Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Quickie Congratulations

I don't have a lot of time right now to post much, this semester is going to kill me.

I don't know why I insist on putting myself through this, but another eighteen hours is on the horizon, and I'm trying to get a head start.

Really quickly, though, I wanted to fill everyone in on what's been going on at work.

Those of you who don't know, Pierce proposed to Ellen in December. They're working on buying a house before they get married.

Champ proposed to Queenie at midnight in New York, right as the ball dropped. (Awww.)

Elvis also proposed to his girlfriend, Alliah; although technically she proposed first a few months ago. In the DJ booth. It was very cute.

And I have an update on Esmerelda. She was going to come back to work, but turns out she's pregnant! She and Duke are having a baby, she's about three months along right now, so a very big congratulations to them.

So, I hope all of you are doing well, I'm going to get back to outlining cases for my civil liberties class!


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Grandma Got Run Over By An Eighteen Wheeler

My bar is a home away from home for a lot of truckers. I can understand why, after being on the road five days a week I can sympathize with the need for companionship. Truckers are usually some of the most well behaved guys we have in the bar; however, it always makes me a little uneasy to see the eighteen-wheelers in the parking lot. I just hope that most of them don't get trashed in our bar and then head out on the road.

All of our bar staff appeal to a different crowd of customers. The frat boys tend to like Ellen, both Queenie and I have our share of regulars, but Savannah has the market cornered on truckers. They love her. At some point during the night, her side of the bar tends to resemble a truck-stop diner, with six or seven truckers sitting in a row, drinking, hanging out, and talking amongst themselves about life on the road.

Carl was no exception. His M.O. usually went something like this: he would park his rig, come inside and drink for a while, then go sleep in his rig for a few hours, then come back inside and drink some more until we closed, then sleep it off in his rig before hitting the road again. This usually happens three or four times a week. Sometimes he would show up at the local pancake house for breakfast after we closed.

Carl is quite the character. He always has some story about a truck-stop hooker that tried to take him for a whirl, he's always willing to have a shot with anyone, and is usually (as long as he's not drinking tequila) easy enough to get along with. Unfortunately for Savannah, he's just the slightest bit obsessed with her, which she usually just takes in stride.

"Savannah," he will usually grumble, years of smoking and hard living taking a toll on his vocal chords, "when you gonna run away with me?"

Savannah, true to form, will just laugh it off and continue on with her job, slinging drinks and trying to keep up pace with the madness.

A few months ago, Savannah brought her Dad into the club for his birthday. Carl just happened to be visiting as well, and from what she told me (I wasn't there) Carl kept her Dad cornered most of the night, recounting his wish to drive off into the sunset with his daughter. Savannah later told me although she was mortified, her Dad did his best to just laugh it off.

Things started getting a little strange when Carl began referring to Savannah as "Grandma" (no I'm not joking, either). Apparently, his kids had started to question where he spent all his time, and Carl would respond "I'm going to visit your grandma."

The lyrics to Steven Lynch's song "Lullaby" are flashing through my head right now:
Right after Daddy gets home from the bar
Visits his bookie, and steals a new car,
He'll drive to the street light and if Daddy plays his cards right
He'll bring home your new mommy tonight.

See what I mean?

Anyway, one night, about two weeks ago, Carl was visiting the club before he had to leave on another job. As usual, he came in shortly after we opened, drank for a while, then headed out to his rig to sleep it off before coming back inside. While he was out taking a nap, the phone rang at the front door.

"Hey, Savannah," Champ said, standing at the bar, "you have a phone call."

Savannah's head jerked up from fixing a drink. When you have a husband and two small children, phone calls at work usually aren't a good thing.

"Who is it?" She asked, face creased with worry.

"It's Carl's daughter," Champ responding, doing his best not to laugh.

"Oh you're fucking kidding me!" The mixture of emotions on Savannah's face was priceless, part irritation, part anxiety, mostly just irritation, though.

"Go answer the phone, Savannah," I said, always in the mood to observe some drama.

"Hell no," she responded, shaking her head. "I don't know what she wants, but I'm not going to deal with it right now. You know his kids refer to me as Grandma?"

"Yeah," I said, "you've told me that before. Just answer the phone!"

Savannah shook her head, defiantly.

"Well," I offered, "do you want someone to answer it, pretending to be you? That way at least you'll know what she wants?"

Savannah's face lit up. "Yeah," she said, almost instantly, "that would work."

I pulled Ellen away from the bar and we headed to the front door to practice our acting skills. Unfortunate, by the time we got there, Carl's daughter had already hung up the phone.

"Hey," Savannah said when I got back into the bar, "do me a favor and go outside and wake Carl up," she requested. "I want to know what's going on."

I walked out to the front and headed to the rig parked around the side of our building.

"Don't go over there," a voice said, seemingly out of nowhere.

"Jesus Duke, you scared the hell out of me." I had forgotten that Duke was working the parking lot that night, and was sitting in his truck parked in front of the entrance. I headed up to his driver's side window.

"Savannah wanted me to come get Carl for her," I explained.

"Well," Duke responded, "he said not to be bothered until after one. Besides, his daughter is in the cab with him."

"Oh, this is priceless," I thought to myself, heading back into the bar. I went back inside and filled Savannah in.

"She's outside," Savannah exclaimed, her voice rising enough octaves to shatter glass. "What the hell is she doing here?"

"I don't really know, but Duke won't let me wake him up yet."

Carl came back inside a short time later, sans daughter, but I was so busy by that point that I never found out why she was up there in the first place.

The next weekend, after the Christmas holiday, as I was sitting at the bar, enjoying a pre-shift Red Bull, Savannah came over to where I was sitting.

"Oh my God, Waitress," she started, "did I tell you what happened last weekend?"

"No, I responded, taking a drag of my cigarette and flicking it into the ashtray.

"Well," Savannah began, recounting her evening, "Carl came back inside and wanted me to go get a cup of coffee with him after work..."

Apparently, when Savannah told him she couldn't go (she had to leave for Texas in the morning to visit family) he became quite upset, and started throwing the fact that he tips her well in her face. Savannah finally agreed to have breakfast with him, never actually intending to, mind you, but she figured by the time she got done with cleaning the bar and counting her tips he would be long gone.

She was wrong.

When she left the bar that night, she informed me, Carl was waiting for her in his rig. She said that when she told him she had to go home, he became even more upset, and decided to follow her. She told me that she had to floor it on the interstate, taking an exit that didn't lead her home and backtracking just to lose him.

"Holy crap, Savannah," I exclaimed, "what are you going to do the next time you see him?"

"I don't know," she responded. "Maybe he'll calm down a bit after he gets back from this run."

"Either that," I said, "or he'll find another Grandma for his kids."

"Don't I wish," Savannah said, laughing.

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Customer Is Always Right?

Dear Readers,

Today is a special day here at Naked Women and Beer. Apparently, today is "open the floor to extreme interpretations of events as told by the customers who were there, quite drunk, and apparently offended."

Maybe you all remember my "Missed It By One Day" foursome of a post? If you don't, you can find it here. That link takes you to part one, and from there you can continue on to the rest.

Now, some of you may recall that my co-workers are aware of my blog. Some read it, some don't, but all are aware. Apparently, it was leaked to a customer somehow (although, when you spend almost every night of the week in a strip club, you're bound to become privy to some information. I guess it's one of the perks of having a hollow shell of an existence.)

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a very special treat today. Naked Women and Beer's own "Chad" has stopped by and left quite the rambling comment about his views on the events that transpired those few short months ago. Let's see what he has to say, shall we?

I am indeed "Chad", so flatteringly referred to as "robust". In truth it would be more accurately described as "fat", but I appreciate our Goddess's kindness. Still, kindness doesn't excuse inaccuracy or mean-spiritedness.

As to the first incident, I had no idea that alerting the staff was an inappropriate way to handle somebody getting ripped off in the lap dancearea.Kismet told me that she was new at this game, and I could tell she didn't wantto make waves. Still, it seemed only decent to press the issue lest this guy get away with stealing more money. I am guilty of saying I was going to kick the guy's ass if he didn't pay up or quit stealing ollars off the stage.
Michelob--what can I say?

I find it strange, though, to be described as stalkeresque, since Kismet is now my closest friend on earth. As well, nobody seems to have a problem with me besides the Goddess herself. I suppose they're secretly despising me as they're offering to lend me DVDs and hanging out with me outside the club?

And the "look darlin'" speech? I will allow a little dramatic license and let that slide, along with the copious occurances of the phrase "fuck you". But that isn't the way I remember it.

In truth I am perhaps the least of the "rule breakers", never having hauled my junk out in the lap dance area, and seldom if ever allowing my hands to wander. I can get five dancers to back me up for every one that would even hint at such a thing. I think five is probably a conservative estimate.

The "sitting at the bar"incident is also a little mangled. The reason for my annoyance was that I wasbeing asked to move, but others were clearly not subject to the same restriction. In fact, there's someone sitting there nearly every time I go in.

As well, "babysitting" is a fairly commonly used joking phrase that refers to the situation when one of your "real life" friends calls you in to keep her company. I can't afford to throw hundreds of dollars every night,because I'm not Bill Gates. So sometimes I like to hang out at the bar and stay out of the way. My friend was asking me to come in for three nights a week, and maybe more, during that time. So it's not so sinister a thing as it was made out to be.

As well, when she said "Chad, sit down!" I was not actually trying to follow Antonia. As she stood there with her hand on my chest as if to restrain me, I was holding a fist full of dollar bills that I was trying to use to tip someone. If somebody was hyperventilating, I failed to notice it. I told her to take her hands off me, because it's pretty irritating to be restrained.
That goes double when you don't understand why.

As well, the part of the Eve story that you have not been told is that she has alsobeen a friend of mine _outside_ the club. If I were going to "molest her", as theGoddess accused me of to another dancer, there have been times in which thatwould have been both easier and more tempting than sitting in a bar full ofpeople. Yes, I was inappropriate because in my tipsiness I kissed her. But there
was no grasping of her head. It was not violent, just inappropriate. Most of herirritation was that I had done it in front of her customer, because if some guys getthe ideathat a girl is involved with somebody, they stop tipping her. Odd, but true. Letme be clear, though. I am not saying I am or ever have been romantically involved with Eve. I most certainly have not.

There was no "go the fuck away", either. In actuality, she was trying to tell me she could get fired for doing that. I was embarrassed that it had been taken so seriously, and fairlyashamed, and I couldn't really stand to talk about it right then, so I held up a hand and didn't listen. Later, though, I apologized profusely, and it was good enough for everybody but the Goddess. Eve and I are still friendly today. In repentance, I even told the manager what I had done. I accept responsibility for my screwups.

Now I'm on the "shit list", despite being nice to theGoddess at every turn. Dutifully forking over dollar after dollar every time she wiggled her ass at me, taking interest in her well-being, and trying to be as friendly and supportive as I could. Despite being pegged so early on as a piece of crap, she feigned an awful lot of interest in my own well-being. I salute her acting skills, but for my part, I was sincere.

Beyond that, occasionally I still make an attempt to be friendly to her, but she'll have none of it. If hating me makes her happy, then I suppose it's no skin off my back. But I do think it's kind of sad that anyone would want to reduce a fairly decent human being to an exaggerated cartoon character for someone's amusement.

Ishall be interested to see if the Goddess has a sense of honor and fair play to match her zest for exaggeration, and allows this comment to be posted.

Whoops. Sorry. I thought the Goddess was the mistress of the blog.That's who I was referring to, lest there be any confusion.

It's not a bad nickname, now that I think of it. It seems somehow appropriate. Certainlymore so than "I'll Never Tell". There's a lot of "telling" going on around here to be sure.

Well now, that was quite a mouthful, wasn't it?

Ok, here we go.

Dear "Chad",

As per to your issue with me calling you "robust," what can I say, I was trying to be polite while still providing enough detail so that my faithful readers could have some mental picture of the story I was relaying to them. Secondly, as far as Kismet being your "closest friend," maybe you would remember the not too nice things you had to say about her later on in the evening. Oh wait, you were drunk that night.

Memories have a way of becoming distorted when consuming copious amounts of alcohol, no?

I'm glad that you feel so welcome at my club, as far as you referring to me being the only one with a problem. Titty bars are funny like that; as long as you're continuing to spend money people will usually put up with anyone. I have stated before that I'm getting burnt out, so I see no point in keeping up facades. It just annoys me.

Oh, and please allow me to provide you with a medal for never having exposed yourself in the lap dance room. That's quite an accomplishment, I am sure. I wonder how many other men can say that? And five dancers will be character witnesses on your behalf!?!? Wow, quite an accomplishment. Really.

As far as the kissing of Eve is concerned. Please don't insult my intelligence. As memory would have it, you were quite tanked on vanilla vodka before you entered my establishment, as you stated yourself. Also remember that I was standing right there and witnessed the entire thing. But, hey, believe what you want if it helps you sleep better at night. Personally, I sleep like a baby.

As per your jumping out of your seat to "tip" with a "fist full of dollars," please allow me to remind you that this incident occured late on a Sunday night, when there was only one dancer on stage. Since Antonia had run off the stage because she was feeling ill, just who exactly were you attempting to tip, dear Chad?

And I'm sure it must be quite intimidating to have a 120 lb female "restrain" you with one hand. I never realized quite how strong my arms must be, considering you are quite a large man. Maybe I missed my calling? Screw sociology, with the guns I'm packing in my upper body, I should go out for the WWE.

I could go on and on, poking holes in every one of your sentences, but I'd rather not bore my readers.

I'm glad that my opinion of you is "no skin off your back," Chad. I'm sure that anyone so unconcerned with my feelings as you would spend such time trying to convince the good people of cyber-land who have never met you, will never meet you, and don't really give a rats ass as to the true nature of your character.

I'm opening the floor to my readers now. You seemed very hopeful that I would publish this comment, so I hope you got exactly what you wished for.

Best wishes to you, Chad.


Friday, January 05, 2007

As The Dawn Breaks

Many of you, through no fault of your own, do not have the slightest idea how socially exhausting working in a strip club is. It is, literally, like no other place. I get paid very well to do what I do, mind you, but it's not without its consequences.

My job (and it goes without saying the dancers' jobs as well) is to sell sex. It's that simple.

Grotesque, I know; and it makes even me uncomfortable to see those words flashing back at me from the computer screen.

On a nightly basis I will be hit on, touched, assaulted, sexually harassed, propositioned, insulted, and treated like a piece of veal that someone is examining in a butcher shop-- and I'm just the waitress. Dancers have it even worse.

Their job is to take your money. Plain and simple. How they take your money is a different story. Their job is not to swing around the pole for a few sets and make millions of dollars on stage. They have to develop different personas for different people. They have to smile, look sexy, act sexy, pretend to be attracted to even the most unattractive people, and act as if they enjoy grinding on strange men's cocks nightly. It goes without saying that a strip club is a breeding ground for sexually deviant men; many times emotionally unbalanced and slightly psychotic.

Dawn was my closest friend at my club. We hated each other in the beginning, almost instantly; but I believe that's more because we are so much alike than anything else.

Dawn knew how to make money better than any dancer I have ever had the pleasure of watching work. Watching her dance was like watching water flow. Her moves were graceful, sexy, but still tasteful for strip club standards. She was young, beautiful, sexy, the biggest bitch I have ever met, but the nicest person on the planet.

Dawn also attracted more "regulars" than anyone else. Every weekend, it seemed, someone was sending her flowers or buying her gifts. For the most part, she took it all in stride. Slowly, though, the sheer selling of herself started to get to her, and she started to crack.

Jared was the final straw for Dawn. If I had to pin it down to a specific person, I would say that Jared was the one that finally sent Dawn over the edge, and righfully so.

Jared is an idiot.

It's that simple, folks.

Jared has money. More correctly, Jared's parents have money, and give their money to Jared. Jared was completely and totally obsessed with Dawn. Jared also has a problem with strippers. His last few girlfriends were dancers, and all of those relationships ended badly.

If I had to pin him down, psychologically, I would say that Jared is the most insecure person I know. He is also a liar. The two tend to go hand in hand, but more so in him.

Jared got to the point where nothing coming out of his mouth was even slightly true. I'll admit it, I've exaggerated things in the past, but there's a difference between exaggeration for effect and straight out lies. Jared straight out lied. He would make things up just to have something to say.

Things that you really shouldn't make up.

He started telling Dawn that he worked undercover for the DEA doing drug busts. Then he would talk about how much cocaine he had. The two don't tend to mix.

The final, and completely unbelievable straw came when he started to probe into Dawn's personal life.

Unfortunately, some people forget that dancers have personal lives. I'm not sure if they think that at the end of the night the dancers pile into the dressing room like crayons in a box to wait for the next shift, but let me be the first to re-iterate that dancers are dancing for the money. They have lives.

Jared, through his obsession with Dawn, became way too invested, and curious, into her personal life. He started asking her questions about her boyfriend. Making up lies, telling her that he had friends with the FBI that gave him a bunch of dirt on him. He went as far as to try and involve other employee's in his little theatrical debut.

Jared doesn't even know Dawn's boyfriend's name. No one does. Not even me. It's her one true, bright thing that isn't tarnished with the sliminess of the strip club industry.

Jared started calling Dawn all the time. Texting her when he wouldn't get a response. The lies and the disrespect finally became too much for her, and she had to get away.

Her last few nights there, she was so fed up with it all that she barely left the dressing room.

My point in all this, readers, is this: never forget that these people are people. People, who, for whatever reason have decided that this is their only way to make a living. They've seen and been through things that some of you can't even fathom, and it's no wonder that so many of them turn to drugs and alcohol to make it through the night.

Love and respect each other. Never forget that every person has a backstory, and don't be so quick to judge one another.

This business is starting to wear on me, readers, and I'm not sure how I can fix it. I think when school starts back up next week I'll have some distraction to get me through another semester. I'm just slowly becoming angrier and more fed up with ever person that walks through those doors.

It's a dirty business. There's a lot of money to be made, but at what cost? I only wish that some people had a little more respect for their fellow man. I know that a strip club is a fantasy environment. I know that we are supposed to provocate sexual interest, I know that we are supposed to play the role, smile, and leave it all at the door. I'm just tired of being groped every night. I'm tired of being disrespected, and I'm counting down the days until graduation.

I promise you this. If we didn't have the amazingly supportive and loving staff that we have I would have left a long time ago.

I'm sorry to be such a downer, I've just needed to get this out for a while.

Until next time, be good to each other.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

It was relatively early in the night, and I stopped by the front door to call Boyfriend, just for shits and giggles. We finally broke down and purchased a cell phone, after three years of "living in the dark age," and my ringtone is "Sun up girl," which Boyfriend likes to sing as "shut up girl."

Cute, I know.

Standing at the front door was a gentleman, mid-fifties, and he didn't look very happy. For that matter, neither did the door guy, Champ.

"I want to know exactly what you want to see," the older man was saying, placing both of his hands on the counter and looming in at Champ.

"Dude," Champ started, "it's State law. You have to show me your drivers license if you want to come in."

This, regardless of how ridiculous it may seem, is true. State law requires that anyone in a private establishment have a valid photo-ID and a membership card. Apparently this guy thought he was special.

"Just tell me what the fuck you want to see on my drivers license," the man re-iterated.

"It doesn't make a difference anymore," Champ said, "because you're not coming in anyway."

"The hell I'm not," the man countered.

"The hell you are," Champ responded.

While this little "my penis is bigger than your penis" debacle was taking place it reminded me of an incident that occurred about a year ago, when I was filling in at the front door one night.

This guy came to the front door. Younger, early twenties, and showed me his ID. The ID pinned him at over 21, but the photo looked a bit off. I debated it, but let him in anyway.

Mabye three minutes later another guy came to the front door. He showed me his ID and, you guessed it, it was the same ID as the previous guy.

I snatched the ID up from the counter and opened the door to the club, yelling for Raymond.

"Hey, see that guy over there?" I pointed to the corner of the club, by the fishtanks.

"Yeah," Raymond said, peering in that direction.

"I need you to go get him for me."

"Hey, can I get my ID back?" The voice came from the front door where the second guy was waiting, fidgeting.

"No, hold on a minute," I responded, putting one finger in the air.

About that time Raymond had returned with the first guy.

"Show me your ID," I demanded, holding my hand out.

The guy looked at me, then looked up at Raymond, reached into his pocket and pulled out another ID, this one showing his age at a young ninteteen. Raymond took it from him and examined it in the light.

"No," I said, "your other ID."

"Um," he stammered, fishing in his pockets, "I don't have another ID?"

"The one you showed me to get in here. The one that looks exactly like this," I proposed, showing him the ID of the second guy, still waiting at the front door.

It was about that time that a girl walked in, apparently with the two guys.

"Hey, what's going on," she said, looking around the front door.

"ID problems," her date mumbled.

I left Raymond with the first guy and walked back into the front room.

"Can I see your ID?" I pointed at the girl.

She fished in her wallet, pulled out a drivers license, and handed it over to me. I looked at it and let out a sigh.

"You've got to be kidding me," I said, shaking my head.

"What? What's the problem?" The girls voice had risen about an octave, and she was starting to reach over the counter, apparently trying to recover the ID.

"This isn't you," I stated, flatly.

"Um, yeah. It is," she responded, shaking her head.

"All right," I said, "then show me your nipples."


"The girl in this picture," I said, pointing, "is my friend Jennifer. We got our nipples pierced at the same time. You are not my friend Jennifer."

The girl was getting anxious now, fingering her purse while stammering for something to say.

"Look, that's my ID," she finally responded.

"Then show me your nipples," I said, smirking.

Raymond walked through the door, followed by the first guy.

"All of you, get the hell out," he boomed, "and don't ever think of coming back here and pulling this shit again."

The trio turned to leave. Before they got out of the door the second guy turned back around.

"Wait," he said, "I need my ID back."

Raymond gave him his best "you're out of your mind look."

"You can pick up your ID's at the police department tomorrow," Raymond said.

The color drained out of the second guy's face, after all, his was the only valid ID of the bunch.

I snapped back from my daydream just in time to hear the older gentleman say "I'll see you in court," before stalking out of the club.

I gave Champ a look as I hung up the phone.

"Why does everything have to end with someone wanting to sue someone else?"

"That's just what you say when you've run out of options, I suppose."

Champ chuckled and I headed back into the bull-pen, ready to get the night over with.
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