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Wednesday, 02 April
Naked Women I Have Not Known

As the wedding day approaches, I get asked one question quite frequently, and rightly so, because it is, of course, the most important issue surrounding a man about to embark upon the great adventure of marriage: Are you going to have strippers at your bachelor's party? I've discussed this many times with my best man, and I can assure you that the answer is, Christ, no. For a lot of reasons.

There's two ways to go about the whole stripper thing, of course. One is to hole up with your buddies at one of their houses and then hire one to come over. This, while workable in theory, is utterly impossible to even countenance in practice, because, you see, I would die. There we would be, gripping our beers and smoking our cigars, because hey, you need to max out on the oinkery on these solemn occasions, and then the stripper would come in and start doing her thing, peeling off her cop costume or French maid's costume or Freemason costume or whatever, and then she'd come over to me and look me right in the eye while I looked her right in the anything else and then with a noise not unlike that of a bursting champagne cork, my head would blast right off my neck as the backpressure of shame and embarrassment sent it through the roof and into a graceful parabola over the Seattle night before plunging unceremoniously through the windshield of some innocent traveler. Story at eleven: Stripper incident kills two. So that's out.

The other obvious method for stripper-viewing is, duh, going to a strip club. Well, that's not going to happen either, because I live in the dumb State of dumb Washington, whose state law ridiculously prohibits the presence of alcohol in its strip clubs. A strip club with no alcohol. That makes a lot of fucking sense; it's like building a church and then prohibiting the presence of bibles. Look, morons, guys who are willingly paying money to go watch naked girls that they cannot touch don't want to be lucid. Lucidity spoils everything! We know we don't get to fuck these girls, so all we are now is just mopey assholes sitting dolefully with $7 soda pops and the creeping, unblottable realization that you're actually just a bunch of guys all sitting around waiting to masturbate later. Neat!

It wasn't this way in Oregon, where I attended college. They have sensible strip clubs in Oregon, and since I was in college, I of course went to many. Some of the most horrible things happened to me in these places, and you know what? They were fun! You know why? Mostly, booze! Booze simply allows you to dull that part of your rational mind that, unimpaired, keeps reminding you of the fundamentally weird and perverse fact that you are in a room with a bunch of beautiful, naked women, some of whom are doing some very odd things indeed. For example, my friend N. and I were in some charmless boob-hole one night, watching a fetching lass do her thing. The dance floor was ringed by a raised bar, where N. and I sat drinking our beers and watching, and for some reason, the fetching lass caught my eye. I put my beer down and put a tented dollar in front of me--yes, ma'am, here is my money. She ambled over. "Kitty looks thirsty. Thirsty kitty?" I jauntily replied, "Ah heh heh heh. Ah ha." "Thirsty kitty! Here, kitty kitty kitty!" And then she swiftly leaned down towards me, her face six inches from mine, and casually dunked her right breast right into my lager glass. Straightening up just as quickly, she then flicked the beer foam off of her nipple into my face. "Thirsty kitty!" she squealed once more before grabbing my buck and moving on. The bar roared while I sat, shocked into stillness for a moment, before joining in the laughter and audibly, and unsuccessfully, wondering if perhaps I could get a new beer.

If this whole episode had happened with, say, 7-Up, I probably just would have shot myself in the head outside the bar, with a note pinned to my chest reading, "TOO LUCID TO DEAL."

Another episode on a different night will back me up on this. It was the night I simultaneously jeopardized and saved my own life. And it was in a strip club. I was with N. again--he was my roommate--and we were just hanging out watching the flesh. Next to us were some easily identified frat apes, decked out in their Greeky sweatshirts and ball caps, howling like hell and living it up. Whatever. But then I noticed that the guy sitting right next to me was keeping his wallet on the bar. His attention, of course, was on the dancers, but mine wasn't, at least not all of it. I drained one beer and started another. The wallet was still there. I drank. I watched.

Then I simply took the wallet and put it in under my coat. Easy as pie. I drank another beer. I was cool as a cucumber; I could have walked out any time, but I just sat there and watched the strippers and waited. At one point, N. finally noticed me smirking and raised an eyebrow at me, so I head-jerked towards the guy sitting next to me and then flashed N. the wallet. He stared for a minute and then said in a low tone, "Jesus Christ. Are you fucking nuts?" I laughed and shook my head, while N. developed a startling case of knuckle-whiteness as he clutched the bar. "We've got to get the fuck out of here!" he hissed. Probably not a bad idea, I thought.

"HEY! MY WALLET'S GONE!"

Too late. N. looked like he'd just swallowed a mouthful of spinal fluid. I remained serene, the false calm of the pickled, that ethereal bonelessness that comes with just the right number of beers, and swiveled over as if concerned for the young man's plight. He was steadily careening down the Purple-Faced Path of Pissed-Offedness, and making a good ruckus. "My WALLET was RIGHT HERE! SOMEBODY grabbed my WALLET!" Fortunately, the din of the place was monstrous, so the scene he was making was pretty much inaudible to anyone not within about eight feet of us, but it wouldn't be long before someone was summoned, searches would be made, etc., so something had to be done. I stood up. And tossed his wallet back onto the bar in front of him.

He shut up, stared at the wallet, and then looked up at me, clearly Not Getting What The Fuck Just Happened. I could feel N.'s body temperature drop several degrees behind me. The other frat guys were kind of doing a complicated basketball game-watcher's head routine, their eyes going from wallet to other guy to me and back again, cycling. This only lasted a second or so.

Then I put on a huge easy grin and, not quite believing it myself, clapped him on the back with hideous bonhomie. "HAW HAW HAW!" I laughed, "You should see your face! Sorry about that, man, I couldn't resist! You gotta keep an eye on your wallet, you know? Didn't mean to freak you out, I was just playing around." Friendliness and hail-fellow-well-met good cheer all over the fucking place, and I swear to God that for all that was happening, I was calm as hell. The guy had his fists bunched up, but I think that was residual from the loss of his wallet. He was still staring at me. "You took my wallet?" he said, with the tone of a child asking if unicorns were real. "I was just playin', man. I didn't go anywhere with it!" Big grin. "C'mon, I'll buy you a drink!" N. was still asphyxiating behind me, for good reason: there were five of them and two of us, and we were total wusses to boot. The guy stared a tiny bit longer and then said, almost truculently, but not quite, "You shouldn't grab a man's wallet, dude." He sat down. "I know," I bellowed, "it was just kind of funny!" "I guess," he said, his attention rapidly returning to the dancers. He put his wallet in his back pocket. I bought him a beer. And then N. and I left.

We got in the car and sat for a pallid moment. N. said, "I can't believe you just did that." I said, "I know." He started the car. "You're fucking stupid," N. said, "but that was pretty cool."

Try that with 7-Up.


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Comments

You crack my shit up. Seriously. I would sit here and try to find appropriate words that normal people might use to express this sentiment, but, hey, it's not going to happen.

Oh, and, if you stop writing, I will pee in your cornflakes.

Comment number: 002714   Posted by: ali on April 2, 2003 09:28 PM from IP: 66.92.218.179

I don't know about peeing in anyone's cornflakes, but you know, I'm worried about this marriage thing. If it cuts into your writing time, MY head will blast off and into someone's windshield. And you'll be responsible.

BTW, isn't drinking wonderful? It does produce those golden moments...

Comment number: 002715   Posted by: Bet on April 3, 2003 08:35 AM from IP: 12.34.246.5

I'm not likely to give up writing, but I'm seriously considering giving up cornflakes.

Comment number: 002716   Posted by: Skot on April 3, 2003 09:18 AM from IP: 140.107.120.123

HAW HAW HAW! That was so great. {skot}

Comment number: 002717   Posted by: Dave A on April 3, 2003 09:37 AM from IP: 146.7.44.79

I'm from Oregon and enjoy our Tittie Club laws. I'm travelling this week in Seattle and was looking for a "joint". Now I know better and will say in the Hotel with a few lagers, and Spank-o-vision.

Comment number: 002718   Posted by: Mojomark on April 3, 2003 06:17 PM from IP: 167.88.200.30

Nice post. I say that sober, too.

Comment number: 002719   Posted by: James on April 3, 2003 07:21 PM from IP: 203.174.140.214

it's like building a church and then prohibiting the presence of bibles

^Obviously, you aren't Catholic.^

Comment number: 002720   Posted by: avogadro on April 4, 2003 09:55 AM from IP: 198.30.212.128

Wow, I thought where I was from was the only place with a stupid, stupid law like that. Saskatchewan, Canada. They even went so far as to specifically name lingerie shows in the law too. You need to Boo* in order to achieve maximum effect. Boobs AND booze.

Comment number: 002721   Posted by: Ryan on April 5, 2003 06:30 PM from IP: 24.42.104.45

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