Not Soused Enough for South Beach

New Year's Eve on South Beach sucks. Consider the soiree held at the Setai. For $300, they offered admission to the swanky chateau and an open bar all night. Luckily, we scored free tickets. If not, we would have celebrated the end of 2006 with a bottle of Night Train and watching the Big Orange countdown at Bayfront Park.

Spending the night boozing it up and gawking at Jessica Alba and the Duff sisters, Haylie and Hilary, sounded fantastic until we arrived at the Setai sometime after 10 p.m. Lines snaked around both sides of the block. High heeled, good looking ladies and high stepping, well dressed men crammed, shoved, and pulled at each other to squeeze through the velvet ropes. Once we were in, we abandoned the lobby bar where two bugged out bartenders attempted to serve scores of surly New Year's revelers searching for their first libation.

Still dry, we meandered to the next bar, erected along a narrow pathway that is jammed with amateurs who wouldn't know the word etiquette even if we imprinted the definition into their inferior frontal lobes. A man with a baby attempted to wind his way through the crowd. This bloke deserved a serious bitch slap. Who subjects their pup to pulsating lights and ear splitting techno music? Way to give your kid epilepsy, idiot.

We refocused on our liquor scouring mission. We managed to get the barkeep's attention. We doubled up our order to buy some time before having to navigate the ninth circle of bar hell again.

We made our way to the hotel's pool area facing the beach, where the real action was supposed to take place. But burly hotel security guards wearing earpieces blocked entry to everybody except those deep-pocket souls who laid down some serious cheddar for the comfort of a VIP table and a bottle of Ketal One that normally costs $30 at Walgreen's. Apparently, the fire marshal says there are too many people at the party. No shit, Sherlock.

Some jerk spilled half my Scotch on my shirt. Since we didn't want to spend New Year's in the clink, we resisted punching the side of his bulbous head. Then a pretentious brunette with an irritatingly thick New York accent bumped into me, dropping more of my Scotch on her pretty little dress. Not my fault, but the lass stared me down as she rejoined her fellow hos. "OH MY GAWD! That fucking douche-bag spilled his drink on me," she whined.

We spotted actor Michael Chikliss, who plays Vic Mackey on the Shield, and his entourage. As a a VIP host took Thing and his posse through a secret passage, we acted quickly and followed. If anyone stopped us, we were part of the strike team. "Dude I play Shane, the guy who blew up Lam in last year's season finale."

We got into the VIP. But the bars were still harder to crack than a chastity belt. Nonetheless, we toasted the New Year under the stars facing the ocean. Another lovely gal hailing from the Big Apple wished us a Happy New Year and relayed how she paid almost a $1000 for the dress she was wearing. "Yeah some asshole spilled his drink on it," she grumbled. "Sorry to hear that," I replied before shoving off.

At three a.m., the party ended and everybody spilled out to Collins Avenue, which was already overflowing with drunken fools. Two shirtless and completely wasted white gangsta-types tried to pick fights with anyone who dared meet their stoned glares. "I'll beat yo ass dawg," one of them growled.

Well, next year there's always the Deuce. -Francisco Alvarado


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