Name's Not Down, You're Not Comin' In - The Ticklish Bond Between Bouncer and Clubber
Pulse Radio's Alex Taylor explores the origins of nightclub bouncers and the tricky relationship that they have with nightclub revelers.This article originally appeared on Pulse Radio
Here’s a bit of trivia for your next pub quiz. The term ‘bouncer’ was first used by a British newspaper in 1883 to reference the resident bruiser employed to chuck non-payers out into the street. Bounce came from the manner in which this chucking was conducted. Pretty forcefully I’d wager old chap…
Perhaps the bouncers’ origin as chucker-outers and not letter-iners adds even more beef to the hostility that party people often associate with them. But seriously, what’s with the aggro bro? Maybe it’s because they’re all twats. Maybe you were the twat. Maybe it was because of last week when you conveniently forgot you chundered on his brand new Rockports. Through hazy memories of our inebriated state, we will never know the truth.
Have you ever argued with a doorman about what constitutes sports wear? Or a door bitch about whether or not your name is on that list? ‘Course you have you little firestarter. But we all know how futile these conversations can be, especially when that lump of gristle has the power to make or break your entire birthday party for the second year running.
Standing at the front of the queue, the tension builds. You side-eye his lockjawed face which looks like a bulldog chewing a wasp. The come-up sweat beads form on your forehead as you make a last desperate attempt to look sober. You had to ditch your mount franklin bottle loaded with dutch courage at the back of the line and your tongue is drying out from vodka mouthwash withdrawal. The finish line is in sight, you can hear the thunder of the speakers. Then to the guy in front of you, you hear the question that makes any hopeful raver-to-be’s blood freeze. “How much have you had to drink tonight mate?” You resist the temptation to duck around the corner and re-join the queue in a cunning disguise. The pressure is too much to bear. But with staggery steve being interrogated by the gestapo and your pupils gradually widening, you breeze past unnoticed. By the skin of your teeth you’re through the door, brandishing your ID and ticket like a pair of winning Lotto tickets. You and the crew made it through the pearly gates to paradise. Game on motherfuckers.
Let it be known I am not claiming that every doorman is a meathead who can’t spell his own name; there are as many diamonds in the rough as there are dickheads and those in between. Remember the time that big scary looking doormonster helped you find your phone and gave you the best bear hug you ever had? Or shoved away the snake who was trying to humpdance you unawares from behind?Sometimes bouncers are your knights in shining trenchcoats, you’re just too blissfully unaware to thank them. And don’t fool yourself: they know your bra is padded with half of Colombia and that bulge in your pants is not because you are pleased to see them, but this time, they let you in anyway.