Why I Hate Madhatter

Here's a chronological recap of my blogging life:

1999 (my junior year in high school): I become the last person at my school to get the Internet. I was totally rocking the 14.4 modem. I quickly realize that the Internet makes it very easy for me to research debate topics and download pornography. (Downloading porn at 14.4 is just excruciating by the way.) At this point, I have no interest in blogging.

September 2001: I arrive at American University. My 14.4 is instantly upgraded to DSL. Life is good.

November 2001: I move to the honors floor. Not because of my intellect, but because an honors kid tried to kill himself. That left an opening for me. Profiting off of attempted suicide is always trendy, kids. Anyways, I move next door to noted DC blogger Toby. The fact that I didn't wear shower shoes upsets Toby, so he refuses to talk to me for an entire semester. I remain totally unaware of what a blog is.

June 2002: I become acutely aware of what blogging is when I realize an ex-girlfriend has a Livejournal with some angry passages directed towards me. I immediately hate blogs (or, as I called them then, "Internet Diaries").

September 2002: Toby and his dearest friend Agatha finally get off of their high horses and clue me into their blogging underworld. I enjoy both of their websites. For the first time, I think Internet Diaries are neat.

Sometime in early-2005: I discover Gawker Media. From there, I discover Wonkette. From there, I discover Why I Hate DC.

July 2005: I visit a friend in New York City. We start drinking whiskey at 11am. My friend's roommate marvels at this dedication to the alcoholic arts and starts a blog to make fun of us. I ask her if she knows HTML. She doesn't. "So, you can just sign up for a blog and you can start writing immediately?"

It's amazing how out of the loop I was in regards to blogging. I didn't even know that Blogspot was free until 9 months ago.

Late July 2005: After a series of disastrous nights, I start a blog dedicated to how shitty DC bars are. The first bar that I single out for punishment is Madhatter. (In case you're not in the know, Madhatter is a dive bar on 19th and M.)

From there, I blogged my way to about 50 hits a day. In January I won an essay contest and here I am. Wheeeee.

Why should you care? Well, you shouldn't. The whole point of me recapping my entire Internet life is to illustrate that I FUCKING HATE THE MADHATTER. If the Madhatter didn't exist, I would not have this blog. My hatred towards their management and service and their customers is totally overwhelming. And I feel the need to remind people from time to time that if they go to this bar then they are fucking idiots.

The Madhatter is the only bar where I've had my ID rejected. This is tremendously obnoxious when you're 22. And you show two forms of backup ID. And the bouncer refuses to check the ID book to see that my Massachusetts license is real. And the owner refuses to apologize the next day. His reasoning was that they keep getting busted for underage drinking. I fail to see how their incompetence is my problem. Hilariously, the group I was with featured a 20-year-old who had no problem getting into the bar. Me, on the other hand, with my license that doesn't expire until 2009...I was clearly trouble.

I told the owner that I would never buy a drink from his bar and I would do my best to make sure others did the same. I was relatively successful. I went nine months before going back. Whenever my friends wanted to go, I would make a fuss and make everyone miserable until I got my way. Incidentally, I am not a good friend.

Well, last Saturday, after Toby's delightful and totally successful surprise birthday party, I got outnumbered. I was a bit tipsy and agreed to give the place a second chance. I really tried to be diplomatic. I swear I kept an open mind.

I lasted 15 minutes.

I will never understand why people go to these bars. First, the music. Who the Hell plays Eminem and ABBA back-to-back? Is Eminem even popular anymore? Didn't we all get over him three years ago? A friend said the music wasn't that bad. They even played "Livin' on a Prayer"! Shocking. A DC bar filled with drunk 20-year-old sorority sisters played "Livin' on a Prayer"? Totally shocking. Wish I could have been there for that.

Well, you don't go to bars to listen to music. You go to drink. How was the beer? Well, the place was so packed that I couldn't get close enough to the bar to check out what they had on draft. Agatha was helpful enough to pick up 4 Miller Lites. Not my favorite, but, whatever. Beer is beer. "Hey, Agatha, how much do I owe?"

"It was $20 for all of them, could you pick up the next round?"

Listen, I love capitalism. I really do. I understand how supply and demand works. But you have to aggressively hate your customer to charge $4.50, before tip, for a 12oz bottle of Miller Lite. The profit margins there are just staggering. So, no I will not be getting the next round.

Now, I could be wrong. I could just be dealing with a big tipper. But if you're charging over $4 for a Miller Lite, you have gone too far. That's my limit right there.

And to make it totally unbearable, the place is absolutely packed. There is just nowhere to hide. And if you find a spot, you're going to have to deal with getting shoved by drunk people trying to walk by the entire night. I have never given so many dirty looks in an establishment that is supposed to be fun. How can people enjoy themselves when they're packed in like sardines. I just don't get it.

So, after 15 minutes of this Hell, I throw all of my cash (four one dollar bills) at Agatha to pay for the Miller Lite and storm out of there. My temper is short enough and places like that just drive me nuts. I couldn't get out fast enough.

The next day, Madhatter is defended as a good place to flirt. I'm sorry, but if you have above average tits and/or a face that doesn't look like it's been rolled over by a steamroller, every single bar in the entire universe is a good place to flirt. It's not like guys at bars are particularly choosy. And remember ladies, every beer they're buying at Madhatter just means that they're losing extra money that could be used to buy you flowers.

Frankly, Madhatter is for stupid people. You're not necessarily stupid if you like listening to loud and crappy music at a bar. You're not necessarily stupid if you like being packed in with a bunch of people who smell like a combination of Drakkar Noir and aggression. You're not necessarily stupid if you flirt with these people. You're not even necessarily stupid if you're willing to pay over $4 for a crappy watered down beer. But all of those things? At the same time? Then, yeah, you're an idiot.

I made it nine months after my initial boycott of Madhatter. Hopefully, the next nine months of non-Madhattery will be just as sweet. If that bar burns down I will dance around the ashes.

UPDATE: The Madhatter website claims that bottles of Miller Lite are $3.70. That is a fucking lie.


  1. Oh man, I really hate madhatter. I could never be as articulate as you on the topic but I hate it there.

    As a side note, what do you think of the construction to remove the rotary before the Sagamore Bridge. I was in Hyannis over the weekend and I am not happy about it at all.

  2. Miller Lite equals shit.

  3. they serve a pretty good lunch at the madhatter.

    good quality hate though, well played, as it were..

    ps why do you have a friend that said "yeah dude they played livin on a prayer", i hurt my hand punching my computer when i read that...

  4. Bdawg, I am against the Sagamore flyover, but only because I will miss tourists complaining about the rotaries.

    Anonymous, my friends and I privately enjoy bad music. Personally, I prefer "You Give Love a Bad Name," but, it's really all the same.

  5. For $4.50 a beer, there damn better be a pole with a naked slut wrapped around it.

  6. btw one of the very first blogs i wrote was about how i think im too cool for dc bars. this was written after a night at the madhatter.
    i thought madhatter sucked so bad that i went to rumors.
    sad but true

  7. "i thought madhatter sucked so bad that i went to rumors"

    That is a damning sentence that I wish I had thought of.

  8. At least it's not a bar in Bethesda? That's where ugly old people go to drink. I've never been to the Madhatter but I've never heard a good thing about it, excepting of course the tip that it's easy to get in if you aren't 21.

  9. I always felt deep down that I hated the madhatter, but I now I know why. Thanks, Rusty.

    By the way, $3.70 plus the 10% tax plus the standard $1 tip per drink would come out to (rounding down) $20. But that doesn't make it any better, does it?

  10. Usually bars include tax in the price of beer. But that's a good point. Those tricky devils.

  11. I was starting to think this blog was called "Why I Hate People Who Can't Stay On-Topic in the Comments Section."

    More posts like this, please, Rusty.

  12. A+++++++ post, Rusty.

  13. "At least it's not a bar in Bethesda? That's where ugly old people go to drink"

    What are you talking about? Bethesda isn't full of old, ugly people. I would say rather a bunch of metrosexual snobs in their mid to late twenties.

  14. what about the "clean" bathroom and the hispanic chick with the humpy dumpy back and little tshirt who cooks in the kitchen LOL

  15. madhatters sucks, but instead of complaining you could try other bars maybe? not all dc bars are loud and packed like sardines...there's a new places called the science club near singapore bistro (19th and between L and M)...

  16. Randomly commenting again:

    In my former life as a classic rock DJ, I broke up a block of AC/DC and Stevie Vai with... Air Supply. Needless to say, I got nasty calls. Hey, I was just happy people were listening!

    Eminem and ABBA, however? That's preposterous.

    Oh and by the way, I get carded more now at 33 (er, 34) than I ever did at 21.

  17. Maybe they aren't old per se in Bethesda, but I stand by the ugly comment. They can be snobby, metrosexual and ugly all at the same time.

  18. I'm going to take your post and substitute JRs for Madhatter next time my friends want me to go with them there. You captured the hate perfectly.

  19. Since the topic is a shitty DC bar, can we talk about how awful tom toms is?

  20. I've never been to JRs or Tom Toms, so knock yourselves out.

  21. What about the Black Cat? The bartenders ask you for bigger tips there.

  22. The Black Cat is reasonably priced, especially for a place that books bands. I have no problem with tipping them well.

  23. I went to Tom Toms once, and it caused a flashback to parties at off-campus frat houses.

  24. And that's why people go to Tom Tom. Because they can't let it go and deal with the fact that they aren't in college anymore.

    "But college was so awesome, brah!"

    Let it go mooks. Let it go.

  25. Rusty, One of my frieds met his wife at Mad Hatter. No shit. I consider that to be such a shameful blemish on their otherwise wonderful romance. Honestly, I think I'd managed to block that awful fact from my mind until I read your post. Damn you.

    Also, outside of Mad Hatter is the ONLY place I've EVER gotten into a fist fight as an adult.

    And the fact that I used the phrase "as an adult" and "Mad Hatter" in the same sentence leaves me feeling terribly insecure and awful about myself, even if it was five years ago or more.


  26. Your anger makes me happy. Like the dude said, A++

  27. AnonymousMay 03, 2006

    Funny, I moved to DC about a year ago from CA, and one of my friends who had lived in DC for a few months before told me to go to Madhatter, Rumors, and Sign of the Whale to pick up on people...shows how much he knows...

  28. AnonymousMay 08, 2006

    Hey, just because you guys can't get laid there doesn't make the Madahtter a shitty bar. I've got news for you want-to-be tough guys... I'm the one who checks your I.D. at the door. I'm also the one who drags your drunk asses out of there at the end of the night. Sorry guys, but despite your best efforts we still fill the place up every weekend. Have fun jacking off when your at home alone on a saturday night.

  29. AnonymousMay 08, 2006

    "Have fun jacking off when your at home alone on a saturday night."

    i'm surprised this guy knows how to use a computer.