Worst. Amateur Night. EvAr.

I'm transferring some older blogs from my myspace account before I delete it. Enjoy this golden oldie, originally posted 3/8/07:

"It's amateur night, dude. We HAVE to go."

My buddy Jeff likes the strip clubs, but he's not a creepy dude. Well, maybe I'm biased because he's one of my best friends. He's a recovering Baptist; a lifetime of sensual depravation, a nasty marriage, decent divorce, and possibly lesbian girlfriend have molded him into one of the most simultaneously depraved yet naive people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He's the kind of guy who will show up with a bottle of moonshine but doesn't know what felching is. Come to think of it maybe that's not a bad thing.

Amateur night at the local strip club is a big deal because Jeff's into "regular" girls. Strippers with huge tits and Cirque du Soleil acrobatics are cool, but I have seen Jeff leap from his seat and run to another stage because some dude's girlfriend had enough mojitos to convince herself to get on stage. It's kind of like how I am with Asians.

I meet Jeff at 9:30 outside the Penthouse Club in beautiful downtown
Sauget, IL (originally incorporated as Monsanto, IL. That's not even a joke). The bouncer at the door asks me for ID. I hand him my license.

"Shit," Jeff says, "I left mine in the car. I'll be right back."

"Nah. You're fine," replies the 350 pound bald man with fire tattooed on his head.

"Wow. You're the graybeard at the strip club. C'mon grandpa, I'll get you a hot dog and a seat near the speakers."

Once inside the door, ANOTHER huge bald man (is there a union for these guys?) asks for our $10 admission fee. Jeff hands him a $20. The guy asks if it's to cover me as well.

"Buddy I would, but I'm broke," Jeff tells me. No big deal. We walk in and grab seats away from the stages. Jeff has a thing about "scoping out" the situation. Aside from the $10 cover, Jeff will spend maybe $9 at a strip club. He prefers to sit at a distance; moving in for the kill only when the perfect stripper hits the stage or some random chick from the crowd gets dragged into the feeding frenzy onstage. This makes him a good counterweight, because of course "perfect" strippers come around pretty regularly by my judgment, and if allowed I will throw $40 at the first girl who pretends to like me. A waitress stops by to see if we need anything. I order a Miller Lite; Jeff gets a Corona. When the waitress returns with our beers, Jeff insists on paying.

"I thought you were broke. I'll get the beers, man."

"No, it's the least I can do. Let me buy these."

"Okay...except this is a strip club. Those beers cost more than if you had paid my cover."

"God...dammit." Jeff hands the waitress a $20 and gets back $4. I hand him some singles to offset the loss, but he is adamant in paying for the beers and refuses. I assure him the next round is on me. We both know this gesture is an empty one, because Jeff does not drink much and will nurse this Corona for the rest of the night.

We spend an hour or so taking in the scenery and I find myself enamored with a girl who reminds me a lot of
Maggie Gyllenhaal. I point her out to Jeff, who agrees with my review, and we ogle from afar. After her set she disappears. A few minutes later Jeff nudges my shoulder.

"Maggie's leaving," he says.

"How do you know?" He points her out to me.

"She's in her street clothes. She's walking out the door."

"Street clothes? As opposed to dress blues? Do strippers have civilian clothes?"

"It's not all G-strings and high heels, my friend." Truer words have never been spoken.

"The amateurs are next. Let's get a seat at the main stage," I say. Jeff can only be coaxed to the main stage if there are amateurs involved. We sit front row center as two local radio personalities "hype" the crowd asking for whoops and hollers and clapping. There is no sadder assessment of humanity than the anemic clapping that wacky DJs receive when they refuse to allow men to see tits unless they make enough noise.

I think it would be really fun to be the strip club voice guy. I worked in radio, so I can produce the voice. I also think it'd be great to fuck with the heads of drunk and horny men:

"Alright give it up for these beautiful ladies! Who out there is nice and hard lookin' at these gorgeous lovely girls? Clap if you've got a big hard cock for one of these girls! Let's hear it for big hard cocks! I just turned you all gay...I'm being told I've just been fired!"

But anyway...

The first dancer comes out and is well received. I would have to question her amateur status: she can work a pole and the crowd pretty well. This isn't the Olympics, so I let her continue unimpeded. She asks me my name. I throw a handful of singles at her ass as she tiger crawls over to the overly friendly biker who insisted on talking to me while I had a nude woman gyrating on my pelvis.

It dawns on me that if an unattractive woman brings me food or drink I will often tip her $5, $10, even $20. Here I have a beautiful woman shaking her shit in my face and I'm giving her $3. I need to rethink my investments.

A housewife named Leather takes the stage and, while she is not the most amazing body to look at, she works the stage like she owns it. I'm pretty sure Leather is on meth or coke, but I don't mind because she is bent over masturbating and licking the floor. She looks like she would a very, VERY angry fuck. Other than that it is pretty standard fare. I order another beer.

Jeff mentions he has not eaten dinner and is starving. He disappears briefly and returns chewing on something. He spits out the rind from a lemon wedge.

"Holy shit man, I will buy you some fucking McDonald's."

"They had these sitting at the bar; I just wanted one. I'm fine."

"A fucking lemon wedge?"

A hippie named Jade gets dragged onto the stage (her boyfriend brought her here for her birthday and, SURPRISE! suggested she dance). Jeff likes her. She's rail thin, with huge boobs, but she has dreadlocks down to her ass. I don't care for dreads on people who have earned the right to wear them, and I really don't like them on white girls.

Jade's a true amateur and doesn't really know what she's doing. She bobs up and down to generic ass-rock and takes off her shirt. Her boobs are store bought, and probably from Wal-Mart. These things have bigger dimples than the Gerber baby. But the show goes on, and soon Jade is completely naked. She has an ill-advised tattoo of a heart or something right where her pubic hair would be if she hadn't shaved. And therein lies the strange dichotomy of Jade: she shaves her junk and her armpits but not her legs. What kind of fucking statement is that? You're only going to let body image subjugate you just a little bit?

Jade is cheered on by her boyfriend, who is friends with the overly friendly biker next to me. They shower her with dollars and hoots and hollers. She comes over my way and I notice she has the biggest clit I have ever seen in person. It could pass for a dick. I burst out laughing. The biker looks at me and is not overly friendly any more.

But Jade is not phased and continues to bob in that weird "I'm white and have no rhythm" bob we all do at weddings and proms. Her confidence is back up and she decides to really shake her shit. She turns around and drops to her hands and knees in front of the biker.

And she exposes a tulip bud of hemorrhoids worthy of a Miracle-Gro commercial. I turn to Jeff.

"Yeesh," he grimaces.

That's all we can really muster on that. There is something very surreal about listening to Freak on a Leash while wanting a Tuck's medicated pad.

"I'm not really as into her as I was before," Jeff tries to justify. "And I know I'll regret telling you this, but I only ate that lemon because in the light I thought it was an orange."

"Why didn't you spit it out when you realized it was a lemon?!"

"I had already committed."

Jade's set ends, but she refuses to collect any of the money people have thrown on stage (take that, establishment!) and she makes her way off the stage to a smattering of applause and the announcers bring forward the next contestant: Smoky. I'm sorry, she's correcting them: it's SmokAy.

And she is 60. Years. Old.

She walks onstage wearing a little plaid mini skirt that stops just above her flaccid labia and a white button down shirt with white socks and sneakers. This is what Catholic priests have to contend with in hell. I imagine Satan appears before them as a sharp-dressed, good looking dude and says "Congratulations on your life serving god, welcome to Heaven. We're gonna make it worth your while, sport!" Then they strap them to the bed and in walks SmokAy, probably to a Tom Jones song, and proceeds to gum them to death. For eternity.

Grown men are scattering from the stage like roaches after someone flips a light switch.

"Oh...holy...fuck, man. We gotta bail. I can't do this," Jeff looks pale. I imagine this is the face he'd have if we ever killed a man and had to flee the scene.

"C'mon buddy. This is gonna build SO MUCH CHARACTER. And think of the story we can tell!"

"She's coming this way!"

I instinctively push my foot hard against the base of the stage, and my chair exits the immediate vicinity. She ambles on, and now she's officially stripping. I have never liked the band Saliva, and after watching a naked sexagenarian gyrate to one of their songs I can say I hate them.

At this point Jeff and I have turned our chairs and we are staring at each other so as to avoid the car crash unfolding onstage. I am laughing uncontrollably, so much so that I actually feel bad because this woman obviously had the confidence to do this and here I am laughing. But Jesus.

"Jeff, I'm gonna put some money in front of you on the stage."

"I. Will. Fucking. Kill. You."

I lean in to set some singles down when I notice she is already on a collision course with Jeff. He fires his rear thrusters but she has him in her wrinkled clutches.

I have seen naked women. Some even in person. Through the miracles of the internet I have even seen horrible, obese, old, and gross naked women. But never before that night have I been physically unable to look at a naked woman. It was like staring into the sun. I even tried to, but my body would not let me.  SmokAy has big fake boobs but everything else is as wrinkly, pock-marked, and gross as you would imagine.  Her ass ripples like a kid just threw a rock into it.

SmokAy grinds on Jeff for what is probably a minute but feels like an hour and a half. He throws her a dollar. She grabs his hands and tries to stand him up out of his chair for god knows what.

"I'm good. Really," he says. She holds the dollar and shakes her head disapprovingly. Like a grandma would.

"Is that all you got lover?" she hisses over the ass-rock.

"I'm tapped out! Sorry!" Jeff is apologizing to this woman for pitying her enough to throw a dollar at her shriveled starfish. UNICEF would not have given this woman a dollar, and Jeff is apologizing for low balling her.

She tucks it into her sock and moves toward me. I panic, but I think quickly enough on my feet that I turn around and start drinking my new beer.

Remember that scene in Jurassic Park when the kids shine the light through the car window and the T-Rex's eye is right there? I can feel her hovering at my spot just waiting for me to turn around. I'm in it to win it, though. Beer is streaming down my chin onto my lap. My eyes are watering. Must. Drink. Do not acknowledge. Drink!

I slam the empty down.

"I'm hittin' the pisser. Watch my seat."

"Fuck you! You are NOT leavi-" I'm already up and gone. I am choking on beer foam from chugging/laughing and I need to throw whiz like it's my job. In the bathroom I stumble across half the guys who left the stage.

"How's it goin' out there man? Is that ol' bitch still walkin' all over her pussy lips?" The bathroom attendant offers me a cigarette. I consider it for a second, then realize this is an entirely bizarre gesture that may cost me money. I decline the smoke.

"I would rather stare death in the face than watch that any more," I say while seeing the proverbial man about the proverbial mule.

"Dude. You just stared death in the SNATCH," says the poser with the spiky hair and sport coat. We all share a laugh; I wash my hands and return to my seat.

We're halfway through the last song of SmokAy's set and it's an endurance trial now. She has moved on to the other side of the stage, which at first was good but now means we are staring at a wrinkled, veiny ass bent over her white sneakers while she flirts with a Pakistani. Her browneye glares menacingly at us like it's going to yell at us to get off its lawn.

I should also mention that during her entire set, none of the DJs say a word. Normally they read off the little bio sheet each amateur has to provide detailing favorite sexual positions, kinkiest place they ever did it, number of times they've gone ass to mouth, etc. Not a fucking word. No words could apply. What would you say? "SmokAy's a sexy grandmother of four who likes it from behind and enjoys Boggle!"

"Oh my god let this song be over," Jeff is losing faith in humanity at this point.

"I've actually seen this before," I point out the varicose veins, "when my grandma fell in the shower." Jeff spits out his beer. The song ends. By my count, SmokAy has amassed three dollars. One of those is the ransom Jeff had to pay to be released from the cold grip of Death.

It's getting pretty late, and I have to work the next day, but Jeff and I agree we can't let SmokAy be our last experience of the night. The next girl, Jersey, looks very promising.

She's gorgeous. Great rack, that-unbelievably-beautiful-girl-next-door smile, and an AMAZING ass. AMAZING. Michelangelo carved this ass out of honey and sugar.

And she's friendly. She immediately makes her way to Jeff and I and gyrates for awhile, removing various articles of clothing. Unfortunately she's keeping her panties on. Since this is our last round of the fight Jeff and I are sparing no expense; we lavish praise and money on this girl. She straddles Jeff and humps like no tomorrow. I am amused.

Then she comes to me and asks me how I'm doing. This is a huge plus. I know she doesn't care. I know I might as well have a giant sign that says "I STILL HAVE SOME MONEY" over my head, but she acts like she cares. And that matters.

She lies on her back and rests her legs on my shoulders. I memorize the curves of this lithe little goddess with my eyes. She reaches her hand down and rubs herself. This getting good...

And then I notice the white string peaking out from behind her black panties.

"I'm done, dude."

"Why? She was hot!" Jeff's into it.

"I'm not down with the tampon string." Jeff leans over as she bounces for the friendly biker next to me.

"Jesus Christ. What the hell is going on tonight?!"

"One would almost think God is telling us not to go to strip clubs."


We leave the club as a beer-bellied housewife is making her way up to the stage, and I advise Jeff to seriously rethink his policy on amateurs. My original justification of "it'll make a great story!" is rendered null, as Jeff makes me swear to never speak of this night again.

He didn't say I couldn't write about it.