Many, many years ago, my shop was an all male shop for a while. It didn’t start out that way and truth be told I usually favor female designers. I like having a female point of view on a lot of things but that isn’t the deciding factor when I hire, competency is. But this isn’t about hiring, or even about males vs females in design. Just making a point here for the rest of the story that we were an all male shop, and this was a long time ago…
Christmas is coming up and the owner is trying to decide what to do for us all for Christmas. We had gone out to eat before and things like that, so he was thinking of stuff a little different and nicer. We had a great year and he wanted to show his appreciation. So what came about was we were supposed to go to a fancy steak house and then off to one of the are riverboats for some company financed gambling. So the night started off with dinner.
We went to a place called Al Capone’s Hideaway and Steakhouse. This was a very nice place and where I had my first ever steak that cost over $30. Was it worth the over $30? Maybe. I can cook a mean steak and prefer mine to all the lower end steak houses like Outback and Texas Roadhouse. The only advantage they have is I don’t have to cook. But I digress. We ate, we drank, we had a great dinner. Then came step two, the riverboat
Did I say river boat? Well, it was SUPPOSED to be the river boat. One of the places the owner had talked about taking us was a strip club, being an all guy shop. I had advised against that, knowing that my wife would have a cow if she knew we went there. Well, the owner decided we were going anyway and that if I didn’t know I couldn’t say anything. So as I am following him to what I thought was the riverboat, Instead we pull into a parking lot for a local strip club. Now the fun begins.
As we exit our cars, a guy in a coat with the joint’s logo on it comes up to us and asks us for money to park. Alan says to him that he saw that parking was free. “Well yeah, but the fee is for me to watch out for your cars to make sure nothing happens to them.” Wow, not even inside the place and already getting the shakedown. Well he says the the guy that we are not paying and that if anything happens to either of our cars he is going to hold him personally responsible. Then he turns to me and says “don’t you dare pay him, just follow me”. So follow him we do. All the while this parking lot guy is standing there with his mouth open dumbfounded at what just happened. I bet nobody ever told him no before.
We get inside the door and there is a cover charge. As Alan pulls out his card to pay for it the parking lot guy comes barging in and starts yelling at the ticket girl to not let us in because we didn’t pay him. He is loud enough that a manager comes out front to see what is going on. Calmly Alan asks the manager if parking is free like it says on the ad and the billboard out front. The manager conforms this is the case and Alan looks back at the guy and says “Thank you, be gone now. And like I said our cars had better be in great shape when we get back”. We are all just standing there thinking that this night has taken on a strange twist of its own and can only get worse.
Well, it certainly got weirder. Apparently we were ‘early’, as the place was not very crowded yet. That plus being a weekday perhaps led it to be pretty empty. So we proceeded to grab a table towards the back but clear view of the stage. There is one woman on the stage dancing with nobody seated at the stage-side seats. We order a round of beers and after they come, Alan hands us each a wad of cash. Not more than 2 minutes later a scantily clad dancer comes running by out table, drops down onto Matt’s lap (one of my CSRs), kisses him and then screams “I’m up next, baby! Come to the stage and make it RAIN!” Then she gets up and runs onto the stage where it is apparently her turn to dance. We are just looking at each other, not quite sure what the hell she meant (except for Alan, none of us had ever been in a strip club). Alan does and gets up to go sit himself down at the stage. So there he is, sitting at the stage seat, by himself, with the dancer concentrating on him. He is leaning forward with his chin resting on his hands and a huge grin on his face, clearly enjoying the show. At one point she reaches out and grabs a hold of her garter belt and pulls it back a bit, an invitation for Alan slip slip a bill or three in there. He obliged the request and sat back down to watch some more. The rest of us guys are just kinda amazed at him. This was clearly not something we ever thought of him doing. A few more minutes pass by and now the dancer pulls up the edge of her g-string as she squats down right in front of him. Alan reaches for another bill or two in front of him and slips it under her outstretched g-string. Now, while I had never been in a strip club prior to this (That is true, stop laughing), I knew enough to know that you don’t touch the dancers. After Alan deposited his bill under the g-string, he slapped the girl on the ass. She jumped and giggled pretty loud, we all gasped and spit out our beers thinking that this was it, time to get thrown out. Sure enough, two bouncers were right there within seconds grabbing his arms. The dancer starts talking to the guys and we could here her saying that she told him to do that since he gave her a generous tip, so they eventually let him go. We all sat back down and ordered more beer (on HIS credit card!) wondering what was going to happen next.
5 minutes later the same thing happened again! We see the same dancer reach out her g-string, Alan slip a few bills in there and ‘smack’, right on the ass. Resigned to our fate we all get up and start to grab out coats. This time the bouncers look at the dancer before they move and she shakes them off again, so we sit back down. After I chug my remaining beer I go and grab Alan and bring him back to the table. No need to have him push it too far, I know him…
Now back at the table Alan is just grinning so hard his face has to hurt. A few comments about how that butt was tight as a drum and him saying he was just trying to see how far he could push it had me wanting to get us all out of there. I wonder if he has enough on him to bail us all out? So anyway, I mention earlier that we were an all guy shop. Well two of our guys were just barely 21, and both virgins and not very good with the ladies. Like very awkward with the ladies. So Alan grabs the first two dancers that come bay and pays for both of them to have a lap dance. Well here they did the dance right there at your table, so we got to all watch as our two guys seemed scared to death at the tits now staring them in the face. And unlike Alan, they didn’t touch at all, both of them stood as rigid as a statue, arms to their sides. One of the girls leans in and rubs her boobs all over Mitch’s face (my designer). When she leaned back, we couldn’t tell if the look on his face was horror or ecstasy. Then the girl grabbed both his hands and placed them on her ass as she is gyrating around on top of him. NOW we can tell the look is fear, fear that HE will get accosted by the bouncers for touching. But apparently that part is OK on lap dances or something as nobody approached us. The dancer was done and left while Mitch just st there with a dazed look on his face. Then Matt says “Mitch, you are never going to live this one down, nice wet spot’. Yup, he got a little excited.
We all groaned at his new found embarrassment and handed him a new beer. We then sat back down as the ‘show’ was starting. The next hour went on without incident. Mitch got 3 more lap dances and loosened up with each one. Alan went back to the stage and came back after about 20 minutes without incident. An hour later there is a new lineup of dancers in the house and as one comes out to the stage, Alan gets up to go back to the stage. Mitch follows him there this time, apparently he has found some confidence. Matt and I just kind of looked at each other wondering how this was all going to end. If you guessed it ended with a butt slap, you would be correct! A few minutes into her dance she squatted down in front of Alan and Mitch and both guys slipped a buck or two under the g-string. Then in unison they both slapped a butt cheek. Well this one wasn’t having it, she stood up and stopped dancing as the bouncers came over and grabbed both of them. We could hear their protests but the bouncers weren’t having any of it and ushered them to the door with feet barely touching the ground. Matt and I grabbed the coats and I ran to the bar to settle the tab. As I got the credit card back in hand and signed the bar bill I looked towards the front door and I saw Mitch and Alan actually get ‘thrown’ out the front door like on old Westerns when drunks get thrown out of the saloon. Matt and I walk outside and see Mitch and Alan both laying on their backs in the snow, laughing like crazy. “Let’s do it again!” screams Alan. I just drop their coats on top of them and head to my car. I am already getting in trouble for this one, but at least I still had the whole wad of cash Alan gave me left.