Wednesday, July 30, 2008

More Fun at Club E.

What can I tell you? Sex sells.

I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from my last post, which really isn’t that surprising. Bring beautiful women—some of whom are naked—and a hint of lesbianism into the fold, and suddenly people’s ears (or, in this case, eyes) perk up. Some of the comments fell along the lines of those offered by “TD,” Baby Joey’s girlfriend, in an e-mail last week:
“So…. After reading your newest blog, I could not help but think about just how I really thought I was a cool, down to earth girl but then came to realize that I may need to step up my coolness level.


Then there was the convo I had with my dear, sweet mother:
Me: “Did you read my blog?”
Her: “Yes, I did. *sighs* Was that [Rock Star]?”
Me: *chuckles* “Yeah.”
Her: “Hmm.”
*pauses (as she prays, undoubtedly, that she won’t someday have to hear the story recounted at a wedding of said girl and her only child); shakes her head and leaves the room* “No wonder you’re broke.”

More common, though, has been this question: “How come you never wrote about that time when [insert random, crazy story about some friends and I at Club Erotica]?” Typically, the answer is: “Because I’m not a snitch.” Sometimes it’s best to look at Club Erotica like Las Vegas: it can be a lot of fun; it can be really expensive; and, more often than not, what happens there stays there. (Even now, I can sense some of the girlfriends and wives out there looking at their men from out the corners of their eyes. All I will say, ladies, is that if you trusted your man before you read this, then you can continue to do so. Because if he is the type of guy bold enough to do something unsavory at Club E. while he is with you, then it’s safe to say that you knew that long before I ever put these words to page.)

That said, there is one adventure that I was reminded of last week, that I think is safe for posting.

It was early in May 2007. The now-extinct Margarita Mama’s, a booming club in Station Square, was its typical Saturday night cauldron of booze, boobs, and beats. Haze, Tony, and I met up with “Party Fouler” [pretty much the only identity that I’m going to have to overprotect—at his request] at the back bar, where J-Dizzy was serving up mean drinks. Her boyfriend, as was his M.O., was hanging out at her bar and generously passing out shots for us. At one point he looked at Haze and I and said, “You guys like Patron?” He ordered the premium tequila, and J-Dizzy served up three liberal shots in small Dixie cups. Boyfriend then poured out the contents of his cup evenly into the other two cups, and said, “I don’t like this stuff—drink up.” I think the sentence in my head that was trying to find its way to my lips was, “One of those nights, huh?”

The four of us were well beyond tipsy by the time the lights came up at 2 a.m. A suggestion was made by someone (likely Party Fouler) that we go to Blush, a premium strip club in downtown. By that point in the night, it wasn’t going to take much persuasion to get the rest of us in agreement (it’s quite likely, though impossible to confirm, that PF’s whole sales pitch consisted of asking, “Titties?”). We piled into his car and headed over, only to be met by the sad realization that Blush closes at 2 a.m. (whereas some other such establishments in the area are open until 3 a.m. or later). Standing outside of the darkened club, PF dejectedly said, “Man—I just want to see some tits!” A girl sitting on the sidewalk by the doors while she waited for a bus overheard, and announced, “I’ll show my breasts for a dollar.” Almost instantaneously, four $1 bills appeared in front of her. She backed up her claim, and we thanked her for the impromptu exhibition.

Far from satiated, though, we then drove to Club E. This is where Party Fouler was about to earn his new alias. He offered to get Tony and me shots. I distinctly remember saying “No,” though it may have come out more like “Nnnnnnn.” He didn’t listen, though, and soon came walking over to us with two shot glasses and a dastardly grin. We threw them back like soldiers, and then began choking; he had bought us shots of the cheapest, most bottomshelf rum he could find, and was now giggling like a little child at the ruse.

After a few minutes of the main room’s dancers, PF and I went upstairs to get lap dances. [**Note: Club E. has a special set-up: the first floor is the main room, which is comprised of about three or four different stages, each with at least two girls (on a busy night) dancing; the second floor consists of a large room filled with recliners, where you can get a lap dance for $20, and the private rooms, where Tiny Dancer supposedly wanted to take Rock Star and me for a threesome.] When the girl at the cash register told him it was $125 for a private room, though, PF decided to audible. I told him I wasn’t paying for a room, but he quickly waved away my argument by saying, “Don’t worry, I’ll cover it.” One private room, coming right up.

When you buy a private room, you are given a bottle of champagne and any drinks that you want, all of which is “complimentary.” Sitting on the couch with a naked dancer in front of me, a Jack & Coke in one hand, and a glass of champagne in the other, I was grinning like a Cheshire Cat…and about to black out. PF told me only recently that, during at least part of that short blank in my memory, I was passed out. Sometimes booze overrules being in a dimly-lit room with a beautiful naked woman—to which, I’m sure, most guys out there can attest.

When I came to, I was in the backseat of PF’s car again, as we rode to Tom’s Diner in the South Side. At the restaurant, we had been seated for all of 5 minutes when that old familiar song came from my gut—“Get thee to the bathroom, it’s time to let goooo”. I went to the bathroom, which is only a small, unisex room with a toilet and a sink in it (like a bathroom in a private residence). How long I was standing at the sink vomiting, I don’t know. What I do know, though, is that eventually I heard the door open and close behind me. When I looked to my left, a random guy had come in and sat down on the toilet. “Really?” Without even glancing at me, he was calmly dropping bombs while, less than two open feet away from him, I spit remnants of cheap rum, Patron, champagne, Jack Daniels, and whatever I had eaten for dinner.

That reality served as a quick and sad commentary on my life, and sobered me up more than any regurgitation ever could.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Legen—wait for it—DARY

This past Thursday was a mindbender of a night.

To start the story, though, I’m going to take you back to the prior Monday, around lunchtime. My boy, “Esq,” who has been dating the best friend of a girl who I’ve been casually dating, called me as I was standing in line at Quiznos. When I answered, the first thing that I heard was a long, deep sigh.

Me: "What’s up?"
Esq: "Guess where these girls want us to take them this week."
Me: "Where?"
Esq: "Guess".
Me: [jokingly] "Club Erotica."
Esq: "Yes."
Me: *silent, while staring blankly at a guy behind the counter, who probably thought I was having a stroke*

Club E, as it’s affectionately known around town, is the city’s most popular strip club. In other words, I was about to go on a date…to a strip club. Even now, days after it’s all happened, typing/speaking those words still leaves me speechless.

Mind you, this wasn’t, “Let’s go to dinner and a movie, maybe some dancing; and then at the end of the night—maybe, just for fun—we’ll stop by a strip club.” No, ladies and gents, this was, “Take us to dinner, and then let’s go see some naked girls.” Shy, shrinking flowers, these two are not.

While I’ve made quite a few visits to Club E. in my day, it has never been before 12 a.m. Typically, the stop has come as the grand finale of a friend’s bachelor party; 20 drunken, slurring guys and myself falling off a party bus (usually leaving behind the bachelor, who is passed out and/or vomiting on the back of the bus) and rolling into the club, each of us expecting dancers to fall in love with us and take us backstage for a “Penthouse Letters” story. But on this night, we arrived around 9 p.m., stepping out of a luxury SUV with two attractive girls at our side…expecting dancers to fall in love with them.

Esq’s date, “Shock B,” was a strip club rookie, and needed some schooling on tipping etiquette. On her initial attempt at tipping a dancer, she clumsily put an unfolded dollar into the garter, knocking other dollars out of the way as she did. Esq told the dancer, “I apologize for her; it’s her first time.” Then Shock tossed a folded-up bill at another dancer as she writhed in front of Esq. At one point I told my date (“Rock Star”), “I think [Shock B] is using her dollars as ammunition to get rid of the dancers.”

As dancers came past and performed for us, most paid close attention to Shock and Rock, who are each quite beautiful. One stripper had a coy smile on her face as she was plying her trade, which prompted me to say, “You look so shy.” Her smile turned into a bit of a grin. She laughed and, while glancing over at Shock, said, “Trust me—I’m not shy.” Later, when we told a 5’1” blonde—“Tiny Dancer” [I couldn’t resist]—that Shock was on her first strip club visit, she had us place a dollar in Shock’s cleavage. Then she retrieved it—by leaning forward and squeezing together her own breasts against Shock's. Esq and I exchanged a telepathic fist bump.

Another dancer—a tall girl with curly blonde hair—took a special shining to Rock Star. She leaned off the stage, placing her hands on Rock’s thighs; then she brushed past her, rubbing her curls and chest on my date’s face. Awesome. Rock told her, “You look so familiar.” They soon realized that they had met once before, when Rock was working at a bar as a Bud Girl. “Curly” had made another obvious pass at her back then, dancing provocatively between Rock’s legs. Destiny, it seems, had brought them back together. A little later in the night, I felt someone swing my arm off of the back of Rock’s chair. It was Curly, who then squeezed between us and sat down on Rock’s lap. When she would look at me, I instantly recognized the tone of her eyes: “You don’t deserve her, and I’m going to steal her away from you.” I’ve used that same look a few times myself; most guys have. To get it from an exotic dancer sitting in my date’s lap, though, was surreal.

Tiny Dancer was also a big fan of Rock Star, and was about to prove it. I had commented earlier about how hot she was (I even said she looked a little like Jaime Pressley, but the others disagreed), and Rock took note. Late in the night, stoked up on the torrent of rum & Cokes that I was ordering for her, she leaned over to me:

Rock: “Do you want me to ask her how much it costs for a threesome?”
Me: *silent as angels hum beautiful hymns*

Snapping out of it, I smiled at her. “You’re full of s**t—you’re not going to ask her that.” Rock is one of those girls who like to tease and talk trash, so I smelled a fakeout. But sure enough, she motioned Tiny Dancer over and whispered something to her. Tiny Dancer looked at her with a devilish grin, and then looked at me and said, “$125 for a private room.”

It’s times like that when I curse my lack of deeper financial resources.

Knowing stripper protocol, though, I understood the likelihood that she was just making a play for cash, without any intention of doing anything explicit. I’ve been in the private rooms before, and $125 is the standard rate. This information was probably all that kept my credit card from freeing itself from my wallet and flying straight up on stage. I declined the offer, and she said, “Oh well.” Making one last attempt to sway me, Tiny Dancer slowly slid her hand behind Rock’s head and began pulling her forward towards her face. When Rock realized what was happening, she struggled to free herself, saying, “No nooo!” Tiny Dancer seemed a little sad that she didn’t get the taste she was looking for, but she quickly got over it—by cozying up next to one of the solitary schmoes elsewhere in the club.

Just this afternoon, I asked Rock Star what she would have done if I had ponied up the $125 and Tiny Dancer was sincere about breaking off the ménage a boogie. Her response?


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More of the Same

Another double dose-weekend of boozification. I really think I need to slow it down. My bank account can’t take this, not to mention my liver. Actually, that’s an exaggeration; my liver’s been dead for years now. I’m basically just dragging it around like “Weekend at Bernie’s” by now.

Friday wasn’t as bad as it could have been—for me, at least. Dupa and I had planned to start early, but by 6:30 he had notified me that he would be changing the plans. He was at happy hour with a new friend, and figured it might extend further into the night. On my couch half-dead at 8:15, I was resigned to calling it a night. Then I got a call from Dupa. Speaking calmly and coherently, he told me that he had parted ways with the friend, and still wanted to hit some bars in The ‘Side. His demeanor on the phone seemed to indicate that he was sober, because “calm” and “coherent” aren’t two words you can use about this man after 30 minutes at a bar. Sure enough, when he showed up at my place a little over an hour later, he had completed his transition to "Dupa Drunk". Apparently he had skipped dinner, which is always a wise choice when drowning yourself in happy hour cocktails. He dropped a bookbag on my table with a thud. Pulling two cold bottles of Bud Light Lime from it, he said, “I figured I could bring a change of clothes, or I could bring beer. I chose beer.” I really couldn’t argue with that decision.

On the way to the bar, we happened past a hot dog vendor, and Dupa’s eyes lit up like Xenon headlights. He threw back a dog in about 5.8 seconds, and off we went to the spot. The bar wasn’t crowded, but there was a high percentage of good looking women. Two vodka tonics—here we go. My bartender friend then walked over with three glasses and began preparing a round of shots, without any provocation on our parts. Is it any wonder why I love this place?

Dupa quickly noticed a girl sitting at the bar who he had met at happy hour. She was with a guy who didn’t seem too pleased that we so easily commanded her attention. Dupa and I had barely shared a couple of words on a strategy for removing him, when the lothario made a smart move: He collected the girl and ghosted. Neither of us saw them leave. They just disappeared. I can only assume that the guy is every bit the douche bag that he appeared to be, and that he has lost easy targets in similar situations in the past. He learned from those past mistakes—pulling her out of the bar was a veteran move. (If only he’d just learned not to be a douche bag instead.)

Returning our attention to drinking, it was rapidly becoming obvious that Dupa wasn’t going to last too much longer. The lone hot dog in his system was up against an army of vodka and shots, and it soon gave way. Our friend Jed had arrived with a cute coworker, and Dupa was all over Jed. Cute Coworker looked at me, bewildered, as her boss was getting playfully molested by a longtime friend in the middle of a nice bar. All I could say was, “We’ve got to go get some food into him.”

It was only about midnight, but we made our way to a pizza shop where Dupa repaired himself (somewhat) with two gyros. The next day he told me, “I sent a text message to [T.C.] this morning that said, ‘I think I got to 2nd base with Jed last night.’”

Saturday started with beers in my boy Nick’s pool. It ended with me nearly jumping out of a moving SUV. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

After an afternoon of relaxing in Nick’s pool and drinking beer, Tony and I headed out to Station Square. “Breitling” had a table in the VIP area at Barroom, a new club. My buddy Chief was in town from D.C., and we (BAL, Haze, Chief, Breitling, Tony, myself, and others) got ourselves thoroughly sloshed while watching attractive women in short skirts dance all around us. There’s nothing quite like standing with one foot on top of the wall between VIP and the dancefloor, while looking out over a crowd of girls trying dance their way into your heart—and your table. Of course, if they had known that Breitling was the moneyman, and that I was merely benefiting from his generosity, I doubt a single eye would have been cast in my direction—yeah, I wasn’t going to tell them s**t. Some girls climbed up on a small platform alongside the wall, to give us (and the rest of the club) a better view of their skills. [That’s two of the lovelies to the right. God bless.]

At close Tony and I headed outside to catch a cab, when an old “friend” of mine hit me up. She and her two girls, P and M, were out nearby. They pulled up, and Tony and I climbed into the backseat on either side of M. As we rolled down Carson St., though, Old Friend and I quickly got into an argument, and then P joined in on her friend’s side. I looked at M, and said, “Is she serious?” M shrugged her shoulders and said, “I don’t know what her problem is.” At about that point OF said something that pushed me over my limit. [Note: Since waking up Sunday morning, I have not yet been able to remember what it was we were fighting about; neither can Tony. Broads.]

F**k this s**t! Let me out of this f***ing truck.” She didn’t slow down, so I unlocked my door and pulled the lever. We screeched to a halt and I hopped out, casually muttering something about “stupid f***ing c**ts” as I slammed her door. OF nearly peeled out as she stepped on the gas and took off up the street.

As I strolled to the sidewalk, it dawned on me that Tony was still in the truck. I looked down the street a few blocks, and saw him getting out and trotting down the sidewalk towards me.

Tony: “Dude, you got out, and they were saying, ‘We got his boy! We got his boy!’ I was like, ‘Uh, you can’t kidnap me.’”
Me: “F**k them.”
Tony: “Yeah. Tom’s Diner?”
Me: *turning around to see it a few doors down* “Sure.”

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Part III: E'rybody In The Club Gettin' Tipsy

Next stop was Bar Chicago on Division Street. Never been there either. It was fairly nondescript, although it also featured an ugly, pantyless chick dancing above the DJ booth, as well as a midget boogieing on the bar and serving drinks. Another South Side Irish buddy meets us there, so now the Wisconsinites are outnumbered. This doesn’t faze Hoz in the slightest. Unfortunately, Rac was now hunting snatch and was out of the game, but Hoz proudly carried the load alone.

I park Cap’s dad in a corner of the bar because he’s now having trouble walking and I rejoin the group. Cap starts dancing with a slore in a green dress with nice cleavage. Hoz pulls out the camera and starts taking pics of them. The slore flips out and actually snatches the camera out of his hand and begins berating him.

Hoz is 6’4, 250, easily the largest guy in our crew. And he’s hammered. In other words, I would have rather had an Israeli and a Palestinian going at it in front of me than a drunk slore and drunk giant.

She’s going on and on about how it’s rude to take pictures of people you don’t know and stare and treat her like a piece of meat and why don’t we go to a strip club if we wanna stare at women. (I declined to note her boobages were struggling mightily to free themselves from the thin fabric of her dress and that generally makes men stare.) Hoz is trying to explain she was dancing with his buddy and was taking pics of both of them.

I end up getting the camera back from her and getting between them to push Hoz off. He’s furious, so we buy some shots and beers and calm him down before he bodyslams this trick and we have to fight the entire bar, including the midget.

Naturally, no one’s surprised when she comes back over 10 minutes later and blatantly hits on Hoz. Women.

Time to dip. I’m not sure Cap’s dad can navigate the stairs down to the door, and Tone Capone’s not much better. However, crew intact (including Bailey, our newest Irishman), we make it into the limo and over to The Apartment in Lincoln Park.

Andre pulls up right in front of the bar. The first person out of the truck is Tone, and the bouncer takes one look at him and says, “No way.” Dammit. Tone, of course, thinks he’s right as rain, even though I’m not entirely sure both his eyes were pointing in the same direction.

Cap’s dad volunteers to take care of Tone somewhere else along the street – they couldn’t stay in the limo – which I don’t think is a very good idea since he can’t stand. I deputize two of the homies to keep things moving in the club, then run through the growing drizzle to track down Tweedledee and Tweedledum.

At this point, I’m rather sober, just because somebody has to be. The limo driver didn’t even think I was drinking. So, for the first time, at the ripe old age of 30, under an awning in Chicago, I enjoyed the mind-bending experience of trying to converse with two people who are so intoxicated they can’t string two sentences together and make sense. And I did this for half an hour while periodically reminding Cap’s dad that he couldn’t say “Nice ass!” out loud whenever a chick walked by.

Finally, it’s closing time and I meet the crew in front of the club and point out the limo. We’re shy a couple people, so I run inside to round up the strays. Fire’s obliterated, and Buck’s not far behind. Bailey walks up with a drunken grin on his face. Good old Irish boys. I dap’em all and roll out.

Rac’s macking a cute blonde outside the limo, and gets in after me. As we head back to the burbs, he starts bragging that he got four numbers that night. “You can’t count that troll you met and kissed at Bar Chicago, dog,” I said. He actually flushed as cats started guffawing. “Yeah, and the two outside Ugly weren’t good-looking, either,” someone else said.

“But that blonde we just left was TIGHT,” Cap’s dad chimes in. Comedy.

The one thing I missed in the Apartment was Hoz going ballerific on us and dropping five bills on two bottles of Dom. I think two glasses got poured before he chugged the rest of the bottles. Both of them. Seriously.

It’s 3:30 a.m. Hoz and Tone are toast. Tone actually does a slow-motion slump while holding his drink, and Hoz just keels over. Rac, however, is certifiably insane. He starts chugging Jack straight out of the bottle and boasting that he and Hoz won the drinking contest. After taking three or four swallows, he leans in six inches from Tone’s ear and bellows, “WISCONSIN, MOTHERF&#%ER!!” Tone doesn’t move an inch.

Maybe this is karma, but why did the two biggest guys in the crew have to be the unconscious ones? Getting Tone and Hoz out of the limo was a task, to be sure, especially since Tone had passed out all the way onto the floor of the truck and his pants were half off his ass. Rac considered teabagging him, but showed mercy at the last second. Wimp.


We all passed out at Cap’s folks’ crib that night. At 6 a.m., there was a loud thump and crashing sound in the upstairs bathroom. Cap’s pops had actually passed out while taking a piss and took a mean shot from the sink counter. When he appeared downstairs a few hours later, he didn’t even remember doing it. He just kept saying, “Damn, my face hurts” and wondering who he got into a fight with.

Right after him, Hoz stumbles out into the fresh morning air on the back deck where we had gathered. He sits down, holds his head and looks at us. “Dude … why the F&%# did I buy two bottles of Dom?”

Why, indeed.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Part II: Things Get 'Ugly'

By 6:15 p.m. we had the crew assembled and ready to roll to a local steakhouse. Cap had decreed there would be no tequila shots that evening, so naturally Hoz and Rac had a glass of Patron sitting in front of him before the waitress even walked up. Cap’s dad already had a buzz going and me, Rac and Hoz were getting there. Everyone else was just getting started.

By the end of dinner, the maitre 'd had cleared patrons away from all tables near our 13-man crew. We were simply that obnoxious and rowdy. Cap’s dad had actually gone over to a table of nice people next to us at one point, apologized for the noise, explained it was his son’s bachelor party and that Cap was never going to get laid again. He also informed our entire group that Cap’s childhood nickname, one his parents still occasionally used, was Kooky. I already knew this, but needless to say, it was a prized nugget of information among my compadres and was to be used wickedly throughout the evening.

We returned to the house for after-dinner cocktails and cigars, and wrapped those up just as the limo arrived. Folks, this sucker was a bad mammajamma. I introduced myself to the driver – shout out to Andre – and explained that I would be the only coherent person he’d be dealing with for the rest of the night. The boys piled in with at least four bottles of liquor; I was the last one to embark, and got daps all around for my vehicular selection. I plugged in the iPod and off we went.

(Quick aside: I had never met Cap’s future father-in-law – FFIL for short – until that night, and he seemed like a quiet, intelligent guy. I could tell right away he was NOT going to have a good time with our crowd, but was being a trouper. When “Ain’t No Fun” came on over the speakers, he looked at me with awe and said, “This song is AWFUL!” I just grinned and said, "Bit- er, girls love it! I bet even your daughter has danc- errrr ...")

First spot on the agenda was Coyote Ugly downtown. I’d never been to one, but I figured it was the closest thing we were gonna get to a strip club. It did not disappoint. Loud, rowdy, overflowing with people.

Andre gets us in cover-free, and my two Irish homies meet us inside. I introduced them to Hoz and Rac and set up the friendly competition. Fire announced he’d already killed a handle of Captain Morgan that day, so he was warmed up. The bartop was packed with dancing girls, and there were at least two bachelorette parties in the house. Hands down, the hottest chick was a bartender in a black sports bra, black booty shorts and black chaps, with a black cowboy hat to boot. She got up on the bar and all our conversations stopped mid-word. We lovingly began calling her Chaps.

Drinks in hand, we commenced to ogling, talking shit and doing assorted other testosterone-fueled social activities. Someone noted that one of the chicks on the bar wearing a skirt was not wearing any draws; someone else noted she was the ugliest chick standing on the bar. Hey, you win some, you lose some.

At one point, a slinky little redhead in chaps presses up against me and says, “For $20, you can have me. For $40, you can have both of us.” I look behind her and she’s got a flawless 5’10 blond in tight jeans massaging Fire’s shoulders. My first thought was, damn, the recession’s even hitting the prostitution industry. $40?

I decided to clarify. “Excuse me?” was the most brilliant thing I could come up with. “The chair,” she says. Now, I don’t know what “the chair” is. I don’t even know if she’s even talking about an actual chair or just using a code word like “tsetse fly.” But my brain did the math: $40 + two hot chicks + chair = where the hell is Cap? I find him in the crowd, hand Redhead a fifty and point him out: “He’s the bachelor.”

I rally the troops just in time to see Blondie and Redhead walk up to Cap and grab his hand. They lead him over to an elevated barber-style chair on one side of the bar and sit him down in it. They yank the front of his shirt over his head, take his belt off and cinch it around his throat like a leash.

Here is where I should pause and mention that Cap is not much of a drinker. At least, not like me and Defi are. He’s got a touchy stomach; not just for alcohol, but in general. And in the limo, he’d been sipping a Capncoke when something – read as: Hoz’s viciously foul intestinal gas – hit him wrong and he hiccupped some bile. It wasn’t a full-blown yakking, but enough to let me know his stomach was not on board with the bachelor party vibe. Thus, I was planning on taking it easy on him in the booze department.

Except Blondie and Redhead didn’t know this. So when I saw Blondie yank his head back with the belt and Redhead pour some Jager straight down his throat, there was gonna be problems. While the crew and other patrons roared their approval, I headed to the bar and asked for a glass of ice water. The bartender looked at me disdainfully and said, “We don’t serve water here.” I’d forgotten that was part of the bar’s gimmick.

I turned back in time to see the girls dancing around and on Cap before yanking his head back and depositing more Jager in his gullet. I turned to my boy Buck and said, “He’s gonna blow all over that blond and traumatize her for life.” Buck demurred; he figured with boobs in his face and the slice of lime they’d stuck in his mouth, Cap would be OK.

Then Blondie stood with her feet on the arms of the chair, reached up to grab the rafters and began to spin the chair. I actually cringed.

To his credit, Cap actually made it off the chair and down back amongst the normal folks before letting go. He also made a wise decision – or just got plain lucky – and put most of it on the shoulder of Frank Diggy instead of on other patrons. I shouted my way through the crowd with Cap in tow and got him to the stall in the men’s room where we cleaned him up. Frank came in moments later and we got him looking fairly clean, too; thank God he was wearing a dark shirt.

I asked Cap why he asked the girls to douse him with Jager. He said they gave him a choice of Jager or tequila and it seemed the safer choice. Hard to argue.

I figured that meant it was time to head to the next spot. We head back out into the bar where Hoz tells me some chick mistook him for Ryan Reynolds. No, really.

I call Andre and tell him to pull the limo around and gather the crew. Cap’s dad is hammered by now and FFIL isn’t looking very happy at all. It’s midnight and I start getting everyone into the limo. FFIL says he’s not going; he’d planned to have his wife pick him up at that spot. Whatever. We left him on the corner of Erie and Orleans and rolled.

Is It Really Real?

“Is it real son, is it really real son
let me know it's real son, if it's really real
something I could feel son, load it up and kill one
want it raw deal son, if it's really real”
--Method Man, “Bring the Pain”

I have fielded this question a few times now, and I suppose it’s to be expected. Although I always provide the whole truth as I know it to be, some of my stories are a bit extraordinary; this, of course, is exactly why I choose to share them. But it’s also the reason why some people question the authenticity. Even the woman who perhaps knows me better than anyone else, my mother, said some months ago, “I read your blog about Ohio University. What an imagination you have!”

“Umm, Mom…That all actually happened.”

“It did?”

“Yeah. All true.”

*silence as she wonders where she went wrong as a parent*

Some friends have asked how I manage to remember as many details as I do, since I’m typically drinking heavily at the time that the events in question take place. I can’t provide a very definitive answer here, other than to say that I’ve always been very observant of my surroundings. Even at the age of four I was giving my mother directions home from the bowling alley, store, etc. Also, as I’m sure most partiers out there know, drinking stories are often a collaborative effort. The best part of any “day after” is lying around a living room with your friends, piecing together events of the night before. You may remember 30% of a story, while your buddy has another 30% that you had forgotten (or not known at all). That’s usually the point at which you find out some of the dumber things you’ve done. Last Saturday, when I told Esq about the claim he had made the previous day, he laughed himself silly for nearly five minutes straight.

The stranger reaction, though, is when people read further into my tales than need be. One person said to me, due to my many stories of fumbling opportunities with girls, “Wow, you never get any!” While I can see how you might make that assumption (I mean, come on; “You’re really tall”??), it’s not true. More often than not, I try to keep my hookups off this page. Why violate the trust of an “associate” just to brag? Besides, what’s more entertaining to read: a story of how I missed out on a girl because I drank myself beyond the point of understandable speech, or a story of how I ended up in a hotel stairwell with a married woman? Okay, bad example.

The funniest instance of this occurred the other day. While talking to Breitling, he mentioned something a mutual acquaintance had told him. “She said, ‘[The D.e.f.i.] came into my bar one time, and now he’s in love with me.’” She didn’t give him any evidence to support her claim, so I can only guess as to what led her to believe this. Aside from one night of hanging out with her and mutual friends, I have had no real interaction with this girl. I lightly referred to her on this page a couple of times, so maybe she read that and decided that it was my way of serenading her? A friend of ours and I had a short, idle conversation about her once; maybe she thought that I was trying to find out her ring size?

Whatever the case may be, the sheer delusion of it all is hilarious. Even someone as fantastic, revered, and modest as me is guilty of a little narcissism from time to time; but, at the end of the day (or when I sober up the next morning) I always find myself back in reality, feet firmly on the ground.

All you have to do, baby girl, is ask yourself, “Is it really real?”

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Part 1: The Gathering

There has been a notable absence at On The Rocks over the past few months, and for that I apologize. There’s been some domestication of yours truly, and frankly, there haven’t been many events worthy of recounting here. My alcohol consumption has waned a bit, but it’s still healthy. Rather, the situations I generally find myself in while drinking have become incredibly tame. Call it bad luck, call it maturity.

However, the last weekend in June presented the opportunity to break out of this pedestrian cycle, an opportunity presented to all men at least a couple of times in their lives. A chance to forget about the responsibilities of adulthood and revert back to the primal being that crawled forth from the caves, probably dragging a skin of fermented wine with it. An event sacred to males across this great land of ours.

Bachelor party.

And not just any bachelor party. No, this was for my best friend Cap, a guy I’ve known for 10 years and for whom I would take a bullet. Naturally, that makes me the best man, and thus I was the organizer of his last evening of freedom. He lives in Indianapolis, but we’re both from Chicago originally and that’s where most of the homies are at, so we made our way back to the Windy for the weekend.

The first order of business for such matters is to gather a crew. Ours consisted primarily of guys we knew from back in college, dependable cats that know how to have fun. (When I invited J-Boogie, he asked if he could bring a 40 in a brown paper bag. And he wasn’t entirely joking.) I also invited along a couple of buddies from my time in Wisconsin that Cap knew. My diabolical plan was to set them up in an epic, nightlong drinking contest with a couple of my South Side Irish buddies. That alone would be worth the price of admission. Rounding out the crew was Cap’s pops and his future father-in-law.

The next step was to find a suitable ride. This I did by commandeering a white 2008 stretch Navigator stocked with beer and full of all the neon lights, leather seats and other touches limos come with these days.

Finally, you need a good itinerary. Those who have followed this blog would expect our posse to be hitting the finest strip clubs in Chi, and normally, you’d be right. But the addition of the two dads – especially the father-in-law – led to Cap requesting that we avoid houses of ill repute for the evening. Needless to say, I was disappointed, but what can you do?

The first guys to arrive at Cap’s folks’ house in the west suburbs that afternoon were Hoz and Rac, my Appleton road dogs. They’d killed a 12-pack on the three-hour drive down and were ready to roll. Cap’s dad – a guy who likes to have a good time – had never met them, and couldn’t stop laughing at Rac’s mention that they’d cruised through some storms so bad that he’d had to ask Hoz to hold his beer so he could focus on driving.

I made a liquor store run and asked everyone what they wanted. Hoz: “Grey Goose, please.” As I turned to go, he said, “Wait. What about … Hpnotiq?” I screwfaced him so hard I think I pulled a cheek muscle. How the hell do you go from asking for Goose to Hpnotiq? Strange people, those Wisconsinites.

When I returned with the booze, I handed the bottle to Hoz. Cap’s dad – a 7 and 7 kind of guy – looked at the blue liqeur and said, “What is that, Smurf jizz?”

Part 2 coming soon.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Independent Days

Three straight days of boozing…whewwww.


Tony and I decided to party in “The ‘Side,” or Shadyside, my neighborhood in Pittsburgh. We met up with LRG at Shady Grove, my favorite bar in the area. The alcohol is reasonably priced, and on a good night both the upstairs and downstairs bars are jumping with people (many of whom are female and easy on the eyes).

Thursday was, indeed, a good night. The downstairs bar was standing-room-only; upstairs, where we found LRG and his crew, there was a healthy crowd of couples, groups of single girls, and groups of single guys circling the single girls like hammerheads. It was close to 11, and LRG was already well-marinated. Enthusiastically handing out daps and high-fives, he exclaimed, “I want to be in the blog!” Rounds of shots broke up the monotony of my Beam & Cokes (actually, each was more like a Beam & Co—), and by the time we rolled down the street to William Penn Tavern, I was drunk enough to forget my credit card. Luckily I realized the error quickly, and headed back to retrieve it.

Returning to the Tavern, I found Tony standing at the patio bar, and LRG sitting at a table with a girl. I asked Tony who she was; shrugging his shoulders, he said, “Don’t know. He just sat down next to her and started talking.” After a few minutes of what I’m sure was exquisite gaming, the girl and LRG both walked over to the bar where Tony and I were. I think she was trying to escape, but ended up standing next to LRG’s friends without realizing it (my memory of events at that point in the night are quite hazy, though, so I could be mistaken about the reason for them abandoning the table for the bar). Trying my best to wingman for him, I introduced myself to the girl. After she told me her name (Serena), we shared some small talk before I handed her back to LRG. I then sent him a text message: “Serena. Can you remember that?”

On Saturday, I got a text from him: “Who is Serena?”


I had planned on being at my buddy’s estate (no, I’m not trying to find a cute synonym for “house”; the guy is loaded) around 2 pm for his 4th of July party. I wasn’t even out of bed by then, though, thanks to a slowly growing hangover and the comforting of a friend (*less-than-subtle-wink*), who had come over after her own drunken adventures the night before. It was around 4:30 by the time I picked up Tony and headed over to the house of “Breitling” (I’m giving him this alias because he had a shiny new diamond-set Breitling Colt Oceane on his wrist that day).

Heinekkens served by a bartender hired for the event, games of Asshole and dealer-run blackjack in the card room, movies in the theater, and beer pong by the pool; it was prime partying. Esq had a special interest in one guest in particular, a very pretty half-and-half girl, and worked diligently to win her over. As he got drunker, though, he apparently became less conscious of what he was saying. While Tony and I were playing beer pong, we asked Jess, an equally-appealing petite blonde who is the other girl’s friend, if Esq’s efforts were worthwhile. “Well,” she said about her friend, “she really only dates white guys.” Then she added, “But he also said that he only dates Black girls.”

Tony and I began laughing so hard that we nearly choked on our beer. “Uh,” I stammered, hesitant to blow up my boy’s game, “His ex-girlfriend looks like YOU.”

Esq was the only one of us to pass out early, locked away in one of the bedrooms upstairs. Baby Joey, Esq’s little brother, led a group of us up to the room, where he expertly picked the lock. A chocolate chip cookie was placed squarely on Esq’s forehead, a crumpled tissue was inserted into his outstretched hand, a stuffed animal was laid on his chest, and a small bottle of lotion was positioned next to him on the bed. Then the camera flashes started popping off. He slept through all of it, and when we piled out of the room, we locked the door behind us. The next morning he awoke in that state, behind a locked door, with a million questions swirling through his head. During a text message conversation the next afternoon, I asked him where he’d gone the night before. He said, “I have no idea how my night ended.” After I sent him one of the pictures we took, he simply responded, “F**k you guys.”


Tony and I met up with Esq, our boy BAL, and two of his buddies up in the North Hills. We headed to an outdoor club called “Cabana.” To say the place was ideal would be a slap in the face of the many bars and clubs in the area that actually try. The alcohol was overpriced, the girl-to-guy ratio was much too low, and the average age of the crowd was much too high. But, for late on a Saturday, you could do worse. There were still quite a few good looking girls in attendance, though, and Tony and I decided to make the best of it. A Long Island Iced Tea had just began its attack on my central nervous system when BAL informed me that we were leaving. Disgusted by the fact that the music wasn’t loud enough, he and Esq had decided that we should all catch a cab to Station Square.

Now, I’m no master strategist, but the math just didn’t add up on this. The six of us were a solid half hour (and $60 cab ride) away from Station Square, and only about a half hour away from last call at all area bars and clubs. So instead of making due, getting drunk, and working on the targets at hand, we were going to stop drinking for a half hour to go to a club that may-or-may-not be better than the one we were at, and only have time for one drink (if that). Tony and Skip, one of BAL’s friends, agreed and wanted to stay put. But with BAL dead-set on leaving, we had no choice. We were all supposed to stay at his place, and if he left we were stranded, more or less. We had the majority, but it was minority rule.

Powerless, I sat in the front seat of the cab resigned to my fate. Then Esq and BAL decided to use their special ability to pluck at a person’s last nerve. I had spent the last of my cash at the previous bar, but was now getting a torrent of trash talk from the seats behind me about my paying for the cab ride—the same cab ride I was vehemently against taking in the first place. Upon arriving at Station Square, I got out and walked away from the cab, ignoring the stream of garbage that my boozed-up brethren were spewing towards the back of my head. As I approached the club, though, a new thought occurred to me: I had zero cash in my pocket, and would undoubtedly have to pay cover to get into the club. Not only that, but the closest ATMs were inside of the clubs. It was a catch-22.

I began walking towards the other side of the complex, where I knew there was an outdoor ATM. In doing so, I passed the guys, who jabbed, “That’s $10 you owe us!” Telling them to self-copulate, I took the 5 minute trek to the outdoor ATM. But as I was withdrawing my money, I realized how dumb it would be to even bother going into the club to not drink while listening to more of the nonsense my friends were talking.

I decided to catch a cab back home. The problem is, when you’re all alone on a Pittsburgh street at night (not to mention, when you’re the wrong shade of skin tone), your chances of a cab stopping for you are roughly the same as your chances of seeing Owen Wilson bring home the Oscar for Best Actor. Tired of it all, I strolled all the way home to my apartment, roughly a two hour walk. Sunday afternoon I received messages from BAL and Esq, both asking why I was so upset over $10.

I hate drunk people.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Saturday, oh Saturday. It started with an 11:31 a.m. text message from Dupa:

“You’re going to Privilege with me tonight for a private party that includes an open bar.”

How can a man say no to that? Especially since Privilege is a high-end nightclub, where the drinks and the women are both overpriced.

By the time I arrived at his apartment to start pregaming, though, the destination had changed to a new club with a similar M.O. “PM Nightclub” is in Pittsburgh’s Strip District; and, as testament to their “exclusivity,” they advertise that the club's entrance is in an alley, away from the eyes of the general public. [Which is typical Pittsburgh; it would say more about a club’s exclusivity if the entrance was out on the street (where there’s less chance of an armed robbery) and admission was restricted by the bouncers. But, even though snobbery is the club’s end goal, being outright about it would ruffle the city’s blue collar. So instead of risking patronage by being open about their pretentiousness, they instead risk a jack move by any relatively-organized group of street entrepreneurs (not that I’d know anything about that type of thing *cough*—moving on…).]

We got to PM at the same time as Dupa’s coworker—the birthday girl for whom the party was being thrown—and her husband. He immediately negotiated a private table, two bottles of Grey Goose, a bottle of Captain, mixers, and a bucket of select beers. And, best of all, he didn’t ask us to pitch in—it was his treat. This meant that for a night of rocking out in an “exclusive” club while getting wasted on Grey Goose, I only paid $7 (which was my share of the cab fee). I barely know him, but I’m quite positive that the man is a saint. I’m awaiting a return call from the Vatican on the subject.

After an hour or so, a middle-aged couple walked into the club and sat near our table. Both dressed in all white linens, I could feel a story developing. Once the dance floor gathered strength, they were out in the middle of it, boogying down like only a (seemingly) well-to-do white couple in their mid-to-late 40s can. Dupa, never one to miss an opportunity for hilarity, soon found himself freaking the wife, while the husband looked on with approval from a distance. At one point he even picked her up into his arms for a photo op (I have a whole series of pictures from the night, including several of the Worthingtons [not their real names, as far as I know; but they looked like people who would be named “Worthington”]). Eventually others in our party got into the act, bookending Mrs. Worthington for good old-fashioned dance party freakings. One female in our group—who has asked that she remain nameless in narrations of the story—even started a conga line that meandered drunkenly through the crowd, with the Worthingtons and others in tow. And no, she’s not white.

Unbeknownst to the rest of us, however, Dupa had a little more insight than most regarding the Worthingtons’ party habits. Randomly drawn into conversation with them earlier in the night, he made idle chit chat with both. Then, unexpectedly, Mr. W. pulled him aside and asked, “Are you clean?”

For those of us who know Dupa, it’s understood that he’s the Dikembe Mutombo of shocking statements. Drive into the lane with some weak s**t, and he’s sending it the other way. And not only did Mr. W. come strong, he 360-degree-windmilled over Dupa, who was left virtually speechless, only able to stutter, “Y-yeah.” Swingers in Pittsburgh are a rarity—almost an urban legend. And it appeared that we had two here calling “we got next.”

Ever the sportsman, though, he then took the game back to them with the ensuing dance exhibition. It may have been our friend Erica who made sure that the Worthingtons went home defeated, though. While showing off her own spicy-Latina dance skills, she spun and kicked her leg into the air; unfortunately, Mrs. W. was behind her, and caught a stiletto to the face. One of the last pictures I took that night was of Erica, Dupa, and Mrs. W., who was smiling like a proud NHL brawler with a bloody mark prominently glowing on her chin. [I’m struggling to hold back a “swingers/taking it on the chin” joke here.]

Maybe the Worthingtons are S&M swingers? And maybe that’s why PM is so exclusive. How many places can there possibly be in this city where you can go to drink, dance, mingle, and get kicked in the face by a beautiful Ecuadorian?