Everything gets just a little darker around 3 AM. Late-night spots like the Continental in Humboldt Park start to spill over with patrons eager to eke out an hour or two more of party before heading to a hangover. Plane-going-down makeouts, witching-hour pickup attempts, and shots upon shots help create the perfect storm of wrong. And who has a better view of the depravity than those slinging the drinks and spinning the records? We were priviledged to take a (supposedly) sober glimpse at the boozy mess through the eyes of Sean Patrick Riley, a Continental bartender who works the 4 AM shift on Fridays, and Kevin Kujawa, a Continental DJ and vocalist/guitarist in Mannequin Men. —Kevin Warwick
What's the worst pickup attempt you've seen? There was this guy who came in with like Eye of the Tiger—"I am going to bed someone tonight." But his tactic was obviously horrible because he kept failing miserably but he kept going. He hit on every girl in the bar. After he hit on a girl and got rejected, he'd have a drink. So the next time he'd be a little more drunk, maybe a little loose, got to hang out a little longer, and then—done. Rejected. A couple hours later, he was so fucking blacked out and still trying to do this, and it was just gibberish. He'd just walk up to a girl and lean into her and be like, "Hey. Hi. Hey, what's your name." Finally I had to kick him out.
So he didn't get laid. Not at my bar.
It would be sad if the girl actually fell for it. Totally. I've seen that kind of stuff too, but normally she's just waiting and might as well have a fucking bull's-eye on her, like, "Please come talk to me." When there's someone looking for something like that, all the dudes smell it. It's like blood in the water. I'm serious. There are swarms.
Have you ever gone out with a girl that asked you out while you were working? Yeah. I got done, and she was like, "Hey, will you walk me home?" And I said, "Yeah, I'll walk you home." So we started walking and talking and she never told me where she lived so I just walked to my house and was like, "Here we are." And she was like, "I don't live here." And I was like, "I do." And then we dated for like four months.
Didn't you once jump out of some girl's window and break your foot? Oh no, I snuck out of her house because I realized that was a bad idea. I woke up, put my boots on. I was so ready to go I just left my socks. I went out the back door figuring that was bluesy and cool. And it was the first door I saw. I went into her yard and climbed the fence because there wasn't a goddamn gate, and I slipped going over it. I cut one of my hands and broke my foot and then walked, for a long time, on a broken foot. I found a comfy little spot in Humboldt Park, and woke up to some polite homeless woman asking if she could sleep next to me. And then I realized, "Holy shit, who am I?"
Wait, was she hitting on you? I don't know bum etiquette.
Did she want to spoon? You know, I was so terrified when I woke up that I don't really remember if there was a pickup line or what. I mean, my arm was covered with blood and I had a broken foot and I was in a park and it was like 95,000 degrees out. But somehow I still hailed a cab. Someone picked me up. 10:30 in the morning hailing a cab with a bloody arm. My face was swollen too. I looked like a monster.Next: Kevin Kujawa deals with "a bunch of Val-Kilmers-as-Jim-Morrison"