Today is Friday, the day I talk about the issues. Today’s issue that I want to talk about is: Clubs are awful. I’m not talking about clubs like G.R.O.S.S (Get Rid Of Slimy girlS), the George Takei fan club, or even secret clubs like the illuminati. I’m talking about Dance Clubs. A dance club is where a person goes in order to attract a potential and temporary mate. A club is a weird place to go for this, because it is designed to make the process of finding a mate very difficult. All of the potential mates available are being assaulted on all of their ‘mate-finding’ senses. The building smells strongly of sweat filtered through a person’s perspiration system and Axe body spray. The potential mates’ ears are being assailed by the sophomoric remixes of the day’s top 40 remixes that all have the same bass line and hundreds of people screaming at each other in order to be heard. A potential mate’s sense of touch is useless as they grow numb to the incessant rubbing of the bodies in the crowd around them and a strange humidity that grows stronger throughout the night. The best way to attract a mate in this environment is to jerk your body in syncopation with the music in an elaborate manner that sets you apart from all other members of your gender. Despite your best dance efforts, potential mates will need super vision to find you as a club is simultaneously too dark and far too bright, depending on what setting the strobe lights are set to.
Clubs are expensive. Far too expensive. Some people think that the primary reason for a club existing is to give people that like clubs a place to be. That’s insane. Clubs exist to make the owners a lot of money. No one likes people that like clubs. Clubs don’t even like people that like clubs. The first person you meet at a club is a person with the job of keeping you out of the club. The person is called a Bouncer. The bouncer is the most reasonable person you’ll meet at any club. The bouncer is to hell what St Peter is to the Pearly Gates of heaven. Bouncers learn their hatred of people that like clubs (PTLC) early. Their job interview goes something like this.
Club Owner: “Hey, I hear you are looking for a job.”
Bouncer: “Yes. I’m trying to pay off student loans with a second job so I can get ahead in life.”
Club Owner: “Sounds like you are a reasonable person. Your job is going to be dealing exclusively with people that aren’t reasonable. These people are in no way like you. They are younger. They are drunker. They are dumber. They don’t like that you are keeping them out of the club. They think that they’ll find a potential mate within the confines of my psychedelic prison complex. And on top of all that, they are PTLCs”
Bouncer: “That sounds awful! I hate clubs! I hate PTLCs. But I need the job. Tell you what, mister. I’ll guard your club as long as I never have to go in it.”
Club Owner: “Deal.”
Outside of a club you’ll find a gigantic line with the Bouncer as the gatekeeper. You might think that once you get into the club you’ll be fine, but all that you’ve really accomplished is gaining entry to a more complex line. The line is very broad and disorganized, but it’s basically the same thing as outside. The difference is now the atmosphere around you is awful. Before the obstacle you had to fight was a bunch of people in front of you. Now that you are inside the club you can’t see, you can’t hear, and the obstacle you have to fight off is a bunch of people in front of you that are thrashing about. Dance floor, bathroom, or the bar, you’ll have to go through a bunch of people jerking weirdly about. Welcome to the advanced line, sucker.
I have been dragged to clubs a handful of times. Never was it my own idea, and I protested each time. The only people I’d find at a club are PTLCs, and that sounded awful. However, my friends were more suave and charismatic than I, and they made many promises, so I went. They promised it would be fine. They promised it would be fun. They made a promise that seemed odd, but I trusted them. It is this last promise that made me agree to their request. Their promise went something like this: everyone can dance, even you. Perhaps they saw the movie Footloose, where a dance suppressed culture of teenagers can break out into choreographed delight the instant that rock music starts to play. Maybe they themselves were born with the magical ability to move gracefully through the swamp of a club like a crane standing out beautifully amongst its surroundings and they thought that I too possessed this dormant instinct. Perchance these individuals believed in musicals, where even the most hardened of villains who never heard a note of music in their entire lives were capable of tap dancing to an incredible pace of 32nd notes while accomplishing aerial feats of gymnastic valor. Whatever caused this notion in their heads, I don’t know, but they were wrong. Woefully wrong. I can’t dance. I can’t even bop. A normal person has 3 axises of movement: yaw, pitch, and roll (rotating shoulders around, bowing forward and back, leaning side to side respectively). A middle-aged white person in a crowd will usually pitch forward and back (a weird bowing motion) while bending their legs slightly to move their body up and down. Sometimes there is a bit of a sidestep involved. It is a travesty that no one should have to watch, but middle aged white people in large crowds have some kind of magical herd immunity to this. I am incapable of even doing this.
After passing the Bouncer and the sign that reads “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here”, my captors found a group of females that they wished to display their mating rituals to. I was not excited about this, but I went along because the alternative was to strike out on my own to display my own mating ritual alone in a hostile universe filled with plenty of competition that knew what they were doing. I had no chance on my own, and wandering about simply observing this spectacular mess of humanity did not seem humorous to me. So I ventured with the other pack of young males to woo the ladies.
It was quickly apparent that I was outmatched by my peers. I was not in a mating mood, so I simply needed to stay in the background and pretend to be enjoying myself. The other males in my group had convinced a group of females they were familiar with to circle around to lay claim to some dance floor territory. The females of this circle placed their purses in the center of our circle to observe how well the males of my group could simultaneously protect their valuables while slinging about in a mating ritual.
The ratio was in our favor. There were seven females and only three males. Two and a third girls for each of us, but that is not how nature works in the swamp. All of the females desired to mate with the alpha of our group. I do not wish to embarrass him, so I will keep his identity secret and refer to him only as “Cameron Jones”. Cameron was very accomplished when it came to performing the mating ritual of the club swamp. He performed it effortlessly while at the same time demonstrating charisma beyond that of his competitors. I was not accomplished at performing the mating ritual. A person watching me might assume that I’m not moving. Perhaps I was shrugging just enough to readjust the way my shirt fit on my shoulders. My arms stayed locked in a 90 degree angle at the elbows, as if I was pushing an imaginary shopping cart that I was going to place all of my potential mates into. Whatever it was that I was doing, it was stupid. I knew it was stupid. I felt stupid. I wanted the whole stupid adventure of the club swamp to be over with, but that’s not how the others in my group saw it.
“Dance!” they said. ‘They’’ being the females. Perhaps they meant it as encouragement, but I only heard mocking. I kept doing what I was doing, knowing that the night’s jubilee would be over one second at a time. “Dance!” they insisted. The females had turned their attention over to me for whatever reason. Despite Cameron Jones still performing the mating ritual with eminent refinement, the girls now wanted comedy. To see how superior a mate Cameron Jones was, they needed a baseline to compare him to. I now saw why Cameron Jones had brought me to the club. It was to set the bar low. Very low. Cameron Jones brought me to the club so that I would set the bar on the floor, where Cameron could clear it as long as he didn’t shuffle his feet. I felt betrayal and embarrassment, neither of which helped me perform any kind of movement that might be mistaken as a dance.
Despite all this, I tried harder. I tried moving along more than one axis. I tried to bop up and down, forward and back, side to side. I mixed up the movements. I shrugged my shoulders slightly in time with the beat. I kept my arms close, but moved them in some kind of subtle kungfu mimicry. I tried, but the more I tried, the worse it got. The females looked at me like I was sick. Perhaps I was dying. It felt like I was dying. I wanted to die. Cameron Jones made me want to die.
The night did eventually end. All seven of the females wanted to mate with Cameron, but Cameron tossed their hearts aside. Being a gentleman, he did not want to mate with just anyone. Or perhaps Cameron thought himself too good for the females of the club swamp. Maybe Cameron wanted to assert his dominance over our friendship by showing me that he could have all of the ladies while I could only convince them that I was dying of muscle failure. Maybe Cameron Jones wanted to establish the social hierarchy where he was better than PTLCs while I was inferior to every last one of the PTLCs. Or maybe…just maybe…Cameron wanted to show me the truth, the hardest truth I’d ever come to know. Cameron Jones wanted to open my eyes to show me that clubs are awful, and so are the PTLCs. I’ll never know. Unfortunately Cameron suffers from a contagious disease that alters his memory to the point that he thinks I had a great time. I say it is contagious because he convinced me to change my memory of the club every time he dragged me off to another one.