Thomas Carlyle once said, “Society, which the more I think of it astonishes me the more, is founded upon cloth.” The man’s totally right. Style is important, especially when it comes to clothes–it’s probably the sole reason that last Thursday, I almost got involved in a three-way. But let me tell the story from the beginning.
That night was my boy Matt Louchheim’s 21st birthday. Louchheim’s not a crazy drinker; he didn’t want to funnel 21 beers or take 21 shots or engage in any other sort of enumerated inebriation. Instead, he chose to do something a little classier, a little more Old Yale — a private room at Mory’s for dinner and a toasting session, and then, whatever else the night had in store. Stylin’. But Louchheim also decided it would be a “guys night out.” At first I had a few reservations. Drinking with the guys is cool, but where’s the fun in a sausage-fest?
But there was something I hadn’t realized. Something that Louchheim, in his wisdom, already knew: any good guy’s night out, even if it starts with the guys, must inevitably end with — yeah, you know it, baby — the chicas.
So around 8 about 10 of us showed up to Mory’s. Now Mory’s style treads a fine line. You have to wear a coat and tie to look good and meet the dress code, but for a toasting session, you also have to look like you’re down to party. Dustin West, my suitemate, solves this by donning a bright green John Deere Tractor hat (Workn Gear, $15) with his nice duds. Peter Okolo always rolled with his Catholic Jesus Bling (Jacob, $3k) or something like that. Pete’s Catholic cross is from Jake the Jeweler, anyhow. Louchheim has bushy hair that makes him look like a crazy person (Karma Salon, $38). I’m less cool, so I just try to loosen my tie a little bit and look kind of jaunty.
After a couple of hours we’d settled into the “President’s Room,” finished eating and polished off a few cups. This guys night out wasn’t so bad. Dinner was good, and without girls around, we could all swear more and also announce when we’d just farted. We were nursing our cocktails, starting to feel the post-dinner buzz, and feeling very patrician. And then, while we sat there, an all-female a cappella group walked in (“The New Blue” I think, I don’t know, something with “Blue” in the title) all wearing hot, cleavage-revealing dresses. I felt like one of the dudes in the Sopranos, when the FinnAir stewardess-prostitutes come in at the end of their meeting. It was totally dope. They serenaded us, and sang a couple songs just for Louchheim (Dustin slipped one of them a 20-spot to give the birthday boy an even more “special” song and/or lap dance. She refused).
They sang for a while, and we even bought them a velvet cup, but after a while they decided to leave us and head to tables with older, richer, and less sketchy gentlemen. Then Mory’s last call rolled around (at like 9:30, it was pretty bitch of them), and it was time to go. But where? Here we were all dressed up, dapper as could be, and we couldn’t think of a single place we could go where we’d be appreciated for our distinctive look. Then I thought of the perfect answer — we’d go to Alchemy, hit on townie girls and pretend to be members of the Princeton hockey team.
There’s a reason why, when you look weird to begin with, you have to make up lies to make it cool. If we just showed up to Alchemy all dressed up and tried to explain to girls from Quinnipiac that it was our friend’s birthday and we’d just been at Mory’s, they would probably strain to figure out what we were talking about, and then decide we were on the Mock Trial team or something. But “The Princeton Hockey Team” has a better ring to it. We dress up for away games. We like to look good. Also, you have no idea what our game schedule is, or who is on our roster, or what Princeton hockey players actually look like, because we wear helmets. After we laid down these ground rules, we decided what positions we’d play (I wanted to play goalie, and be named Trent Fayerweather), and headed out.
We arrived at Alchemy, and stood in line. Louchheim had given us all cigars from a box someone had sent him, so needless to say, with those in hand, we looked pretty suave. Louchheim and my friend Adam were ahead of us in line, about to hand the bouncer their IDs. Meanwhile, a girl from inside the bar came up to the window. She was BANGIN’. She was wearing one of those backless things that just covers the boobies and nothing else (Bottega, $273). She saw Dustin and me in our Mory’s finery, and through the glass mouthed the words, “Why are you wearing that?”
“Princeton hockey team!” I shouted. “We’re awesome!” Dustin puffed his cigar and nodded in assent to her. She left the window for a moment and brought over one of her friends. Then she motioned again to the two of us. “Two-on-one” she mouthed. She repeated the message, raising two fingers, then mouthing the word “on”, and then putting up one finger. I’m not sure whether she meant me and her and her friend, or Dustin and her and her friend, or me and her and Dustin, but I probably would’ve gone for it either way. Dustin’s got pretty long hair. More amazingly hot girls started to gather around the window. This Princeton hockey thing was the best idea I ever had.
And then Louchheim messed everything up. He gave his ID to the bouncer, and the bouncer ran it through the scanner. The television screen connected to the scanner popped up with a large picture of Louchheim’s driver’s license. “Ooh!” he said, girlishly. “Ooh, look! It’s me! Ha ha ha!” It looked like Louchheim had had a bit too much to drink. The bouncer eyed him suspiciously, as did the rest of us.
“Yes,” the bouncer said. “It’s you alright.” He let Louchheim in, but then he seemed to have serious second thoughts because he turned away every single coat-and-tied person after that. The two-on-one girls were inside. Dustin and I were shut out. Needless to say, although we went to other parties after that (I have no idea what happened to Louchheim inside that den of dress-code-lusting sin), the night went downhill. We went to BAR, to an all-Jewish hookah party in the Taft, and Dustin ended up puking all over the display window of the Gap while I stayed at the Taft party singing “If I were a Rich Man,” wearing a Lubovich Rabbi hat, but whatever. At the end of the night, I went home, removed my tie, and returned to the civilian world of jeans, sweatshirts, one-on-one hookups and intramural (rather than Princeton varsity) hockey.
Burt Helm is the starting goalie for the #2 ranked Berkeley IM hockey team.