Bachelor parties are indistinguishable from a death-row convict’s final meal: one last smidgen of pleasure before life is over.
The major difference is, the murderer likely enjoyed his repast, while there’s nothing remotely pleasure about these testosterone-soaked bacchanals that are equal parts expensive and predictable: a hangover-wreaking orgy of meat, beer and lap dances, a mystifyingly popular act that replicates the teenage dry hump’s rubbed-raw displeasure. Sadly, in my marriage-happy social circle, bachelor bacchanals are now as unavoidable as days ending in Y.
“You’re going to another one?” my girlfriend asks, incredulously. I returned home from my last all-dude shindig at 6 a.m., swaddled in smoke and possessing eyeballs the color of maraschino cherries. “How come I haven’t heard about this?”
“We just decided to have one today.”
“Do I have to worry about you?”
“I’m too cheap to get in that much trouble.”
“I doubt that,” she says, as I head out the door and head to Mudville 9 (126 Chambers St. betw. West Broadway & Church St., 212-964-9464). It’s a forgettable Tribeca sports bar with numerous flat-screen TVs and dudes with gelled hair. Our men gnaw meaty, sparsely sauced chicken wings and drink $12 pitchers of Bud.
“Just water for me,” I say, sipping from my Nalgene bottle.
“Are you not drinking?” one guy asks.
Nope, I’m just biding my time until we hit the Patriot Saloon (110 Chambers St. betw. West Broadway & Church St., 212-748-1162). It’s my favorite despicable dive. The bilevel roadhouse offers bar-dancing hussies, vomit-splattered toilets and “Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw?” as the theme song.
“Welcome to dirty heaven,” I announce, ordering $6.50 PBR pitchers. They’re served by a giggly brunette wearing an abbreviated dress and a push-up bra. Much to the crew’s appreciation, her preferred method of locomotion is skipping like an 11-year-old on recess.
“Please, never let her stop jumping,” one guy says, his eyes hubcap-size.
Whereas feminists might construe this as shameless and shameful, it’s instead an effective sales tactic.
“More beer?” the waitress inquires the instant we drain a pitcher. She bats her eyes, stirring up longings, liquid and otherwise.
Yes, yes, yes.
Within an hour, we’ve swallowed numerous rounds of Wild Turkey and Jäger. The world is blurry. The world is beautiful. “Gentlemen,” says a fancifully facial-haired friend, “we’re ready to ogle.”
Like a herd of horny sheep, we stumble outside and down West Broadway.
“Pit-stop at Raccoon Lodge?” a contingent member offers, spotting its neon sign.
On the surface, it’s a brilliant notion. That dark dive offers cheap Rolling Rock pints, a pool table—and one brutally rank memory. Once, a riotously inebriated friend was too sloshed to trifle with a toilet and instead urinated on the floor. We were 86’d faster than you can snap.
“Uh, no,” I veto, as we proceed to New York Dolls (59 Murray St. betw. West Broadway & Church St., 212-791-5261).
Dear readers, I despise strip clubs. They’re greasy mechanisms for stripping men of money. It’s a Pavlovian inevitability: Show men a nipple or four, and their hands automatically reach for their pants, whipping out thick, swollen billfolds. But as an example of the species, New York Dolls is a fairly swell boobie haunt. Well-mannered, well-muscled men check our IDs and take $10 entrance fees. The carpet is clean and vacuumed. The lounge’s mirrors lack suspect smudges. We settle into plush chairs while the entertainment gyrates onstage, but I’m too distressed to pay attention.
“How much for a beer?” I ask the lingerie-clad waitress. She hands me a sweaty Amstel Light.
I pay the topless surcharge and attempt to set a Guinness record for slowest beer sipped. All around, men are massaged and ridden like they’re broken-down nags. My pal Papa Chubby is not pleased. I flee to the toilet, where an attendant stands sentry. I attempt relief, but performance anxiety has vised shut my piping.
“Excuse me,” I say, vanishing into a stall. Locking the door unlocks my river of relief.
When I exit, I try faking out the attendant—head for the sink, then dash for the door—but he’s already running water and extending a paper towel. I wash my hands and exchange his towel for a wet dollar.
“Having fun?” he asks.
“Have some candy,” he says, motioning at the basket of candy.
My pockets soon bulge with Brach’s cinnamon discs. They provide a little sweetness as I return to the lounge where ladies and gents, bachelors and marrieds alike, grind away to—and on—their preferred end.