Monday, March 24, 2008

Email Q&A

“I'm basically in a position where I am trying to get my friend allowed back into our favourite club. He was barred for 4 weeks for being a drunk idiot. The bouncer who last stopped him getting in didn't know it was for 4 weeks, and it seems to me like he's never going to get back in.

I'm hoping you could answer a couple of questions.

Is there always a head bouncer? What's the best way to talk to you guys? It's going to be a task while he's on the door or when we're lining up, isn't it? I imagine some of the bouncers will just say no.

How have people who were once banned managed to let you to get them back in?

I'm trying to contact a manager about it and explain what happened because it's our favourite place and everyone we know goes there.”

When someone acts like a “drunk idiot” in a bar or club, it causes more of a problem for a bouncer than you probably think it does. Some bouncers like when situations like this arise, and they get off on exercising their “power” and throwing people out. It also gets their rocks off when people are so desperate to get back in the following week – I’ve never quite figured the habitual customer mentality out, but to each his own – that they come back muttering acts of contrition for the right to go inside and murder their brain cells.

Other bouncers, like me, don’t like this sort of thing. When you act like a drunken idiot in front of me, I’m on alert because I could potentially get hurt. When a customer starts acting like a jerkoff, I’m automatically fast-forwarding to the time, five minutes into the future, when I’ll be dealing with him physically. Does he have a weapon? Does he have a disease? Is he drunk or drug-addled enough to bite me if I start getting the better of him? Who needs that shit?

These things go through our minds. I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I pretty much just want to be left alone at work. I want to come in, stand around for several hours, get my cash and go home. If someone has given me problems in the past, and it’s my call to let him in or send him on his way, I usually exercise my right to keep him out.

It sounds to me like you’re dealing with a bouncer who thinks the way I do. Bouncers are normal people. We have lives outside the bar or club, just like you. We have rents and mortgages to pay, just like you. We become bouncers because we have additional expenses, like kids and medical bills, that we’re having a hard time paying off with just one job. If someone gives us an excessive amount of ballbusting at work, why the fuck should we let them have the chance to do it again?

That said, there’s a very easy way to solve your problem. All you have to do is ask for the head bouncer and pay him. If you go with a group of, say, five guys, you should each hand the guy $40 and explain to him, very contritely, why you’re doing so. Tell him he’ll never have a problem with you again, and that he doesn’t have to worry about you anymore. You probably don’t like this solution very much, but it’s reality. If I’ve had a problem with you, I want two things before I let you back in:

1. I want to know that you won’t be a problem for me ever again.

2. I want to be compensated, financially, for whatever kind of shit you pulled on me the last time.

See, the payment is the key thing here. As I’ve said before, you can essentially do whatever the fuck you want in a club if you’re willing to pay for it. This includes, at least to a point, causing problems for bouncers. Provided your friend didn’t hurt anyone, this should work like a charm.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I actually knew one of the construction workers who was killed in the crane collapse on Saturday. I didn't know him well enough that anyone should feel obligated to write me and say, "Sorry for your loss," but I knew the guy. He grew up with a good friend of mine, and they were still fairly close.

I'm just sort of stunned by this weekend's bizarre coupling: I saw the crane collapse a block away from me, and I knew someone who died in the accident. I don't know what to say about this, other than the fact that he - as well as everyone else touched by this tragedy - will be in my prayers.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Crane

I was standing across Second Ave from the crane when it collapsed.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


I wonder if I’m ever the idiot.

I was trying to watch something today, and the same guy kept standing in front of me. This happened three times in a row. Three straight. After a bit of wrangling, I’d maneuvered myself into the vantage point I wanted, and he decided – without putting in nearly the amount of work I had - to step right in front of me and block my view.

So I moved, and he did it again.

Then I moved again, and he did it for a third time, so I said something.

“Dude, are you doing this on purpose?” I asked.


“Everywhere I go, you go and stand in front of me. Have you not noticed that?”

The third time was the most annoying of all, because he couldn’t just stand in front of me. He had to flaunt the fact that he was standing in front of me by starting a conversation with the guy standing next to him and not even watching what we were supposed to be watching. In other words, he’d moved directly in front of me, cutting me off from seeing anything, but his head was turned sideways and he wasn’t paying any attention to what we’d all come to see.

In the nightclub business, we call people like this customers.

If you’ve ever read anything I’ve written on this site, you know I’m very sensitive to this sort of thing. I’m also – or so I claim – very proud of my capacity for spatial awareness in crowds. In other words, I try very hard not to irritate the people around me by getting in their way, bumping into them, or making excessive noise. I’m not sure whether I’m always successful, but at least I make an attempt at non-annoyance, which is more than I can say for most of the people I come across on a daily basis here in New York. This place is filled with jerkoffs who don’t know how to act. The majority of these people are ugly.

Today’s encounter made me think about things, though. It made me wonder if anyone thought I was an asshole today. Did I bump into anyone? Was I speaking too loudly at any point? Did finding the “vantage point I wanted” entail my own version of standing in front of someone who, in turn, wanted to put a foot up my ass? Do I even care?

This, for me, is what passes for philosophy these days.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Nothing funny has happened to me since last we spoke - at least nothing funny enough to compel me to sit down and write about it. Of course, some very funny things have taken place over the past few months. I just haven’t seen fit to write about them here, which is probably not good, because I used to really enjoy doing that.

I’ve kind of cut down on the pissing and moaning about them – the people – because I haven’t been bouncing as much lately, and I haven’t really been out in public as much as I used to be. I’ve been busy doing other shit, at some very odd hours, and I haven’t been in enough contact with them to formulate any of my signature theories or postulates on why they are how they are. Nothing, other than this fascinating style of dress that won’t seem to go away, has motivated me of late.

“Why do these idiots wear these stupid looking hats with those big, straight brims?”

“You should thank them. At least they’re carrying their sign and you can see them coming.”

I attribute my newfound placidity to the fact that stupid people are now, through the imbecilic nature of their aesthetic choices, telling us they’re stupid. When they do this, they don’t surprise us. Everyone likes surprises, until, as Tony Robbins says, we get a surprise we don’t want. These are called problems. When stupid people fail to surprise us, and we know they’re coming, they’re less likely to become problems, so I thank them for making such ill-advised fashion choices. The worse this wave of retardation gets, the more predictable life becomes.

Other than that, I have some serious shit coming up today, and I’m nervous. The serious shit I have coming up today pertains to that next book I’ve been telling you about. Today is kind of a make-or-break day for the whole thing, so keep your fingers crossed. If all goes well, I’ve got myself a book. If all doesn’t go well, I probably don’t. I’d say I’ll keep you posted, but you all probably don’t trust me to do that as far as you can throw me, and most of you probably can’t throw me very far.

And yes, Client 9 should resign immediately, but he won’t, because if he does, he’s got nothing left with which to bargain his ass out of more serious trouble.

That’s two in a row.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Hello everyone.

When I don’t write anything on this site for a while, I start feeling guilty about it. I don’t like feeling guilty about this because there are too many other things for me to feel guilty about at the moment, and I don’t want to add “not writing on my blog” to my stupid, guilty shitlist.

When I feel guilty about not writing, I usually type out some asinine “update” post where I tell everyone how busy I am and how I’m such a monumentally occupied motherfucker that I don’t have time to do something I’m “not being paid for.” When that happens, someone will invariably email me and tell me how stupid my updates are, and how I haven’t posted anything of substance in several months. I, in turn, will invariably tell this person to “fuck off” because I’m not running a “subscription service” here, and because, after checking my bank statements, I have no record of receiving his or her “subscription check.”

So, what I’ll do right now is save everyone – including myself – the hassle. I’ll just go through with the bullshit update post without the guilt, because making a federal case out of this nonsense doesn’t do a damned thing for any of us at this point. I’m sure you’ll agree with this course of action.

This is sarcasm.

Everything is going pretty well right now. I’m deep in the process of working on my second book. I’m not sure how people – my agent and publisher – will react to my subject matter when I eventually submit a proposal, but I’m enjoying myself, and I’m enjoying the process of writing about something other than nightclub bouncing. Even if this book idea of mine turns out to be a total disaster, some other opportunities have come up as a result of what I’ve been doing lately, and things are definitely going in the right direction for once.

As far as bouncing goes, I’m still doing it. At this point, who the fuck knows when I’ll ever stop doing it? I’ve had the same conversation with the same guys, night after night for years now, and it always goes the same way:

“How much are you making doing that shit now?” they ask.

“I dunno, maybe four hundred a week now, if that?”

“So why do you keep doing it?”

“Well,” I always say, “if you think about it, four hundred a week comes out to be sixteen hundred a month, which translates to almost twenty grand a year. You know anyone in this economy who wants to take a twenty thousand dollar pay cut?”

And for those of you who know how long it took, I finally got my 700 pound squat – below parallel, with just a belt and knee wraps. It’s no world record, but it’s not half bad for a beat-to-shit has-been with a ceramic body. If I ever dunk a basketball again, I’ll let you know.