Last Saturday, I had the opportunity as an anthropologist to observe a late afternoon bachelor’s party at Folly Beach’s little corner of the Caribbean, Chico Feo.
By the way, bachelor parties for centuries have been traditional components of mating and marriage rituals in the West. Whether you’re bidding “farewell to bachelorhood” in Munich at a Junggesellenabschied or in Arles marking the “burial of the life of a boy” at an enterrement de vie de jeune fill, you can be assured of one commonality: the Junges and garçons are gonna get shit-faced just like the lads in Liverpool and the dudes of Malibu.
Indeed, even though it was merely four in the afternoon at Chico Feo, a few of the entourage exhibited telltale signs of intoxication — sleepy, glazed eyes; mouths that hung open; wobbly legs. The first reveler in this condition I encountered kept bumping into the vacant bar stool adjacent to me. Charlie, Chico’s world-class bartender, informed me with a scowl that these fellows were part of a bachelor’s party. It appeared that Charlie had already cut this fellow off.
I’d estimate these young men to be from the Northeastern United States, a section of the country in which good-natured mockery seems to be an ubiquitous social custom (see Tolerating Middle Class Northerners for Dummies). The bros bantered about slinging insults, ordering beer after beer, and slurping down in one swallow Chico’s delicious tacos as if they were oysters.
Most of these young men were large in stature, and even if they weren’t, they sported over-sized biceps and an array of body art ranging from rustic gunmetal blue barbed-wire wraparounds to high-end multicolored patterns that screamed Gauguin. It seemed, though, that some had acquired their muscular upper arms a while ago because now their abs resembled not so much washboards as loads of laundry.
It was interesting to try to determine who reigned as alphas of the cartload. One “dude” particularly seemed in charge, a vociferous twenty-something who looked as if his ancestors may have entered Ellis Island from Brindisi. He had an olive completion, aquiline beak, and jet-black short-shorn hair covered by a baseball cap worn backwards. He was conversing with some female patrons, boasting of the Adonis-like beauty of one of his friends, Paul, a ridiculously good-looking and fit fellow whose sandy hair fluttered in the on-shore breeze. Paul was sitting at the bar but looking in the opposite direction at the bacchanal taking place beneath the overarching trees that provide shade for Chico’s tables and chairs.
“These chicks want you to take off your shirt, Paul,” the alpha shouted in an accent that I’d place somewhere close to Newark.
Paul sat there passively grinning.
“C’mon Paul. Show ‘em what you got.”
The females nodded their heads, and the ringmaster shouted, “C’mon, Paul, take off your shirt. Now! Show us your tits,” and a chant began “Show us your tits, show us your tits,” to which bartender Charlie, the real alpha, put an immediate stop. The ringleader opened his mouth and raised his arm as if he were going to continue, but Charlie’s stare short-circuited the bravado, and the erstwhile alpha dropped his hand and benignly smiled what I would call (removing my pith helmet of anthropological professionalism for a second) a stupid, shit-eating grin.
“Hey, which one’s getting married?” I asked Charlie.
“I don’t care,” he said shaking his head.
Unlike Dian Fossey or Jane Goodall, I didn’t ingratiate myself my this cartload of not-so-fun-folks to follow them to their next destination, the Tides Hotel where they were wisely staying, eliminating even the need of Uber for their locomotion. However, I suspect that before the evening came to its inevitable end, these celebrants would witness some form of burlesque for hire, i.e., a stripper performing that age-old ritual.
I’ll leave you with this from Wikipedia:
In Israel, the bachelor party is called מסיבת רווקים. Such parties often feature heavy drinking and sometimes the presence of strippers.
Seems like a pattern, huh.
 Did you know you call a group of chimps a “cartload?” It’s a troop of gorillas and baboons, a barrel of monkeys, but a cartload of chimps. Go figure.
3 thoughts on “Bachelor Party at Chico Feo’s: An Anthropological Study”
Reblogged this on rodneywallacegantt and commented:
They used have cool chimps for sale in the back of magazines (back when people read magazines). The print media hasn’t been outsourced, but I’m sure the Wall Street Journal finds humor advertising their own brand’s stock value on paper to investors. Pricks.
Anyway, I’m sure you remember the trend of people getting chimps and splitting their cigarette pack with them but demonstrating excellent parenting skills otherwise. I guess it’s not a chore if you get to tell cashier the diapers are for your monkey when you’re a kid. I suppose we accumulated as many as we have in N. America through the Trans Atlantic Alliance which I imagine was set up with NATO after WW2… can’t remember 🙂 As crazy as it seems Harambe’s species was almost extinct but the Cincinnati Zoo boosted the pop. and I think they’re going to make it. Survival of species is the strongest emotion we exert, so there was a silver lining to the story for prying eyes like mine. a thin silver line, but there nonetheless. Oh… p.s. Did the “dudes” in the cartload have a designated driver, or an Uber or something?
Thanks for re-blogging, Rodney!
Great to once again hear about your anthropological forays…..you look much better in the pith helmet than in that progressive establishment apologist hat