While vacationing in San Francisco, Ryan Hoisington, a senior
American studies major and his best friend Ben Gaines happened into
a rowdy nightclub. The two had been drinking heavily prior to their
arrival at the club and were unaware that the club was in fact a
The nightclub featured a stage where various musical acts had
been performing through out the night. Between acts the club held
various contests that required patron participation. Hoisington and
Gaines, still unaware of the nature of the club, volunteered to go
on stage for a chance to win $200.
“So, we’re sitting at a booth, taking shots when this gorgeous
woman gets on stage and announces that partners can get on stage
and compete for a chance at $200. I was like Ben come on, we could
win,” Hoisington said.
The beautiful announcer (who was actually a man in drag) greeted
the two and told them that they could win by changing into costumes
provided by the club and performing an impromptu dance duo. The
drag queen then escorted them to a room behind the stage where they
found various costumes hanging on a clothes rack.
“We went into the room and we started going through the
costumes. It didn’t strike me as odd that we should wear costumes
and dance around together. I’ve done crazier things in hostel
competitions while traveling. Anyway, the lady said we had three
minutes to change so we quickly grabbed a couple costumes. I was a
police officer and Ben wore a President Nixon mask and chaps with
no shirt,” Hoisington said.
After changing, the two got on stage with other participants and
were asked to go first. The announcer told the boys that they had
to incorporate handcuffs and chocolate syrup into their dance.
“So she said we had to use cuffs and syrup in our dance and I
just looked at Ben, and then the song ‘It’s not unusual’ by Tom
Jones began playing. I didn’t know what to do so I grabbed Ben and
we began to kind of tango, as best we could. Then the part of the
song where Tom Jones sings ‘I want to die’ came on, and you know I
really did want to die,” Hoisington said. “There was a chair on the
stage so Ben sat down and I sort of circled around it shaking
around. Then I handcuffed us together by the wrists. I didn’t know
what to do, I was so hammered and it finally dawned on me just what
kind of club we were in.”
Hoisington just froze while Gaines kept moving to the music.
“The audience started yelling things at us. About the time
someone yelled ‘You Suck!’ I pulled Ben off the stage. We were
still handcuffed together and we made our way out of the bar. The
cuffs were like police-issue or something, we couldn’t get out of
them,” Hoisington said, as he explained to his friend that they had
been in a gay bar.
The two then wandered around San Francisco, too embarrassed to
return to the bar, yet still handcuffed together and dressed as a
cop and President Nixon. Hoisington and Gaines then decided to
return to their hotel room, but they had left the key to their room
in their clothing, which was still in the change room of the club.
Rather than retrieving it, they got an extra key from the front
“It was the same guy that had checked us in so he remembered us.
He just stared at us. We made it up to our room and I just wanted
to go to bed but Ben had to go to the bathroom, let me tell you how
fun that was. We finally passed out together and were both
extremely confused when we woke up in the morning.”
Hoisington and Gaines then made their way back to the bar and
were released from the handcuffs by the bartender. They got their
things from the change room and avoided that section of the city
for the remaining two days of their trip.