I may have brought this up in the past but I'm not sure so I'm just putting this down under PERSONAL label section. Back in those days every post I seemed to put up was labeled a RANT.
Its probably 8-9 years ago. I'm in Chicago visiting Jim, a very old friend. One of the very few Americans who came out to Asia and respected our cultures and embraced the life as his own.
It's not the first time I was in the states but as any Asian man will tell you, we must all at least check out an all American strip club at least once. C'mon these are scenes we see weekly on any TV show from the US of A. Also after all the gogo bars in Bangkok and nightclubs in KL, Manila and Jakarta one must make comparisons from half a world away. I mean it's all in the name of research you know.
The strip club is somewhere in the dodgier part of town about less than ten minutes from the old jazz clubs. Jim and I get past the cliched looking bouncer at the door (tall, bald, tattooed with a t-shirt borrowed from his pet chihuahua).
We are surrounded by 30 individual podiums each filled with a topless gyrating siliconed goddess. We take our seats in the middle of the seating area and order a beer each. It's USD10 a pop. I am not happy. In Malaysia that would buy me a jug. But it's OK. I put it down to an education budget. Pretty soon the mood is killed. Every stripper looks stoned or bored. Looking at the ceiling or at their watches as they go through the motions.
Then we realise that after every dance the girls do the rounds of the low tables and sofas asking the patrons for a lap dance. 10 bucks for a a song. No touching. Of course Jim and I pass. Compared to Asia this is a joke. What do you mean no touching? And 10 bucks is one cold Bud that I can ill afford except that I'm on holiday and I will spend on booze wherever I am. So we settle down and enjoy seeing 50 year old balding men get massively turned on by a jiggling ass inches away from their crotches, while we keep turning away every stripper that comes our way.
Aileen (not real name as i cant remember), a brunette with long curly hair approaches us. We decline and say we'll pass. She asks nicely if she can sit with us for a bit as she's tired. She looks cool and did not come on with a lap dance hard sell like the rest. We invite her to join us and buy her a coffee. She seems surprised at our offer and she spends about 15 minutes with us. We chat on what she does (every stripper seems to be a moonlighting nurse or kindergarten teacher) and is very amused when I say the next place I want to go is an all American diner which will serve me a greasy burger and some old waitress who will call me 'honey' and serve me shit coffee. She gives us directions to the diner behind the club where she recommends the best burger and mash.
Aileen moves away, its her turn at the podium. We order up another round of Buds. Its our fifth I believe when another stripper walks up to us. "Ten bucks for a lap dance boys?"
We politely decline and turn to check out Aileen. Stripper Girl gives it another shot. "C'mon boys, I'll make it worth your while, 10 buck is all."
I turn to her and say "No la its OK." (yes I use La every where i go)
She turns to me "If you're not here for lap dances why the fuck are you even sitting here?"
I don't like to be fucked with. Not when I'm already paying too much for my beer.
I look up, garish lights hit me from behind her silhouette, bad '80s porno like music in my ears and I say (maybe a little too loudly), "in my country 10 dollars you suck my cock."
I don't really remember much after that through the rush of things. She starts shouting at me. Jim is trying to calm her down. Suddenly the lights are blocked by the huge shadow of the bouncer from the door (how such a big motherfucker could move so fast is beyond me). I assume he grabbed me as I'm yanked to my feet. My mind is a blur. The bitch was rude to me. I was just merely informing her on the economic decisions on how to spend 10 US dollars in a global economy.
The snarling bald face is pulled away from me. Aileen, the lean brunette school teacher had hoped down the podium and is pulling the bouncer away. I only remember her low voice saying "they're cool (insert bouncer sounding name), they're cool."
It ends so fast I have no real memory. The next thing I know I'm back in my seat and Jim has ordered up another round of drinks.
We end up at that diner. Jim is shaking his head "saved by a stripper man, saved by a stripper..." The burger is a little greasy but the coffee is strong. The young waitress didn't call me 'honey' though...