"What's the difference between a sadist and a masochist?" 33-year-old Todd asked one Thursday night at Sofa Kings Sports Bar in Davie -- where knee-length jean shorts and solid-colored T-shirts are all the rage.
"A masochist says, 'Beat me, Beat me,' and a sadist says, 'No,'" he answered his own question. Then he flickered his dark eyebrows and laughed. The leather-jacketed man, who claimed to weigh in at 215 pounds, is a Sofa King lightweight. Altogether, his crew of four, which was plopped on the cozy couches at 11 p.m., added up to half a ton of sofa-sitting fun.
At first, 33-year-old Rich, 250 pounds, blond, and broad across the chest, sat silently, his hands crossed as a resting place for his chin. Menacing, you might say. "Good evening," he said.
"That's very formal," I commented.
"Yeah, you don't say that to gothic gutter sluts," one of his friends commented.
I took that as a compliment. Two girls who looked like they were in their early 20s were shaking their sugar in short skirts and skimpy tops on the recently installed poles that stretched across the half-walls separating the living room-like section of the Sports Bar from the elevated high-top tables and bar-top section.
At this hour, about 25 people were clustered in various sections of the bar. Couch stubs -- I mean sofa kings -- party in the prime hours of sports-watching like 8 p.m. to midnight during the week and noon to 10 p.m. on weekends. Yeah, party! These people drink a lot of domestic beer, and drinking a lot of domestic beer is cool. Being in bed by midnight with your body converting two pitchers of Bud into fat cells is slightly less cool, true, but hey, how about those chicks on poles?
All right, back to my boys.
Sean, who weighed in at 280 pounds, was a 31-year-old in a black T-shirt with soft brown eyes whose neck and lower face are covered in a dark-brown beard. When the 20ish, long-haired brunet waitress set a burger on the table, he said, "Can I get you to get on-stage for this song?"
It was "Pour Some Sugar on Me," by Def Leppard.
"I don't do that," she said and walked away.
I asked Sean why he comes to Sofa Kings instead of a strip club. He replied, "This is closer to my house. I live around the corner."
A blond dancer leaned on a nearby couch to talk with a young man seated in a chair. Was she really flirting with him or turning a tip trick? Besides the fact that she was wore a short skirt and a top knotted at her chest, there was nothing overt about her sexuality.
The Sofa King girl is more like the chick you had a crush on in high school. You probably didn't do anything about it. You probably just sat around the house playing video games and eating Doritos. Now that we're all grown up, it's her job to turn her head your way, serve you food, and act like you're sexy when you're watching sports. You're not, but hey, most people pay their bills by exploiting others' delusions of self.
Then Todd commented on the dancers. One in a short, plaid skirt was gyrating her hips as she swung on the pole above our couches. "The difference between these girls and Internet porn is that these girls turn you down in person."
As we stepped outside for a cigarette, Sean said, "You want to know the reason why I don't flirt with women here?"
Hip to the sexploitation, Sean continued, "They're not interested in guys like us, who have a little extra weight on them and are a little bit older. It's pointless."
Rich still isn't talking, and his crew is knocking on him. "He's an alcoholic," Brian says. "He pisses foam." Brian, also 250 pounds, had the most sports-bar appropriate appearance with dark-brown eyes, a baseball cap, and a T-shirt that read "It ain't gonna lick itself."
"So," I asked, "what kind of women do you guys date?"
Here's where it got fuzzier than Blitzen's balls in the snowy season.
Rich finally opened up and started talking about a girl named Lucy, his ex-girlfriend, whose current status is friend with benefits.
Sean chimed in that one time when he and Todd were over at Lucy's place, she started flirting with all three of them. "She had her robe open, and she was going back and forth between Todd and I." He commented, "She was the second worst I ever had."
Amazing, I thought, that they were still all sitting together.
Todd explained why he and Sean had moved in on Rich's territory. "We had to prove to him what kind of woman she was. Lucy was the walking embodiment of a Mongolian clusterfuck."
Rich described the kind of woman he'd like to be with: "She has to have not so much honesty but be trusting in the relationship itself, 100 percent. No girlfriend or boyfriend on the side. There has to be a connection, animalistic or whatever. You have to be attracted to them first and get into their psyche, open up with them..."
His friends had taken to rolling their eyes a bit but were still listening.
"It has to be a two-way street. When you're with that person at night and dreaming, you co-exist. When you make love, 100 percent of everything is flowing at the same time."
Sean looked at him. "She doesn't exist."
"Do you want to know mine?" Todd asked.
"Yeah," I said, as we poured full our mugs from a carb-loaded pitcher of beer.
"Do you want to know what I'm willing to accept now? Or what I want?"
"What you're willing to accept now."
The leather-jacketed man began, "Someone who'd be as beautiful on the inside as the outside, who'd accept me as I am, and" -- the eyebrows started flickering again -- "who knows what monogamous means. I had the perfect woman once. She died in my arms, and before she died, she said she loved me and then told me the name of the man who raped and killed her... which is what started the killing."
I wasn't sure I wanted to know more.
"I gave the cops 30 days to find him. On the 33rd day, I found him."
"What did you do?"
"I broke every bone in his body. I think some parts of his spinal cord were still intact. I heard he lived, if you can call that living."
A classic car pulled out of the parking lot with a Sofa King hottie in the passenger seat. "See," Sean pointed at the car, "that's what they're looking for."
Brian said, "That's not a nice car. I've got a Thunderbird."
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Todd ripped on him, "Dude, those weren't even cool in the '80s."
After another round, Brian revved up his Thunderbird and headed home.
Late as it was, it was time for the 595 trek back home. Minus Brian, 745 pounds of gentlemanly manflesh escort me to my car.
Sofa Kings, 9160 W. State Rd. 84, Davie, 954-474-5637.