Issue #123 – “Velvet Dopes” – January 28th, 2008

-At the wise, old age of twenty-eight, I’ve long since given up on going to any lounge or club that might be hard to get into or involve waiting on line.  I’m so over that shit.  But every once in a while – in a moment of weakness – I’ll agree to go out somewhere and soon find myself arguing with a chick wielding a clipboard while I’m barred from entry by a gigantic bouncer.  The weekend should be about unwinding with friends and drunkenly hitting on everything that moves – not about paying a cover just so I can go inside and take a fucking piss.  Yet bars continue to crop up that cater to a certain crowd – call them velvet dopes – who don’t realize that oftentimes the longer the line outside, the lamer the situation inside.  The twentysomething drinking experience is in rapid decline, so here are a few suggestions on how I would make nightlife more about going out and less about getting in.

-Let’s take all of the bathroom attendants out of the exclusive clubs in LA, New York, and Miami, and put them in the restrooms at airports and sports stadiums – where they’re desperately needed.  It’s a waste to have attendants manning bathrooms in clubs when their sole purpose is to provide obnoxious kids a cleaner surface to blow lines off of.

-Each major city should have a designated district of karaoke bars, thus preventing me from walking into one by accident.  Nothing is worse than enjoying a quiet evening of binge drinking with the boys when suddenly some chick starts belting out “Like a Virgin” from a karaoke machine set at fifty decibels louder than the space shuttle launch.  In a perfect world, karaoke would be limited to bachelorette parties and Tokyo.

-Just like certain restaurants have a B.Y.O.B. policy that allows you to bring your own wine, clubs should let you bring your own bottles of liquor.  You would still pay for beer, mixers, as well as a small corkage fee.  OK, admittedly, that would never fly, but at the very least, let’s stop referring to paying $500 for a bottle of Absolut as bottle “service.”  It should be more accurately described as getting torn a new asshole but at least having a place to sit down and rest it.

-Sometimes I wonder if bouncers have a certain quota of people they have to throw out of bars in a given month, just like cops supposedly have to write a certain amount of tickets.  Seriously, why isn’t there a bouncer code of conduct?  If you get treated unfairly, there’s no recourse, save for writing a nasty review on Citysearch that just makes you sound like a petulant douche.  Again, bouncers should be moved from bars to stadiums and airports, where they could eject inebriated fans of the opposing team, and unceremoniously pound on idiots who still don’t realize they have to take their shoes off before going through the fucking metal detector.

-Over the holidays, my mom sat me down and had the “drinking conversation” with me.  I’m not even kidding, it was the same conversation we had when I was eighteen, complete with the usual admonishments: “You drink too much,” “Just nurse one beer,” and “Why don’t you go bowling with your friends instead of drinking?”  (I didn’t have the heart to tell her that the last time I went bowling, I got so shithammered that I threw the ball perpendicular to the lanes.)  Still, it made me contemplate how little has changed in my last decade of boozing.  Velvet ropes, bottle service, and bouncers are as prevalent as ever.  If I do happen to drink less these days, it’s not for lack of trying – but Mom doesn’t need to know that.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-How about those Giants, huh?  Huh??  In 2004, as I sat in Giants Stadium watching Eli Manning’s first start, never did I think that he’d be leading us to the Super Bowl just four years later.  I remember that day vividly because me and my buddies tailgated so hard beforehand that I had to break the seal in the first quarter, which basically ruined the rest of the game as I ran back and forth to the bathroom wondering why there were no attendants in there cleaning the popcorn out of the urinals.

-Unless I can score some last-minute tickets, I’ll be watching the big game with the boys in LA – which will be fun and drunken but never the same as being there in person.  My all-time favorite Super Bowl story comes from my friend Dave, a lifelong Bears fan, who went to the Super Bowl last year to watch his team take on the Colts.  When Devin Hester returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, Dave screamed so hard that he passed out.  No joke: he literally cheered himself unconscious.  I love that.  To me it’s a sign of true heart and dedication.  Well, that or a serious neurological condition.

-I went to my first twenty-ninth birthday party a few weeks ago.  That means that I’m less than a year away from having to go to a million thirtieth birthday parties – possibly rivaling the years I turned thirteen and twenty-one in terms of the sheer number of over-the-top celebrations.  Most of my friends’ wives probably won’t let them take thirty shots to mark the occasion, which kinda sucks because for once it would have been someone besides me taking them home to vomit.

-I’ve recently been informed that I text incorrectly because I use my right thumb and left index finger instead of both thumbs, which is apparently how the rest of the world does it.  Normally I wouldn’t be too concerned, but way back in Ruminations #34, I admitted that I also snap incorrectly (I use my thumb and index finger instead of thumb and middle finger).  Now I can’t stop thinking about why the fuck I can’t use my fingers properly and – gasp! – what else I may have been doing wrong the whole time…

-Here’s a tip: during the afternoon, never drink the soda or juice that you’ll be using later that night to mix with liquor.  Your drinks will taste much better if you haven’t recently tasted the mixers on their own.  Hey, I’m no Martha Stewart, but that shit works.

-And, finally, I was walking through the airport in Minneapolis a few months ago when I spotted an ad for the MBA program at St. Cloud State University that stated: “Your BS will only get you so far.”  Now, I’m assuming what they meant was that your Bachelor of Science degree will only get you so far.  But I immediately took it to mean that your bullshit will only get you so far.  I don’t know, maybe they’re so hip and meta over there at St. Cloud that they actually meant both.  Regardless, I realize now that the one place my bullshit rarely works anymore is at the bar.  The chick with the clipboard knows I’m not really on the list and the bouncer knows my friends aren’t really already inside.  But I still go out.  Much like the Giants, I need to take advantage of every possible opportunity to score.  Except instead of playing in the Super Bowl next weekend, I’ll be pressed against a crowded bar, drawing stares with my ungainly texting, and trying futilely to flag down a bartender who’s oblivious to the beckoning of my clumsy, soundless snaps.  Fuck me.