Friday, March 10, 2006

Liveblogging at the strip club...

Ever since reading about the guy who allegedly blew damn near a quarter-million dollars in one night at a Manhattan strip club, a grave disturbance has entered my mind. Over and over I’ve been asking myself, Where did all that money go? Well, I’m not one to sit on a question like that. I’m the sort of guy who’s going to scare himself up some answers, and I don’t mean with a Google search. I decided to go to a local “gentlemen’s club” to find out exactly what happens and how it feels to blow vast amounts of money in an evening of debauchery and silicone. You see, I recently took out a loan to buy my dear sweet mother a luxury vacation to Madagascar, so I have a lot of cash on hand. And given that I’ve been unable to sleep since reading the story of Mr. McCormick’s lawsuit-inducing hedonistic adventure, I figured that this money would be better spent in the name of science. Social science, to be exact, but you know what I mean. Mom gets fussy on long plane trips anyway, so my guess is that she won’t be too put out. Besides, I’m sure that even she’d be interesting in reading all the details of her son handing over thousands and thousands of dollars to strippers.

To be fair to the CEO in question--who claims he only spent $20,000--I made the trek to the “red-light district” of Minneapolis with a mere $50,000. Most of this was in hundred dollar bills, but I also had some thousand dollar notes in case unforseen contingencies arose. As for the particular venue for my experiment, I made sure to choose a top end place. I knew it was in the strip club elite because its unsparing use of pink neon and the placard outside offering a Sunday buffet. This was going to be sweet, I told myself. For several shining moments, your humble blogger was going to be living large.

11:34am: All this money feels weird in my pockets. The only way I can think of to explain it is that it’s like when you have a real bad cold and you’ve got all these wads of Kleenex everywhere, only this time it’s not snot-soaked tissues making the bulges in my pockets, it’s American currency. This is going to be AWESOME!!!

11:39am: Some guy opened the door just as I walked up to it, so I tipped him a hundred dollars for his trouble. That’s what strip-club bigshots do, give people hundred dollar bills for opening doors. It says, “I’m in the club. The super rich, powerful man club. Please, treat me accordingly...” However, there is an outside possibility that the guy I just gave that money to wasn’t this place’s official doorman, but just some guy who was running outside to feed the parking meter. No matter! I’m already feeling the surge of adrenalin that comes from only the showiest displays of magnanimity.

11:42am: I have run up against my first problem. I had planned on spending in the ballpark of $31,000 on drinks alone, but this place only serves various non-alcoholic juice beverages. Of course, I have purchased their most expensive item, a $16.00 concoction that looks and tastes remarkably similar to a glass of Ocean Spray “Cran-Apple Twist”. While I find the flavor pleasant, I fear that I cannot possibly consume enough of these to reach my “drink benchmark”, not even if I continue to tip the “bartender” $84.00 dollars for each one.

11:50am: Who knew that strippers take lunch breaks just like us regular working stiffs? Because there sure aren’t that many of them around! There’s one on the mirrored stage and a couple more sitting a few tables away from me, but that’s about it. I expected more of a bacchanal, to be honest. And how come there’s only like three other guys in here with me? What, is this some sort of stripper slow day or something? I didn’t get the memo. I’m not worried though. In fact, I’m just now getting into my groove. They’re playing Nelly, I took a shower in Puff Daddy’s new fragrance, and I’m dressed in my finest slacks. In other words, I’m superbad and it’s just a matter of time before these fine honeys–all three of them–realize it.

12:24pm: This must be one of those strip clubs where you have to get up and introduce yourself to the dancers. Because they don’t seem to be flocking over, even though I’ve been pretty conspicuously downing the Cran-Apple Twists. I’m on my third. I think I might have to pee soon.

12:31pm: I have just successfully placed a thousand dollar bill in a young lady’s g-string. For those of you who have never done this sort of thing before, it’s more challenging than you’d expect. For one, they’re flimsy things and I was afraid I’d break it. Also, I’m not the sort of guy who can just dally in a strange woman’s hoo-hah region without a little anxiety, so I’m afraid I was a little shaky, a little sweaty, a little shy of my “A-game”. I got it in there, though, and then I sat back and basked in my rare generosity. Soon, she’ll pull the evidence of my extreme wealth out of her crotch region and the non-stop wall-to-wall flesh party will begin in earnest.

12:34pm: I worry that she thinks the thousand dollar bill is fake. The sweet thing, she’s probably never seen a denomination so large before. She looked at it, looked at me, and just rolled her eyes. She’s talking to the off-duty strippers as I write this. Sometimes they look over at me and giggle. I’m choosing to interpret this behavior as flirtatious.

12:44pm: First evidence of my superstar status! I’ve met the manager! “Tony” is his name and, after a brief confab with his “girls”, he made a special trip to my table to find out “If there was some sort of problem here”. Isn’t that nice? He wants to make my stay as pleasant as possible! I gave him a bunch of c-notes and told him, in my deepest and manliest voice, that there was no problem as far as I could see, no problem whatsoever.

12:46pm: I went and peed. There was no bathroom attendant. If there was, I would have given him a hundred bucks. Two hundred if I liked his uniform. Three hundred if he was British. But I guess Minneapolis strip clubs don’t have uniformed British bathroom attendants. Pity.

12:58pm: It looks like the strippers are finishing up their lunch. In retrospect, I’m glad they gave me all that time to practice my insouciant, “come to me” head cocking move. I’m really good at it now.

1:04pm: Blaze is a bewitching redhead from “wherever I want her to be from” who likes dancing, Chinese food, and the poems of Anne Sexton. I feel I have the go-ahead to write about her in this way because she is, at the moment, grinding her tailbone repeatedly against my man-bits. You might think it would be hard to type in such circumstances, but you’d be wrong. Years of internet experience have made me proficient at typing with one hand, you see. The trick is not letting your concentration wander.

1:08pm: I am not as eager to stand up as I once was. I wish that goddamned “bartender” would come over here and top off my Cran-Apple Twist. A man who’s just been through that sort of mauling works up a thirst.

1:13pm: Sweet Desire has offered me a “private dance”. I’m not certain what this entails. I asked her if it would be expensive and she just said, “What, you don’t think I’m worth it?” while leaning forward in her scanty cowgirl outfit. “You’re first on my list as soon as I’m dry enough to stand up, darling,” I told her and she gave me an adorable pout. Damn, I’m so smooth they ought to upholster cars with me.

1:17pm: I wonder how many hundred dollar bills can fit in a g-string. Maybe Blaze would like to help me find out as soon as she’s done spraying herself with Lysol.

1:22pm: I don’t like the way the private dancing rooms smell. I don’t like all the signs promising me bodily harm if I “make manual contact”. The impressive muscular contractions Sweet Desire is performing at this very moment? I approve. I approve thoroughly.

1:30pm: I know this isn’t really strip-club protocol, but I just offered her $3,000 if she would just stay and hold me for awhile. She has assented to this arrangement. You will, of course, pardon me while I nuzzle her silky, silky neck.

1:38pm: Sweet Desire has been called away for her “spotlite dance”. I’m somewhat disappointed. Not just by her sudden departure, but also because this moment of hers seems to involve the music of Metallica.

1:43pm: Tony and I have come to an arrangement. I am not going to leave this little red room and he is not going to make a big deal about it. Moreover, he will send in his “girls” as their schedule permits and be sure that my Cran-Apple Twist is always full and icy-cold. Finally, he will send a low-level employee of his establishment out to Marshall Field’s to buy me some new pants. Some very nice pants.

1:56pm: I have just made the acquaintance of a spunky French national named Laetitia and her fellow naughty cheerleader Shanice. However, I was forced to cut our appointment short when Shanice’s flailing spilled my beverage and Laetitia’s diamond-sharp nipples began making a mess of my hair. “Leave me! Mister Moneybags needs some down-time, you depraved strumpets!” I bellowed, the timidity of two hours ago now not much more than a quaint memory. Wealth changes a man, I’m afraid.

2:21pm: My need for down-time has abated. I am shrieking “Blaaaaaze! Blaaaaaze!” at the top of my lungs and banging my empty glass against my private dance cube’s greasy walls. The other dancers are just after my bankroll, but Blaze really likes me. I’m sure of this. I can see it in her eyes. She has beautiful eyes.

2:23pm: The inseam of my new pants is too tight. My money barely fits in my pockets. This distresses me. I thought it was almost gone. Sweet Jesus, how else can I pamper these strippers? And where’s Blaze? She’s not mad at me, is she? Good God, I hope I didn’t do anything to offend her!

2:25pm: Blaaaaaaze! Blaaaaaze! I’m sorry, Blaaaaaze!

2:29pm: Blaze isn’t mad at me. But, at the same time, she can’t understand why I don’t want her to dance for me anymore. How can I explain that I’m too sore and, besides, I just want to talk about Anne Sexton for awhile. She used to be an English major. I used to be an English major, too. I know how hard life can be on our kind. That’s why I’ve insisted that she take all the money I have left. “I’m just a dancer,” she said at first, “I’m not an escort, you know.” I told her it didn’t matter. After all, I’m not a Honda Accord. She crossed her eyes for a second and then we shared a gentle chuckle as we realized that there was no place in her skin-tight leather bodysuit where she could put $36,200.

2:36pm: Everyone waves a friendly goodbye to me as I hobble slowly to the door. I return the favor. I feel I haven’t just thrown my money around, I’ve also made lifelong friends. I plan on sending them all a funny card from Hallmark. Maybe one of the ones with that old lady and the dog. Those are a hoot.

2:44pm: I seem to have parked in an illegal spot. Apparently, I’ve been towed. I’m not happy about this, especially since I no longer have any cash on hand. I have my ATM card, of course, but I don’t want to go back into the strip club to use their money machine. I saw it when I was there. It was one of those no-name kinds. Those always charge me outrageous fees.

2:47pm: But, at the same time, walking home seems to be out of the question.