Life at TJ's Place
Saturday, July 10, 2004
At some point every weekend, the “flower girl” comes into the club and sells roses to men, to give to the dancers or waitresses. Just one more opportunity for the guys to go home flat-broke and busted, with nothing to show for it. Our flower girl runs her own part-time business and does this on the weekends, going to all the clubs and hotspots around town. She’s nice and everybody likes her. One of our bouncers gave her a grotesque “lap dance” one time when she was in the club and had, mistakenly, told someone it was her birthday. She squealed like a little girl and her face got incredibly red.
I’ve only been to three other strip clubs as a customer in my life. You’re asking for trouble if, as the manager of a club, you try to go into another club near yours because you’ll be blamed for trying to recruit dancers and asked to leave. There was almost a fight at our club one night (I wasn’t working) when a bunch of guys from another club here in town all showed up and Mike wouldn’t let them in. It was a turf thing. Anyway, it ended peacefully with some stupid agreement that the guys could come in, but they couldn’t get private dances or sit at the stage, some total wuss-out. I really don’t think they were there to recruit dancers, I think they just wanted to check out our club. Mike has a tendency to make a really big deal out of shit like that.
If you play pool with one of the dancers, she’ll distract you by hovering her ass over every pocket you’re shooting at. You have to have an iron-clad sense of focus not to let it get to you. Last night we were watching two guys play partners pool with two of the dancers. One of the guys was an older guy with a beard, kind of fat and he was really funny. Misty was playing on the team opposite him and the first time he went to take a shot, she lifted up her skirt and started wiggling her butt over his pocket. He was a good pool player. He started lining up his shot and all of a sudden he started laughing. He turned to all of us and said, “Goddamn, that thing just winked at me!” I don’t know if I’ve ever heard a louder laugh from the barroom before.
Tuesday, July 06, 2004
I’m glad the shelf-life of your average stripper isn’t more than 25 or 30 years of age, because their kids would inevitably all start reaching the school age where they fundraise. Fundraising, it seems, is Mom’s job. Dad will rarely bring the kid’s sign-up sheet into the office and ask his co-workers to buy an 8-oz jar of cashews for $49.95, or three 12-inch raw pizzas for $34.50, or a candle that smells like a cinnamon stick dipped in shit for $19.95. No, it’s mom’s job. We have lots of mommies in the club; luckily, though, most of them are too young (speaking of the blessed children) to begin the school fundraisers. But we do have several waitresses now who have kids old enough, and I’ve bought a lot of crap out of a four-page little glossy color catalog in the last two years. “Kev, Jessie’s going to band camp this year...you don’t have to, but if you want to, you can buy something from this catalog that will help pay for her trip.” Or, “Kev, Mikey’s going to Hong Kong with his lacrosse team this summer, it’d really help if you bought this $400 block of cheese.”
I just cough up money left and right for this shit. We had a waitress who started here one time and worked for about three weeks when she brought the kid’s fund raising stuff in. I hardly knew her, so I bought the cheapest thing I could find (I don’t even remember what it was, some kitchen utensil or something). And of course we had to pay for it up front. So the waitress just doesn’t show up for a shift one day and that’s the last we heard from her. My $11.50 gone forever! (I sometimes wonder if a person could do that for a scam? Go around the country doing that, taking jobs and making co-workers buy the phantom child’s fundraising stuff, then disappearing? I’m working the numbers on it...let’s see...carry the two...divide by 12... No. I think it would be quite impossible.)
The waitresses work a deal with guys like the Stooges. It goes: “You buy something in this book and help send Dakota to Siberia for cheerleading camp and you won’t have to tip me tonight.” Most of our regulars look like retired porn stars or ex-cons or narcs, but they have cash just falling out of their pockets. The waitresses make out like bandits, because if you’re a bar regular and you’re a good tipper, you’re always a good tipper. It doesn’t matter if I burn your house down, you’ll still tip me. You might put the dollar on the bar and tell me to stick it up my ass, but you’ll still tip. Just one of those funny things.
Kev’s latest fundraising purchase: a barrel of cheesy popcorn for 12-14 year-old girls’ softball trip to team national…thing, $13.00! It works out to two cents a kernel. I counted.