This isn't a tale about how I got into Berghain; it's a story about how my mother got me into Berghain and I think it's absolutely hilarious.
For those of you who don't know, Berghain is generally considered the most exclusive club in Germany, sporting the best acts and strangest atmosphere. The line is a more notoriously permanent fixture to their door than it is to your local Shake Shack. Hell, the bouncer has articles written about who exactly who he lets in and is famous for his photography!
Anyway, as for my story, I'm visiting Berlin from Paris and my mother happens to be in the city herself with my stepfather. We all decide to buy a bottle of wine and wait in line for Berghain because my mother is as interested as I am. While we had already resigned ourselves to not getting in, we thought that the short journey through the line would be worth the story. My stepfather lights his usual cigar and we wait.
After what feels like forever, my mother and stepfather are absolutely fuming. They've lost all composure over having waited for so long and are visibly seething. I assure them there is less than a zero percent chance they'll get in if they complain to the bouncer about the wait. We get to the front of the line and, instead of yelling at the bouncer, my stepfather licks his palm, puts out the cigar in his hand, and stomps on the nub once it hits the ground, all without breaking eye contact with the bouncer. I'm sure that, not only are we not getting in, but my stepfather might get hit in the face.
The speed at which this bouncer's face goes from stern to amiable will always amaze me. Apparently, he had enjoyed the show and was more than willing to usher my mother and stepfather inside, along with their plus one, me. And thank God they did because I wouldn't have had the balls to do what they did, ever.
We spend just enough time inside to survey the entire interior but then bounce. Clubs aren't any of our scenes. We convene at a local wine bar to laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation we had just found ourselves in. The two fifty year olds smugly retelling the experience I'd been there to witness was worth every second.
When I asked my stepfather what had possessed him to do what he did, he explained to me the virtue in acting like you belong somewhere despite that obviously not being true. That, and he told me that my mother had instructed him on exactly what he should do. That's how my mother got me into Berghain.
I don't often go to clubs with my mum but, after that night, I've definitely gained a new appreciation for her ability to get in. The moral of this story is to always bring your mother in line for exclusive clubs; you might be surprised by the result.*
* = (Maybe don't do that)