Friday, May 20, 2011


             I knew it was going to happen.
            I knew someone would eventually would ask this question.
            Now,  I don’t normally do this, but I’m going to post the email sent to me by this sad and confused gentleman.

            To The Bartender Knows
            Okay. Why is it so hard to talk to girls at bars? Every time I try to approach a girl I feel like I’m being some weird stalker dude. And if I buy them drinks I feel like I’m being a desperate, weird, rapey stalker dude. What are the secrets to doing this? You’re a bartender. How do you do it? How do I talk to these girls without feeling like a total asshole?

            Okay dude. Mr. NEEDSTOKNOW. Let me break down a couple facts about the fairer sex here in New York City.

            Women do not need you at all. They don’t. They don’t need you. The fifties are over, brah. All a girl needs nowadays is a Rabbit, two hyper-sexual gay friends she can live vicariously through, and a good income job. Seriously. Add a cool group of uber-fun dance party girl nights and she’s set.  It is 2011. And New York girls are way more manly then you are. They got game. They run the show. They’re choosing all the pockets, and sinking them in two runs. Face that fact first, bub. You ain’t shit.

            Any girl over 25 has been BURNED badly by some kind of shitty dude. They have loved and lost. They’re precious hearts have been broken into a millions pieces and somehow home-girl has survived to live another day. So you just having a penis means that yes, you might do what that man before you did:
            Fuck her shit up.
            And nobody wants their shit fucked up.  
            So already their man-palette is all dirtied up before you even walk over. You must realize their initial rudeness is merely the left-overs of Previous-Dude-Wreckage. You must, in a matter of moments, somehow eradicate that dirtied man-palette and get the equation set back to zero. So the slate is clean. That is just the beginning. Now you have to somehow differentiate yourself from the Legion of other men skinnier, richer, and better-looking then you are.

            Everybody DOES something in this town. And most men, because of their essential egotism, begin telling everyone around them what ‘they’ do. Women are especially bored by this. They don’t need to know who the fuck you are. That comes later. You need to ask THEM questions. Who cares what you do? It’s probably far less interesting then the 17 other more successful, attractive men that have hit on her that day, so shut the fuck up and ask the girl some questions. And don’t say shit like: “Do you like music?” or “What’s your favorite color?” (my sister swears that she has been asked these exactly questions in the first five minutes of dialogue). Don’t be retarded. Be genuine. Be yourself.
            Wait. No. Stop.
            Don’t be yourself. If you are yourself you’d have to tell them that you are writing to someone you don’t know about how to pick up chicks at bars. Don’t do that. Just keep the attention on them.

            Here’s some rules you should live by. One girl at a bar means she’s waiting for someone. One girl at a bar with a book means she’ll talk to you if you’re literary, but she’s either getting over a break up or has serious emotional problems. Two girls at a bar should not be approached. They are chatting, catching up, and talking about guys their fucking. You have no place there. Three girls at the bar means party time. Approach, but make sure you know which one you want in advance. You can’t switch later (well, you can, but by the sound of it, you’re in division one of these athletics, so keep it simple). Just be careful from attacks by the others. They will make it difficult. This includes approaching women with their gay friends. This can be exceptionally brutal, especially if the gay friend is of the super-queen variety, and, essentially being a guy themselves, knows just what to say to her that will fuck your shit up.    

            Bars are made for people. That is the simple fact. People go out to get fucked up, to meet with friends, and to get laid (and sometimes all three). It’s just the way it is. Women go out to meet guys. They do. Face it. If you see a done up lady (hair, make-up, the works) she did that for you. Well, maybe not for you, specifically, but for someone like you who just might be A) not a sleazebag, B) funny and interesting, C) not going to fuck her shit up six months from now.
            Just remember brother, we all want love in the end. I don’t care who you are. We are all just little hippies looking for the potion of love. Some of us may be like rescue animals who bite the strangers who try to pet us, but beyond all of our psychic scars, we want a hug. And a good lay.
            So chill out, NEEDSTOKNOW. Just follow these easy steps and write back if any of this gets you to first base.      


Monday, May 16, 2011

Brunching Is The Most Important Thing To Do In Life

             So I get a call from my flagrantly gay friend Roland, who just happens to be stuck in some small town called Ft. Morgan in the great state of Colorado. He’s flustered:
            “I gotta get my ass back to New York City, bitch!” He says on the phone.
            “What the hell are you doing out there, anyway?” I ask.
            “Someone died.”
            “Oh, I’m sorry, Roland.”
            I hear him blow cigarette smoke into the phone (I know this because he smokes habitually. I scold him for this terrible habit, but as he says repeatedly: “My only two bad habits are Marlboro Reds and dick”).
            Roland continues: “What? No. Don’t worry you’re pretty little head, Matthew. It was some uncle who hates the gays, so whatever. But my mother was close to him, and I’m the good son, so now I’m stuck in this god forsaken redneck shit town wearing black at funerals with fat people.”
            “Yeah. And there’s nothing to do here. New York has made me her bitch. I have to get back. There’s no place to drink. There’s no place to eat. I felt threatened buying cigarettes at the Wal-Mart out here.”
            “How are the bars?” I ask, for obvious reasons.
            “Horrible. Terrible. Disgusting. And not disgusting in a good way, like the Subway Bar, but like, actually Red State disgusting.”
            I think I know what he means.
            “I’m starving. I want to brunch. I NEED it. I need a fucking patio. I need a decent Bloody Mary. Matthew. I’m going CRAZY! The highlight of my trip was smoking dirt weed behind a Dairy Queen with some Goth kids.”
            I try to visualize Roland doing this and it makes me smile.
            But Roland brings up a good point. Here in Brooklyn, brunch is a very important part of life. Roland knows. The patio is important. The Bloody Mary is important (and I make the best, and y’all know this!).
            But there’s just some places that have been ruining my brunching high lately and it’s time to address this. Here’s a short list of places that have been fucking with my brunch life.
            135 North 5th Street and Bedford.  
            You know what? Fuck you, Egg. I really, really wanted to like you. But like the popular chick in high school, you’re kind of a bitch. I heard great things about your food. I heard great things about your drinks. But that’s just the problem. There’s too many people who know about you. I know, I know, it’s like blaming a whore for sleeping around, they just can’t help it and they hate their Dad. But there’s other problems. Like the staff. Seriously, guys, smile. Just once. Pretty please? And get a bigger place, Egg. I feel like I’m on a subway car in Tokyo. By the time my food eventually arrived, the gravy over my biscuits was cold. And I fucking hate oatmeal. Egg, get over yourself. Expand and hire a new staff. Or at least hand out free Prozac to them to get a smile out of these fucks.
            MILLER’S TAVERN
            2 Hope Street between Roebling & Havemeyer.
            Again, what is with these uber-shiek terrible waitresses? Girl, I have been serving people all of my life. I need a refill on my coffee. Now stop talking to that bike messenger who doesn’t wash and fill a cup for a brother. So me and my now unemployed, full-time writing, less homicidal roommate Tony go into this joint to give it a shot. And of course, the waitresses here don’t smile either (perhaps it’s fashionable not to do your job now), they all are dressed like they’re at a fashion show, and the recommendations were terrible. Tony ordered something called Chicken Fried Chicken (or something ironic) and it ended up looking like two little wings tied together with a battered string, which he choked down begrudgingly. The portions are small, the plates are overpriced, and the service sucks. Good coffee though, which goes a long way. But we all know Stumptown is the shit.        

            352 Bedford Ave.
            You’re cute. You are. You’re very pretty. You are. I feel like I’m talking to that girl whose all looks and no substance. The Eggs Benedict here was served on rock hard biscuits. And I KNOW what Benedict should taste like. The sauce was like some imitation brand. Don’t fuck with what works, Rabbithole. Keep it classic. The Reuben Sandwich was horrible. The corned beef was sinewy and long, I felt like I was chewing on meat-flavored shoelaces. Now I know y’all used to own Read Café, and anyone who knows the hood knows that Café was the best Bedford Avenue had ever seen. But lay off the looks and get a new cook. 3 Michelen Star trained, my ass.

            Brunch is one of the most important things in life. Okay. Not really. But it can make life beautiful on a summer day with friends.
            Stay tuned for the Williamsburg Brunch joints that absolutely rule.   
            And let us pray for Roland’s safe return from Hicksville, USA.       
These are the kids I imagine Roland smoked weed with.

And this is where it went down. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Who Ruined My LIfe??? (part 2)

            Most kids, particularly the nervy, book-obsessed, girl-shy, Dungeon and Dragons type (who ever would I mean?) wish that something special may happen to them. They wander the halls of high school, books clung closely to their chests, and hope, pray really, that somehow they’re horrible case of acne will disappear, that their Mother will stop dressing them in short blue shorts and lined blue and white tee-shirts, making you look like a pirate, but not any dangerous pirate, but the kind that repeatedly get mistaken in boy-porn ads in the back of crumpled Stag Magazines from the 1970’s. You hope that the bullies will finally leave you alone, that the old phrase ‘just punch ‘em in the nose’ was told to you by your pops (mine did not say that, they, being somewhat peace loving intellectuals, suggested I opt for diplomacy, which is an adolescent version of the French white flag of surrender quickly followed by bloodied noses)
            You can’t play sports worth a damn and always have a look of dejection on your face.

            Essentially you are a frightened little youth with zero social standing watching the world fly by without you (sort of like being broke in New York, but that comes later). You really wish you had a awesome friend named Stiles who’s got a quip for just about anything and an penchant for spot on tee-shirts.


            And, of course, you hope that maybe, maybe, that specially to-die-for lady (she’s probably only 15, but then again, so are you) will finally take notice of you (Facebook wasn't invented yet, neither was Internet Stalking). This dashing young lass, in eighties feathered hair  and always present cheerleader uniform, wanders the halls by you. You push out your chest, trying to act strong, hoping she notices, but instead wrinkles her nose like she smells fresh shit.  

            You know you just may be cursed to an invisible existence for good. Until you see the cinematic achievement called “Teen Wolf” starring Michael J. Fox. Never in my life have I wished I could suffer from lycanthropy more than after watching this film. I wanted to threaten old men into giving me a keg of beer, ride on top of Stiles weirdly similar but non-militant version of the A-Team van, and open beer cans with my teeth.

            Unfortunately, the sad truth is that it is all a lie that my little 14 year old self within can never quite give up on. The closest I come to “wolfing out” is on that 7 shot of whiskey and my only ‘feral’ skills is an uncanny nature to walk back unconscious to my door step in Williamsburg like a  lost dog who always finds his way home.
            Thanks Michael J. Fox. Just one more broken fantasy of youth. 
            Stay tuned for the next installment of “Who Ruined My Life??? (part 3)
            Did girls really look like this in high school? I don’t think so.