I woke up last Friday morning with a screaming woodie. Johnny Jr. popped up bright and early that morning, and he wasn't in a good mood. "Get your clothes on, jack," he snarled. "Hey! Didja hear me?! I said GET YOUR FUCKING CLOTHES ON! It's been six weeks since I've been in the Temple of Doom, Chen, and I'm through waiting. Tonight, we're gonna do things MY way, understand?"

I'd never seen it so pissed off at me before. He wasn't in a mood for compromises or negotiations. He laid an ultimatum on me that if I didn't get him laid that night, it was off to Whores R Us for some toxic, unprotected sex that was sure to land both of us in the morgue within six months.

I took his threats pretty seriously. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that Johnny Jr. doesn't fuck around.

So I took him for a walk on Independence Day, Friday, June 12th: the day that Russia freed itself from half of its own conquered territory. The weather was boiling hot, as you know: sticky, sweaty. We walked up the promenade from Gogolevsky Bulvar to Pushkinskaya Ploschad, then turned down Tverskaya towards the Manezh.

"Jesus Christ," Johnny Jr. barked, "I've never seen so many sluts in my life!"

He was right: girls either wore see-through shirts with see-through bras, or see-through shirts with no bras AT ALL. How does a man keep from going mad here? It just ain't fair. I've been suffering through a sexual famine lately. I have only myself to blame, but knowing that doesn't help me through it. Walking alone down Moscow's streets, past rows of arm-locked dyev-babes, I began to ponder the life of a molester. A sexual offender. Anything but this, walking alone among all this sexual energy, this human pollen, the only idiot not getting any for six straight weeks, like the Boy in the Plastic Bubble or something.

There was only one answer for me: The Duck. I went there Friday night for the sweatiest, ugliest Ladies' Night yet. It was horrible. Every person was a human sprinkler system of slime, sweat, semen and b.o. Sweat dripped from the ceiling. Slavic pheromones burned your nose. Under such circumstances, I knew that I, Johnny Chen, had a pretty good chance of scoring. And I did. In fact, I never made it more than half-way in. Literally within four minutes of arriving, some teenager with a face like Muttley's from Laff-A-Lympics fell off the bar and onto my shoulders. I carried her almost straight out to the coat check, then hurried her down to a taxi, ran her home, up my stairs, and into my apartment. The whole time she was begging me to take her back, to be careful, she was drunk, bla-bla-blah... After we were through, I had no idea what to do with her. She was bleeding and crying. As for me, I was depressed. I'd just shot a load large enough to repopulate North Korea. So I walked her over to my balcony, and held her in my arm, leaning her over the ledge.

"Throw her over," Johnny Jr. advised me.
"You know you want to," he said. "Just pick her up and throw her over. You'll feel better, I promise."

But I didn't have the energy. Instead, I passed out on the floor, and woke up the next morning, with Muttley beside me. It took me a long time to get rid of her, but I did. You know how that is. It always works out that you have horrible poo cramps the morning after, and all you want to do is dump a huge shit, but you've got this humiliated, skanky bitch tagging around. Girls, if I can give you one piece of advice to win a man's heart, it's to get up bright and early the morning after, and leave before he even wakes up. Because despite what the song says, There Ain't No Morning After.

But enough of my yackin'. I'm supposed to be giving you a club review here. All right, here goes.

First off, A-Clubs on Thursday nights are always a good bet for lovers of electronic music. Sergei and Misha have created their own special parties on Thursdays, featuring top local DJs spinning, as they say, mind-twirling house music, and a good crowd of BP dyevs and guys with Caesar hairdos. Drinks are, as always, well-priced, although the place could use an air-conditioner. Another cool electonika dig is Sundays at Territoriya.

The second item is much bigger club news. The same duo who made Bell's one of 1997's top choices for students, hot dyevs, and snakes like me, have finally returned to the local club scene. Last weekend, they opened up Respublika, which already resembles the old Bell's in terms of atmosphere. Located in prime central territory off Ulitsa Nikolskaya, the semi-promenade that leads from Lubyanka to Red Square, Respublika's opening bash on Saturday night was so packed full of patrons that they filled up half the street outside.

Respublika has many of the same traits that made Bell's such a smashing success: free cover, cheap drinks including great drink specials, and cramped space packed with dyevs. The colors are brighter and fruitier at Respublika than Bell's, and the spunkiness will be augmented by live musicl. As you know, Bell's had a management change and went major shiteward this past spring, so the appearance of a worthy successor is valuable news to someone like me. What made Bell's so great wasn't the whacky interior, but rather the way that interior was utilized by the dancing, drinking, sweaty young masses. And from the looks of it, Respublika looks set to inherit that atmosphere, making it Moscow's top new Emerging Meet Market. This place is definitely going to be on the Chenster's list, and being located between Papa John's and the Duck, might form a perfect evening for nocturnal summer trawling.

Later, we headed to the new disco monstrosity, Tsekh. I don't have a lot of good to say about the place, so I'll just keep my criticisms to a minimum and hope they get their shit together before the next time I get there. First, you walk down a tunnel made of shiny corrugated metal, before entering a split-level disco modeled, it seems, on Titanik. The only small difference isัthere's no there there. Except for a couple of silk-shirted flat-heads, the place was bare-assed empty. The door man was rude, making it impossible for anyone to get in that luvin' mood, and a regiment of uniformed flat-heads who look like they want to tear your balls off and stuff them down your throat patrol every nook and cranny. The music was typical-shit techno, and the old Mister Laser did his wacky thang.

On the other hand, it must be said that, if they learn how to be inviting, how to promote the place, how to attract beautiful girls and hipsters and the like, Tsekh could easily become the next in-disco. But somehow I doubt it'll ever be all that much fun. Not unless you've got a bullet of whiff in one pocket, and a tab of E in the other. But then again, armed with those, you could have fun in Tomsk-7.