Nightclubs are all about fun — except for all the aspects of it that can make a night out seem like a hazing. Here are the worst aspects of clubbie behavior and why they run the potential of turning fun into fury.
* Rude doormen.
The thugs at the door of some hotspots don’t seem to realize that mild hauteur is preferable to utter sadism. Instead, they seize the chance to grab at some power and bark orders at the crowd, forgetting that they’re dealing with paying customers who are innocently searching for a good time and deserve a little respect. The resulting scene becomes like a glorified POW camp, with the door help swelling to tyrannical heights of abuse as everyone cowers in fear. Most of them seem like Death Row escapees on steroids, but otherwise, they’re really nice.
* The search at the door
I totally understand the need for security and am not suggesting clubs do away with this. But something about going out for a good time and being greeted with a metal check, shakedown, and frisk — not to mention a mandatory coat and bag check — makes you feel like a criminal, when it’s the people searching you who somehow look fresh out of prison.
* The touchers and grabbers
Some of the unrepentant drunks in clubs have a thing about touching. They can’t keep their hands off of you — not out of any sexual craving, mind you, but just because they’re out of control and need to be handling something at all times, as if you’re a giant crack pipe. When a guy did it to me recently, I was extremely annoyed, especially when a friend alerted me that the guy had just reached into his own pants and touched his business before mauling me! I’ve been showering ever since.
* Relentless old music
Whether the DJ is of AARP age or is simply fixated on nostalgia, the music at some clubs is exclusively from the 1980s! Old Madonna, ancient Boy George, rickety Cher and wizened Tina Turner blare out of the sound system, along with novelty hits from days past which have long lost their luster. I’m all for keeping the oldies alive, but when a 30-year-old Top 40 becomes the playlist at a new club to the exclusion of anything else, it’s downright sick. Especially since no one is dancing!
* “Open bar till 11 p.m.”
Which means that for an hour, the bartenders are acting very busy — too busy to take your order. (And in my case, it’s just a Diet Coke. Give me a break.) Suddenly, they finish whatever business they were indulging in and perk up, ready to get you your drinks. And it’s 11:01!
* Ridiculously watered-down drinks
Whether they’re free or top dollar, they’re not going to be very potent. That’s what my drunk friends tell me. In fact, for $12 or more, you might very well be paying for alcohol-flavored water! Which makes it difficult for me to understand how there are so many touchers and grabbers messing up the place. They must have tanked up before getting there! And, in fact, that’s a perfectly understandable (if undesirable) thing to do.
* People who overstay their welcome
Newsflash: A club isn’t about long, involved conversations tracing the history of mankind. It’s about fairly brief, light, superficial encounters as you bop about from person to person as if trying out all the different rides in an amusement park. But there’s always one hanger-on who starts talking at your face and won’t shut up. They talk about their new apartment, they talk about celebrity gossip, they talk about Vietnam … and then they talk some more. Their cue comes to walk away, but they think of one more witty thing to say and then one more and then another one after that. Three hours later, they’re still babbling, and your night out has somehow become a free psychotherapy session for someone you don’t even like!
“I’m doing a record with [such and such label]. I’m writing a book for [such and such self-publishing site]. I was named [Douchebag of the Year] by [some free bar rag]. Me, me, me, me, me, me, me.”
* Promoters who either don’t say hello or hock you on their next event
These are both appalling behavioral strains. The first one has the promoter who begged you to come (in person, by e-mail and on Facebook) acting like he/she doesn’t see you! They walk right by you, pretending their peripheral vision doesn’t work, out of an obvious fear that you might feel you deserve a greeting and/or drink ticket. And the second line of attack has them not only saying hello, but going on and on about how you have to go to their next event because it’s going to be so amazing blah blah blah. But you’re at this event already. How about a simple “Thanks for coming. Now here’s a drink ticket?”
* “You can’t exit this way or that way”
Again, I’m all for rules and regulations and respect the need for certain designated areas for this or that. But it seems that some clubs don’t want you to leave at all! No mater what door you go to, even though all signs had pointed to it as an exit and it says “EXIT” in large letters on the door, they tell you, “You can’t leave this way.” “Bitches, even if I never leave this place,” I want to say, “I ain’t buying a drink, so LET ME OUT!!!!”
Michael Musto is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine.