I know a woman who stripped her way through college. Shes now a corporate headhunter, pulling down a six figure annual salary, shes married, and shes got a kid. Her story, as they say, ends happily ever after.
Sadly, she’s the only stripper I’ve ever “known” (and not in the Biblical sense, either). Sure, I’ve ENCOUNTERED many an exotic dancer back in the day, but I can’t say I’ve ever really known them any better than, say, the guy who delivers my pizza. And that’s not its because I believe I’m too good to get friendly with a stripper; quite the contrary. I’ve just always imagined there are lines an exotic dancer doesn’t want crossed; some fat dork from West Virginia asking “You wanna grab lunch some time?” might be just the sorta line-crossing I’d imagine they’re uncomfortable with.
However, I haven’t frequented a strip club since “Lady Luck” in White Sulphur Springs, circa ‘2000-2001, with Garrick. “Lady Luck” was a fully nude strip joint which meant that the dancers would get labia-dangling naked. What a wild, wonderful world it was to discover…
For about a month. Then, Garrick and I got tired of giving away hard-earned cash just to look at naked ladies. Mind you, these were the days before we had high speed internet available (when the options one had to look at nude women you weren’t involved with were limited) and long before I’d ever marry (at which point, I got to see a naked lady for free regularly AND do stuff with her), but that first glimpse at a Live Nude Girl clutching a brass pole with her thighs to the beat of “You Shook Me All Night Long” still lingers in my head. Oddly enough, it’s not the ladies who made it all so memorable, but rather the dudes jockeying for position around the stage.
We were happy to hand the dancers our tips, rather than make the bill exchange from lips to cleavage, or worse, from fingers to vag/ass. There was no seduction necessary, because we didn’t buy into the fantasy – which is probably why we never became regulars. Both of us knew that, in the real world, none of these fine ladies would take a leak on us if we were on fire at their feet in a public toilet after their water pill just kicked in, so we couldn’t pretend that the furtive glances and come-hither eye contact was anything more than role-playing. And if I want to enter a magical world of make-believe, I’ll watch old “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” episodes.
While in Lady Luck, Garrick and I spent as much time looking at our fellow patrons as we did looking at pussy. There were the OPEC Guidos – the Italian dudes whose hair was slicked back with so much oil that, fuck Iraq – Bush should’ve went to war on these dudes’ heads. There were the OP’s – the guys who came solo, who I always imagined stepping up to the ticket counter at a movie theater and sighing “One, Please.” There were the Thread-Bares – the fellas who accepted so many lap-dances that their pants looked like they belonged to the Michael Palin’s prisoner character in the opening credits of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”, as he hangs from chains on a dungeon wall.
But the most fascinating category of strip-clubbers we used to obsess over were the True Believers – the guys who bought into the myth, and seemed to seriously believe they had a shot with these women once “Girls, Girls, Girls” ended.
I’m sure that, if they ever noticed me gawking at them, the True Believers would’ve assumed I was into cock – so intense was my fascinated gaze. But I never had to worry about being caught studying them, as they never… NEVER took their eyes off the prize, man. These dudes were locked onto their targets – whichever girl was on the catwalk at the moment – like a NORAD-programmed ICB. This would reach a height of utter disturbance when the ladies finally worked their way over to the fellas in question. The fucking eye contact was so intense, you’d almost buy that there was a Chuck-Woolery-level love connection in their future. But then you’d look at the parties involved – a tanning-bed frequenting, twenty-something gorgeous Goddess, decked out in fuck-me pumps and clothes that’d do the Emperor proud, and a forty year old Indian-American in thick specs, thinning, black-matted hair matching that of his Father, who, incidentally, was seated beside him.
On the night of our second-to-last visit to Lady Luck, Garrick and I took the opportunity to talk to one of the dancers about their Oscar-worthy performances with some of the least desirable-looking men in Greenbrier County. The woman in question sauntered over to us, wearing an addled expression, asking if either of us were interested in a lap dance.
“You seem upset?” I observed.
“That prick over there just stuck his finger in my asshole,” she replied.
“Like right IN it?” Garrick asked.
“Can you believe it? What an animal.”
Proving that chivalry wasn’t dead, Garrick immediately pushed twenty bucks into the woman’s hands, saying “Here – you deserve this.”
“Sit down,” she said, getting into lap-dancing position.
“No, that’s cool,” Garrick countered. “I’d rather just talk.”
Somewhat surprised, the girl sat beside us at the bar. We chatted for almost a half hour, inquiring about her life and what made he want to dance in the first place. Periodically, Garrick would hand our new friend another twenty bucks, guilt-ridden over the fact that one of our own gender would breach the girl’s exhaust, uninvited.
We learned so much about the dancer’s life in that half hour, but more than that, we learned that it was possible for the insanely beautiful to find a pair of trolls interesting. I mean, here was this heavenly creature, engaged in a conversation with us, getting to know us not for what we could give her, but because we showed her a little human compassion in her hour of need. We didn’t look at her like she was a pair of tits (even though she was completely naked), and she didn’t look at us like we were those Hindi True Believers down the bar – one of whom who’d been very forward with his pointer digit.
Rather than have her see us as the kind of guys who’d talk to her like human beings for half an hour only to ogle her while she worked the pole later on, Garrick and I excused ourselves from Lady Luck and headed home, all-the-while discussing our new found friend as well as the utter tragedy of the True Believers who thought for a minute that they were being treated with any degree of sincerity as they forked over their bills.
A week later, Garrick and I went back to Lady Luck. As we paid the cover charge, we saw our new friend onstage, pelvis-thrusting into some dope’s face. Rather than make her uncomfortable, we opted to hang out on a side couch ’til her set was over, refusing the legion of lap dances offered to us by the ladies waiting for their sets.
When the girl got off stage, she offered us this very concerned look as she approached us. We wondered if we’d done something wrong by coming back to the club during her act, now that we were all friends and whatnot. But as she joined us on the couch, she immediately dispelled that misconception in and oddly familiar way.
“What’s the matter?” Garrick asked.
“Some prick over there stuck his finger in my asshole,” she offered, shaking her head.
“What – again?” I inquired. “Is that like a frequent on-the-job hazard?”
“What?” she yelled over the blaring music.
“That Hindu guy did the same thing to you last week.”
The girl nodded at me, a bit perplexed, and then said “You guys want table dance?”
And then, it became clear that not only did the girl not remember us from the week before, but also that finger-in-the-asshole she’d complained about probably didn’t happen either. We’d been played; she’d marked us as the wannabe-sensitive types who thought too much of themselves to gawk at gash and mash our faces into boobs. We were too proud to behave like the standard clientele, and y’know what they say – “Pride goeth before the fall.” And as we not only fell but plummeted toward the realization that we’d been had, it dawned on me that somewhere in that bar, someone was looking at Garrick and I and labeling us as the kinda guys who actually believed they were better than everyone else in the club, because they were sensitive and viewed the women as more than just the business-types hell-bent for loot; they saw the working girls as people who, given the chance, would rather have a conversation with them than thrust their cooters within an inch of their mouth. And the standard label for guys like that?
Following that, we never went to Lady Luck again.
3 thoughts on “That Prick Over There Just Stuck His Finger In My…”
I have to say, for the sake of clarity, that I don’t remember the events quite the same way they have been presented here.
If I recall correctly, exaclty eight minutes after entering the establishment herein mentioned–the first and last one I have ever entered I might add–I had a life changing epiphany. For it was at this moment that I realized that I wasn’t the sorriest son-of-a-bitch in the world. In fact, as things go, my life was pretty fucking amazing. What was this epiphany? You might ask? Well my dear friends, it was the realization that myself and the Buckster were the only two bastards in the room that had ever been laid. It is utterly impossible to quantify what such a realization does for one’s confidence.
I would also like to question the validity of the claim that “WE” visited this “fine” establishment on “multiple occassions.” You see folks, I am a drinker, and no, we are not talking about your general run of the mill social imbiber. My ability to tip the old cup is legendary. Although, I must admit that the ever present bastard who goes by the name of time is catching up with me and rendering my feats ever less impressive. Having said that, I am also a rather particular, and for that matter, snobish drinker. I like what I like and that is that. The said establishment, on the other hand, seemed to cater to a less demanding clientelle. They had only a limited selection of spirits, from which, I am sorry to report, my ever present companion Johnny Walker Black Label had been excluded. The beer selection was also less than impressive. Ultimiately, if I recall correctly, I did discover that Rolling Rock–my beer of last resort at that time–was available.
So, after coming to the terms with the fact that my ever present thirst was going to have to reconcile itself to the consumption of the pale ale with funny painted on labels, I garned the attention of the bar tender and verbalized my request. However, while waiting on my order, I witnessed a chain of events that dampened my thirst. First, the bartender was called over to the other side of the bar by one of the “performers.” The aforementioned performer then proceeded to hand the bar tender a rather large and untidy wad of bills, which the bartender then placed into some sort of lock box. What’s wrong with this you might ask? Well, in order to answer this question, it might help if you first take a moment to refelct on the amazing complexity of the human female’s anatomy and the number of orfices it has. It might also help, if you then consider that it is possible to roll a paper bill into a phallic shaped object. Still somewhat confused? Well, I suppose I should proceed with the narrative then. The bar tender, then, without washing her hands, proceeded to reach into the beer cooler and grasp a frosty bottle of Rolling Rock by the neck. She then proceded to try to twist of the lid, because the bottle was slick, her attemtps were ultimately unsuccessful. Ultimately, she found a bottle opener and removed the cap before presenting me with my bottle of beer. A bottle which I was convinced was now home to an unfathomable array of micro organisms.
So, as you can see, my strip club experience was simultaneously uplifting and appalling. Or as Dickens so famously said, “it was the best of times; and the worst of times.”
You know, my old friend, this could very well be one of those topics that could do with some careful editing so to remove the names of innocent parties (i.e. me).
Oh, C’mon.. it’s all in good fun. 🙂
Hey, at least I didn’t use last names. There are probably a million others named Garrick around the world.
Actually, all you have to do is enter my first name and WV in Google and there it is.
Man it is amazing, a person can’t away with anything now days.