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October 25, 2016

Ask Hickey: Bottle service, intergalactic ham recipes and the World Series

Today's roundup features questions about exclusivity, outer space and on-earth baseball.

Got something you want to ask? Send me your questions through FacebookTwitter or email (with "Ask Hickey" in the subject line). Your anonymity is guaranteed — if that’s how you want it — so feel free to send them via private/direct message.


And now, this week’s questions...

'When I walk in the club / All eyes on me'

What is bottle service exactly? And what’s the big deal about it?  

—Anonymous (via email)

Bottle service is a process by which clubs can charge several hundred dollars for a serving of hard liquor that can be purchased for substantially less loot elsewhere. It often comes with a velvet rope or muscular protection to keep the commoners away from you and your crew in a “special” area of tha club.

The benefit is two-fold.

For the club owners, it’s easy money and a way to suck up to customers with expendable cash, to make them feel big and powerful and the kings and queens of the world.

For the consumers, it grants an air of exclusivity, as if the voices in their heads telling them they’re better than everybody else are actually right.

I’ve heard that this happens at various places in Philadelphia (see here, here and here). But idk, I’ve never taken advantage of it locally. I’m cool with dropping a 10 spot on a beer and a shot. I’m not cool with dropping $275 on a bottle of some fancy vodka. That’s not a slight on vodka. Vodka’s pretty good. It’s just that I contain the requisite self-confidence to know I needn’t buy attention.

This is not to say I’ve never been in a bottle-service situation, though.

Some of my friends have much more money than I do. If we’re out of town in, say, Vegas or New Orleans, they’ve been known to throw said money around in a fashion that enables us to go to the front of the line and get the best spot in the joint.

It’s fun. But it’s also tacky (they even think so in L.A.).

I asked a bar-owner friend of mine about bottle service. He all but laughed in my face and told me that we are no longer living in 1994.

“That’s more of a Jersey trash-club thing. Luckily, that died off,” he continued. “The strip clubs probably still do it. They are douche.”

I hear what he’s saying, though disagree with the whole “strip clubs = douche” assessment. (This, because those aforementioned situations of bottle-service exposure came at said establishments.)

I also asked one of my rich friends about it.

He’s from New York City. While he hasn’t done so in years — this is what happens when you get older and have families and whatnot — he’s of the mind that “millennials are all about bottle service” to the point that some Manhattan clubs only offer that type of beverage delivery.

That must just be an NYC thing though; I checked with a local millennial hipster who told me he’d rather drink up before going out instead of taking advantage of an offering in which he doesn’t have the “slightest interest.”

So, to answer your question, bottle service is great for rich folk who don’t want to dance with commoners, unless they see them from afar and tell the help to go invite them back to the special VIP area so they can feel exclusive, too.

But, if you DO get bottle service, make sure you get the DJ to play this jam, and never decline Lil Jon's offer to do shots, yo:

But would it be better than 'rum ham'?

Several years ago, I heard an ingenious idea of launching honey hams into space on such a trajectory that they would be baked by the warmth of the sun. One of the problems was the reentry and the concern that the atmosphere would destroy the delicious solar-baked ham.

I have an idea that I think will work: The ham is launched in a pod made out of the hardest matter on earth, like coal or cement, but when it reaches orbit it is deployed by a series of mechanisms that expose it to the sun. Once cooked, it is put back inside the pod. The pod then descends and deploys a parachute that has drone like capabilities that steers the ham right to your door.

The best thing about it is the ham is going the speed of light so by the time it gets back, it's been a year in earth but only a few days on the ham pod. You can cook way ahead of time, and it is slowly baked and so you don't have to get too close to the sun and risk nuclear radiation.

My question: Do you support Black Lives Matter? 

Noted troll/commenter Maury Compson (sent via comment on last week’s “Ask Hickey")

Yes. I try to support anybody from any walk of life or background as best I can, especially those working to escape the burdens of societal and institutional forces that have long worked to their collective disadvantage. 

Please let me know if your intergalactic ham-cooking project works out, as I’d like to write about it for PhillyVoice.

The Drought Bowl

Who will win the World Series this year? 

Brian H. (via telekinesis)

Considering this was written before Tuesday night’s Game One between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians, I can’t say what I want to say. So, I’ll say this: Cubs in five.* (* = five becomes four if Jon Lester went all Jon Lester on the Tribe in their hometown.)