J: OK, so I was about 27 or 28 and my best friend at the time, she was my age too, we were both single and not even seriously dating anybody, decided to go on a ski vacation in January. We both lived here, she's since moved away, and we would go skiing at the slopes near here but we really wanted to try skiing out west where the snow is so much better. Plus, we were single and, well... You know?
Me: Sure. So this was like 2003 or so?
J: That would be about right. So, anyway, we went to Colorado, flew out on a Monday night, flying back the next Monday morning. We were going for too long a time as it turned out but, what did we know, we'd never skied out west before.
Anyhow so we ski on Tuesday, and Wednesday and by Thursday we're already tired and looking for a break. Now, you'd have to know my girlfriend, Jill, but she's really gorgeous, white skin like porcelain and reddish blonde hair. Very fit, great body. And, I'm pretty much like I am today except everything's a little firmer and maybe I weighed a couple pounds less.
Me: So, in a word, stunning. And Jill sounds nice too.
J: Thanks, silly. I'm not totally sure I should tell you this.
OK, what the heck, so we spend Thursday avoiding the ski runs--hanging around town, shopping, drinking, eating, doing a buncha touristy stuff. It's a fun day. In the afternoon we're driving around town-- I'm driving our rental car-- and Jill looks down this street that heads out of town-- we're out past the cool part of town at this point. She sees two strip clubs down this road that's got small warehouses and stuff. She makes me turn and go down that way. These two clubs are across the road from each other and on one there's a sign that says like, "Home of 19 beautiful girls... and 1 ugly one" or something dumb like that. The other one has a sign out by the road that says, "Friday night amateur night $$$ cash prizes."
J: Yeah, no kidding. So Jill starts in on me. 'We gotta do this 'Nelle. C'mon! Nobody knows us out here. It won't matter who sees us... we live like thousands of miles from here. C'mon, 'Nelle!" And I'm not into it at all but she just keeps working on me. I drive back into the nice part of the town and she won't stop trying to convince me. We go get coffee at this place and still she won't quit. Finally she says, 'OK, Babe, let's just go out there now, in broad daylight, and go in... we'll see if the manager or somebody is there so we can ask about the whole amateur thing... if it skeezes us out we'll bounce, I swear.'
Me: Jill wore you down, didn't she?
J: Yeah. Well, at least enough to go back out there. I drive us back out there and, I have to admit the place looks a lot nicer than the dump across the street... from the outside anyway. But, I'm thinking there's no way we're doing this. Still just asking about it will be kind of an adventure. I mean I'd never even been inside one of those places before. Oh, by the way, we're in our best snow bunny gear too since we were going to stay off the slopes. All the super cool clothes we bought for the trip-- cute parkas, great jeans, knee-high fashion boots... so, I admit, we're both thinking we look pretty hot.
There are like maybe a dozen cars in the lot, not crowded, when we go in. It's so dark in there we stop just inside to let our eyes adjust and while we're standing there these two guys, dressed really nice like, ya know doctors or lawyers or something, are leaving and the one just stops dead and looks at us and says, 'If you two are here to dance next shift we're not going back to the office today.' Inside I freak but Jill acts all cool-like and says, 'No, we're signing up for amateur night tomorrow.' So the guy is like, 'we'll be back for that, for sure!'
Me: Wow, was that pretty exciting? Or kinda creepy?
J: Yeah. Hmmm. I mean it's weird. If the same guy had walked up to us in the coffee shop and said something cheezy, I dunno, but because we're inside a strip club, it's different somehow. Honestly, it gave me a jolt. And Jill was just so cool about it too-- she just flashes her big smile when he says the thing about coming back to see us.
(Shakes her head and Pauses again.)
Anyway, the sound system is just killer in this place. I've never been in, you know, a regular dance club that sounded like this, so freakin' hot, big bass pounding but not distorted, right? Killer! And we watch this blonde on stage and there are like ten guys sitting at the edge of the stage stuffing money in her g-string or putting bills on the stage for her to pick up. And, she's alright but nothing that would stop traffic. Still these guys are nearly throwing money at her, ya know? And I realize that both of us, Jill and me, are moving to the beat... the thump is soooo strong in there and you just move, ya can't help it. So, by now the manager has seen us standing there and comes up and says something very nice to us about how we look-- not sleazy like a creep hittin' on us-- just real cool. Then he asks if we would like a table or booth and Jill says, 'No, my friend and I wanted to find out more about amateur night.' Well, his eyes just light up.
He tells us that they limit it to ten girls, all ten dance one song solo, then they bring all ten out together after the tenth solo and you just move to the music while the crowd votes for the top three. This guy, the manager, decides by how loud they clap, yell, and scream who the top three are. Then those three dance another solo dance and there's another vote. First place $500, 2nd $250, and 3rd $100. Plus you can keep all tips from your solo-- don't have to split with the house-- and, after the contest you can stay and table dance for tips-- no split with the house although you're supposed to tip out the DJ and waitresses if you stay. At that point I didn't even know what a "table dance" was-- I thought he meant getting up on a table or something!
Me: Just a babe in the woods.
J: Ha! Jill says, 'Well, that sounds pretty good. But we're true amateurs, not strippers. Would we have a chance?' He laughs and says, 'I can't guarantee anything but I've already signed up seven girls and you two, if you can dance at all, are running 1 & 2 right now.' I get another electric jolt out of that Wil, I have to say. An hour later back in town I'm thinking he's bullshittin' us but at the time he said it, well...
'I've had girls in here that stay to table dance after they win and walk out with a grand for four or five hours in the club,' he told us. Jill says, 'There's nothing expected on the side, right? I mean we just want to do it as an experience, we're not skanks.' And he says, 'Well, I don't want to know what exactly you mean by that, but we have security for all our dancers, including the girls on amateur night. If anybody makes you feel uncomfortable you tell me and I'll take care of it. Let me just say this, ladies, this place will be packed tomorrow night. The reason I don't take any of your tip money is that amateur night fills this place to the rafters during ski season. I make mine on the $20 cover and beer sales. And, we get a reputation for showcasing the most beautiful women in the state.'
Me: So, Did you dance? Did you win? This is way better than my teenage skinny dippin' story, Janelle.
...to be continued