Saturday, June 24, 2006

Zip it good!

During the height of my partying days in Boston (late 90s), I would often frequent a club called The Jukebox. It was a tiny place with two small rooms and two wall bars. The sound system in the back room played hard rock; the front room featured a mix of 70s to 90s pop, and was decorated to look like a miniature version of the club from "Saturday Night Fever." Video screens mounted on the walls played various movies and videos all night, "SNF" being the one in heaviest rotation. The place was always packed, with bodies wall-to-wall by midnight. My friend Samantha and I called it "The Pukebox" because it was so tacky, and because Boston college students tend to drink until they retch everywhere. We kept going back because the cover was pretty cheap, we liked the music in the front room, and the people watching was absolutely hilarious.

One weekend in '97 or '98, Samantha, JoAnne and I headed down to The Puke to scratch our dancing itch. Sam, who was adorable, bubbly and completely guy-crazy, disappeared with a skinny frat boy in about five minutes. JoAnne and I got drinks and made our way onto the multicolored, blinking dance floor, where we tried our best to get our groove on without spilling. I'll tell you what - if you looked down at that floor while you were dancing, your drink would wind up all over you; the blinking colors were hypnotic and dizzying, like the game "Simon Sez" on speed.

I digress. So, we're on the dance floor, which was getting pretty crowded, as it was already about 11:30. People who couldn't deal with the crowd climbed up onto a raised platform that was built into the mirrored wall that bordered the dance floor on one side. We were having a really good time; it was a fun crowd, and the music was great that night. Around midnight, two or three bachelorette parties pushed their way in with their entourages, and things started to get tight. JoAnne and I were separated for a bit; she got pushed farther out in the crowd, while I wound up right next to the platform that was against the mirrored wall.

Now, picture this. When you were dancing on that floor, you were at eye level with the, um, groinage of the people who were dancing on the platform. So I was shaking my moneymaker to god knows what, and there was this smallish, dark man in jeans and a battered-looking, faded blue t-shirt dancing on the platform right next to me.

Every time I turned in his direction, he unzipped his jeans, then zipped them up again.

At first, I thought that he'd just forgotten to zip up after coming back from the men's room; you know, "left the barn door open", that sort of thing. Well, denial ain't just a river in Egypt, dear readers. He kept doing it, looking me in the eye every single time. He wasn't wearing underwear either, kids. It was absolutely uncalled for. I gave him my best "drop dead" look, as if to say "what the hell is your problem, perv?", but that just made him smile - and unbutton.

When a problem comes along, you must zip it*. I danced my little self back towards JoAnne and got off the dance floor. We searched the club for Sam, who was holed up in a corner with her latest catch. It was around 1am, the crowd had gotten seedy, I'd seen way too much of Zipper Man than I would have liked. We were out of there.

UPDATE: You know how the human brain can suppress traumatic events? Well, I had completely forgotten about Zipper Man's sidekick, Boner Boy. Earlier in the evening, JoAnne was dancing on the platform, and had to get off because the guy next to her was standing 'at attention' (in her words, she was 'poked in the posterior'). An interesting night was had by all.

* quoted from Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999).


Blogger Linnaeus said...

I've rarely seen this kind of behavior for a couple of reasons:

1. I don't think most straight guys notice as much when other guys do it because such actions tend not to be directed toward them. I sure as hell would never expect a woman to be that vulgar. So we're less attuned to it.

2. Admittedly, I never was much of a dance club person, so I often wasn't in a place where I could observe this idiocy. I'm pretty social and outgoing and like parties and stuff, but I never felt comfortable being on display as much as one is in a club. Couple that with my rather poor dancing abilities, and you'd be far more likely to find me in a pub playing darts or something.

(As an aside, I did get into ballroom dancing because it involves learned patterns rather than improvised moves. That was fun, especially when we'd get all dressed up like we were in the 1940s and go to places with names like the Crystal Ballroom. Maybe I shouldn't have admitted that. :))

Having said all that, stories like yours and those of my women friends never cease to amaze me. I can't think that guys actually believe that this kind of thing is going to endear them to the ladies....

2:40 PM  
Blogger Ginger said...

Ballroom dancing rocks! It's great exercise too.

Yeah, I can't even begin to imagine what motivates a guy to get attention in that way. I think I was singled out buy this dude because of proximity. From what I saw, he didn't do it to anybody else.

It's like dealing with a child; some guys can't get attention in a positive way, they'll take negative attention over nothing.

4:28 PM  
Anonymous CJS said...


First off, congratulations on your blog making it big! I was linked here from an MSNBC story. But, I'm sure you already know that...

The Zip it good story sounds like it was kind of an awkward situation, but I like how you take everything in stride and keep a positive attitude.

One complement, if I may - You really have a unique and magnetic writing style. Not sure what your current profession is but I'm sure you could find a niche in writing, somewhere...

..the, um, groinage... Priceless.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Ginger said...

Welcome CJS, you are too kind.

To say that Zip It was an awkward situation doesn't even begin to cover was one of those moments where a woman (sadly) thinks, "are men really this stupid?" I'm eternally grateful to have so many 'good' men in my life to keep my spirits up.

12:27 PM  
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