I wrote this one shortly after the blog became "popular." I like it because it delves into the concept of "rotting from the inside out," as introduced to me by "Big John." You meet a lot of people who are "rotting from the inside out" in the club business. I've met several outside the club business over the past year-and-change, too. Some things never change, regardless of where you meet people.
Sure, she may look good, but...
I've never wanted to reach a point, on this blog, where I feel compelled to begin a post by stating, "Many people have asked..." It sounds excessively pompous and delusional, even for me, and my discomfort in using of this sort of introduction is manifesting itself here, before your very eyes, in these first two sentences. In this case, however, these words ring true. Today's post was inspired by several emails I've received requesting that I address a certain topic, and like the lounge chair I am, I'm perpetually ready and willing to fold to popular demand. So...
Many people have emailed inquiring as to whether I've ever dated a fellow employee at any of the clubs at which I've bounced. The answer, of course, is a resounding yes, and the experience, predictably, was fraught with enough 'wacky hijinks' and 'crazy misadventures' to fill exactly one blog post, give or take. This relationship -- if it even met the criteria to be termed one -- took place during my first incarnation as a bouncer several years ago, and still resounds sufficiently today, in the form of a cautionary tale, to prevent me from ever again seriously considering dating anyone who works at a nightclub.
"What the fuck, dude? Something just hit me in the fuckin' head!"
"Look over at the bar," said Marty, the bouncer standing with me at the front door. "What's her name? The one with the big tits. She just threw ice at you."
I quickly made my way to the bar, assuming there was a problem of some sort. Bartenders generally don't carry radios, so if they need to get a bouncer's attention when his back is turned, they'll throw stuff at us -- fruit, wadded-up napkins or, irritatingly enough, ice. The source of this particular torrent was a tall, thin, attractive brunette with enormous breasts. Tremendous breasts. Gargantuan breasts. Elephantine breasts. They were looking at me.
"You need something?"
"Yeah, I do," she said. "I need to see what you look like when you smile, because you've sat there all night and you haven't smiled once."
"Not much to smile about over there, sittin' next to Marty all night, watchin' these retards come in."
"Hey, I'm running around like crazy back here, and I'm smiling."
"That's 'cause you're making money," I replied.
"Hey, do you want to come to the diner with me after work?"
And so it began. She seemed a reasonable object for my attentions, at least initially -- had been to college for a while, claimed she was saving to go back eventually. She proved capable of holding up her end of a conversation, and I liked that she had strong, passionate opinions -- convictions, even -- about a number of serious subjects. I was digging the speed of her metabolism, as well. We'd go out to dinner, and she'd eat like a horse, and wouldn't gain a pound. Could drink with me, too.
"Where'd you guys eat?" asked John the Bouncer, the following week.
"Fuckin' Taco Bell?"
"What'd she get?"
"Why?" I asked.
"'Cause I'll tell you if she's a pig or not."
"From Taco Bell?"
"I think she got a Mexican pizza."
"Dude, she's rotting from the inside out. Just watch."
The next couple of weeks, I spent more time lingering around the central bar area than I normally would during the course of a shift. Being the front door bouncer, I had no real excuse for being inside the club every half hour, and the rest of the staff eventually took bemused notice of my sudden interest in cranberry juice.
"Hey, you wanna come down to the other place I work?"
"You've got another job?"
"Yeah," she replied.
"I didn't know that. Where?"
"The Extended Banana on Eighth Avenue."
"You're a stripper?!?"
"No, silly. I'm a bartender there."
"No," she interrupted. "I don't take my clothes off. It's just like any other bartending job. You'll see."
Desirous of avoiding the appearance of complete loser -- a task which, for me, often requires a significant degree of effort -- I enlisted the aid of my friend "Clint," requesting his company on my historic excursion to the Extended Banana. He dismounted his latest conquest -- quite the lothario was Clint, back then -- and agreed to come along.
"Hey," she said. "You're wanted in the Champagne Room."
"Your friend bought you a lap dance with one of the girls. 'Charity,' I think her name is."
"How appropriate. Is that okay? He's kind of a dick that way."
"It's okay. He asked me first. Have fun!"
I descended a set of stairs into the Champagne Room, where I caught a glimpse of Clint already in the process of receiving his end of the deal -- a two-for-one special the DJ had announced while I was in the bathroom. I sat down on a couch and 'Charity' went about her work, while I remained in the awkward 'guy-at-a-strip-club' position, my back ramrod straight and my hands set flat against the cushions. The entire situation seemed bizarre -- receiving a lap dance with a girl I had just started dating in the next room -- and conspiracy theories swirled around my head:
"Dude," I thought to myself, "this fucking stripper's doing recon for the bartender chick. Fuck. She's gonna go back and tell her how small your penis is. Shift position. SHIFT POSITION."
The dance proceeded quite uncomfortably after that, until 'Charity' finally unveiled her dramatic signature move. Sitting astride my left leg, she leaned back, and, right breast in hand, proceeded to flick my left nostril with her nipple as if she were attempting to pick something out.
"That's a new one on me," said Clint, as we sat back down at the bar.
"What?" asked the bartender.
"She picked his nose with her nipple."
"Ugh," she replied, grimacing. "These girls don't know what they're doing. Stick around after we close, and I'll show you some pole tricks."
"Yeah. That's what we call the moves the dancers make on the pole."
"You know how to do that?" I asked.
"Yeah. I practice them every night after we close."
"Because," she replied, "eventually when I get good enough at it, which I already am -- you can ask anyone -- Joey's gonna let me be a dancer."
"Kinda like a promotion, so to speak," added Clint.
"Yeah. They make great money."
My little foray into this netherworld of club-based relationships ended a few weeks later, when she attempted to rationalize her use of cocaine as an aid to her productivity.
"I only do a little bump now and then. You know, to stay awake. I need to be up during the day in order to get anything done."
"No," I said, "I actually don't know. That's fucking absurd."
"I wouldn't expect you to understand."
"Nor would I."