It’s a rite of passage: You get the guy, then the ring, and, in the weeks leading up to the main event, you get a night of revelry, usually including a stripper and a trolley. What, like guys should have the fun?

Saturday night I attended a friend’s bachelorette party – a double, actually, for two brides-to-be, with 25 girls in attendance. Things started out tame: We all met in Stanley’s basement private room, but about an hour into the evening, when we heard the stripper was on his way, we got serious about the open bar. And when the man of the hour arrived, conversation turned from chatter about kids to adolescent giggles in no time flat.

Our stripper started off as a mafioso dressed in a fedora and a blazer, lip-synching to some song on the crappy boombox he’d just bought across the street at CVS. “I’m a former Chippendales dancer, ladies, and a part of the male revue The Men of Seduction at Funk Groove Bar,” he told us, instructing us to be generous with our tips. We all tried not to make eye contact with him or his flexing pecs as he ripped off his clothes and soaped himself up with a wet sponge. Maybe he forgot to shower before the show? Things got more R-rated from there, although I thought some of his act bordered on the X-rated (I’m such a prude). The girls were great sports about it, though, especially the two bachelorettes.

When our trolley arrived around 10:30 p.m., we packed up the cheeseburgers left over from the open buffet (hey, girls can get hungry, too) and boarded the bus to The Underground, where we had a table waiting. A rival bachelorette party sitting across from us was much more scantily clad, but we held our own: Our two bachelorettes gyrated to hip-hop atop a booth while the rest of us cheered them on, Champagne in hand.

Since we had the trolley until 12:30 a.m., we decided to head to a third destination: Hogs and Honeys, of course. But when we got there, the doorman charged us each $10. Ten dollars at Hogs and Honeys? We tried to talk him into waiving the cover since there were so many of us. “If $10 breaks the bank, then you shouldn’t be out in the first place,” he shot back. At least he handed us a couple of drink tickets each to make up for it.

The beefy stripper and his antics didn’t hold a candle to what came next: the mechanical bull, with both bachelorettes taking a turn. Ever seen a girl get whipped around on that thing? A bachelor party was in attendance, too, which led to a little intermingling – until I realized the guy hitting on me was the one getting married.

Why is it that girls just want to have fun, but guys usually manage to get themselves into trouble?


Cocaine Update: First foie gras, then trans fats, now Cocaine.

Following a flurry of reports on Cocaine Energy Drink (including our own) and a Cocaine launch party at Stone Lotus, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan put the kibosh last Wednesday on the buzz booster that touts itself as “a legal alternative,” arguing that “the product was highly irresponsible and reckless” and glamorized illegal drug use. Madigan also said the drink was in violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act since, while it’s called Cocaine, it’s really just a major caffeine boost (around 280 milligrams) – which is probably how manufacturer and distributor Redux Beverages should have marketed the drink in the first place.

Although Redux has had to halt Cocaine sales in Texas and Connecticut, in addition to Illinois, the drink is still available in New York, California, Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Ohio, Iowa, Minnesota, and Michigan, according to Cocaine’s Web site [link:].

And it ain’t over until it’s over, says a source close to Redux, which has been working on a contingency plan since the FDA first expressed concern over the drink. USA Today reports that Cocaine may come back with a new name, and Madigan’s ban may end up adding fuel – or caffeine – to the fire. Stay tuned here for details.