Club Scout knows the look.
I am outside Spill, locking up my bike, and this guy, a very short guy, is standing by himself in the outdoor smoking patio, gawking at me with that shameless Alex from The Real World: Denver look, that come-hither-young-females look.
So I know it's only a matter of time before Short Guy approaches me.
And he does, soon after I've slid into the club. He's waiting for me outside of the bathrooms, where I've spent the last ten minutes touching some well-tanned girl's butt, helping her adjust her plastic hula skirt. Before I can make my way to the bar, he leaps at me with his surefire pick-up line. "Hey, can I buy you a drink?" he asks. No thanks, I lie, I don't drink when I'm working.
I'm in LoDo, aka Hormone Central, where singles unabashedly paw at each other and random hookups are nightly rituals. In this part of town, there's one hard-and-fast rule: If you are a woman, you will get hit on. And tonight the lusty clubbers are out en masse for Fat Tuesday, the new weekly Mardi Gras-themed party that launched a few weeks ago at this club at 1410 Market Street. "It's kind of tight," Short Guy comments. "It's poppin' off a lot better than a lot of other nights."
Which is true. Spill is unexpectedly crowded this Tuesday, mostly with young, attractive spring-break types -- men who work out and teased-hair women with orange tans -- and also one random guy with a skateboard who looks like he got lost between here and Christian Slater's house in Gleaming the Cube.
The swell in numbers can partly be attributed to the photo shoots offered every Tuesday at Spill as a unique clubland attraction. Dress to impress, like Hula Girl, or come as you are; either way, a professional photographer, complete with Glamour Shots-like lighting, will snap photos of you and your pals, then e-mail them to you for free. "People like to use them for their MySpace or whatever," independent promoter JC Granger tells me.
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But whether in front of the camera or not, everyone is beaming with flirty smiles. Dubious winks and nods from both sexes are being exchanged like foreign currency. This is prom night for the twenty- to thirty-something set, everybody is looking to go home with somebody, and the constant stream of Top 40 music videos of lascivious pop icons like Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé only charges up the young singles more.
For Granger, this is a very good thing, especially since Monarck, the competition next door, got a huge boost after the Real World-ers crowned it the horniest place to be on TV.
"Monarck used to be the Tuesday-night place," Granger tells me with a devilish smirk, "and since we started this, it's been dead at Monarck and packed at Spill. It's true! I love it!"
Damn, where's Alex when you need him?