Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Josh Reynolds and The Strippers

Before I get into a long awaited new installment of the ongoing saga of my friend, Josh Reynolds, there are certain universal truths that must first be acknowledged.

First, it is simply a fact that strippers tend to come mostly from a certain socio-economic class. Stripping is generally a profession for women who have had less opportunities than most--the "stripping-her-way-through-college" myth notwithstanding.
Accordingly, it stands to reason that the majority of women who take their clothes off for a living will have less education than those who work among the clothed. Thus, any reference to the lacklustre speaking skills or lower socio-economic standing of the strippers in this story should be chalked up to a statistically proven fact that strippers have less opportunities and not to the fact that the author of this story is in any way mocking these women based on these shortcomings. Additionally, phrases like, "sketchy," "ghetto," and "nasty" should be considered as accurate representations of the people and places they are used to describe, not as any sort of judgement about people from said socio-economic standing.

Secondly, if you are a person who knows me and my circle of friends in real life, it is more than likely you will have attempted to figure out the true identity of "Josh Reynolds" as you have read stories of his adventures here at The Real Johnson. I can hereby assure you that it is not that person you think it is, so stop judging him based on what you read here.

And lastly, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possesion of a small fortune must be in want of a wild time when entering a strip club for a bachelor party.

However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering the strip club, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the strippers and that man's friends, that it is considered extremely likely that at least one of those men will do something incredibly foolish.

If the visiting party happens to be a bachelor party, the likeyhood increases exponentially.

If Josh Reynolds is among those men, said liklihood for tomfoolery increases to the point that it is virtually a given.

It was on one of these very occasions that we found ourselves, as we have on occasion, at the fine Nigara Falls institution known as Sundowners.

Now strip clubs, as a rule, are not generally "nice" places. They are, obviously, quite sleezy; the drinks are overpriced; the women there are, by definition, objectified; the music is shitty, bass-heavy tripe; and, for a germaphobe like me, these places are a veritable smorgasbord of Shigella, Staphylococcus, E. coli, gonococcus, C. difficile, and bankers.

Having said that, if you must go to a stip club, there are few that I might recommend (in my limitted experience going to such establishments) that are better than Sundowners. That is to say, given the criteria by which the superficial male might classify strip clubs--abundance of naked women and the physical attractiveness of said women--Sundowners would rank quite highly.

And so, upon our entrance to Sundowners that night, in appreciattion of the establishment meeting these standards and in accordance with common practice at a bachelor party, certain members of our party with financial means proceeded to spend gratuitously. In the parlance of our times, these gentlemen where makin' it rain.

And, as is often the case when money is in abundance in a strip club, it wasn't long before the table we were seated at became a popular destination for the employees of the club. In fact, given the enthusiasm of my friend Josh Reynolds for selecting some of the the extablishment's better looking employees in pairs and having them...ahem...do things to each other, our table soon drew the attention of most people in the strip club.

Eventually, however, as our funds dwindled, it became clear that continuing to make it rain at our current rate was not economically feasible. The bar for keeping our new-found, silicone-enhanced friends hanging around had been set quite high and the night was still young. Accordingly, in the interest of preserving our collective funds, the decision was made to take the party, at least temporarily, to the decidedly less appealing strip club that happened to be next door.

I'll spare the "gentlemen's club" next door the embarassment of mentioning it by name, but suffice it to say that this place is nasty.

Indeed, I'll skip tales of what exactly transpired in said club too, but I will say that the establishment was such that it even offended the good taste and common decency of a group of men who had been drinking heavily for the better part of a day and who had just come from giving women money to misrepresent their sexual orientation in public.

To say that the staff of this strip club resembled crack whores would be to insult the honour of crack whores.

Now, while both my memory and judgement at this advanced stage in the evening were likely fuzzy, I remember certain portions of this part of the evening quite fondly. Namely, I recall hugging the bar for dear life--not to avoid falling but rather to avoid the predatory advances of what amounted to little more than prostitutes.

I vividly remember drinking my beer, sitting at the bar, watching men greeted with a lustful and aggressive grab and a bold offer to allow these men to put certain parts of their anatomy into these ladies' mouths.

Needless to say, we didn't stay long.

However, rather than call it a night (as we probably should have), we trekked back next door to Sundowners. Attempts were made to restore the good times we had had previously, but it was very late, the ladies now available for dances weren't half the calibre they once had been, and an all-night barrage of $9 beers and watered-down drinks had finally taken their toll on the group. In short, no one was really into it anymore.

Or so I thought.

Josh Reynolds, it seems, was still attempting to restore the night to its former glory. It turns out that since our return to Sundowners Josh had been frantically attempting to summon strippers in pairs to entertain a few from our party seated at a table in the corner of the bar. When I happened upon him he was seated at a horseshoe-shaped table with another guy from our group who was far too drunk to realize that what was happening wasn't fun any more, and yet another guy who was too drunk to even know what was happening at all.

Josh, seated with his motley crew, trying desperately to keep the party alive, actually seemed to be enjoying the spectacle of two women, er...dancing together. Except, whether it be the result of vision blurred by alcohol or the fact that Josh thought it would be amusing, he had seemingly propositioned two women who were easily the ugliest and fattest strippers I--nay, anyone--had ever seen.

And so, happening upon this scene, Josh grinning like some sort of fat-fetish sex offender seated with a behemoth of a woman leaning back on him, one each of her her giant breasts in Josh's hands, I reacted with considerable disgust.

I glanced at the glassy-eyed friend across from Josh who, based on his angle, was quite literally staring into the second dancer and decided it was time to go.

I told Josh, "I am taking a piss and then we are getting the fuck out of here."

When I returned, the scene somehow seemed even uglier than before. Almost everyone had inexplicably disappeared and, while it may be my flawed recall, I seem to remember that the lights had come on, giving the entire place a sinister, Dr. Gonzo-at-the-North-Star-Café vibe.

One of the dancers had also left, leaving only the larger of the two ladies, who seemed to have paused in the act of getting redressed, her bikini top sitting flipped down just below her massive breasts. I could see that the stripper had a grip on Josh's arm and there was a good degree of anxiety on both of their faces.

When I was about ten feet from the table, I got close enough to hear just one sentence of their dialogue.

She said,"Nobody done paid me."

I promptly did a u-turn, taking myself and my wallet to the parking lot where six little heads popped up from behind a parked car, calling me over, and cluing me in as to where all our friends had disappeared to.

We all squatted behind that car, giggling like drunken idiots at the brilliance that was abandoning our friend to settle the tab at the strip club and we watched the door for the inevitable scuffle.

And that's when we heard her.

"Ricky!" she was yelling, "Kick his ass, Ricky!"

Josh Reynolds had managed to simply walk out of the bar, but he was being pursued by an extremely animated stripper who was pleading with a bouncer--evidently one named Ricky--to kick his ass.

Miraculously, this was about the same time two cabs pulled into the parking lot behind us.

To his credit, Ricky didn't really seem to interested in kicking anybody's ass, but he certainly was insistent that Josh Reynolds pay the lady. Josh on the other hand seemed content to hear him out while he finished his cigarette, but when a cab sped up to him, rear door open, with 3 of his buddies screaming to get in, he knew what to do.

We sped away into the night, laughing like idiots at the knowledge that despite all that stripper's hard work that evening, nobody ever done paid her.

This post featured a drawing from Paul Aihoshi.

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