“Johnny Maldoro, You’re gonna go blind from watching all those pornos!” warns Spartos. “Why not take Friday night off and join me for my First Annual Bowery Drinkathon?” The Dirty Pornos scribe agrees. “We Be Humpin’ Hippos Part 2 can wait!” Like the famous crossovers before them—Mork and Happy Days, the Flintstones and the Jetsons—Spartos and Maldoro head into uncharted comic territory: Which drunk will fall down first? Who will go home with a stranger? Who will sleep it off in a flophouse?
The Bowery, home of the Voice and longtime playground of the down and out, has seen a number of drinking establishments spring up recently—but the only tramps they seem to be attracting are the kind in tight Earl jeans. Cordoning off a good chunk of the restaurant-stool district with a garish velvet rope is the soulless, gargantuan PIONEER (218 Bowery, 334-0484). Is it a club or a bar? A bar or a sports pub? A sports pub or an Irish catering hall? Spartos and Maldoro have no clue! But since they’re on Spartos’s pub crawl, they waste no time getting down to business. “I’ll have a sweet Hoegaarden ($5),” says Maldoro, winking at the bartender. “If you know what I mean.” Meanwhile, Spartos—in the lead and favored by five drinks—polishes off her third glass of crisp Stella Artois ($5) with a loud, confident belch. “You’re going down, Maldoro! Maldoro?”
Spartos yanks her cheeky comrade out the door—they are here to drink after all! [Score: Spartos 4; Maldoro 2—3 if you count the tramp in Earl jeans.] Totally oblivious to the “Bowery” in Bowery Drinkathon, they veer off onto Spring Street, where they stumble into GATSBY’S (53 Spring Street, 334-4430), a cookie-cutter pub with a tacky red-and-gold facade. “Gatsby would not be impressed,” notes Maldoro. “Thirtysomething women gone wild and douche bags in unbuttoned shirts.” Spartos takes Maldoro’s word: After no dinner and a couple of bottles of Budweiser ($5), the tournament details get a little hazy. [Score: Spartos 6; Maldoro 3.] Spartos, smelling imminent victory, tries to get Maldoro to accompany her to a third and final bar. “But you’re incoherent!” yells Maldoro. “I’m not unconventional!” she yells back. They decide to resume the Bowery Drinkathon on Tuesday—on Essex Street, of course.
After work, they head to FILTHY MCNASTY’S (179 Essex Street, 260-5515), a new Lower East Side dive that’s well on it’s way to becoming an institution. Here’s the skinny: two-for-one happy hour (5 to 8 p.m.), pool table, dart board, trashy tap beer (PBR, $3; Yuengling, $4), copious buybacks, graffiti galore, “wall of shame” (pix featuring drunk sorority girls dancing on the bar, Moby and some chick, the bartender and some stripper, etc.), $2 nachos with warm squeeze cheese (“You’re brave souls,” says the bartender. “I’ll get some chips from the basement!”), Photo Hunt video game (an X-rated “which one is not like the other?”; Maldoro: “Never underestimate the power of naked women!”), and a $5 Friday-night kill-the-keg marathon. “Here’s to beer and porn, Filthy and McNasty, Spartos and Maldoro!” cheers Spartos. [Final Score: Spartos 6; Maldoro 6; Dinner 0. Note: After the making of this column, both Maldoro and Spartos were forced to call in sick. During a later phone conversation, they pieced together the rest of the Drinkathon, which included a late-night bout at Manitoba’s. Score unavailable. However, we are pleased to inform you that the duo is still gainfully employed at the Voice.