Strip (me of cash)

I have never been much for strip clubs as it turns out my body is allergic to chlamydia and self-loathing. I’ve been to two strip clubs in my life, both in situations I had little to no control over. The first was in a place I think was called Daydreams in Philly. This was entertaining for about 15 minutes, most of which involved watching the frat boy party rise to Defcon 4 status to guard their cooler full of beer cans. It is BYObeverage, after all. We were there for a bachelor party after a night that also involved a minor league baseball game where my friend got to tackle a man in a giant shark mascot costume (on “accident” he says) and a trip to Dave and Busters, all while tooling around in a rented party bus with a DVD of Girls Gone Wild. This was also my first exposure to the Girls Gone Wild series, which according to the commercials I’d seen, would be full of girls revealing their breasticles. And that’s exactly what it was. And. Nothing. Else. It’s humorous in dudes-laughing-and-gawking sort of way for about 6 minutes, then you realize it’s just an hour of girls lifting their shirts off. It’s got sort of a clinical quality to it by a few exposures in, like all these girls thought they were being inspected by a benevolent street doctor. “Yes ma’am, could you lift your shirt please? Yes, two nipples, no scars. Thank you, everything seems to be in order here.” Then there’s a scene of a girl pouring a pitcher of iced tea on herself for about 10 minutes, because I assume her shirt was tea-wash only.

At the strip club, I got punched in the back by a naked woman, and when I turned around she pointed her breasts at me and had this look in her face like, “Well??” So I reluctantly handed her a dollar to make her go away, feeling wholly like I had just been the victim in a thoroughly disguised mugging. Then Mike Fraas found $5 on the ground and he and I spent the rest of the night looking for dropped cash on the floor. He found like $20 and I found nada. I was so desperately hoping to recover some of the deadly $20 cover charge (plus the $1 mugging).

The other time was last summer in Louisville, Ky. at yet another bachelor party, though this trip was more spontaneous. After many shots and many brews, the party forced the strip club issue and suddenly I’m sending an inquiry to google text message (an absolutely fantastic service, even when you’re not searching for naked women, fyi) looking for the address for this place. Of course it was on a Thursday, also known as amateur night at the club. Two of us were at the bachelor party after traveling since like 6 in the morning from Jacksonville to Louisville, so I was about as interested in the out-of-work actresses on stage as I was in the $9 beers. I actually leaned up against the wall and fell asleep for a few minutes.

The strip club is a high-pressure sales situation not unlike when you take one of those time share tours and the people don’t look like they’re going to let you leave unless you agree to buy an Orlando villa you probably won’t pay off before Disney is purchased by Rupert Murdoch. We were lucky to get out of there.

Then yesterday I made my return to a strip club, though this time was much different because: a) it was in bright sunshine; and b) it was for work (I swear). The other reporter and I are trying to track down some leads in the missing persons case that directed us to the seedy underbelly of Hilton Head. We struck out though because, apparently, strip clubs don’t open until at least evening time (who knew?). I’ve heard the clubs here are seedy even by nudie bar standards, and staffed by European girls who look like they caught in a net and brought over to America in the hull of a ship. This was after searching for an alleged prostitute at a sushi restaurant. This little rock, it turns out, might have a darker side than anyone ever thought.

We’re going back there today. I’m not bringing any money this time.

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