true confessions

Story time! What’s your Brooklyn demerit badge?

Duty to God and Hungover Regrets. via Demerit Badges.

Monday night I turned 32 years old and got kicked out of a bar for the first time in so many years that I was surely a didn’t-know-better 20-something the last time it happened. To make it worse, it was Hank’s, my local musty dive where the bar for getting kicked out is so high I’ve seen blasted regulars limbo under it while shadowboxing the voices in their heads. Yet Monday, a spilled drink escalated into a shouting match with the bartender which escalated into the throwing of water and mad accusations about tipping, and then the ol’ angry 86. Demerit badge achieved!

Getting booted from a dive like Hank’s feels like a particularly ignoble honor, kinda like the brokester analog to being given VIP entrance into The Jane. So that’s my Brooklyn demerit badge, the iconic moment that made me question my life decisions. We’ve all got these, the just slightly cliche things you can check off your bizarro BK bucket list: common demerits include getting busted for drinking on the train or leaving your CSA at the bar or doing any kind of performance art.

So! Let’s all share ours and wallow in our collective poor decision making: the person with the best badge gets promoted to Brooklyn Eagle Scout. Team Brokelyn shares their badges below:

Demerit earned: Union Pool Hookups Badge

A guy bit my face at Union Pool. I went to work the next day with teeth marks on my cheekbone. Like, chomped. I must have gone with it, because we def kept making out. But there was a bite.
Rebecca Fishbein

Demerit earned: Almost Made it Home Badge

One night I drunkenly got out of the taxi right in front of my door, then face-planted into the pavement, busting my eye open at 4am. I had to show up to work on Monday with a black eye and tell people I hadn’t been fighting, I was drunk.

Then, by the time everything healed, that next friday, I came home super drunk again and got mugged. they hit me in the other eye and gave me a black eye. Bleeding at my front door at 4am again. Two straight weeks of alternating black eyes.
Eric Silver

Demerit earned: Being “That Guy” at the Mermaid Parade

I showed my dick to Coney Island once. At this year’s Mermaid Parade, I decided it would be a good idea to cool off by going swimming in my boxers. After I got out of the water, I thought I heard people laughing at me when I walked by them. But it was Coney Island the day of the Mermaid Parade, so it was loud and I figured I was hearing things. Until I passed a woman who looked at me, pointed at my crotch and shouted, “Yo, put that thing away.”
Dave Colon

Demerit earned: Faulty Recycling Badge

Once I went swimming in Coney Island and needed to brush my hair afterwards, so I used a fork. But it was a dirty plastic fork and I didn’t realize it so I got funnel cake in my hair.
Cat Agonis

Demerit earned: Dude Where’s My Car? Badge

Three weeks after I moved to Brooklyn I drove my car to get drinks with a friend and then the next day I couldn’t find it. After searching my neighborhood all day long, I reported it stolen and canceled my insurance. Then three months later, I was riding down Flatbush in an Arecibo car and I saw my Mazda. Turns out it had sat there for three months, in exactly the same spot I parked it across from the Prospect Park Zoo, gas light still on, no tickets on the dashboard even though it was in a street cleaning zone?

I couldn’t even drive it because my “break in insurance” precluded me from getting re-insured. So I got the fucker off the street, professionally towed to my grandma’s in South Toms River, New Jersey where it sat in her garage until I rode the bus down there two months later and sold it for $1500.
Kate Mooney

Demerit earned: The We’ve All Already Dated Each Other Badge

I’m unable to date people without it being a friend’s best friend. A guy I just recently went on dates with, I found out he knows my friend. Fine, but, then I found out that I met him three years ago and photographed him and had no idea and then found the photos on my hard drive. Whoops.

Another guy I dated was living in NJ so I thought I was safe. Then he was talking about his best friend loving the vegan menu at Paulie Gee’s and suddenly i asked if it was this dude who happened to be the last guy I dated.
-Anonymous female Team Brokelyn member

Demerit earned: Bedford Avenue All-Star Badge

In a series of unfortunate New Year’s Eve events, I made out with a French stranger, left an entire Fornino pizza atop a cab, barfed on Bedford Ave., where I was standing in a puddle of snow and slush and gross Bedford, with pizza atop cab. I don’t know if anyone stopped to help me, I don’t know if it was on me, I don’t know anything. Then I woke up to discover my hangover was actually pneumonia. Thanks, guy!
-Anonymous female Team Brokelyn member

Add yours in the comments!

Follow Tim for live demerit badge achievements: @timdonnelly.


  1. Colin Vallee

    Demerit Earned: Overnight Sleepover on the Train

    I was drunk and trying to hook up with a girl the night before I left NYC for New Zealand and hopped on the 3 train on the Upper West Side to get to Jay St/Metrotech at 3am. I Instead woke-up at about 5:30am soaked in drool, still drunk, and somewhere near New Lots Ave. I stumbled around Brooklyn eventually getting back to the UWS around 930am.

  2. Tim Donnelly

    Here’s another one from another anonymous Brokelyn contributor:

    Demerit earned: Non Motion Sickness Badge

    I puked in a cab the night before New Year’s Eve. It hadn’t even started moving yet.

    My afternoon of passive beer drinking caught up to me when I reached The Levee and its beer/shot/cheeseball special.

    After sitting out front for god knows how long, my friends hailed a cab. In one continuous motion, I slid across the backseat, stuck my head out the (thank god!) open window and puked all those cheeseballs up onto the street. When the cabbie told my friends to get me out of the cab I just remember repeating “It’s fine, it got outside. It’s fine.” The next morning, my friends informed me it was not so fine. Nor was my sick-and-sober New Year’s Eve that night.

  3. Kenji Magrann-Wells

    I’m going to say New Year’s Eve. Not that I remember any of it (thanks Dave!) but I woke up feeling plenty ashamed. Also, who’s down for drinks at Hanks later? I’ll bring the ice!

  4. Tim Donnelly

    Ok, I’ve got another one: Demerit earned: This Town is Too Damn Small Badge

    hit on a girl at a party, unsuccessfully, then saw her on OKCupid and tried to hit on her again, also unsuccessfully. Next time I saw her, she was on stage giving a TED talk at an event I was covering. doh!

  5. While biking, I accidentally left my keys on the sidewalk in SoHo, only to arrive home and discover that I had no way of removing the bike chain that was locked around my waist. I rode back to SoHo but the keys were gone. Back at home, I tried soap but the chain wouldn’t budge. I also didn’t know any petty criminals who might be able to help. So I had no choice but to call the fire department. I offered to walk over to the station, but no, they insisted on sending two trucks, sirens blaring, o my residence, thus ensuring that every single resident of Carroll Gardens was present to witness the firemen sawing me out of the bike lock on my stoop. But I was sober — does this qualify?

      • I am pretty sure that qualifies as a top 5 highlight of dave’s life thus far, in between that Nickelback concert and the day there was a naked waitress at Roberta’s.

        • David Colon

          I will not have my good name slandered with the assertion that I went to a Nickleback concert. I don’t care if people Google me and find out about the Coney Island thing, but let’s not tell lies.

  6. Anonymous Male Reader

    I once got ultra smashed and puked on a crowded C-train. I had been terrorizing the car by limply strap-hanging and appearing about to spew for several stops; every sway in one direction or another brought a new wave of horror among the random late-night subway riders.

    I do eventually vomit while curled up in a ball next to the doors. No one gets hit, thankfully, but I can tell some other gentlemen are making fun of me. My girlfriend thankfully pulls me off the train, figuring it is better to hoof it the rest of the way than to risk the shame of me vomiting all over some stranger’s dress. I immediately lay down on the platform – my face pressed against the yellow rumble strip. My girlfriend exhorted me to get up, noting how filthy and disgusting the ground is (I believe this to the Clinton-Washington stop).

    Her: Get up! The ground is disgusting!
    Me: I’m aware of that.

  7. Eric Silver

    I got the Overnight Sleepover badge at my high school reunion. I was last seen running for the D at 2am. At 7am I woke up at 205th St. I said, “Where in Brooklyn is this?” The guy next to me said, “Not Brooklyn, the Bronx.” Then I rubbed my eye and my contact fell out. I spotted it, on the subway platform, and decided to leave it be. Jumped back on the train and promptly passed out again. Until I hit Ft. Hamilton, 3 stops too far. At 9am. Decided I would catch a taxi home instead, but it turns out 9am on a Sunday out in that neighborhood is not exactly prime hours for a cab, so I walked home about 50 blocks.

    From the blackout period, I’m pretty sure I rode the D to both termini once, maybe twice.

  8. Amanda Kenneybrook

    Demerit earned: Being the Terrible Friend Who Won’t Give You Directions

    I was staying with a friend in the UWS when I was between apartments, and met up with a few out of town friends for drinks. We went to this BBQ place that has huge margaritas and got completely plastered.
    When we decided to call it a night I decided to walk back to my friends apartment to not risk puking in a cab.
    However, one of my friends had no idea how to get to Penn Station to get back to Jersey. He tried calling me, but I was busy puking in every garbage can between Midtown and the UWS. Finally I picked up the phone between pukes, told him he had a damn smartphone and to figure it out.
    He was far too drunk to figure it out, and eventually just took a $50 cab ride back to New Jersey. Needless to say we didn’t meet for drinks again.

    In case you were wondering, I sobered up by the time I got to the UWS but I’m pretty sure whoever went trash can diving the next day cursed my name.

  9. Eric Silver

    Demerit Earned: Pulled over by the police. On my bike

    They had been watching me blow through red lights for 3 blocks. Note: it was early in the morning, no one was crossing and no cars had been coming at all.

  10. Tim Donnelly

    totally forgot about this major one: Demerit earned: Anti-Public Safety Badge
    While trying to install my A/C by myself a few years ago, I dropped it out a five-story window. Phew.

  11. Alison Pels

    but i’d also like to recommend the one and only matt nelson who was arrested for WALKING ACROSS THE NOSE OF A SUBWAY TRAIN WHILE HOLDING AN OPEN DRINK

  12. I “kaw-kawed” at a bartender at the Lever and got violently thrown out!

    I’m waiting to order a drink while 3 Levee bartenders talk amongst themselves, backs turned to the patrons.

    I was at one end of the bar and made a bird noise, “ka-kaaawww”. One of the male bartenders walked over. He was pissed. I immediately tried to calm the situation after he asked, “did you just fucking ka-kaw at me?”

    “Yes, I’m sorry man. I was just trying to get your attention”

    Time out! You must know that I’m a very careful, socially conscious person (too much so most of the time) and upon realizing I had pissed someone off on accident I became GENUINELY apologetic. I can’t do conflict.

    So I do my best to fix my faux papa. I really do. People around me are laughing and the next thing I know the bartender lunges over the bar and pushes me off my stool. I’m still trying to figure out WHAT THE HECK-FUCK I did wrong on the floor as the bouncer violently forces me out of the bar.

    Here’s another detail: I had only ordered ONE DRINK!! I’m not leaving anything out of this story.

    So I’ve told this story to countless people and basically everyone either has the same reaction I still do or they assume I’m leaving out some part where I tell the bartender to fuck himself (never happened).

    I’m still confused to this day but I DID hear from ONE person out of the countless I’ve told, “well fuck ya you got thrown out! You fucking ka-kawed at a bartender.


  13. Definitely not someone who also earned a kicked out of Hank's demerit

    I think OKCupid related demerits have there own separate subcategory, where I have earned badges such as:
    -Unwittingly messaging a friend from college
    -Running into that dude you messaged the night before at the library, seeing him recognize you, watching him pull up your profile on his laptop, then never writing you back.
    -Taking home a probable serial killer

    Further, I own up to earning Peeing in Between Two Parked Cars on Bond St. While Sober. Because sometimes a lady has to do what a lady has to do.

  14. justindavidmora

    Demerit Earned: Getting beat up at Union Pool by a random person.
    One night at Union Pool, I was getting drunk, what else is there to do there? I was talking to this one girl from Africa the entire night. 4 AM quickly approaches and I decided to tell my friend, ‘Hey, you know what? Go ahead and go home if you need to. I’m going to close out my tab.” I close out my tab, and once I step foot outside of Union Pool, I get punched in the nose. Then black out and know I got punched a few times, but don’t really have a grasp on what happened that night. I know I was only punched in the face because I had two black eyes, one broken nose, a scar inside of my mouth, and a huge bruise on the side of my head. I had a $400 camera in my bag and my wallet which were left entirely alone. I later asked my friend what happened, and he told me that I was speaking with one girl the entire night. So what happened? Well, it was either an exboyfriend, a current boyfriend, or some dude she had recently dismissed and had been watching the entire time or the entire event was just a random beating, which is what I hope to believe. I of course was drunk but finally came to walking around Kellog’s Diner on the corner of Metropolitan and Union as I was waiting for the ambulance that the aforementioned African girl had called for me. I then spent two nights in Woodhull Hospital where I was questioned by the social services part of the hospital. I had told them that things that happened outside of Union Pool and the hospital worker then told me that many things like that had happened at Union Pool. Apparently, their security cameras are inoperable because they turned them off and only have them up there for display. The reason for that is because a few months prior a bouncer at Union Pool had been caught beating the shit out of and nearly to death of some kid that attended the place. So because of that, they no longer have security cameras that work, they are just hanging up there to make it seem like you have a sense of security.

    2 weeks later I returned to make a statement and ended up making out with a 49 year old woman.

  15. Er, does everyone else know what ka-kaw means? Here’s the urban dictionary definition, which doesn’t seem exactly a propos here: “When on is on a double date and during this date they have to take a shit. He uses this saying to inform the other person that he does indeed have to shit. Expecially when one is all dressed up.”

  16. Laura

    Demerit Earned: MTA All-star Badge

    A couple of weeks ago after a night of drinking in the city I woke up at home to a text message that read, “Hey Laura u met me on F train around 12:30 AM. U were very heavily drunk and didn’t know where were u going. But u were able to recall urs address and cell #. U wanted to go Brooklyn but ended up last stop of F train in queens. Anyways I was happy u got home safe. Yours friend, Rana.”

    PS: I live off the Morgan L stop.

  17. Eric Silver

    Demerit Earned: My Bike Was Stolen. No It Wasn’t.

    This actually happened this week. I’ve been out of town, and my roommate texted me that he didn’t see my bike in the hallway, so he thought I was back in town. I instantly start texting the other people in my building to see if anyone had seen it, and they all tell me they thought it had been in the shop or something. So I’m thinking either someone stole my shitty bike, or someone hanging out with someone else in the building borrowed it, maybe. Then I think back to the last time I saw it, before I left town for the weekend. I had been running errands on my bike, and I stopped for a bagel. I was pretty sure I had gotten on my bike after, but I wasn’t positive, because my mind was on packing to leave town. My roommate walked in that direction, and yup, bike has been locked up on the street for days. I wish this were even a little bit related to alcohol.

  18. Kala Jerzy

    Demerit earned: 4th of July badge

    My 4th of July celebrations began on July 3rd, which is when my buddies and I began day-drinking. Some of us got engaged. We danced. And ran. And did naughty things to each other because that night/day was full of bets and dares, once including daring my new best gay friend to show his dick at Roberta’s during the 4th of July brunch. He did. And we were kicked out, but that didn’t stop us. We did more naughty things to each and ended up at a bro-roof top party in Williamsburg. After the fireworks were seen, some of us collapsed. And some collapsed the day after. We are still friends. Kind of.

  19. Sam Corbin

    Demerit Earned: The Finders Keepers//Five Second Rule Badge

    After drinking my weight in failure one night at the bar where I was trying to hit on the bartender, I went to catch the F Train from 2nd Av. As we all know, hunger is infinite at times like this.
    I spied a wrapped Subway sandwich on the bench. Indulging the coincidence, I unwrapped it to check the status: uneaten, seemingly untouched.

    It was a 6″ turkey sub. I am a vegetarian. I ate some of it. I dropped the rest by accident. I kicked the remains onto the tracks in a fit of rage, unrequited lust, and vegetarianism.

  20. Rachel

    Demerit badge: Trying to hook up with an idiot

    It was at an official Brokelyn Party (woooo!). The summer camp one. I was chatting up this dude who was kind of a dum-dum, but I figured he was cute enough to bang. I slogged through his nonsensical stories and even watched his skateboarding video (I swear he was over 21). Just as we were about to leave for possible sex adventures, he says he needs to call his friend and tell him not to meet him that night. After he hangs up the phone he says, “sorry about that, my friend is being a total Jew.” I gave him the one possible out in this situation, which was to ask if he was Jewish. He was not. I did an about face, and instead split a cab with some friends home. I have a no racism hook-up policy. Also, I’m very clearly Jewish….what???

Leave a Reply