Breasts, DJs, Breasts, Hot Chicks, House, Trance and Breasts

Club Rubber hits the road

Since I don't really like cool people (that's right: if I like you, you're probably good and lame), Club Rubber has always been an exercise in self-loathing. Porn stars with vinyl boots up to their throats? Black Flys peeps? Trust-fund kids? Anybody else who makes their living looking good, and the occasional really hot legal secretary? They all make me feel schlubby, shrimpy and square. Plus, if you're willing to take three hours out of your life to stand in a line somewhere, I kind of think you're an idiot, and the only idiots I like are the virtuous Candide/Forrest Gump blank-slate/retard types who are really hard to find in real life. Oh, and I kind of think you're a stupid sheep, too.

And now Club Rubber has ended for the very reasons I was starting to begrudgingly like it: the cool people were driven out by the real people (though they're still stupid sheep willing to stand in line for three hours). Manners this past Saturday at Rubber's final bow were better; people were less arrogant, entitled and jaded. There were fewer porn stars and women in amazing costumes with breasts cinched up to their shoulders—and more normal, lovely girls who at the old Rubber wouldn't have gotten a second glance because there is no attention left in the room for a girl with all her clothes on.

I can see why the promoters ended it when they did: this is not an edgy crowd or an exclusive one. In the old days, this crowd would have gone to the Red Onionhoping just to drink and dance and make some time, and the promoters want their mystique back.

Damian Sanders, John Huntingtonand Joey Bagodonuts started Rubber as a night for service-industry people tired of watching other people party. Their mix of breasts, DJs, breasts, hot chicks, house, trance and breasts took off almost instantly. Now they've sold out the Mandalay Bay events center (10,000-person capacity) five times. They're in Vegas, Palm Springs and San Diego, and within six months, they plan on taking over San Francisco. People come from other countries to act like pimps and hos, including, memorably, a South African motocross team. I've seen two young, delicate blondes shoot each other silent daggers in the Galaxy Concert Theatre's deserted back hallways over the attentions of ancient, nasty reggae guy Eek-a-Mouse. Now Bagodonuts has his own side projects. Huntington and his stunning and friendly bride, Heidi, have moved to Vegas to concentrate on the out-of-town events. And Sanders, one of the first star pro snowboarders (he invented something called the Iguana Air), will still bring you Rubber on a quarterly basis, the better to make it a bigger deal. Rumors are floating that Sanders is planning a new club to take Rubber's place, but he's hushed about that.

We were there Saturday by 9:30 p.m., and already people were moving through the crowd as ruthlessly as Chinese bicyclists. I brought my dear friend Suparna, a real-life rocket scientist in town from New York, both to show her OC at its most OC and to get her foreigner's take. We did a couple of perimeter checks, marching around the club like sentries and only occasionally getting shoved. We found a bar (next to the dance floor) where the wait never exceeded three minutes. We made it past the shrill techno to the hip-hop room, where we had just enough room to stand and sway with that rhythmlessness peculiar to the still-sober (there's rap you listen to and rap you dance to, and you just hope the DJs know the difference). We went to the smoking patio, where people were exing their balls off. Every time we got bored, we went to find something else to look at, and something else to look at there always was. The tall, tall women in star-spangled hot pants and ripped fishnets, their tits on the proverbial plate, were rare, and as such, we could appreciate them rather than feel squished and nerdy and invisible. The naughty schoolgirls were out in force; every night is naughty-schoolgirl night at Club Rubber. We got groped by tall, handsome men. We had a lovely time, and Suparna was shocked by both the good looks of the crowd (and New York's a good-looking town) and the heterosexuality of it all. "These boys without their shirts on!" Suparna said, befuddled. "They're not gay!"

In fact, in five hours, we didn't have a single bad experience—until we went upstairs to the VIP boxes. There, the bad manners and the sense of entitlement mysteriously missing among the peons downstairs were as obvious as sweaty, bulging muscles. Shoving was the main mode of navigating the crowd, and Suparna saw someone tip $2 for half a dozen mixed drinks, when everyone knows bar etiquette demands roughly a buck per. She was pissed.

Back downstairs and looking for people to kiss, we got our night back on track. It really is like Mardi Gras, I suppose, promenading past sweaty boys and letting them lick your neck. Or maybe it's more like a trip to The River. Hey. We're all friends here.

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