Last Call: Wednesday, May 07, 2008
All Bent

Fort Worthís riff-raff was dealt a huge blow a couple of years ago when a handful of swanky clubs opened up downtown. Here we were, expecting another Chat Room or Caves Lounge or Wreck Room, and instead we got Aqua Lounge, Bar 9, Bent Lounge, and Embargo. Needless to say, my kind and I donít spend much time down thar, what with the flashing lights, umf-umf-umf disco music pounding through the air, and $10 domestic drafts. And while I am a dynamo on the dance floor, I canít help but feel intimidated by Aqua, Bent, and the like. Plus, the most expensive article of clothing I own is a used Ramones t-shirt I got from McCart Thrift.
But a week or two ago, a friend of mine threw a little soiree at Bent, and apparently after exhausting his A-, B-, C-, and D-lists, gave me an invite. Iíve never had occasion to visit the place (or Bar 9, or Aqua Lounge, or any other hot-spot whose bouncers use body-fat calipers to determine who gets in). So I put on my dress sneakers, dress jeans, and dress t-shirt, and Bent-away I went.
A big guy in a necktie greeted me at the door. He seemed nice, but my insecurities reminded me that big door guys are either lifelong bullies or ex-90-pound weaklings who have piled on muscle to cover their own insecurities. Anyway, he pleasantly unfastened the velvet rope and held the door open for me. I put my head down and scampered past.
Inside, I felt like a stray puppy in Times Square. All of those seizure-inducing lights. All of those people scream-talking to one another over the remixed radio hip-hop and dancing. The place is massive, with one giant ground floor and a spacious upstairs retreat. There werenít a lot of people when I got there, but I was still only, like, the 35th best-looking person in the club.
My homie had reserved a section downstairs. There were comfy couches and a table stocked with full bottles of top-shelf liquor, plus ice and mixers. Overhead lights cast a red hue, making the place look like hellís waiting room but presided over by Robert Goulet, not Satan. I had my guard up, naturally. But there wasnít any need. Everyone I ran into was, to my delight, pretty dern cool.
We also had our own server, Jessica, who expertly mixed our drinks tableside and wrangled me some pedestrian beers ó my taste arenít that extravagant, and I carry a healthy amount of guilt about drinking anything nice for free. After a few minutes, my insecurities disappeared into the bottom of a highball glass, and I was in the zone. What kind of zone, you may ask. The erogenous kind! (Hi-ho!)
Simply put, Iíve never had so many pretty girls talk to me. Mind you, they sort of had to ó Jessica couldnít have taken my orders otherwise, and the liquor reps passing out free stuff all around knew I had that look of love (read: thirst) about me. For the record, I sampled some green-tea liqueur that tasted way better than it probably sounds.
Having said nothing stupid nor fallen down any stairs, I did what any guy in my (tennis) shoes would do: leave early and while ahead.
See ya next time one of my riff-raffiní pals parties at your place, Mr. Bent. Ė Eric Griffey

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