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June 4th, 2007

SOHO GADABOUT!

by Anthony Venditto

Normally, I don’t enjoy drinking with an agenda. I feel it severely cramps my style and limits my potential for spontaneous mischieviousity. Besides, agendas are for vertically challenged North Korean despots and gold-digging old cougars like Carol Brady or Farah Fawcett. No. I prefer to do my drinking like a man; an American Man: carefree, loud and boisterous with complete disregard as to my health or reputation in the international community.

Still, every once in a blue moon a rare, life-defining opportunity presents itself. A chance to be a part of something completely absurd and delicious. A couple Sundays past, not too long ago, such an opportunity presented itself to me in the form of four simple words and a hyphen: FEMALE AMATUER JELL-O WRESTLING!

As serendipity would have it, the funk was going down practically in my back yard: Don Hill’s in SoHo. I called up my girlfriend, who was mortified, put on my “man about town” boxers and left the house hours early. If I was gonna experience a life changing event I wanted to get good and hammered first to appreciate it.

4:15pm- 14th Street and Union Square South: I’m walking toward the N train when from around the corner I see a lil’ Latino kid. He’s behind the wheel of a battery powered mini, black Escalade with a bumper sticker that lets the world know: PIMPIN’ AIN’T EASY! As he tools away from me I couldn’t help myself: “Yo, nice ride! Play on Playa!” He looks over his shoulder with his tiny Gary Coleman head and hollers back: “Don’t be hatin’ Gordo!” That, in a nutshell, is why I hate children.

4:45pm- On the N: The train is packed. A slim, willow tree of a woman slips on board looking for a place to sit. There’s an old man taking up 3 seats with his Trader Joe’s shopping bags. The lovely shoots him a look then works her caboose onto a seat, sliding the miser’s bags over with a sashay of her narrow, but provocative, hips.Methuselah glares and spits out: “All you had to say was excuse me.” The chick turns on a high wattage smile and leans right into his ancient face. “Have a wonderful day sir. And thank you for moving your bags which are illegal to be on the seat in the first place.” The life hog doesn’t miss a beat. “You’re an ugly pig you know that?” The train stopped, the old man seethed, the Will o theWisp left, and I popped a pup tent in my lap. It wouldn’t be my last that day.

5:00pm- Prince Street and Broadway: I hit the sidewalk and the wind slaps my face with a brisk chill that would make a witches tit beg for mercy. Isn’t this supposed to be spring for the love of God? Great! Thinking about God gets me thinking about how I haven’t been to church since the Clinton administration. Then, as it always does, thinking about Clinton (Bill, Hillary or George) makes me think about the Ten Commandments. I’ve always dug the Commandments.When I was an altar boy at St. Matthias I used to dream about breaking all 10 of ’em in one day, instantly catapulting me to world wide infamy. I was a bit of a stupid kid.

Thou Shall Worship No Other God Above Me/Thou Shall Not Worship False Idols

5:30pm- In the cold: I’m still sober and getting good and bitter about it. All the bars are packed and I’ve begun to lose feeling in my toes. Then right in front of me, on a stoop across from the Calvin Klein store, a doo-wop group starts singing: “Another Saturday night and I ain’t got nobody, I got some money ’cause I just got paid. How I wish I had someone to talk to, I’m in an awful way.” As they wrap it up and go into “Teddy Bear” I begin to forget about the cold, my sobriety and the fact that I’m probably going to hell when I die. As the guys on the stoop croon I start to smile and appreciate what a great place SoHo on a Sunday can be. There’s a friendliness to the hustling, bustling crowd that’s absent during the work week. There are artists and thieves displaying their wares on card tables right on the sidewalks. There’s an easing of pretension that reminds me SoHo isn’t about fashion or high art, SoHo is really about the people. I fire up a smoke truly content to be here, absorbed in the spell the simple magic of this wonderful place has cast. That’s when a couple of hippies passed by and I caught a whiff of their patchouli scented conversation. She Hippie- “Well I own three 9 inch dildos” He Hippie- “That, my dear, is a lot of dildo” I fuckin’ hate hippies. The spell was broken; I needed a drink.

Thou Shall Not Use The Name of the Lord In Vain/Thou Shall Keep Holy the Sabbath Day

6:00pm- Don Hill’s: I enter the bar and am immediately met by the odor of condoms and stale beer. It’s a smell I’ll always associate with my college sweetheart. There are four mattresses bungee corded together on the floor. On top of the mattresses is a blow up octagon filled with clear Jell-O. It’s like an altar to deviant sex. I call up a double shot and step outside for a smoke before the festivities kick in.

Thou Shall Honor Thy Mother and Father/ Thou Shall Not Commit Murder

6:15pm- Outside Smokin’: I meet a middle aged woman named Ilsa or something. She was smoking some hard core filterless cigarette and somehow we got to talking about our homelands. “Oh, you’re from Germany, cool. I’m from New Jersey…” “Ah! The armpit of America!” She laughed when she said it, but it still made me hate her. I go into my standard, well rehearsed Garden State defense: “You know, New Jersey is a great place.We’ve got beaches, national parks, skiing and Atlantic City.We’re just misunderstood because we’re so close to New York. But I’m proud as shit to be from New Jersey.” If I had another shot or two in me I might have taken a swing at her. “OK, OK. I mean no disrespect. I just joke. But I know what you mean. It’s hard for me to be proud of being a German. You know, because of the Hitler. But Germans are good people. I, we, I LOVE the Jew now.” I’d had it. I didn’t have enough time to worry about this German chick’s national guilt complex- not when there was Jell-O wrestling afoot! “Okay, well I’m going to look at sloppy, drunk girls smack each other around now.”

Thou Shall Not Commit Adultery/ Thou Shall Not Steal

6:30pm- Drunk Man’s Heaven: I order a triple shot to sip and sidle up poolside just as our host for the evening, Veronica Vicious, announces the exciting first bout: Superslut vs. Lady Venom. Veronica- “Okay Super, what’s your strategy for taking out your opponent?” Superslut – “I am gonna slut ALL over her!” Veronica- “Wow! That sounds wet!” I defy you to find a wittier discourse anywhere in the whole, wide world of sportscasting. The night flies by in a whirlwind of slippery thighs and airborne gelatin. To my dismay there are no nipple slips or Sapphic make out sessions. In fact, the whole scene’s a lot less sleazy than I wanted it to be. Still, it was a lot of fun, even without any wardrobe malfunctions. Especially the ringside announcing: “Tiger Lily fights with Native American power while The Claw has…A Claw!…and now a hot ass is up in the air. Screw the boys, ladies, that is a hot ass! Now let’s see some SPANKING!” With those few words she stole my heart.

Thou Shall Not Lie/ Thou Shall Not Covet Thy Neighbors Stuff

8:00ish, Ringside: I’m a little disappointed that this isn’t the scene of orgiastic rebirth I imagined it would be. I mean sure, I sported wood through most of the proceedings, but these babes are no mere mindless objects of lust, they are blue-blooded, drunken embodiments of all that is righteous and true. In a word these young ladies are America–lubed up and sexy! And I, for one, applaud their courage and their seductive, feminine mystique.

Before/Around Midnight? I do a shot and think I may have learned a lesson tonight about sisterhood and femininity and finding a deeper respect for women. Then I do another shot and pour myself into a cab before I start having an alcohol fueled epiphany. The last thing I remember before passing out is creating a sentence in my head in which I break all the Ten Commandments in one fell swoop: “I stole and killed a six pack I’d been eyeing in my dad’s refrigerator when I realized, Jesus H. Christ am I drunk, so, as usual I called out of work sick, skipped church again and bowed at the porcelain altar right before passing out and praying to the God of drunks and little children to keep me safe as I dreamed of defiling Florence Henderson and Farrah Fawcett in the ring.”

I’m still a bit of a stupid kid.

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