicks, right?”

African Joe laughed at this, displaying a mouthful of cheap gold caps he’d had installed in England.

“Yes,” he replied, “eets always the white women.”

“How the fuck do you do that?”

They come up to me, man. They come up and say ting like, ‘Is it true what dey say about the black man?’ And I say, ‘Is what true?’ And then they start talk about the deek!”

“Could that be any more fucking stereotypical?” I asked.

“Then I ask them if they want to feel it, and sometimes I put their hand on it so they can see.”

“And then they start blowing you?”

“One thing lead to another, man. You know how ting go.”

Friday, November 02, 2007


“Step over here for a minute, okay?” I asked, directing a familiar face to move off the line and walk with me to the opposite side of the door.


“I want to ask you something. You look like a pretty smart guy, so I want to get your advice on a little scenario I’m gonna give you.”

“Why me?” he asked, hesitating.

“Don’t worry, man. We’ll get to that. Just hear me out and you can ask all the questions you want when I’m done laying this shit out, okay?”


We stepped past the barricade and walked several paces to the left of the door.

“So,” I began, “I had a little problem here a few weeks ago, and I need you to put yourself in my shoes and see how you’d handle it.”


“You’re leaning against the side of the club, having a conversation with a couple of guys, when some drunk guy comes over, stands right next to you and starts talking…”

“Yo…” he interrupted.

“Yo, yourself,” I said. “Lemme finish. So this drunk guy steps right into your conversation, and all the sudden he doesn’t like something somebody says and he starts yelling, which is really kind of stupid because he doesn’t know these other guys from a hole in the wall, he has no fucking idea what the fuck they were talking about, and nobody invited him to come over and join in. You following me so far?”


“So what this guy does, is he walks over to the end of the sidewalk and starts yelling at you. Not the guy who said the thing he didn’t like, mind you, but you. He’s standing there, ten feet away from you, telling you he’s gonna kick your ass and bash your face in and making every stupid fucking threat in the book. And meanwhile, you’re just standing there wondering why the fuck this is going on because all you really wanted to do was get paid and go home, and you weren’t the one who pissed this asshole off in the first place. Does that sound fair to you?”


“No, dude,” I said. “You gotta wait. So the next thing that happens is the guy comes over and puts his hands on you, and before you know it you’ve got him down on the ground and you’re choking him, and it’s the most retarded fucking situation anyone could ever be in, but you’re in it and you have to fucking do something about it otherwise you’re gonna get hurt. Now remember, you didn’t have anything to do with this whole thing, you didn’t start it, and you only wanted to get your money and go home after eight hours of working some bullshit job that you don’t even like. Does that sound fair?”


“And now, three weeks later, you’re back at the door, working that same bullshit job that you don’t even like, and the guy that forced you into that situation that was so entirely fucking unnecessary comes up to you like nothing happened and wants to come in. Does that sound fair? Would you let him in if you were me? What would you do?”

“Yo, listen…”

“No,” I said. “Wait. Before you answer that question, I want you to remember that you’re putting yourself in my shoes here. If you don’t think about this from my perspective, we’re not gonna get anywhere, so that’s what you gotta do right now. Don’t rationalize, don’t apologize, and don’t try to act tough, ‘cause I’m not being hostile to you. I just want you to think about what you would do if you were me right now, and some guy who did that shit to you came up and asked you for something.”

“Yo, I come here all the time…”

“No! That has no bearing on the fucking subject! You didn’t listen to a goddamned word I said! I want to know if it’d be fair of me, after the way you acted that night, to tell you to go fuck yourself for putting me in that situation. Seriously, man. Why the fuck, in a million years, should I let you in?”

“Yo,” he replied, “I apologize. I was fucked up that night, and I didn’t mean to do that.”

“Okay, I appreciate your apology, but I’ll only accept it if you’ll do me the favor of acknowledging my point. Can you at least see what a bad fucking position you put me in that night, and how pointless that all was?”

“I get it, man. You’re right.”

“So no problems with you tonight?” I asked.

“No problems.”