When it comes to the all-holy, booze-soaked universe of the American bar, there is one distinction that matters above all others. Are you inside the bar, knocking back shots, rocking the jukebox, and maybe playing a spirited game of fun-tongue with an attractive stranger? Or are you outside, in line, under-liquored, and plainly unloved? It all comes down to which side of the door you're on. A bar's door is the threshold between the harsh world outside and the lush paradise within; between you and alcohol; between the person you are, and the person you want to be.
Like all gates, this one has a keeper. He is the bouncer, and all too often, he is hated.
We’re practically trained to loathe all bouncers who aren’t named Dalton. After all, they’ve got neither the rippling abs nor luscious locks of Swayze in his prime. Despicable! But what bouncers do have is even worse: nearly infallible power. In their weathered, battle-worn hands, they hold the fates of innumerable hopeful souls. All it takes is a casual shake of the head to ruin the night of an innocent drinker. What else could come from such a unilateral force but bitter resentment when it doesn’t favor you?