I’m struggling with how I should begin this story. “Once upon a time” just doesn’t seem like the right fit for a tale that for the most part, takes place in a strip club. I’ll just start. I’ve traveled to New Orleans six separate times, and not once was it ever for business. I love the city. Not enough to live there or even stay more than a week. New Orleans just seems confused about who it is. There’s so much history and culture, but it’s also coated with a thick layer of street-urine and bad decisions. It’s the equivalent of someone smearing vomit all over the Mona Lisa.
I’m going to tell you about an experience that occurred the second time I went to Mardi Gras. The following takes place on the morning of the second day. Day one was predominately spent travel-drinking and acclimating ourselves to the swampy air of Louisiana. There were three of us. To protect their future relationships and dignity, I will refer to the other two members of the group using nicknames I’ve assigned them. The group included me, Baby Belly, and Sleaze.
We awoke on day two well rested, and immediately greeted the day by chasing rum & cokes with shots of tequila. Both of which we had purchased the night before. It’s important to note that in New Orleans, you can buy alcohol anywhere; gas stations, Walgreens, Ikea… anywhere. After several drinks, and a hearty breakfast of Cool Ranch Doritos and Skittles, we decided to make our way out into the world. What was there to do at eleven o’clock in the morning though? We were far too depraved for the usual “sight-seeing.” Baby Belly had the idea of going to a strip club. I found myself oddly drawn to this idea. Maybe out of morbid curiosity, maybe because I was still half asleep. What does a strip club look like this early in the morning? Is there a sense of ‘seeing behind the curtain’? Is it weird, like riding in the front seat of your own car? Little did I know that this seed of an idea would grow into a mighty oak of “what the fuck were we thinking?” We took our drinks and made our way to Bourbon Street.
The three of us sauntered into the first strip club we saw, like we had a groupon. As if the universe was winking at us, there also happened to be exactly three strippers working. Not 2. Not 4. But 3. Although, one of them was just playing bar games like she hadn’t had her coffee yet.
[On a side note, I don’t know what strippers prefer to be called. Referring to them as “dancers” seems misleading. That would be like calling a kidnapper a “child care provider.”]
So we sit down, and the other two girls started to cautiously walk over like wild raccoons being hand-fed by humans for the first time. They finally made it over, and things went as well as can be expected. I started constructing a Temple of Doom replica out of singles on one of the their asses, as I am known to do. At which point the stripper turned around and yelled “Don’t stick no dollars in my pussy!” I remember it distinctly because it’s the only time anyone has ever said that to me, let alone yelled it at me. Apparently, I look like a person who goes around sticking currency into people’s orifices like some kind of reverse ATM. I almost had time to be offended before I heard “Ahh! He bit my fucking titty!”
Turns out, Sleaze had paid for a private dance. But since we were the only ones there, instead of taking him to one of the back rooms that every strip club designates for these occasions, she was dancing for him right there in the bar where we were sitting. Apparently he had gotten drunk enough to think that a stripper was showing him affection for any reason other than money. Rather than flirting or asking her out, he took the warp-tube straight to level eight and sampled a chunk of her breast. Luckily it wasn’t hard enough to leave evidence or anything, so we were simply asked to leave by the lone bouncer who was working. The club was so dark and the sun shone so brightly that once we got out the doors, it felt like I was stumbling out of a cave to see the world for the first time. In what would simultaneously become one of my proudest and least proud moments, I was escorted out of a New Orleans strip club at one o’clock in the afternoon, which was perfect because it was time for lunch.