“You’re very beautiful.”
“Thanks! I’ll tell my landlord.”
“Heh heh, I know that doesn’t pay bills.”
“No, but dances do! Are you ready for a great one?”
“I was just back there and I almost got kicked out” 😦 “they’re really mean here.”
“Yeah, it’s hard for adult men who never learned to respect boundaries. It makes me really sad when my dog understands “no” better than many customers. Have a good night.”
As I sat down to type this I just remembered the last time I got in a fight with a wife and I guess I should take notes before I forget but anyway this just happened and I need to cool off.
I walked up to a guy at the ATM and said, “you look like you’re getting ready for a really great lap dance!”
I felt a tap on my shoulder from behind, turned around.
“He has a wife and kids,” this really grim guy said.
“He walked into the strip club,” I pointed out. Like, I do actually have thoughts about the ethics of dropping money on me when you have responsibilities but also if you walk into my job, I’m going to do my job and I’m going to make you pay. My presence is a luxury service, not a basic right. We can talk about financial responsibility when I’m not at work.
“His wife is right here!” The guy said indignantly.
“Great!” I waved at her. “Special discount for couples.”
She glared at me.
“They aren’t interested,” Grimmy said.
“All right, just remember if you aren’t here to spend money you should find someplace else to be.” Perky smile, walk away.
“They don’t want YOU” grimmy shot at my retreating back.
I miss the rich solo businessmen SO BAD
At brunch w Mari we were (surprise! for once not talking about how the bouncers have so much in common w the guards on OitNB or that line) talking about how I crack my gum because GUM CRACKING IS ATTRACTIVE and it is part of an aesthetic I have admired since I was 9 and all the tough hot older girls w darker lipliner than lips and eyeliner and big fringed bangs did it and I practised until i could do it really loud too, leading to a chapter in the exciting graphic novel memoir of my life called “Gum Cracking: an homage”
I got distracted
Oh yeah Adrienne told me she despises gum cracking and I told Mari this with shock, shockand she was like
“Gum cracking is a way of life! It’s a form of self-expression! When guys are being terrible I even chew my gum at them in exasperation.”
there you have it ppl. Gum cracking: homage and valid form of self-expression.
“There you are! You look ready!”
“Oh idk idk. Come back in ten minutes!”
“Ten minutes! What’s going to happen in ten minutes from now that can’t happen right now? Delayed gratification is only fun in Twilight.” Appeal to his friends.
“No no, go have fun!”
“See? They won’t miss you.”
“That’s a terrible thing to say. They’re going to miss me. I need to stay with them right now.”
“You mean you came to the strip club for make companionship rather than female? It’s time for some homoerotic bonding?”
Friends groan and laugh in protest
“No! no, it’s not homoerotic.”
“Sorry, you’re right, it’s homosocial.”
“No it’s not homoerotic!”
“I said homosocial, but you may be too drunk to appreciate the difference.”
“Aww now you’re being hateful.”
“No, now I’m being rude because I’ve given up on making money off you.”
“You’re cute! You’re not sexy, you’re just so cute!”
[number 2’s friend]
“You’re not pretty. You’re sexy, but you aren’t pretty. But you know that.”
you’re so right. You’re all just so right.
I hunted down a customer who’d said he wanted more dances after he got another drink.
Much prevarication and well-concealed annoyance later he finally came out with:
“Oh no. I’m not going to make it easy for you. I’m going to make you work for it.”
I like to preserve a Jordan Baker-esque facade, a cool, insolent smile that can take anything and keep going, but shit like this always cracks it.
I grabbed his neck. I have to be subtle with this because if they catch me on camera they threaten to take away my shifts, “threatening customers doesn’t look good.” Look good hell, your customer base doesn’t look good.
“I am working. You are in my place of work, and I am working. Giving you attention is work. Uncompensated work, I might add.”
“Oooh now I’ve made you mad. Definitely not getting any more from you now.”
Squeezed his neck harder, moved up to grasp his chin & make sure he’s listening.
“Let me frame it like this for you. Imagine going to a restaurant. Imagine keeping the waitress running asking for glasses of water and promising that you’ll order a big entree soon. Then you leave, without ordering, without leaving her a tip. And she doesn’t make an hourly wage. Got it? You’re that guy.” I started to walk away but he grabbed my arm and pulled me back, frantic to feel like less of an asshole.
“No I’m not! No I’m not! I got a dance! You got my $40!”
“that’s really helpful. I get less than 70% of everything you spend in here.”
“Oh, I didn’t know.” He fumbled with his wallet. I saw a twenty but he went for a five. Which I guess is actually 20% of the 25 I get after the club takes their/the dj’s cut. “here!”
Good thing my minor buddy just exited a half hour with the most hilaribad story I’ve heard in a while courtesy of a really weird foot fetishist.
Me and minor buddy who’s finally 21:
Me: If I didn’t need so much money after vacation I would be gone by now.
Her: psh yr telling me. I offered to show a guy my boobs for the last six dollars I need for the leave early fee and the little douchebag said no! He told me to work for it. That is working for it! This is my job!
with a really pretty but completely broke guy
Him: if I had money I would totally get a dance from you bc you are so beautiful. [sad puppy face]
Me: that’s really great, I’ll tell Sallie Mae.
Him: why would you do that?
Me: it’s a good thing you’re pretty
Middle aged guy who seemed like a really good prospect: oh no! [scandalized] dances are way too expensive here. We’re just here to drink.
Me: that’s really great. It’s so great to come to the bar where naked girls work for no hourly wage and treat us like a tv and not tip.
Magwslargp: oh I didn’t say that! We’ll tip!
Me: I can tell [heavy sarcasm] but let’s just take that at face value and do the math on that. 25 girls, 3.5 minute songs, your two dollars-
Magwslargp: isn’t going very far?
Me: no, no it’s not.
Magwslargp: [confused angry hurt face, tries to say aomething]
Me: no, shhh! It’s ok! Who doesn’t want to be that guy who goes to a restaurant, drinks cup after cup of water, and leaves without tipping? He’s so cool! Why go to a normal bar and have regularly priced drinks when you can come here and watch real live girls for free?
And then this just happened: bonus bitch!
I was typing this up (and talking shit w my friend) and this guy who’d been ordering drinks and watching us for a while says “Why do you both look so MAD”
ftr we both just have chronic bitch face but also we were totally laughing about how awful everyone is tonight, like what a stupid question I’ll kill you.
“Because you haven’t gotten a lap dance yet!” I said with the gleeful enthusiasm that comes when you decide to recklessly make a situation worse.
“A LAPDANCE. But—why’re you all so mad? Whyntcha just hang out and be FRIENDLY”
I took a deep breath and evie, who knows me after working with me for almost two years, interrupted with that weird gracious sweetness that I have never seen her lose except in the dressing room it is so crazy to me. It’s like she embodies all the stereotypes you can think of about blonde blue eyed cornfed Iowa farm girls. She probably also knits. She’s so GOOD.
Anyway evie totally tried to deal with him but he was undeal-withable and tbh the triteness of the whole thing just stopped being funny and I got deeply viscerally bored, like elif batuman reading orhan pamuk.
back in the day my creepiest regular used to bring me food at work and yes he was terrible [Kat used to say “comestibles don’t count!”] but also, jfc I want pizza right now.
I said that out loud and one of the other girls whispered, “me and the bouncer brought pizza, it’s in his car. You could buy a slice.”
Ofc we can’t have pizza in the club, so I went outside to find him.
“If I had pizza, and I’m not saying I do, if I did, I wouldn’t sell it until [the owner] leaves.” He was talking out the side of his mouth, back to me and the cameras.
This is the most surreal place I have ever worked. Drugs are ok (the owner once taped a girl oding in back to show her when she woke up) but god forbid I bring a salad with goat cheese on it to work. (ugh i had to go there. now any creepies who hadn’t already can figure out where I work. cool.)
“But if you did, I could buy it when he leaves.” Addressing his back. He nodded. “Maybe you’ll see me later then.”
I didn’t bring any cash with me so that I would be forced to work, at least until I got the leave early fee, and then I hoped it would be like scenting blood, I’d want to just stay and make more money; but all good intentions aside Monday nights are just so completely tedious. Becky pointed out I cancel over half the mondays I schedule for and I could work them without being scheduled if I really needed to. it’s only residual scarcity paranoia that makes me feel like I need to.
a few hours later, one last dance away from being able to leave with my quota, I finally blurted it out to my customer. “If you get one more lap dance you will make my night!”
“Aw, you say that to all the guys.”
“Well yeah but I actually mean it this time. One more dance and I won’t feel bad paying to leave and all I really want to do is go home, eat pizza and watch breaking bad.”
When this approach works—when I get to stop pretending to be attracted to them and get to treat it like a job and they can take it in stride and it becomes a really clear cut financial transaction?—it’s just like unspeakably fucking refreshing.
“Okay,” he said. “But I wish you weren’t leaving because you’re amazing.”
“Yes, it’s very sad for you.”