It’s 8:30 on a Wednesday night and Barry is on the prowl.

He’s in uniform: Armani sport coat, collarless shirt, Ferragamo shoes, Gold Rolex President watch. His college ring covers the white band of skin where the wedding ring usually sits.

Wednesday night in Georgetown. Summer bachelor night.

Each summer, Barry packs his wife and kids off to the beach house in New Jersey. He joins them on weekends. During the week, however, Barry is a summer bachelor and on the prowl.

“Yeah, I know I’m married,” Barry says as he surveys the bar. “They know I’m married,” he adds indicating the tanned collection of young women in jeans, knit tops or summer dresses. “I’ll let you in on a little secret. Some of them are too.”

Barry’s been playing the game for seven years now, ever since he started making enough money to afford a beach house. Money has its perks. A beach house means a place to stash the wife and kids for the summer. A beach house means getting laid.

“Hey, I’ve worked hard. I’ve got a right to howl a little. What’s the big deal? It’s not like I’m not a good provider. My family has a good life. I give it to them.”

A redhead in a short summer dress sits at the end of the bar. Barry moves in. The smile turns on. The talk is smooth. She smiles back and tosses her hair, an action that Barry says means she’s interested. Within the hour, his hand is rubbing the inside of her bare leg. She’s still smiling.

Eric the bartender says Barry will score tonight.

“He’s good,” Eric says. “I see a lot of them come in here and strike out night after night, but Barry scores most of the time.”

Each summer, Eric sees more and more summer bachelors.

“They’re in here thick as fleas every night. Some of them are old, overweight, sloppy drunks, but they still get laid a lot.”

In New York City, where Eric used to tend bar, most of the same guys “couldn’t get laid in a whorehouse.”

“I guess the women have more to pick from in New York. I see a lot of losers score in Washington. Women in Washington are more desperate. Or maybe they’re hooked more on the power.”

Power?

“Yep. A lot of these guys are high-powered lobbyists downtown or work in the administration. It’s the power trip that gets the girls in bed.”

Barry is nuzzling the redhead’s neck and whispering in her ear. He pays the tab and they head out to the parking garage, and into his Mercedes 500SL. Barry will score tonight. Afterwards, the redhead will never hear from him again.

“I’ve never seen him take the same woman home twice,” Eric says. “Why should he? There’s plenty more where she came from.”

Wait a minute. In these politically correct times, are you telling me that one-night stands with married men still occur?

“Of course they do,” Eric says. “It may be liberated somewhere out there, but around here it’s still the game and the game is `me man, you woman,’ and let’s boogie.”

What about AIDS?

“That’s why God made condoms. If the guy doesn’t have `em, you can bet the girl does.”

Eric does tell the story of one summer bachelor who picked up a girl at the bar, took her home, and balled all night without condoms.

“The next morning, when he woke up, she was gone. When he went into the bathroom, she had written `welcome to the AIDS generation’ on the mirror. All he knew was her first name. He’d come back in here night after night looking for her. He never did find her.”

That was five years ago. Every month, the guy gets a blood test, waiting for the doctor to tell him that he is HIV positive.

“So far it hasn’t happened, but the doctor tells him that the bug may not show up for 10 years. So he keeps getting tested. I think the chick was clean, but did it because he was a lousy lay.”

The good news is that the guy stopped picking up young girls while his wife and kids are at the beach.

“The bad news is that he was in here recently and I swear the guy has aged 20 years in the last five. Hey, it was just a little nooky on the side. The son-of-a-bitch may have been dumb, but he didn’t deserve this.”

–Doug Thompson
Washington, DC

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