Wednesday, December 27, 2006

My Cousin Vinnie

Pierce and Ellen wanted off on Thursday to go see a concert, so I begrudgingly agreed to bartend that night. Had I known that Pierce was going to propose to Ellen that night (yes, can we have a collective "aww" now? Ok, great.) I wouldn't have minded so much.

See, I don't bartend anymore. I love bartending, I really do, but the good money in a strip club is out on the floor. In a regular bar/nightclub, people like to walk around, and usually get their drinks directly from the bar. Most men in a titty bar like to sit at the tables, either in a quasi-hypnotic state staring at the stages, or surrounded by dancers who are willing to get drunk on their dime. If I want to make the big bucks, I need to be where the people are.

Damn, I digress a lot.

The good thing about being stuck behind the bar on Thursday was my ability to observe the entire club. That, and flip bottles. I dabble a little in the bar flair; I like to call it "bored bartending," but I did work at TGI Fridays if that's any excuse.

Elvis was playing "Funky Cold Medina" and I was really getting into it, throwing the bottle behind my shoulders, over my head, etcetera etcetera. I noticed a gentleman walking towards the bar so I put the bottle down. He was short, thin build, wearing a black leather trench coat and had long dark hair pulled back into a ponytail.

"Hey bartender," he said, with a heavy Queens accent that made "bartender" sound like "bahhtendah." "How often are you in New York?"

"Um," I replied, "slim to none, but I'm thinking of going to graduate school up there."

"Well, if you ever do, you gotta job," he said, sitting down in a barstool. "I don't wanna get kicked out of here or nothin', but I own a strip club in New York, you may have heard of it."

He rattled off the name of the club that he owns, and yes, I have heard of it, but for the sake of anonymity, I'll keep it to myself.

I held my hand out across the bar to introduce myself.

"I'm Nicky (insert heavy Italian last name here). You may have heard of my 'family.'"

"Um, no?" I replied.

"Well," he countered, "have you ever heard of the Gambino's? You know, the Mafia?"

"Sure," I said, a little skeptically.

"Well, I work for them, if you know what I mean," he said, winking.

This is where I decided that he was full of shit. I'm no expert on the subject, everything I know about the Mafia is derived from avid viewing of Soprano's, but one thing I'm pretty sure of, if you're actually in the Mafia, you don't go announcing it to random strangers in the bar. I'm almost positive that people in the Mafia try to pretend like the Mafia doesn't exist.

"What the hell," I thought, "I'll play along with this guy."

He went on to tell me about his bar.

"It's a classy joint," he continued, "so you'll be wearing an evening gown."

I gave him a look. "You expect me to bartend in an evening gown?" I don't see how that's possible, honestly, with all the bending and lifting and, well, movement that goes along with bartending.

"It's either that or lingerie. Like I said, it's a classy joint. When you get there, ask for Big Fat Paulie or Louie. They'll call me, because I'm not usually there. I have to handle a lot of things for the Gambino's, if you know what I mean." Again with the wink.

"Yeah right," I thought to myself. I can just see my innocent southern ass walking into a titty bar that's a supposed front for the Mafia and asking for "Big Fat Paulie" at the front door. I'll probably get shot.

It was about that time that Raymond walked in the bar. In case you have forgotten, Raymond stands about six four, and is a very large Italian man. Little Nicky picked him out immediately.

"Hey," he asked, pointing to Raymond, "how do I know that guy?"

This is where I decided to be a bitch and screw with this guy.

"Oh him?" I responded, nonchalantly, "he runs most of the bars in this town."

"Yeah," Nicky replied, "but how do I know him?"

"Well," I said, whispering, "his family is from New York."

This is, in fact, true; however, not in the sense that I was allowing this asshole to think. Raymond spent a few years of his childhood in New York, so I wasn't really lying.

"Oooh," Nicky replied. "What's his name?"

"Raymond," I responded.

"No, his last name."

I leaned in, as if I was giving away trade secrets. I glanced to my left, then to my right, and put my hands on either side of my mouth.

"Ministroni," I responded.

"That's it!" Nicky exclaimed excitedly, slapping his hands on the bar. "That's how I know that guy, I know his family."

I gave him a wink and a nod to let him know he was in on a big trade secret. In all honesty, I could have said any Italian name I pleased and he would have reacted in the same manner.

I went back to the business of bartending, but not before Nicky had called Raymond over and was rattling off a list of Italian names that he was "sure" Raymond knew.

"What about Joey G?" He said, earnestly. "You know, Joey Gambino?"

"Um, no," Raymond replied.

"Big Fat Paulie? Come on, you have to know Big Fat Paulie?"

"Sorry?" Raymond was getting irritated by this point.

"Oh," Nicky replied, "well, I'm sure you know someone. I just have to think about it some more."

Nicky left shortly after, but not before giving me his number and making me promise to call him in the next few weeks so we could "get together and talk about working, you know, maybe have a nice dinner or something."

I told Boyfriend about it when I got home that evening.

"You know he just wanted to fuck you," Boyfriend replied, once he could stop laughing.

"Yeah," I responded, "I know. Sometimes I wish they would just be honest and say 'hey, let's have sex.' I could at least respect that."


Anonymous viciously divine said...

Well, I've heard a lot of lines in my time, but that's a new one. You have to give him points for creativity, but really... "Big Fat Paulie"?

I do love minestrone.


4:41 PM  
Blogger me said...

here's my favorite story about a desperate guy who took too long to ask.

i was at a bookstore with my sister for a booksigning. out friend is first ambushed by the 'creepy asian guy [cag]' when she walked in.

he told her that his math teacher had asked him to dinner and wanted to know if he should make the first move. she gave him some advice off the top of her head and excused herself to teh bathroom quickly.

later, we're looking at books and my sister is approached by CAG. she and i have no idea that he was the creepy math teacher boy she had met earlier. so she decided to hold a conversation wtih him.

so he finds out we;re from southern california--the OC to be dramatically and geographically correct. he goes on about a TV show, Laguna Beach, and how he wishes he could be like the people on teh show.

my sister continues to shoot me looks that imply that she thinks he is an idiot [which he was]

so for half an hour, the soft-spoken CAG talks to my sister while a nervous friend attempts to tell her that this is the math teacher boy from before.

so finally he asks her out, she says no, and we go to the book signing.

so while frank [they guy from postsecret, we were here for his signing]continued to talk, the creepy asian guy continued to lurk between the bookshelves and peer at the crowd for another girl to victimize.

i really hope this isnt how men spend their evenings.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous BikerTigger said...

Hey, Wanna have Sex???


GREAT Story. I'm with the Mafia. TOO FUNNY

9:14 PM  
Anonymous Gypsy said...

OMG waitress, I KNEW LOUIE D (LMAO for REAL).... and for referrence, the gambino's have been out of the (strip) biz for a few years. Granted, I've been gone for over 5 years, but I still have ears in the skindustry. Once upon a time, almost all titty bars were held by THE FAMILY, but now, the clubs are everywhere and just about anyone can own them. I personally, loved working for the families (one italian and one jewish!), I always knew exactly where I stood. I'd work for them again in a heart beat before I'd ever work for the govt, or DARDEN! (lmao)


9:11 AM  
Blogger Lobster Boy said...

Thanks for pointing that article out to me doll! I put up a post based on it and then went off on a bit of a rant. Keep on keeping on kid!

Lobster Boy

Red Lobster Blog

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a guy friend whose standard line at the clubs was "Hi there! Nice shoes. Wanna f*ck?"

He swore that at any club, on any night, within 20 women of saying that line to one would say yes.

I think he was full of it, but at least he got points for being honest and direct!

10:44 AM  
Blogger Jewish mom said...

Are you sure he wasn't your uncle Bruce?

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That poor, sad little man. Not even creative enough to make all original names; "Big Fat Pauly" was the name of a character in a Family Guy episode, incidentally about the mafia.

5:20 AM  
Anonymous Jeffrey Morgenthaler said...

I was telling one of my olders regulars about this story last night. His resonse was, "That guy sounds like a shit salesman with a mouth full of samples"

God, I love old-timers.

12:25 PM  
Blogger SkippyMom said...

the soup? That made me laugh so hard. Minestrone? Did you really say that? and HE BOUGHT IT? bwahahahaha....too funny!

Gosh, [wiping eyes] I wish that I could just be a fly on the wall and watch this all happen. It is just so dramatic and hysterical.

Thanks for the post!


[Oh...tell us how school went last semester. "Mom" wants to know!]

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Lanti said...

I would like to say I'm shocked, but sadly I'm not. I too am a bartender and I get the most obscene amounts of bullshit. One in particular that comes to mind is a dude who was wearing one of those bluetooth headsets and tried to tell me that he worked for the CIA, and of course was a close personal friend of Mr George W Bush..I should also mention that I live in Canada.

The strange part of it all was that he thought that being a close personal friend of the president of the U.S.A was going to "lure" me in?

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hah! Love your blog! I was a bartender in college (waaay too long ago), and the stories from the club take me back.

2:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hahaha loser hed get knocked off talkn that bizzness when hes nothing but a robert deniro fan haha gambino tryhard

6:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Big Fat Paulie"...uh huh. Original. Perhaps he'd have better luck pulling his dong out and chasing women around the room. People who drop names (whether real or ficticious) are the bane of my existence.

1:35 PM  

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