Last night in SOMA, fourteen of the Marina District's finest 20- and 30-something male specimens took the stage at Mezzanine to sing, drink, and charm their way to the title of the district's most stereotypical dude in the inaugural Mr. Marina competition. Depending on your opinion of this particular breed of San Franciscan, the event (which raised over $80,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society) was either an entertaining pageant of neighborhood in-jokes and exaggerated bro-isms, or a couple hours of dick wagging and aggressive onstage alcohol consumption.
Without reservation, we can safely say the crowd packing Mezzanine to drink $8 vodka-sodas last night contained the highest concentration of blonde girls we've ever seen in this city. In the parlance of the district, the (ahem) talent wasn't limited to the guys onstage. Attendees supported their neighborhood micro-celebrities with custom-printed T-shirts. The only people over 40 were the parents, also wearing their kid's t-shirt and looking more than a little embarrassed when their sons were asked to deliver their very best Marina pickup lines during the swimwear section. Pickup lines such as:
That gem was followed by a half-joking, "Sorry, Mom!"
While the swimsuits-and-pickup-lines portion was an entertaining half hour of speedos and almost-tolerable sexism, the talent portion of the evening truly allowed these bros to shine. A couple contestants opted to go the traditional route with song-and-dance routines: Billie Jean was lip-synced in Michael Jackson costume. One guy did his best Right Said Fred impression while tearing open his mantank and dousing himself in PBR. One even sang an earnest but off-key medley of pop songs with lyrics drenched in neighborhood references — to which the girls behind us reacted, "Oh man, I bet he hasn't been laid in a year." (Harsh!)
Others, meanwhile, highlighted what Marina guys are known for doing best: drinking cheap beer incredibly quickly and dropping shots of alcohol in to larger glasses of booze. One contestant who goes by his frat name "Chewy", showed off his beer shotgunning prowess by attempting to guzzle three cans of Coors Light in the allotted 90-seconds. He powered through, grimacing out a belch in between tapping the Rockies with a knife to the side of the can. We're pretty sure he puked a little bit as he walked off stage. We imagine that fact will be denied in print, but such is the nature of the Marina guy, in our experience: never admit to barfing unless it was a particularly hilarious situation.
We also learned about a new parlor trick called "Bear Fight dominoes" last night. Bear Fights, for those of you who don't follow the latest trends in binge drinking, are a combination of a Jager Bomb and an Irish Car Bomb. When the two pints and two shots are lined up on the bar and downed as quick as humanly possible, the drinker sort of looks like they're fighting off a grizzly. Anyhow: Bear Fight dominoes involves drinking two of those, which is roughly 8 drinks of liquor, beer or red bull, for those keeping score at home.
In the end, the winner who took home the prize (which included a $300 tab for an afterparty at The Hi-Fi and free bottomless Sunday mimosas at Circa for a year) was the contestant who showed the ultimate fraternal character trait: Bro-humility. Eventual winner Chris Clark took the stage towards the end of the talent portion and burned clock making sure the entire crowd was appreciative of the feats of excessive drinking that just occurred. Shotgunning three beers is not easy, he told the crowd. (It's probably not healthy either, but that's another matter.) This was all before he seduced a Cougar, apparently planted in the front row, and ended the talent portion by hopping off the stage and leading her towards coat check.
After standing through the Marina Fashion/Q&A portion, which featured more references to sunny days in Fort Mason than we care to tally up, Clark received his title of the inaugural Mr. Marina. Standing onstage, surrounded by 13 of his new best bros, he accepted his pink frilly tiara in the name of the $80,000 that the event raised for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. And that's how they get you in the Marina: just when we wanted to hate what we were witnessing — to resent something for being exactly like the stereotype we expected it to be — some asshole has to come along and give $80,000 to cancer, which may not cure Leukemia right away, but sure as hell clears out any haters.
[Thanks, Sally for the video documentation.]