It was a Friday night at the club.
Everyone was in a good mood and guests weren’t in short supply.
We were completely oblivious to what would become an historic moment.
Rafael and his girlfriend Jennifer had a hectic work week and they seemed quite excited about letting loose and having some much needed fun. Rather intoxicated upon arrival, they were the fun kind of drunk and not to the point where they would negatively impact the other guest’s experiences, so I let them in.
Both were enjoying a hookah stage side and tipped all of the entertainers well. There were smiles all around while they conversed with their favorite girl as they purchased a couples dance.
Nothing about this couple stood out aside from their steadily decreasing state of intoxication.
It started pouring rain outside and we had a leak in the backroom, so I asked Joe, one of the managers on duty, to put a bin under it.
As Joe started to walk towards the dance area, Rafael and Jennifer’s dance concluded but Rafael was absent as the entertainer walked Jennifer out.
Moments later, Joe appeared with Rafael and directed him towards the exit.
Jennifer, with a wide-eyed look of concern, rushed to the bar to find out what happened.
“I turned the corner, just as he started pissing on the couch!”, Joe stated in a mixture of frustration and disbelief.
Jennifer’s jaw dropped to the floor as she asked Joe to show her because she wanted to see with her own eyes. Joe escorted her back to the VIP room promptly. Moments later he returned alone.
As he reached for cleaning products he said with frustration, “I’m not fucking cleaning that up! She said she would do it.”, and then he headed back to the VIP room.
In the meantime, Rafael was in the lobby waiting, going through a range of emotions offering apologies, then anger, then fear, and then rounding back to the apologies.
I was PISSED.
However, I find it prudent to maintain a certain level of composure in any given situation because cooler heads really do prevail. That said, I still wanted to have a little fun with it.
After two cycles of his emotional ferris wheel, I stopped him.
“Hey dude, you need to calm down and save your strength for later.”
“What’s happening later?”, he asked.
“Well, you pissed on my couch…”
“No I didn’t!”
“Don’t lie to me. I’ll show you. Maybe it will help give you an idea”
I immediately brought the room cameras up on the computer next to me.
“You see, this is how I know what you did.”, I said.
He hesitated, then “I’m sorry. I fucked up.”
“Yes you did. So save your strength for later.”
“I don’t understand…”
I switched the cameras to a live view.
“Well, if you look closely here, you will see your lovely girlfriend. That’s her, cleaning up your fuck up.”
He turned white as fear began to creep across his face…
As I’m standing there watching all of this, I allowed a shit-eating grin to emerge, as I said,
“You can almost hear her swearing over the music from here. I’m glad I’m not the one who fucked up. She looks REALLY angry.”
He then spent the next 10 minutes begging me to let him help clean it up before she finished it herself.
Knowing what’s coming next, I asked the DJ to turn up the volume of the music a little more.
Here comes Jennifer.
She walks into the lobby and gives Rafael a look so intense that his life probably flashed before his eyes. And that was the calm before the storm.
Suddenly, and without warning, she snapped and began punching him while screaming,
“What the fuck is wrong with you!?!”
“I am sorry I fucked up, but…”
“YOU ASSHOLE. We were supposed to go out and have a good time and you get us thrown out of a club for PISSING on a COUCH!?!?”
“I fucked up..”
“No shit! Now we have to leave!”
Joe and I both say in unison, “You can stay, he has to go.”
“Fuck you and fuck this club!”, he bellowed.
“Have a good night, sir.”
As the door closed behind them, I turned to Joe and said, “Let’s take a walk.”
As we open the front door, we find Rafael and Jennifer under the awning, hiding from a torrential downpour.
“Sorry sir, I don’t think we were clear enough when we said you needed to leave.”
“It’s raining and we’re waiting for our Uber.”
“Jennifer can wait right here or even inside if she wishes to, but you gotta stand at the property line until your ride arrives.”
“But, it’s raining…”
“Yeah well, you’re wet. My couch is wet. You tell me if I give a fuck.”
While Jennifer waited under cover from the rain, Rafael stood on the edge of the property, protesting his displeasure in a colorful assortment of ways.
After about 15 minutes, their Uber arrived and they left.
You should know that an occurrence like this isn’t normal for our club.
The vast majority of guests who enter our establishment are considerably more respectful. But there’s always an exception to the rule.
About an hour or so later, the phone rings and the person on the other end of the line asks to speak with a manager.
“Hello, how can I help you?”, I asked.
“Hi, my name is John and I am calling from Bay News 9.”, the voice responded.
“Yes, John. Can I have your last name please?”
“…no, I’m not comfortable giving you my last name.”
“Well ok, John from Bay News 9. How can I help you?”
“I sent some people to your establishment and they were treated really badly. I wanted to get your side of the story.”, he stated.
“Well John, I don’t do phone interviews. I’m open till 3 am and if you come down here with your credentials and camera crew, I would be more than happy to give you an interview.”
“I am not going to be able to do that but I am still wanting to hear your side of the story.”
“Again John, I don’t do phone interviews. I kind of like to look a person in the eye when I talk to them, so if there’s nothing else that I can do for you at the present moment, I’m gonna go back to work and wait to see if you show up. Thank you for calling and have a great night.”
With that I hung up the phone. Two minutes later it rang again.
“Angels, how can I help you?”, I answered.
“Hi yes, this is John from Bay News 9.”
“Hi John, are you calling to make an appointment for that interview?”, I asked.
“I would really like to get your side of the story as this will be on the news tomorrow.”, he said with a kind of tepid authority in his voice.
“John, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, so by all means, don’t stop the presses on my account. I am, however, going to go back to work now. Thank you for calling.”
Once again, I hung up the phone…
We scan the IDs of everyone who enters the club for accountability and security purposes. The best part of this policy is that we have the proper means to ban unwelcome guests.
As I was pulling up his profile to mark him as banned, once again, the phone rang.
Not only did the caller ID indicate that this was the same person who called the last two times, it was also the same person who I just banned in our system.
“Rafael, you need to stop calling the club repeatedly. You seriously need to stop pretending that you are John from Bay News 9. Now, do us both a favor: Hang up the phone. I am sure you’re going to have quite the headache tomorrow, so get yourself an Advil and a tall glass of room temperature water, then go to bed. When you wake up, you’re free to regret any and all parts of your night here.”
He didn’t bother to retort.
Rafael had the beginnings of a great night. Out on the town for some drinks with his girl, both having a good time. If it would have stayed that way, he probably would have gotten laid, an ideal conclusion to any date night.
But somewhere along that path, he decided to do a perfect “10” swan dive off of the proverbial cliff of bad decisions, ruining his night…and the couch.
No doubt, we all do stupid things from time to time, but the goal is to minimize that whenever possible. I personally love a good story, so if you do something stupid, at least it’s for a good cause…
Though the stains on the couch were cleaned thoroughly, there’s no amount of cleaner that’ll erase the memory of John from Bay News 9.