November 17, 2004

Dancing Queen

I just re-read my entire Inblognito oeuvre - no large feat, since it all still fits on one page - and in reviewing this post, I was reminded of another classic story from the titty bar, a tale as yet untold. If you haven't read the first titty bar story, you might want to. I have a feeling that titty bar stories are going to become all the rage pretty soon, their own category, nay, their own Inblognito subcontinent.

And, by the way? I'll write a sweet and loving one for my Mother, but this one's for Daddy.

So, I found myself at the Parachute Lounge, that mangy roadhouse, one fine Saturday afternoon, performing a total bar restock with Jimmie the manager and Dean the DJ. We'd spent the hours from one to three taking every bottle and glass and mixer out of the bar area, wiping everything down and dusting all the "display" bottles (expensive blue-and-pink shit that our good-ole-boy clientele never drank), and toting boxes of restock liquor and beer for the cooler from Jimmie's truck to the storage room. We'd finished, and the three of us were treating ourselves to a nice, long cigarette break, complete with a few nice, long, lines cut out on one of the dancers' makeup mirrors, and beers all around. We got to shooting the shit - like you do when you're coked up, running your fool mouth - and talking about the various dancers in Jimmie's employ.

"Now, Queenie, you're a good-lookin' gal - why'nt yew ever thank about dancin'? You know that Dixie and Trixie and Rhonda and Shelley make a whole lot more money than yew dew, and yew prob'ly are workin' th' hardest," Jimmie gave me a concerned-fatherly look. "Yew bus' yer AYASS out there. Yew could be a dancer."

"Jim, Jimbo. James. Queenie does not get naked. Ever. Like, my ass is so tight I shower in a camisole, fuck my boyfriend through a hole in the sheet. It's against my religion." I flicked my cigarette butt out the back door and into a muddy pothole.

"No way. Whut cherch dew yew go tew? I din't know yew were a religious wuman," Jimmie says, all serious, looking at me, Queenie, poised to put the best part of a quarter-gram up my nose at once.

I pulled away from the mirror, in fear that I would laugh so hard I'd blow the blow all over the floor. "No, man. I'm kidding. I didn't mean to ruffle your feathers." Play nicely with the children, Queenie. "I could never be a stripper. I mean, I have no problem with it, I don't seek to judge. I just can't dance. And I don't look that good naked."

"OH, YES SHE DOES!" came the cry from the other end of the bar. It was Ashley, and Trixie and Dixie, just coming in to start primping for the five o'clock opening. "Yew are beyewtiful, darlin'," averred Trixie, mussing my hair. "Ah thank yew awt tew at LEAST give it a trah."

I finished my line, and lit another ciggie. "No way. Unh-uh"

Two hours later, and the strippers of the Parachute Lounge had reincarnated me as a Roman temple prostitute. They'd curled my mass of shaggy red hair into little, delicate ringlets, pulling it back away from my face with small mother-of-pearl combs in the shape of corinthian columns. They'd painted my face with all their combined skill, which was not unremarkable - if there's one thing strippers know, it's makeup. Suddenly, I had smooth and beautiful peachy skin. I had eyebrows, and cheekbones and lips. Finally, they shoveled me into a miniscule latex "toga" and a pair of thigh-high white leather boots that had belonged to Sunny, a dancer who'd left them when she up and split in the middle of a shift to go and marry a trucker (who'd given her a thousand-dollar tip) and never came back. The boots were a couple of sizes too large for me - Sunny was a hoss, a big ole woman - but, hey. I wasn't going to do any actual dancing. I was just there for shits and giggles, to amuse the staff and the regulars.

When I emerged from the dressing room, the entire staff and all the sunken, life-beaten old sots who showed up at five for happy hour and titty were assembled, standing around the stage and clapping. Jimmie's breath was taken away, partially by accidentally inhaling most of a line by mouth, and partially by my half-naked goods. The owner - a whole 'nother blog post in himself - one-time Mayor of the Dixie Mafia, waltzed over, bent to kiss my hand, and asked to be the first to christen the garter. He pulled out five crisp hundreds, folded each over once, lengthways, and slid them between the elastic and the bare skin of my thigh.

"Now, darlin...let's see you daynce!" the Mayor roared, gesturing wildly to Dean the DJ to crank up some tunes. I wasn't going to do it...I had no intention of getting up there and shaking my little ass, but something - the roaring crowd, the beers, the cocaine, the latex cutting off my circulation, combined with the strains of Duran Duran's "Her Name is Rio and she dances on the sand..." floating out of the stereo system just made me lose my last inhibition. I strutted up there and did that thang.

I hadn't watched the dancers for three months for nothin'. I simpered and preened, twitching my fanny while slowly undulating my hips. I worked the pole like a pro. I lowered myself slowly to my knees and crawled sensuously down the length of the stage. And finally, to the last bars of the music, I flung my left leg out for a tremendous Rockette high-kick - and my white, thigh-high leather boot came flying off of my leg, suddenly becoming a dangerous projectile. I saw it all in horrified slow-mo - the boot flying across the room, rotating slightly, as if I'd put some English on it, arcing to strike The Mayor squarely in the left lens of his prescription bifocals.

It knocked him over, the blow from Sunny's boot, knocked the old goat plumb out of his chair, making him slop his Jack and Coke all over his white suit. I thought they were going to have to call the paramedics. The bouncers rushed to help the old coot up, and the crowd went nuts, screaming with delight and showering the stage with dollar bills. I hopped around on one six-inch heel, collecting my tips, provoking howls of laughter from the audience, and even more money. As I rounded the bar side of the stage, I heard Jimmie call out "Yew kilt The Mayor!", and I hollered back, "I told you I couldn't dance!"

I slunk quietly off the stage, and back into the dressing room, stripping off the toga and the remaining boot, taking the combs out of my hair. I went to my locker and pulled out the trusty old flightsuit and cap, resigned to being a cocktail waitress once more. The Mayor was physically unhurt, but the cheap bastard docked my waitress pay for a replacement lens. Not that this was such a big deal, as I made almost a thousand dollars with one stage appearance. But, so ended my short career as an exotic dancer. I thought it better to quit while I was ahead.

Posted by Queenie at November 17, 2004 07:19 PM
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