Friday, May 26, 2006

Bankers on Mars

This story is based on actual events.

Four bankers walked into a bar. Well, to be accurate, two investment bankers (Blake and Seth), one hedge fund analyst (John), and one equity derivatives trader (Connor) walked into a bar. For the sake of simplicity and a conventional joke start let’s just call them all bankers, despite one’s unparalleled mental math ability and the other’s overwhelming propensity to reduce risk in any and every possible situation.

So four bankers walked into a bar…but the bar is Mars Bar (see here and here). In summary, Mars Bar is a “crazy anarchist bar where all sorts of freaks, exhibitionists, punks, rockabilly enthusiasts and wild looking characters hang out.” Also described as a place where “I could take my drink with me to smoke, and then simply smash the glass when I’m done.” Dicey.

Our four fine, upper middle class young professionals had no idea the seediness of the shithole they were going to enter. They were clueless to the level of bleeding edgefulness, dirty hippery, and post-punk punkdom they were going to witness. Our unfortunate financial friends had merely all managed to all get out of work early and decided they’d go to a “dive.” Unfortunately for Blake, Seth, John, and Connor, they were thinking “dive” like Dive 75 or Off the Wagon-“dive”, not “dive” like “let’s jab each other in the eye with needles filled with H and then dance around dead baby carcasses”-“dive.”

So what happened?

When Team Gentrification got to 2nd Ave and 1st Street and had to ask a homosexual (eek!) where the bar was because it had no sign, they knew they were markedly out of place. Blake was scared of the façade’s pentagrams and wanted to go watch reruns of West Wing, and John (the hedger) did some quick stochastic analysis and concluded they’d be better off wrapping themselves in American flags and grabbing beers in Fallujah, Iraq. But Seth and Connor wanted to go in. Seth went to Phish concerts all the time…even once “before they were big” and had seen some pretty weird shit there, and besides, Connor was a trader of Dartmouth JV Wrestling fame—they’d be fine.

So the boys went inside and found a corner to themselves. They started drinking PBR in an effort to fit in but got hammered and into superfrat mode very quickly. Fitting in was out the window. They “Ooh!”-ed and “Oh shit!”-ed when Blake told a story about hooking up with a back office woman at the Christmas Party and laughed big laughs and pointed when Connor reminded Seth that while he did work in banking, he worked for Wachovia. He mocked their old and horrendous ad campaign: “So Seth…please elucidate…What can being a teller teach you about investment banking?” Even Seth laughed and slammed his glass because, after all, he hated his company’s weird retail banking looking logo. These cats were gettin’ rowdy!

The Mars Bar “locals,” meanwhile, were getting’ angry. The Billy Idol-type middle-aged men dressed in jean jackets and leather and the Suicide Girls wannabes from 40 stops out on the L or a plane ride from Portland or God knows where started growling in the direction of our biz casual clad friends. They wanted desperately to make weapons of their spikey sex toys and fashion little Burberry wearing voodoo dolls to light on fire. But they must teach diplomacy at art school, because instead of first fighting, the locals sent one of their own into the bullpen to “talk” to the yuppies.

Colt, a 48 year old jeweler with a thick British accent and a ring the size of a Titleist marched over to the corner where a Quarters game was in progress and clenched his fists in rage as he watched The Unctuous Underwriters vs. The Polished Peddlers. Colt tried to interrupt, but they wouldn’t stop playing. He began to lecture them, teaching them about the “old East Village” back when he used to live in a $270 3 bedroom on Saint Mark’s and babies carried machetes in Thompkins Square Park. That was the true East Village, and Mars Bar was one of the only places that was still legit.

More sternly, though, he warned that people got beat up “all the time” for not respecting the place.

This scared the foursome. They stopped guffawing and slapping each other on the back and pulling down their pants and became quiet. The Mars Bar locals smiled at their apparent victory and resumed hating everything else in the world.

Seth (Wachovia) huddled up his friends and whispered…”I think it’s time…I mean, I really think it would be best if we…Yeah guys, we should def just…”

“DO JAEGERMEISTER SHOTS, WOOOOOOOO!!”

And he told the petite Asian bartender “25 shots” and paid with hundreds.

Connor passed out the shots, and the locals looked on astounded—this was a blatant slap in the face of everything they lived on welfare for. John, Seth, Connor, and Blake slammed back two shots each immediately; a couple of the punks passive aggressively sipped theirs slowly.

Connor (the trader) was blacked out at this point and couldn’t hold himself back after witnessing the sipping of Jaeger, a unforgivable sin. “Hardcore MY ASS,” he screamed, “THIS is how we do it on Broad & Wall, bitches!” and pounded another shot.

In an uncharacteristically risky move, John went over to the jukebox.

“OMG I hope he doesn’t play John Mayer!!!” a little blond girl with septum piercing screamed. She raised her hand to cover her ears and her tank top raised slightly, allowing John to catch a glimpse of her “tramp stamp” lower back tattoo. The girl was dirty and smelly and who-knows-what infested, but the sight of the tramp stamp made it all disappear. John was in love.

But that would have to wait until later. John had more important things in store for Mars Bar… he waded through the jukebox’s numerous homemade punk and cock rock mixes and somehow was able to find…a gem. Somehow, some freak sequence of events had inserted “(I don’t wanna lose) Your Love” by The Outfield into a Misfits compilation. How serendipitous.

“Josie’s on a vacation far away!” the jukebox screamed, filling the room with the National Douche Anthem.

“OH SNAAP…” Blake screamed from across the room, “THAT’S MY JAM!!”

And they all did a brief double-fisted jig. When they stopped and looked around the bar, though, the found that no one was there. No one. Disgusted with the state of what was once their solace, their hate-haven, every single punk had left, even the bartender.

And the scoreboard read…Bankers 1, Punks 0.


57 comments for this post.

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  1. +2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Hahahahahaha.. Wachovia.. Good one! Keep them coming..

  2. -1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    good stuff. even for a 28 year ex GS guy like myself, still a good read. hope you don?t get a libel suit from Watch-ovah-ya. keep it up.

  3. 0 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Colt, a 48 year old jeweler with a thick British accent and a ring the size of a Titleist marched over to the corner where a Quarters game was in progress and clenched his fists in rage as he watched The Unctuous Underwriters vs. The Polished Peddlers. -OUTSTANDING!

  4. +12 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    ‘even for a 28 year ex GS guy like myself, still a good read?” Without a doubt authentic Goldman. But it took him 8 words to reference GS. What gives? Friday? Slacking off a bit?

  5. +2 votes + -
    structuredsellout Said:

    Amazing descriptions of each character? especially the passive aggressive shot-taking.

  6. +3 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    ‘Connor passed out the shots, and the locals looked on astounded??”this was a blatant slap in the face of everything they lived on welfare for.” ah, true genius!

  7. -1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    What the hell is a rockabilly enthusiast?

  8. -3 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    whats the mystique about working at gs or a pe? i work at a shitty bank selling bonds, but i make 800k. not bad for a midwestern state school grad.

  9. +2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    to the anonymous above: if you worked at a good bank, perhap you would make 1.5M. But, whose counting? I?m in the game for the love and the use of prostitutes. Oh, GS guys really do work at an amazing bank, but I think that they suck of a mule to become so humble inside the bank, then passive agressive XXYs in public.

  10. +2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    THIS is how we do it on Broad & Wall, bitches!??? and pounded another shot. hell yeah! Another great one?

  11. +3 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Damn, this blog is fast becoming a favourite. So true? so true?

  12. -6 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    this blog has run its course ? consistently getting worse

  13. +5 votes + -
    PrivateInvestor Said:

    ‘Seth (Wachovia) huddled up his friends?” I love how he is defined by his firm. Good stuff.

  14. +3 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    i love it! so amusing, i worked in ibanking for 9 months and quit, couldn?t stand it?

  15. -3 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    I agree with run its course guy, now it?s just turning into a bunch of one liners.

  16. +1 votes + -
    Non-StopCrashin Said:

    pffft, what happened to the dirty hot hipster chick with the whore stamp?

  17. -12 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    who are you people? you sound about 10 times more whipped than the people whose lives you are feverishly examining. I?m from a top tier bulge bracket, from am ivy league school, and currently at a top PE shop?and still have my own life and identity. the poor sods you write about are grossly caricatured, and, if they exist, are probably in anonymous holes struggling to stay afloat. the successful people are far too self assured to be whipped into the kind of lifestyle submission that your characters undergo. the tone of most of the comments suggests a bunch of bitter, envious, CLUELESS guys waiting to get their fix of schadenfreunde. for your own sakes, do what you are prescribing for the characters of these stories, and go out and get a life.

  18. -15 votes + -
    fuckthiswebsite.com Said:

    ha, what fucking asswipes, those banker guys. just because they?re tellers and wear new shirts from the gap they think their money can buy them access anywhere. someday soon this whole city will be taken over by these mediocre middle class pasty fuckheads and it will be FUCK ALL BORING to live here. i say fuck bush?s border fence, let in more mexicans, we need all the mix we get in nyc.

  19. +4 votes + -
    Kitty Said:

    Deary Me! I slept with a guy once who sounds just like the narrator (without the humour unfortunately). They cut his bonus and now he?s a parachute instructor on some lush plush island. I wouldn?t mind some cash..maybe I should go into banking. Or maybe stripping? I guess I?d have more free time?

  20. 0 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    This is damn good writing, mate. You brought this rather hackneyed story to life via vivid prose, and a fine attention to detail. That said, not much of the action here smacks of authentic human nature (certainly the ending doesn?t). Not to mention NYC nature. Nor does the premise itself. Fledgling ?Streeters getting this kind of rise out of E.V. locals? And even if true, that the scene didn?t end with the bum?s rush and/or fisticuffs? It beggars the imagination. I?d bet this is a ”composite” of various events, plus imagination ? you know, like James Frey. But it?s better than Frey. As a writer myself, I can only say, If it?s worth reading twice, honey, it?s the good-goods. Now: How about some reality?

  21. -1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    there is no money in pe. sales and trading is wear its at. you can make more and still have a life. *-i know i spelled where wrong. i just want to see how many jackasses reply without reading the entire posting. hehe?

  22. +1 votes + -
    Mortimer G. Thornock, III Said:

    Hilarious, but not as funny as the people who consistently comment that the characters in these humor pieces are ”caricatures.”

  23. +1 votes + -
    Vallen Said:

    fan fucking tastic

  24. 0 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    bling a ding ching a ling

  25. +1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Since when does Wachovia have an Investment Bank?

  26. +6 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Wachovia has the best investment bank around ? even better than Goldman and Morgan, combined! Where else can you get a guy who worked his way up from his father?s pig farm making a million bucks a minute? Or a guy who dropped out of high school who worked his way up from teller to repro-room assistant? I always throw up a W symbol on my chest when meeting my Wachovia peeps. Everyone else is just a poser? WACHOVIA FOR LIFE!!!

  27. +2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    I love how the insecure donkey dweeb asks what?s the big deal about working somewhere other than a crappy bank, but then invariably mentions what they think is a high payrate. Almost as funny as the original post. Rule #1: If you have to mention how much you make, you don?t make that much.

  28. +5 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Rule #2: You use real man curses as opposed to ”donkey dweeb” Great job living in the city, Gomer. I?m sure it?s much better than Arkansas.

  29. +4 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    once again, the comments are more amusing than the blog itself. to read these people?s naive thoughts is incredibly funny. btw,great blog posting..dont be discouraged by the haters calling you out for the blog getting old.

  30. 0 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    When it comes down to it, what do investment bankers make hourly? Is freedom (i.e., time away from work) more important than money?

  31. +5 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Money is freedom. You can tell your children that you traded their Exeter tuition for Monday night drinking and hiking on long weekends. I?m going to grab for the brass ring. F**k being poor. In fact, F**k being upper middle class. Hope you enjoy the state run nursing home I saw on 60 mins.

  32. +3 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Yes, it is the whole debate between what is more of a priority, the huge influx of cash that therefore supplements big-spending lifestyles (when we have the time to spend it) vs being able to chill out, leave work at a ”normal” hour, do ”normal” things (like what, read a novel? work out more than twice per week? stroll through SoHo? see a guy we?re dating more than once per week? actually COMMUNICATE with a guy we?re dating once per week?) At the end of the day, for this ”banker chick”, I love being able to decide at a moment?s notice that I?m flying for a weekend holiday (without having to scrimp on my credit card) and I?m looking ahead 20 years when, unlike the rest of the world, I don?t plan on working, and I plan on living the good life. I know, I know, ”carpe diem” and all that b.s., if my job is miserable now, why am I putting myself through this? Eye on the goal, my friends. Eye on the goal. Go back to $70K/year in marketing for the next 30yrs? Nah, sacrifice now, chill out later. I hope.

  33. +2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Never heard of time value of fun?

  34. +4 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Banker chicks are fat and useless.

  35. 0 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    So aggressive, Time Value. I?m just looking for different takes on the exchange of time for money. Just curious about what people think about that. Like, for example, what I found in the response above yours. A bit defensive, no? Not everything has to be debate. I was looking for conversation.

  36. 0 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Here?s someone?s thoughts on this. She is in favor of long hours. A somewhat interesting commentary? http://marketplace.publicradio.org/shows/2006/06/02/PM200606027.html That?s what I meant by conversation.

  37. +5 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    This is my first ever comment and, Jesus, I just couldn?t resist responding. You remind me of this pimply slow eyed 1st year pain in the ass who always wanted to wax esoterically on and on about some lame ass theory. I wanted to crawl over my desk and throttle the little f-cker. Were you a philosophy major in undergrad? Dude, if you want ”conversation” go to a frigging Oprah blog. ”Work hard, play hard” is the motto and the more time you spend in ”conversation” the less coin you are going to make. Look what you made me do, wasting my time writing this! Agghhhh. Piker. Hey here?s a great topic-fact patterns on those you work with that are f-ing douches??

  38. 0 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    More coin. Heh! Calm down.

  39. +3 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Bankers? Ha. What about the fact that traders make way more yet they don?t have to work 3,284 hours/week? Bankers are the bitches of Wall St.

  40. 0 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Traders are too dumb to understand any witty comment I may post in reply to the comment above, as witnessed by the clear deep thought put in to said comment. I believe the poster forgot a couple of grunts and curses, as is typical in the trader lingo. I believe it should have read like this: ”F*cking Bankers? UGGHHHH Ha. UGGHHHH What about the f*cking fact that f*cking traders make way f*cking more yet they don?t have to work f*cking 3,284 hours/week? UGHHH UGHHHH Bankers are the f*cking bitches of f*cking Wall St. UGHHHH HUHH” I?m amazed to see our state school educated trader actually knew to curb his/her language. Obviously, he/she has received some benefit from being in the company of bankers.

  41. +1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Uh. Did you even read the entry or just the title? We need to screen the readership here with an idiot test.

  42. +9 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Trader- Me buy tomato for quarter, sell for quarter and penny, good. Banker- Methinks I shall find someone else?s fine tomato, cut it up, and sell to the uneducated masses as salad topping, thereby pilfering a dollar from the borrowee?s wallet- jolly good PE- Borrow the tomato, make great salsa borrowing others spices, sell to salsa loving public, pocket more money than God- you make the call.

  43. +2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    What a pack of babies. I haven?t heard so much showing off since the 7th grade. Derive a sense of worth out of your own good work and not out of calling names. Read the blog. Enjoy the blog. Stop whining. Maybe mommy didn?t give you all enough hugs.

  44. +12 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    ‘I?m amazed to see our state school educated trader actually knew to curb his/her language.” Yeah, well you can take your ivy leage diploma and insert it directly into your tight pristinely washed little asshole. Some of us actually have had to work to get where we?re at unlike some pampered little brat who got into college on a legacy. On a side note, damn fine story, highly amusing.

  45. +3 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Hilarious. I?ve beat up so many i-banker fags I?ve lost count.

  46. +1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Let?s all identify ourselves by factions, assume identities based on that, and then pen predictable posts about distinctions fully meaningless to people that do not work on the same street as us. This should show us as the original, self-satisfied people we all are. Dollars are very practical units. With just enough of these units, then the hunger will be over no? Probably not, I forgot about the factions.

  47. -1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    ummm? marsbar doesn?t have PBR

  48. -3 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Isn?t Mars Bar around Times Square? Also is this the new name of Mars2112?

  49. 0 votes + -
    hater_of_anonymous Said:

    can all you faggot i-bankers and grunting traders please post under meaningful names so that it?s easier to call ppl out individually? thanks, appreciate it.

  50. +3 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    There?s a jewler with a thick British accent, and he does wear a ring the size of a Titleist but his name is not Colt. Also, mars bar doesn?t sell PBR?s. Oh, one more thing. Stay out of our bar!!! Actually, you?re welcome to come again, but none of that frat bullshit.

  51. +3 votes + -
    joey Said:

    ‘who are you people? you sound about 10 times more whipped than the people whose lives you are feverishly examining. Im from a top tier bulge bracket, from am ivy league school, and currently at a top PE shopand still have my own life and identity. the poor sods you write about are grossly caricatured” this douche is so in denial. before he says he has his own identity, he defines himself by his jobs and school. wake up call son – you are not an individual. you are just another borg bitch. these comments are funnier than the prose. always an idiot who takes this so seriously. go ahead, laugh your holier-than-thou laugh. the jokes on you bitch.

  52. -2 votes + -
    anonymous Said:

    Maybe we don?t like loud obnoxious yuppies ruining everything with your shitty music and stupid stories and thinking you can pick up women there just because they?re poor and you drive an Infiniti or some shit. Mars Bar is blue-collar till death. You?re just not welcome. ”Colt” aka Gary is an old regular and a great guy and was trying to do you guys a favor. People really do get beat up, I see it happen all the time.

  53. +1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Wait, is this story true? Mars bar is soft?

  54. +1 votes + -
    anonymous Said:

    hilarious. love the stereotypes

  55. +3 votes + -
    Bitchtern Said:

    THIS is how we do it on Broad & Wall, bitches!??? Where can you go from there? Seriously, this is truly classic. I hope these works are recorded with the likes of Sophocles. Mangus Opus

  56. -2 votes + -
    Lumbergh Said:

    Anonymous Said: June 1st, 2006 at 6:11 pm Money is freedom. You can tell your children that you traded their Exeter tuition for Monday night drinking and hiking on long weekends. Im going to grab for the brass ring. F**k being poor. In fact, F**k being upper middle class. Hope you enjoy the state run nursing home I saw on 60 mins. If you enjoyed your life like I did instead of spending what free time you have working out at Equinox or Excelsior or whatever that place is called like the yuppie loser that you are, then you wouldn?t have to worry about getting old enough to require any sort of long-term care, state-run or otherwise. Word to the wise: start smoking and drink a fifth of whiskey every night. Or just kill yourself.

  57. -1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Your Love = the National Douche Anthem” $$$

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