Night Life

Hip to Be Bare

"Dance with no pants for $1 draft and $1 kamikaze shots."

So the sign says at Union, and it sounds tempting. Chances are, if I weren't rolling bareback I'd be saddled up at the bar in my skivvies for a discounted pint of the liquid bread. Instead, I ask my buddy Shawn Adolph -- decked out in Spider-Man Underoos -- if he'll go get one for me.

"I just got one."

"Let me hold it while you try to get another."


Shawn could've been gone half an hour and I might not have noticed. There's simply too much to take in at tonight's party at Union.

For the uninitiated, is much like or -- that is to say, a hipster version of an online personals page like Friendster where Interpol types strip down to their tighty whities and attempt to make acquaintances with like-minded alterna-teens. The site hosts parties in various cities, complete with drink specials and giveaways for the tattooed and Underooed, and by its very nature, it beats personal ads hands down. After all, who really gets on the computer to find a friend? The bottom line -- to most scanning these personal pages -- is to hook up, and what better way to see if someone fits your exacting standards than to scrutinize them in their unders? (Seeing them naked, true, but these are regular workaday folk -- not some Vivid girl fantasy.)

When Fred DJ of the Boys and Girls Club crew -- which spins every Wednesday night at Union -- announces that the first two people up on the plywood risers to the rear of the dance floor will receive the new Faint album, he's talking to the 70 or so women who've arrived in their underwear. They've gone beyond throwing on just any pair of comfy cottons -- they know Victoria's secret and want to shout it from the rooftops.

In large part, the men are a disappointment in their baggy T-shirts and buttoned boxers. There are a few exceptions. Shawn -- just returning with my suds -- could have easily worn these Underoos at age ten. So tight are they that a close enough stare reveals a textbook outline of the classic male anatomy…only smaller…with more veins. There's a fellow named Keith with Ziggy Stardust hair and black bikini briefs that are creeping so low the crack in his posterior is on display. Then there's Squeaky. The part-time percussionist in Nikki Tx and Electric Deth and the full-time vocalist in the new band Soundclub is usually in some state of undress when out, but tonight he takes the cake in a pair of Felix the Cat underwear so tiny I wonder if he's raided a five-year-old girl's drawer. Completing his outfit are tufts of kinky jet-black pubes blasting over the top of his elastic band like waves violently crashing ashore.

"Shawn, get me another drink!"

After zigzagging through the crowd, I finally arrive on the patio for a breath of fresh, pubeless air. My friend George is outside in nothing but…jeans and a T-shirt.

"Why aren't you in your underwear?" I ask.

"I didn't even know this was going on tonight. I was just in the neighborhood and decided to stop by for a drink."

Likely story.

"When did you figure out it wasn't going to be your regular night out at Union?" I ask.

"When I was parking my car," he chuckles, "two girls with just bras, panties and fishnets got out of the car next to me. That made me wonder what the hell was going on."

Time to head back inside. Bobby DJ is now manning the wheels of steel and heating up the simmering crowd with choice cuts from hip-hop's glory days.

When he says, "All right, Houston -- I wanna see everybody's ass on the floor for this one," and drops the needle on the Geto Boys' "Damn It Feels Good to be a Gangsta," I see Ms. Thong-th-thong-thong-thong scamper by. She's sporting a giant X on her hand, indicating she's a minor. Daddy must be a cop or a hard-shell Baptist minister.

During this spell of hits -- among them the Jets' "I've Got a Crush on You" -- a young lady named Cheyenne has taken one of the risers hostage. She's gettin' low, dropping it like it's hot and shaking it like a salt shaker…all at the same time! Her pink satin panties stretch over her peach, and her black button-up has been tied into a Daisy Duke knot, exposing her midriff and the tattoo of Texas on her back. If there were a blue ribbon for biggest Freak-a-Leak, she could tuck it into her black fishnets and walk away with it.

It's last call, and the ranks of the partially clothed have swelled. Squeaky is butt-bald-naked.


The final song of the night is, appropriately, "We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off" by Jermaine Stewart.

The lights come on. The dance floor clears. Nothing left on it but sweat and a garter belt.

Walking out of Union, I start flipping through the digital display of my camera to see what I've captured. Seven pictures in, I notice the date etched in the corner: 9/11/04. I survey the room -- nothing but girls with dumps like a truck, Squeaky's supple ass cheeks and whispers of even freakier afterparties. Take that, terrorists!

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Brian McManus
Contact: Brian McManus