Monday-night quarterbacking

"Tell me why, I don't like Mondays?" once quizzed Bob Geldof, his teeth rotting in his Ratty Boomtown. For me, the answer always came quite quickly -- even in those halcyon days of locker pinups with Lisa Whelchel on them -- Mondays are for assholes.

Assholes be damned (although they should sometimes be coddled), the folks down at The Club -- er, Firestone, er, whatever that behemoth distraction of a building is that stands next to the neon-lit trophy shop on Orange -- are making a valiant effort at least one Monday a month to "shoo-oooo-oooo-oot" the whole day up instead of down with a peculiarly titled service-industry affair, "What the [email protected]?" Hilarious as that may seem, what with the semantic censoring of everybody's favorite pastime, the whole fucking thing is a bit seedier than that playful "@" may make it seem. We'll get to that later. The hottie door guy exempts myself and my homosexual comrades from any unnecessary entry fee simply on the cachet of my name.

"Billy Manes! Give that guy whatever he wants!" howls the promoter from behind some bizarre curtain situation. Give me a drink and shoot me, I think quietly to myself.

Some odd apologies from a staffer are made for the door-count -- a scant 111 by the time of my midnight inquisition. That doesn't bother me as much as the labyrinth I'm forced to stumble through in order to get to whatever action "What the [email protected]?" might have to offer me.

I mean, what the fuck?

Off to my right, in some swanky VIP lounge to which I am not immediately directed, stand four or five she-devils, boobs-out and giggling. I think I'm in the wrong place. I know I'm in the wrong place. "You can't write anything bad about this," approaches another staffer. So, as I wipe the blood from my eyes, having been assaulted by mammary madness, I demand exactly what any journalist would. "Maybe I won't if you give me some free drink tickets, and perhaps make out with me."

"Consider it done." Fine, then.

Now, it's no secret the The Club has seen its finer days, once being the bastion of breakbeat ridiculousness that had Orlando name-checked in Rolling Stone for being, like, the best of something. Hell, I was even carried out by security after mistaking one white powder for another, ending up on the bench outside suffering from an acute case of animal tranquilization. Yeah, it was that much fun.

These days, Jan's house of fun suffers from acute case of cultural schizophrenia -- Is it gay? Is it black? Is it open? -- and tonight's no different. It's intentional, according the promoter, an old friend who insists at some point that I list him as "J Video," which makes about as much since as calling myself "B Drink." Oh, wait, that does sort of make sense, now doesn't it? (Talk to the drink, 'cuz the notepad's not listening.)

"Geddit? It changes every week. It's supposed to make you say, 'What the fuck?'" J Video vaudevilles. Nope. Don't get it.

OK, so the setup is something like this: There's a naked-people-dancing-on-boxes room, a movie room, a loungey bar room and a dancefloor room. By the time I am drunk enough to muster a hiccup, I catch a whiff of Madonna's "Music ... makes the people ... come together," while a lone raver rain-dances in the middle of her hair, coming together alone. Booming from the loungey area is something that might be Chingy or 50 Cent or just plain crap, and all I can think about is the Ciccone smackdown battling equally bad, loud and offensive musical mistakes. And the raver's hair.

Off to the movie room, then, where the suitably aggro Pitt-fest known as "Fight Club" is marking its homoeroticism with blood and blond hair. I love both, so I stay awhile. I mean, what the fuck?

"Cut the foreplay and just ask," Pitt bleeds. "You know you came here because you wanted to ask to stay with me." And so I melt. That's exactly why I came here. Especially when Pitt follows it with a spirited, "I want you to hit me as hard as you can," to a clearly confused, equally cute Ed Norton. At some point one of them says, "Nice big cock," or I might have just thought that.

Feeling dirty and kind of liking it, I travel into the nudie room, where some shirtless Abercrombie is simulating doggie-style on a butt-popping topless blonde. The Abercrombie, sadly, sidesteps before complete exposure, and I'm left three feet away from the ass-pop of the blonde, thinking really funny things like, "I thought this was a service industry night, not a cervix industry night." Hah. Whatever. I suck.

Which is precisely why I start to wander the perimeters of the lounge in search of some objective overview, and, perhaps, a last grasp at my soul. Fortunately, two gypsies are seated at the front of the whole mess, and, naturally, they beckon me over, promising to find that very soul somewhere in my palm, my face or a deck of ornate cards. By now I'm game for anything, so I give it up, so to speak, to Nina, a kindly gypsy lady, who I know must be legit by the size of her hoop earrings. After five screwdrivers, I'm ready to jump through them and into her head.

Nina tells me that I have a long lifeline (the good news) but a lot of sickness (the bad news). "Have you been sick a lot?" she grills.

"Totally," I totally.

"You do really good things, but people don't tend to understand them. Some of them are jealous and want to keep you from succeeding."

"Take that, Bob Whitby," I think to myself.

Then she ruins everything by digging into the sandbox of my love life, insisting that I've had relations with somebody having the initial "M." Well, short of frequent masturbation, I can't find anybody on my dance card with that initial. Yeah, I was surprised, too.

Anyway, after telling me to make two wishes and then doing nothing about them, she tells me that I have a dark spirit blocking me and that I should consult with her at a later date ... y'know, for money. And suddenly, I realize that I prefer my bottle to a shaman and shuffle away with my friends, one of whom found out from his gypsy that a certain overweight fag hag was out to ruin him, and I promised him I'd print it. Her name, well let's just say it has the initial "T."

I mean, it is my column. What the fuck?

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