Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Per Capita

Stop me if you heard this one before...

It was 5:30. It had taken nearly a half hour to slog through traffic heading out of downtown. The Ross Island Bridge was narrowed due to construction, but once over, it was a straight shot to Tom's house, on 26th...

I was gussied up in lawyer garb. Tom had goop in his hair and wore a snappy linen shirt. It was Wednesday. Obviously, we were headed for a strip club.

It was our weekly night of debauchery. Like painting the Golden Gate Bridge, we tried to canvas every club in Portland's vast titty-bar buffet, but along the way, clubs we had visited closed, and new ones opened in their place. The project never ended.

The rule was to go, sit, and have one beer. Then, you could say you had been there. At times, we were able to hit up to five in one night. Often we brought guests. Sometimes, it was just the two of us. We occasionally made friends at our regular stops, and we learned the pattern of which clubs got hot, and when.

For me, it didn't really matter whether the club was a premium joint, or a dump. I was there for the circus. Sometimes, I say "Freakshow," but that conveys an unintended negative implication...

Anyway...

Once again, Tom and I were out for cheap thrills and cold beer.

(By the way, right now, as he reads this, Tom is a little uneasy and thinking to himself: "Oh lord, which one is Brian going to tell this time...?" Don't worry, Tom, this is the one about me at Tommy's)

So, OK, where was I? Oh yeah...

Tom and I were out for cheap thrills and beer. Generally, we would break down our prospects by geography, concentrating on the SE, the west side, the airport, 82nd, Sandy, or the far east. That night, however, we were feeling lazy and not a little bit lackadaisical. So, we stayed close to home, focusing on our familiar favorites on Powell Boulevard, just down the street from his place.

Really, there were two. Doc's was a home away from home. They knew us there. We knew them. My favorite feature was the outside patio stage in the summer time. Blue sky, warm breeze, cold drinks, and naked women wriggling on the tiny stage beneath fake palm trees...

The second was Cocktails and Dreams. Famous, mostly for Wednesday-Night-Big-Girl-Night. The performers there seemed to be a bit naughtier...

Between the two clubs, though, lay a non-descript orange-painted shack. On the side of which was painted the name: "Tommy's."

For some reason, we had, up to that point, completely overlooked the existence of this club. That night, however, we were up for something new. So, we walked in.

It was, as expected, a low-budget rundown shit hole. There was a tall man, with a 1970's style afro sleeping at the bar. It appeared that he had perhaps been sleeping for a long time because many people had taken the opportunity to stick straws, plastic forks, sugar packets and bits of paper into the folds of his hair.

I suddenly grew hopeful...

The drinks were watered down. The music was, um, primarily Urban in nature. The rotation was small, but should have been smaller.

Suddenly, without warning, a tall red-haired secretary with nerd-girl glasses and spiked heels appeared out of nowhere. She was hot. Shockingly so, and she was completely out of place in this dive. She was smart too, and witty, able to hold off both Tom and I in conversation, all while removing her underwear.

Somehow, without me knowing he had done it, after the secretary's set was over, Tom went over to have a chat with her. This left me alone at the rack.

Then, the final girl in the rotation came out onto the stage. In stark contrast to the secretary, this girl looked like she could be the mascot for Tommy's.

She weighed maybe 100 pounds, if she were holding a brick. Rail thin, maybe a size 2, with only tiny skin flaps for breasts. She was friendly though, and smiled with her crooked stained smile. Unfortunately, her costume selection was a leather-strap-and-brass-ring dominatrix harness, made for someone who was perhaps a bit more statuesque.

The twin brass rings on her chest, which were designed for ample C or D sized mams, simply circled and highlighted her tiny protuberances, like little eyes winking behind big glasses.

I held my seat at the rack. Even as every other patron in the bar scooted quickly away from the stage. This was the show. This was the reason to go.

I was not disappointed.

The dancing was awkward and disjointed, but earnest. She was friendly, but not very witty. She had been practicing the moves, but needed a little more practice.

Finally, after the second song, the harness came off. I was glad to see that distraction go. But then... oh then...

There is a move, for those of you who don't know, where the dancer faces away from you, then bends over at the waist and waves hello between her knees. And that is the exact move she attempted right then.

A moment passed in that position. Then, it seemed, we both saw it at the same time...

It was a large, crumpled, pulpy wad of used toilet paper, and it was well-lodged in her craw. I was thrilled. She was unfazed.

"Oh, that doesn't belong there," she said, and in one fluid motion, reached up and flicked the paper, sending it sailing past my head over my left shoulder onto the floor behind me.

Whereas, I had already been tipping well, I opened my wallet and and showed true appreciation.

Helping a friend move this week has taken me past the Powell Boulevard clubs a dozen times, which has rung my Pavlovian stripper bell... It has also gotten me thinking about starting a new project.

Either here or in a related blog, I'm hatching a plan to document and review every strip club in Portland, which won't be easy because of that oft-quoted statistic. Does Portland actually have more strip clubs per capita than any other city in America? Who knows! I am, however, willing to visit all of them, for your sakes, of course...

42 comments:

  1. Oosje7:31 AM

    Do some of the Drunken Ramblers get to go with you?

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  2. Lucky Red8:11 AM

    You never stop giving...selfless...this, certainly, is your ticket to heaven.

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  3. I never recall us attending strip clubs. Church,yes church, but never strip clubs.

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  4. I agree with oosje, can we come too?

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  5. Does the circuit include male strip clubs, too?

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  6. Helly, there are a few male strip clubs in the Portland area. I'm sure Mr. G&T could handle a male strip club for us gals....

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  7. Drunken Ramblers...

    Sounds like a country western band.

    Of course folks can come with me! Maybe I'll turn it into a weekly saturday night G&T Lounge drunken rambler titty tour.

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  8. Better yet, just open up your own. You've already got a perfect name for it ;-)

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  9. Or penis tour...you've got to attend one male club for us ladies.

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  10. I've been to a female strip club (and been offered a lap dance) but never a male strip club... yet. I'm curious to know if it's that much different (aside from the obvious :-P)

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  11. Helly, I've been to both. Sat at the rack and got my own little show, thanks to all the guys I was with. Honestly, the women put on a better show.

    The men do take it all off though if you know what I'm sayin...

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  12. Honestly, the women put on a better show.

    I can imagine-- the curves of a woman just seem better suited to making that sort of thing more alluring ;-)

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  13. Sergio the stripper9:40 AM

    Yes, Mr. Gin and Tonic, you come to see my show, I rub you with my silky banana hammock...

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  14. How well can you dance Sergio? Maybe we all want to come see your show...

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  15. helly's latent preference9:42 AM

    hmm... doesn't like men in their underwear, prefers the soft curves of female dancers...

    hmmm...

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  16. LMFAO

    I never said I didn't like men in their underwear-- I just don't like pasty human sweaters.

    Besides, there's a difference between looking and admiring, and wanting to take it home and fuck its brains out...

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  17. now... if you want to talk about "latent preferences"... I would pay to see Sergio do his thing to Mr. G&T ;-D

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  18. Now that Helly I'd like to see. I think Mr. G&T is just odd enough, he'd take a lap dance from Sergio...just sayin'....

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  19. I hope none of strippers are mexicans...that would really fuck up my racist opinions.

    For this test I am willing to fly up and participate. I'll even do a guest blog entry to talk about my experiences.

    Maybe I can get Tom or Dave to tag along.

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  20. The 2 Bri's + Tom and Dave at a *male* strip club-- I would pay all of your entrance fees just to see that. Marge, wanna drag our hubbies into the fray while we're at it? ;-)

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  21. If there were also female strip clubs involved in the same night, my hubby would gladly attend.

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  22. Honestly, I don't need to see strippers...my wife satisfies me in every way possible and the 2 kids have in no way intruded on our time alone.

    Snicker

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  23. I call BS on b.s. "The 2 kids have in no way intruded on our time alone." Right....

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  24. "BS on bs".... almost sounds kinky ;-)

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  25. Helly! You're picture is deceiving, you're a naughty girl....

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  26. LOL!

    Then perhaps I'd best refrain from telling you how to make a 6'8", 250-pound man jump 3 feet into the air...

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  27. Helly, if you can make a 6'8", 250-pound man jump 3 feet into the air...you go girl....

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  28. "you go girl"-- hehe... not exactly what he said at first, but he's since warmed to the idea ;-)

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  29. 6'8" man11:32 AM

    She put her finger in my butt.

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  30. Haha... wrong 6'8" man, then ;-P

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  31. Mrs. G&T12:45 PM

    I've seen the boys and the girls perform. There is a reason that Portland has 100s of clubs with naked women and only a couple with men. There is also a reason that the two primary clubs in town that feature men use that as a secondary attraction (transvestites and naked girls being the primary attraction). Dancing while removing clothing, and dancing naked, are not activities men are well suited for.

    However, beyond the layers of bad g-strings (fluorescent yellow fringe just looks like big bird), the real reason I don't enjoy the men's shows is the women. When there is a naked woman on stage, even in a terrible dive, the men are generally well behaved. The women are often friendly, and sometimes interesting. When there is a naked man on stage, women scream and throw things. Girls, especially drunk ones, resort to crude sexual objectification, and the clubs encourage it. That kind of behavior in a women's club will get you thrown on your ass.

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  32. Whew...
    I'm glad to see that the Lounge is returning to its roots, to things it truly has an expertise in.

    As for the club checklist - Its daunting. I recall pages upon pages of listings in the back of the Willamette Week (not even getting into the issues of online postings and reviews).
    I do think a blog or website of reviews provides a redeeming social service.

    BTW - I think you have to divide and conquer geographically. There's just no way to be thorough if you're jummping from one end of the city to the other...

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  33. I think we should at least be able to get to 15 or so when I come up there.

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  34. Anonymous2:44 PM

    Yes Mitch, I agree. No more religion or politics please. Opps, I just passed gas.

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  35. Anonymous2:49 PM

    Amen! (Anonymous #2)

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  36. Bite me.

    It's a little bit of high brow and a little bit of low brow. It's a peep show with social commentary. It's a forum for the the free flow of ideas and the free expression thereof. It's poeems about cheese. It's tirades against grocery stores. It's pictures of Christina Ricci and stories about strippers. It's religious criticism. It's a never-ending advertisement for Battlestasr Galactica. It's my uncontrolable narcissistic ego. It's rambling rants about good scotch.

    In short, it's the Lounge...

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  37. it is crowded.

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  38. it is crowded.

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  39. I think you should refer to this as Project Cherry Vanilla in honor of the classic stripper scent. And, everyone who attends gets a code name.

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  40. Fred... Its cherry vanilla mixed with Marlboro and frosted pink lipstick...
    ...I mean, that's what I've heard...

    As for the purpose of the Lounge - I think talking about politics or religion, scotch or Christina Ricci are all fair game. I was merely pointing out that there are areas of greater expertise.

    And finally, let me point out that your volume of discussion/readership seems to have soared after your crisis of blog-conscience.

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  41. I thought Brian got more readesr because they are looking for more panty pictures?

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  42. I always thought it was "Stripper Vanilla."

    And since his blog video of the possible end of the lounge, readership is up, or at least comments are, we wouldn't want Mr. G&T to off himself...how else would we entertain ourselves while at work?

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Be compelling.

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