The popular and awful “What [insert person] Thinks I Do” meme mercifully died a couple of years ago (or weeks? The internet has drastically warped my sense of time, so much so that I often come to mid J-O not knowing if I’ve been watching porn for minutes or months; it’s terrifying to think you’ve Rip Van Winkle’d with dick in hand). I was reminded of that long dead meme the other night, waiting in line at the popular St. Louis bar, Talayna’s, while I watched a huge, bearded bouncer kick the shit out of some limp-bodied drunk kid who was quite literally unconscious — so unconscious that he didn’t even notice the bouncer kicking the shit out of him, in fact. Had one of those memes been made about that bouncer, this would have been the picture sitting squarely above the “What I Think I Do” caption.
It’s surprising the bouncer didn’t actually attempt a throat rip; he was definitely “throat rip” angry. Though maybe he was just acting in line with his personal principles of hostility: only fight the unconscious, only murder the dead. If that drunk kid had died of alcohol poisoning right there at the Talayna’s front door, you better believe the bouncer would have killed his ass again for having the audacity to perish within the doorframe he policed.
“Oh, you think you can just up and die in MY club? I’m gonna kill you, motherfucker!”
*rips out dead kid’s throat, turns to fellow bouncer*
“Goddamn kids think they can just do whatever the hell the want, getting all drunk and dying wherever they feel like it. Entitled pricks.”
For anyone who has never been to Talayna’s, a quick description of the bar itself is required, because there is no other possible way you could conjure up an even half correct mental image of the establishment. Well, you could Google it, but just shut up and read instead, because even a picture doesn’t properly convey the ambiance.
On the outside, Talayna’s looks like a condemned Italian restaurant. The sort of place that, were you to move aside some loose boards and crawl through a broken window, you might expect to find a gaggle of hobos smoking crack and blowing each other…for more crack. Once inside, however, the bar takes on an entirely different appearance. Walking from outside to inside, it’s almost impossible to believe you entered the building you just saw. The inside of Talayna’s is nothing but mirrors and disco balls. The walls, the ceiling, the structurally important load bearing columns — they all shine, they all sparkle. The inside of Talayna’s looks like the personal heaven of a porn star who died of a coke overdose in the late ’70s. It’s a cut scene from Boogie Nights. I like to imagine that somewhere in Talayna’s, in a back office, there is a Burt Reynolds looking man, its owner, counting money and doing bumps. That’s the reality I hope for, anyway.
When I got to Talayna’s around 1am, the crowd outside the door was massive, swollen with drunk college kids home on break, trying to shove their way into the popular late night bar. Talayna’s is a place you end the night, not start. No sober person could handle that atmosphere, and if you have epilepsy, stay far away; you will die, and presumably that will piss off the bouncers. Eventually, I worked my way near the front of the line and was able to see inside the door. In fairness to the bouncer who I am skewering with this column, the place was a goddamn mess. There were actually about three lines and countless drunk assholes shoving their way to the front, jockeying for position while trying to smooth talk their way in, or offer a “generous” tip to be let in. The only problem was that all of these douchers were hammered, abrasive, and palming a couple of singles at best. Essentially, the bouncers were facing a never-ending barrage of the people they hated most. My guess is that their patience had worn pretty thin.
About two feet inside the outside door, a drunk kid in a grey sweater hit the floor, hard. He had passed out, suddenly and hilariously. I had seen that type of pass out before, where the person’s body essentially just gives an exasperated, “Fuck it!” and ceases all functions. The drunk kid had been on his way out. Whether that was his choice or the staff’s was unclear, but it was obvious that the Talayna’s staff, the big bearded bouncer in particular, weren’t fans of the kid. The bearded bouncer immediately moved towards the kid and declared, “This motherfucker again. Get the fuck out!”
The kid didn’t move, mostly because he was unconscious.
“Get the fuck up!” the bouncer shouted. “Aw, he pissed himself.”
It was true. The kid had pissed himself. Sign number two that he was unconscious and thus unable to comply with the bearded bouncer’s orders.
“GET THE FUCK UP MOTHERFUCKER!”
Still, unsurprising to literally everyone watching except the bouncer, the kid did not get up. He was unconscious. The kid’s inability to comply with the bouncer’s orders, because he was not conscious, enraged the bouncer, who at that point I began to assume gets frighteningly confused every time he falls asleep and awakes several hours later to see a marked passage of time. “Where was I? Where am I!?! WHO DID THIS TO ME!?!?!?!” he no doubt cries in fear as his roommates try yet again to explain what sleep is to him, but yet again to no avail.
“That’s it! GET THE FUCK OUT!”
The bouncer reached down and yanked the kid up by his grey sweater. The kid hung limply in the bouncer’s hands, like a sad, urine soaked doll, the kind you might find laying in the corner of an abandoned cancer ward at a children’s hospital. Finally, now face to face with the drunk kid, the bouncer realized that the kid was not awake.
“Wake the fuck up, motherfucker!” the bouncer roared right into the kid’s face as he shook him violently, his arms quickly extending fully before snapping the kid back towards him, all the while screaming “Wake up, motherfucker,” as the kid’s head jerked around on top of his lifeless body.
The drunk kid did not wake up.
“WAKE UP MOTHERFUCKER,” the bouncer screamed again, somehow louder than before. Again he shook the kid violently, and again there was no reaction from the kid. Even whiplash could not wake him.
By now, the bouncer had enough. He began to walk through the door, drunk kid still hanging by his sweater in both the bouncer’s hands. The bouncer alternated between shouting at the crowd and the kid as he moved outside.
“Get the fuck out of my way. Time to leave, motherfucker. Move. Fucking move. Fuck you, motherfucker. I’m tossing you out.”
Once the bouncer reached the end of the crowd and had nothing but parking lot in front of him, he kept good on his word and tossed the kid out, with all his might, though not before letting out one last, “Get the fuck out, motherfucker,” really hammering home one last time all the points he had previously touched on.
The kid flew several feet through the air, still unconscious, and hit the pavement face and chest first. His sweater caught the pavement and his body turned sideways and began to roll from the force of the throw, eventually coming to a stop underneath a running car. His job successfully done, though in the most irresponsible and pointlessly violent way possible, the bouncer went back inside. The rest of us in line made a silent vow to never fall asleep in Talayna’s, since we had all just watched a bouncer beat the crap out of an unconscious kid.