Everybody thinks that the shit they did when they were growing up was better than the shit that the next generation did when they were growing up. Then they become completely appalled by the shit that the following generation does when they’re growing up. Then they just completely check out, and avoid thinking about what young people do, period.
In life, I am probably fast approaching (who am I kidding, I’ve been there for a while) the third sentence of that opening paragraph. It’s never more evident to me than when I make the mistake of going ‘clubbing’. Oh how I used to love to go clubbing!! This isn’t for everyone, but it was definitely for me. As a lover of friends, music, women and alcohol, (and not always in that order) a good nightclub had everything I needed for an amazing time. I wear these memories of crazy antics and shenanigans on my heart like a badge of honour. I wouldn’t trade them for anything.
Sadly, clubbing has (or should have) a shelf life with most people. For some it’s very short. For others, it’s about 5 years longer than it really should have been. As fun and wild as it can be if you’re in the ‘right place’ for it….. it can also be a bit sad and bitter if you’re not in a good place. I’ve done it both ways. My clubbing career (never got paid for it, just trying to turn it into a sports analogy……overexplaining again) lasted longer than it does for most people. By the end I’d like to think that I’d accomplished all that I needed to out on the dance floor, and outside of the occasional ‘comeback’ for a birthday party or something, I’m done. The truth is I’m a happily married father now, and regular clubbing is just way more fun when you’re single.
That said, I went out dancing on Saturday night for the first time in almost a year. The place that we went to was a fairly upscale lounge type of club. It might have been a touch swankier than I typically enjoy, but I was dressed for it, and didn’t feel out-of-place, so I guess it was alright in that regard. (I certainly don’t like it when it’s too casual either…. we’re clubbing for god’s sake, not cleaning out the garage). What I noticed (and it’s not the first time I’ve noticed it) is that the game has changed for the worse. Most of the nightclubs around here have bottle service, which I’m not so opposed to since there’s always been some form of VIP treatment for those that feel they need it (like a separate section of the club, or a separate lineup to get in), but it’s taken over the whole club now. It’s ridiculous.
For those that don’t know what bottle service is, I’ll explain. If you have any sense, you’ll laugh your ass off. Bottle service is a VIP service in a night club where you get something (usually a couch) to sit on, and you pre-pay (out the nose) for a bunch of bottles of alcohol to sit on a table in front of your couch, so you can mix and pour your own drinks, and sit down like it was somebody’s fucking living room. This is what we used to call pre-pounding, except we did it before we left on a better couch, with better music and we had better (or at least more variety) drinks for a fraction of the cost….THEN we went clubbing. (The better couch thing is debateable….it certainly had less ass germs on it from all of the random people). To make matters way worse, they set these tables up right beside the dance floor now. When they first started it was this separate VIP area, but I guess the people who NEED the VIP attention weren’t getting enough attention from the rest of the people because they were sectioned off. Now there’s barely anywhere to dance for all of these tables littering the perimeter of these clubs. You used to go to a club to go dancing!!! These idiots go to the club (and spend waaaay more $$) to sit on a fucking couch. Man up for god’s sake!! Last call is a mere 2.5 hours from when you arrive, and you’re telling me your precious feet can’t take the abuse???
Moving along, here is a top 5 list of the dumbest things I saw at the club the other night. Starting with 5, and building up to a ranty climax.
5. It was March 16th, so at midnight it was officially St. Patrick’s day. (I’m pretty sure) the club hired 2 midgets (I know, the politically correct thing to say is ‘little people’ right?? I’m all about being PC, but think of a better one, because ‘little people’ encompasses way more than just midgets) to dress up as leprechauns for photo opportunities. These guys hit the dance floor after too, and seemed to have a pretty good time. I’m happy for them especially if they got paid, but at what cost? I thought it was probably in bad taste, but what do I know? I called them midgets.
4. The DJ. What can I say?? The technology has made it so that they barely do anything up there. All digital. No vinyl to carry around. It’s a brand new day for these guys. His set could have totally been pre-programmed for all I know, and this guy spent half the night texting on his Blackberry. Dude, at least pretend you’re doing something up there.
3. The bouncer didn’t let me in until the other guy upstairs gave me an invisible stamp. Nobody checked my ID, or charged me cover so….. why the top-secret invisible stamp?? Watching too many spy movies?
2. Every time someone who had bottle service ordered another bottle, there was this big LED light attached to the top of it so everyone in the club could see that the coolest man in the world got another bottle of Grey Goose for his table. Wow man… I’m so jealous.
1. I’m sorry, I can’t drop this bottle service thing. I saw these 5 guys who had a table. They were young professionals. Probably more money than brains, but I didn’t have anything against them. They stood up the whole time, which is cool I guess if you’re moving to the music, but why pay for the couch then? I guess they took turns going to the bathroom. If they were single (which they seemed to be), perhaps they thought that girls would hang out near their table and maybe they could lure them in with their vodka bottles. It didn’t seem to happen. There were a whole bunch of girls there for a staggette, but these guys couldn’t leave their table and booze that they paid for, so I guess they were stuck flirting with whatever group of girls was nearby. They didn’t seem too successful luring with liquor, and I don’t think you’d meet any keepers that way anyways. They were definitely drunk enough to have a good time, but I don’t think it was all it was cracked up to be. The guys on the dance floor looked like they were having a blast though. There’s nothing quite like actually dancing at a dance club. I find that women notice you more as well. At least that hasn’t changed.
I hope this is just a phase or a trend, but I don’t really care. I’m not going back to that life. Maybe just for a visit once in a while. I’m sure there’s still a few places that do it right. If my son reads this when he’s older, I hope he takes from this that you can’t buy happiness. Also, if you always try to impress people with the money you spend, you will find yourself surrounded with people who are impressed by the money you spend, and then you better not run out of money. Learn to dance instead!
(Son, I meant for that to sound way deeper…..you know what I mean)
March 19th, 2013 at 9:19 pm
Bottle service/VIP is the dumbest crap ever. You gotta be dancing or, as Rza says, “riding the wall”.
March 20th, 2013 at 4:37 am
Yup. They need to stop trying to turn a club into their living room.
March 21st, 2013 at 4:30 pm
My clubbing career started at 16 (they didn’t really check id’s back in Naples, Italy), I was into GOTH and NEW WAVE like crazy at the time, so we would go to these obscure batcaves and enjoy dancing to Sister of Mercy and a weird genre that had taken over, called “EBM” (electronic black metal, but it had nothing to do with black metal really). In my early ’20s I became obsessed with indie pop and indie rock, so every extended weekend (from thursday to saturday) belonged to the INDIE CLUB (a different one according to the day of the week), everybody was shaking their bangs and stomping their ballerina shoes to Pulp and Franz Ferdinand. In my mid ’20s I started hanging out with a group of Americans that didn’t really care about music, they just wanted to PARTAY, so for about a year or so I joined the real dark side and went to a bunch of creepy hip hop and generally just white trash places (where it was VERY CLEAR people weren’t there for the music, but just to find someone to hook up with, which is a universal truth in clubbing, but in those kind of places more than anywhere else), I was so desperate to dance that everything would work though (plus I had fallen out with everybody at the indie clubs). THESE PLACES HAD A VIP AREA in the middle of the dance floor. Nowadays I’m fed up, I think I would still enjoy a good night out at the indie club, because I truly love the music they play there, but where I live now there’s nothing of sorts, so here I am thinking about my youth gone wild 🙂
March 21st, 2013 at 4:32 pm
P.S My girlfriends and I would normally make fun of people over ’30s at the club.
March 22nd, 2013 at 2:24 am
I used to think clubbing in your 30s wasn’t cool until I was in my 30s. Then I had no choice but to think it was cool. This place I’m referring to actually had a mixed crowd. I definitely wasn’t the oldest guy there. Plus, there were way too many other people for you to make fun of….I don’t think we would have been high on your list.
March 21st, 2013 at 4:48 pm
P.P.S (sorry but this post seems to have struck me), the perfect song to associate with this situation is My Wandering Days Are Over by Belle and Sebastian (that are also the perfect spring music), isn’t it? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIXY2ADdbLk
March 24th, 2013 at 4:20 am
I don’t think you’re ever too old to make an a$$ of yourself. As long as you know you’re being an a$$. And “you better not ever run out of money.” That was deep. Nice piece!
March 24th, 2013 at 10:15 pm
Agreed! Life’s too short to care if other people care how old you are!
March 24th, 2013 at 2:07 pm
i did not know what to make of you from the interview with Essa. I enjoyed your article I, myself have never been inside a bar or a club. You explanation confirms the kind of thing i figured I would see there.
March 24th, 2013 at 10:28 pm
Hi Tom! Thanks…. Don’t know who Essa is, nor do I recall doing an interview with him/her. But….. If that’s who sent you to read my blog, then shout out to Essa!!! In regards to you never going to a bar or club… you’re not missing much, or maybe you are depending on the night.
March 24th, 2013 at 10:47 pm
I did read your blog post on clubbing. I think i might have caught your link from a comment you might have made on another blog. I have been on the .org for a year or more. I have found that .com has far more interesting people. I would certainly count you among them.
March 24th, 2013 at 10:55 pm
Well thank you kind sir!
March 25th, 2013 at 5:35 pm
It wouldn’t be a St. Patrick’s day without midgets (ie. Vertically-impaired people). Did they wear green clover sunglasses a la Elton John? I have to say, some of the best parts about clubbing are watching the other people like you do. But then they’d be watching me. So….
March 25th, 2013 at 6:51 pm
Dance like nobody’s watching?
April 6th, 2013 at 11:54 am
Call them Gimps ala Game of Thrones. I’m so impressed you dance! The very white Irishman that I’m married too will do a break dance kinda/sorta move but only when he’s three sheets to the wind.
April 6th, 2013 at 11:52 pm
I do dance a bit better after a few drinks. Sober, I feel like I’m going through the motions. Drunk I feel like Usher.