When Dan McCarthy, Urban Daddy’s Boston editor, woke up on Friday morning, he was hungover, on deadline and unable to leave a lady’s bed due to the lockdown of the city following the Boston bombing and the ensuing manhunt.
Mr. McCarthy, who had watched the marathon from a PR firm’s office overlooking the finish line and then gone to a nearby bar, wrote up the day’s events in his first piece for Esquire.com. On Friday morning, as it was dawning on him that there was no easy way to extricate himself from his one-night stand, he heard from his editor at Esquire, Joe Keohane.
Mr. McCarthy explained that he was trapped at the house of a longtime friend with whom he had just had spent an impulsive night. Mr. Keohane asked the writer how soon he could send over a piece about the incident.
“I almost fell on the floor laughing. It was so perfect,” Mr. Keohane told OTR. “This dark, anxious day at the end of a brutal week for Boston, and this knucklehead is trapped in a random hookup’s apartment as hour after hour crawl by.”
Mr. McCarthy borrowed his conquest’s computer and wrote about how the bombing had broken the unwritten rules of the one-night stand—“one of the great joys” of which, he writes, “is the ability to throw on whatever clothes of yours [are] found strewn across an alien bedroom, and saunter out the door on your own volition.
“Without it,” he continues, “you face the very real and comically awkward situation of hanging around, reeking of stout and sex, until the city resumes its regularly scheduled programming.”
“The Problem with One-night Stands in Locked-Down Boston,” which ends with the woman laughing approvingly over Mr. McCarthy’s shoulder, wound up going viral over the weekend.
An Esquire editor told Mr. McCarthy that by 3 in the morning on Saturday, the story had gotten more traffic than the rest of the site got as a whole. Comments and shares on the Esquire story kept piling up. Some commenters took the author to task for writing about a one-night stand during a tragedy. Others scolded Mr. McCarthy for smoking and having casual sex (Boston was, after all, founded by Puritans). But most thought there was some serious rom-com potential.
“Everybody and their mother was sending it and tweeting it,” Mr. McCarthy told OTR. Speaking of mothers, what did Mr. McCarthy’s think?
“She said she was torn between motherly pride and sheer horror at my lifestyle,” Mr. McCarthy said. But, as Mr. McCarthy pointed out, he is 36, and such things are allowed.
And this particular encounter has been a career boon.
“It cost me my dignity,” Mr. McCarthy said, “but the upside is more pieces for Esquire.”