Von Gone Wrong
So here's a story. Years ago I was the Best Man for a friend of mine who was getting married so I was responsible for arranging the bachelor party. He wanted to go to a strip club so I called around in Manhattan to find a deal for like 15 guys. One of the more 'classy' clubs told me that they could arrange a party for $85 per person with an open bar. That seemed like a good deal so I signed it up. I made all the arrangements with this guy named 'Von' who I guess was the party planner for the strip club. We went back and forth on the phone a couple times to confirm things.
I showed up the night of the party with like 15 drunk dudes x $85 ea. and when I got to the door I asked for Von. After 10 minutes this chick comes out and tells me that Von is at the 'back bar' and said I should go back there to work things out. So I leave the 15 guys at the door (now annoyed asking me non-stop 'What's the deal, dude? What's the friggin deal? Why do we have to wait? Why can't we just go in?) and I go off in search of Von.
I get to this back bar and there's this dude sitting there who calls me over. He claps me on the back and tells me to join him for a drink. I tell him how 15 guys have been waiting at the door and how we should get started but he tells me to relax and sit down. One look at 'Von' and I could tell this guy was wasted. He was definitely boozed and I think coked up because his eyes were all darty and he kept licking his upperteeth and doing weird stuff. He orders a drink for me and I work to try and get him going with the party arrangements. After 10 minutes he's ready to get down to business and I give him a giant handful of cash which he doesn't even count and Von finally gets off his ass to bring us to some private room. The guys are happy and everything seems ok. Girls are giving lapdances and all that. (although for an open bar it was sure a pain in the ass to get a drink. surprise surprise).
Anyway at some point Von asked me if I want to arrange to have the bachelor brought up on the stripper stage and humiliated by strippers (pants pulled down. walked like a dog with his belt as a leash. that kind of stuff.) That sounded like a good idea and Von told me it would cost another $150. So I paid him that (with my own $ as the best man etc...). Von said they'd bring my friend up on stage around 1AM. Fine. Von seemed completely obliterated at this point.
1AM comes and goes. 1:20. 1:30. I go off in search of Von. He's nowhere to be found. Finally some massive bouncer guy tells me he thinks Von left. I told him how I paid Von $150 to get my bachelor friend humiliated. The bouncer seemed annoyed and he called over what can only be described as two goobahs. One skinny and one stubby. The bouncer guy asks me to tell them the story and I do. I felt weird talking to these three guys. They were all staring at me. It was surreal. They were like cartoon goombahs. Here's how the conversation went.
Me: ... so I gave Von $150 to have the bachelor brought up on stage and...
Skinny: ...and Von's nowhere to be found, right?
Me: Yeah, apparently...
Skinny (to Stubby): Von's done this before right?
Stubby: Yeah a few times before I tink.
Bouncer: Von didn't look so good tonite.
Skinny (to me): And he took your money, right?
Me: Yeah but...
Skinny: How much?
Bouncer: F**kin Von...
Me: Look I don't want to get anyone in trouble...
Stubby: Hey hey hey relax it's not your fault. Von's been problemitric for us lately...
Bouncer (to Skinny): You want I should talk to Von tomorrow?
Skinny: Yeah I tink so. (then to me) And we'll get your friend up on stage right away... on the house.
(which it wasn't considering I paid Von already but that's neither here nor there.)
Me: Thanks and listen Von was good tonite with everything else. He just...
Stubby: Hey! No problem. We'll take care of it. Go have a good time ok...
I wandered off and watched the three of them huddle for a while. Then break.
Two days later I received a call from Von. He was nervous and apologetic. He told me he was really really really sorry for screwing up the party and told me that anytime I want I can go back to the club and have everything on the house. Full VIP treatment. He sounded shaken and shaky. I didn't like that so much. I felt guilty.
Although I was tempted, I never took Von up on his VIP offer. I think I had gone deep enough into that scene as I ever wanted to be...
and that was that.