Malarkeys: Part 1
May 14, 2011
Originally posted December 3, 2002
I’ve been asked several times to tell a few of my past bouncer stories. I worked several years as a doorman and bars always provide good story material. I didn’t have time for a commentary this week, so I searched out my “Malarkeys” chapter from my, very much in progress autobiography. This will take 2 commentaries to tell, and this first part really just sets the stage for the second part. Enjoy!
In addition to helping me move into Calgary Rosa (former girlfriend) also played a big role in getting me my favourite, non-wrestling job. Chris (Jericho) and I were out with Rosa and a friend of hers and the four of us stopped by to see Tony (her brother) at Malarkey’s, a bar he bounced at. Tony introduced us to his boss, Tom Kurtovic, who was, and is, a huge wrestling fan. Tom had been having trouble at the bar and needed doormen, so he offered us both jobs. We accepted the job with the understanding that we would occasionally need time off to wrestle.
This job could not have worked out better. It provided a decent steady income and Tom always gave us the time off we needed. Chris lasted maybe a year or 2, but I worked off and on at Malarkey’s for close to 5 years. I had to be rehired a couple of times after taking extremely long hiatuses to wrestle, but Tom always jumped at the chance to have me back. I think Chris and I had only two or three shifts under our belts when we had to take three weeks off for our first trip to Japan.
Malarkeys took on a life of it’s own. Everyone who ever worked there became part of a very large family. An extremely screwed up dysfunctional family, but a family just the same. Our family was divided into three groups. The waitresses: who Tom rode pretty hard. If they stopped moving for one second he would be on them “SELL! SELL! SELL!” The bartenders: who he cut a little bit of slack, and us, the doormen: Tom loved hanging out with the boys, so we could pretty much do what we liked.
We were a colourful cast of character. Tom can best be described as a better-kept version of Paul Heyman. Tom even looks like him, and because of this we called him Tom E., he was after all our manager. On the door we had Tony who we just called Ponticorvo, Hammer, Creampuff, Jericho and I. There were others who wandered in and out but the 4 of us sans Ponticorvo were “The Boys”. Hammer was an experience. He had a heart of gold but unfortunately, not much else on his body or in his life works that well. Hammer was always fighting a barrage of health problems, and relationship disasters. He was a big guy with an ample midsection, no waist and no hips. We often joked that the 9th wonder of the world wasn’t André the Giant (Chyna wasn’t around then), but instead, it was how Hammer kept his pants up. Hammer’s pants were doing the Konnan gimmick years before it became popular. (Hammer has since passed way, and is greatly missed, I did a commentary about his funeral which you can find in the archives)
Creampuff and I remain friends today. His real name is Scot Youngblutt and he is my best non-wrestling friend. We always called him Scotty; the Creampuff thing was a nickname that never stuck despite his best efforts. It certainly isn’t a great nickname but he was trying to get it to stick in order to erase a previous one he didn’t want people to remember. I’m one of the few people who remember it, but I won’t divulge it here. I’ll try to sneak it into the book somewhere down the line just to make him mad.
Chris was “Biff”, because it suited him. The long blonde hair, the carefree, doesn’t sweat anything, surfer type attitude. We even dubbed the bar “Biff’s on McLeod” (The bar was on McLeod Trail, in Calgary. Chris always hung out by the DJ booth drumming on his chest and leg to his favourite KISS tunes. When ever Chris worked there seemed to be at least a 3 KISS song minimum. For those of you who don’t know Chris is a huge KISS mark and if you ever want to start a week long debate, try to convince him that Gene Simons is way better than Paul Stanley.
Chris would always back you in a fight, if he saw it, but other than that he was at the booth. We couldn’t put him on the front door; he was too sociable and after his first attempt, we never let him do head counts either. Every once in a while we would have to do a manual head count to make sure we weren’t over crowded. One of us would walk the club with a counter and manually count everyone. Malarkey’s held about 300-350. Well, that’s what we let it hold anyway. We were jammed packed that night and Chris comes back with about 220.
I don’t know whether he stopped to talk to some girls (likely the case) or screwed up on purpose to avoid doing it again, but his excuse of “Maybe the rest were in the bathroom” didn’t quite cut it. From that point on we had the “Biff factor” which meant your count was accurate. …plus or minus 100. I still occasionally use the term whenever numbers don’t add up. I’ve never had a nickname, I don’t know why; I guess I don’t have a colourful enough personality to warrant one. Tom did on the occasion call me Lance-a-little, instead of Lance-a-lot, but that’s not for any reason women reading this might be giggling about now.
That's it for this week. Part 2 is the actual story but the cast of characters is at least now set. Till next week.