RJ’s Bill Maher-scandal post got people talking about strippers and other exotic creatures.
I am not a fan of strip clubs: the whole artificial atmosphere of faux-sex and titlation is both tawdry and purposefully frustrating. In that environment women aren’t real, they are role-playing, and the role is to squeeze the maximum cash or credit out of the customers while giving the minimum in return – usually.
Although in my period of adjustment between wives I did date a “dancer” fairly seriously, I didn’t know she was a stripper when we met and I very purposely never watched her work. I just didn’t want to see her that way.
Unless I am forgetting something (which is certainly possible), I have only attended strip clubs in conjunction with friend’s bachelor parties, at most of which nothing out of the ordinary happened.
25 years ago, though, right after I graduated from college, a friend had his bachelor party, and we were, you know, really young and stupid, amped on testosterone and our own limitless futures.
My friend lived somewhere (can’t remember exactly) northwest of Cincinnati. Ohio didn’t (and doesn’t) allow nudity in clubs with alcohol, so everyone went across the border to Kentucky for the real action.
We all met at my friend’s place early in the evening, played foolish drinking games, listened to very loud music, yelled and laughed ourselves sick, got psyched for the journey SOUTH OF THE BORDER.
After the potent warm-up, I can barely remember the convertible drive down (other than getting bitch-slapped in the teeth by an unnaturally large and ill-tasting insect at 70 mph), nor much about the club crawl in Covington, Kentucky other than wondering why the strippers were so high up in the air at one club (it made me dizzy), being menaced by a mammoth, gnarly bouncer at another establishment (for being a obnoxious drunken idiot – what the hell did they expect?), and getting separated from my cronies.
The best I can figure out is they moved on to another club after warning me several times, which apparently I utterly ignored because I was chatting up some dancer who was working the floor after her stage routine and who was oddly returning the chatter.
Eventually, I stumbled outside, wandered around, couldn’t find a car or anyone from our party, and gradually realized through my chemical density that I was truly ON MY OWN when the final stragglers oozed out of the clubs at closing, followed shortly thereafter by the dancers.
Following some primal homing instinct, I stumbled around a parking lot and into the dancer with whom I had earlier traded sparkling repartee, and of whom I vaguely recollected something about living in Ohio – maybe.
I DO remember her smiling at me in the parking lot (though, sadly, I can’t picture the face around the smile), and sighing a breathilizer-busting sigh of relief, because when a dancer smiles at you broadly in the parking lot after closing time, man, that’s money in the bank – or a ride back to Ohio, as the case may be.
I also vaguely recall a pinkish, fuzzy dress, the fuzziness of which both compelled and alarmed me. You could get lost in that fuzzy pink dress.
With the boldness of the blasted and desperate, I somehow maneuvered her into a little roadtrip in her big old Cadillac boat, in the general direction I believed was the vicinity of my friend’s place, which I had visited for the first time several hours and many drinks earlier. Of course I didn’t tell the fuzzy pink maiden I had only the loosest notion of where we were going lest she be discouraged from transporting me, a virtual stranger, there in our mutually intoxicated state, at 4 or 5 in the morning.
After wandering this way and that, mostly, I think, in the general direction of my friend’s house, with stops along the way to regroup and refresh and who knows what, we somehow managed to find my friend’s place — as longed for as Mecca — by dawn.
I, by then a hair away from passing out, believe our parting was somewhat on the messy side: what was I going to do, ask her in amongst the bodies sprawled hither and yon on bed, couch and floor? Alas, sense and chivalry were not my companions that gray morn, and taking my leave, I slipped in the side door, thoughfully left unlocked pending my arrival.
I woke up midday — already a legend among my prurient-minded cohorts — reeking like a shipwrecked tuna boat (how could I have not noticed THAT the night before?), with the classic line from Zevon’s “Lawyers, Guns and Money” running through my head: “I went home with the waitress, the way I always do.”
“Always” in this case meaning once.
But I’ll never forget good old whats-her-name: stripper, fuzzy pink dress wearer, good samaritan, great sport, smelly girl. I should have asked her in.
I salute thee, pray you made it home okay, and hope the last 25 years have been kind.