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?

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