Contrary to popular belief, I am not a douchebag. I do, however, possess douche-like attributes that often get me mistaken for one. A sweater vest, a very punchable face, and a name like "Chad" will make you first option in a type-casted role in a movie called, "Douchebag: The Movie."
The reason why I feel I'm not a douchebag is because I don't subscribe to the douchebag lifestyle. I don't drive an expensive-yet-leased car; I don't hit up the strip clubs with my so-called "boys;" I don't like techno-house-dub step or whatever DJ Who-gives-a-shit plays at the clubs. My vibe has always been a plaza dive bar on a weekday where their biggest draw is keno. I like a bar where the drafts are a $1, the wings are 35 cents, and the bartender is pregnant. If my vibe right now doesn't impress the ladies, I don't know what will.
W. 6th St., more commonly known as "Douche Bag Boulevard," magically turns into a toolbox playground every Friday and Saturday night. Even though there are some fine dining options and great bars on that street, on weekends it becomes Cleveland's biggest bug lamp for tools, douches, jersey chasers, young-dumb-girls, athletes, ravers, wanna-be athletes, pretend ballers, and Super Pimps.
The reason I decided to make my travels to this jungle of ass-clowns is because I was invited to Cavaliers superstar Kyrie Irving's twenty-first birthday party. The Barley House is a fine establishment if you're downtown, especially for lunch. On weekend evenings, it becomes a different animal altogether, one that accommodates the wildlife I described earlier. They run a business and they cater to their heard, so I understand.
This was a night out on the town, but I was looking at it as if it were combat. I needed back-up and people who could handle themselves in uncharted territory, so I got in touch with ESPN 850's Will Burge and 92.3 The Fan's Anthony Lima—warriors who fend for themselves and also live by Robert DeNiro's quote in Heat: "Don't let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in thirty seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner."
The plan was to meet and walk over there around 11 p.m. before the gates of douche-hell opened around midnight. That gave us more than enough time for pre-game drinks and also to plan our escape routes. Anthony and I met at the Titled Kilt at 9:30 p.m., met our objective by getting a good buzz on, and headed over to Barley to meet Will, who was already there.
The song "Gangnam Style" was blaring out of what seemed to be every single establishment on the street. The block was filled with high-fiving guys in skinny jeans and girls text messaging while walking. I knew at this point we made a bad decision, but I was determined to hang tough and finish the mission.
When we got to the Barley House, the line was long and I wasn't about to wait in line. Not this guy. Not Chad Zumock. I saw a few people walk passed the line, nod to the door guy, and walk right in. I thought to myself it was as fine an idea as any and worth a shot. A wink and a nod and walk right in like we're a couple of somebodies.
I told Anthony to stick close and proceeded to walk to the front of the line by the door guy. That's where I broke out a smooth wink and a bad-ass nod while starting to walk in. And that's when the hand of another door guy grabbed me as he yelled, "What the hell are you doing? Get to the back of the line." This took place in front of many female onlookers causing them to giggle and laugh at our rejection. At this point, we had two options: go to the back of the line and wait or leave and pretend the night never happened. I was always told if you get knocked down, get right back up to fight. I was also told that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. So that's exactly what we did; we got going. We left the Barley House in shame and defeat. I realized I don't have the fight in me and I was reminded once again why this kind of Saturday night is not my scene. The whole pathetic night ended with a Panini's sandwich and a Storage Wars marathon.
So you might be asking: what's the point to this article? The answer is simple: I'm not a douchebag and the Barley House has great lunch specials.
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