Half-Shod Gollum, the Boogie Man, a Vampire, and Chunk-Style

We spent the night laughing and laughing. Doubled over at the absurdity, or maybe the audacity, of one strange man after another after another. Gasping, “NO! NO! Really? He did that?” and losing it at the end of the short story of each other’s private dances. We swapped information on which sick fucks we shouldn’t let touch us because there were more than we could keep up with individually. We pinched dollars between forefinger and thumb after receiving them from a few, rushing to turn them in and neglecting to admit that they’d be back on the floor and recirculating in minutes. We laughed because, sometimes, there’s nothing else to do.

At eight o’clock, I called it. I said it was going to be a night full of freaks. Perhaps I jinxed it; the weirdos started piling up by nine-thirty. 

The first dances of my night, a mid-forties man who rarely blinked and drilled me about whether I was traveling on my parents’ money. Amigo, trust me, most of these girls would love to be trust-fund babies lapping escargot off of silver spoons, but that’s not the way this works. I get naked, you fork over your wallet, and then I buy plane tickets. Really, it’s pretty straightforward.

My second dance partner bit me. On the neck. Vampire-style. No marks were left, but I feel like perhaps he skipped the important parts of kindergarten or watched too much True Blood. For fuck’s sake, does biting a stripper sound like a good idea?


I got wind from one of my pals that a man had been puking on himself in his car, shook it out in the lot, and continued on into the club. After confusion about which man in which white hat it was, we’d all spotted him and I’d dubbed him “Chunk-Style.” Five feet tall, a flannel shirt, and crusty white corners of his mouth, weaving around tables that were just waiting to pop up out of nowhere and trip him. 

An older man with a big schnoz, sitting at the stage and two knuckles deep into his nose, pausing to wipe the contents of his finds on his sleeves or pocket. Nicknamed the “Boogie Man,” one girl emptied the dancers’ stash and presented him with a mountain of tissues. We howled and howled, unashamed to be the wicked bullies making fun of the nose-picker within earshot.

The Boogie Man and Chunk-Style both flocked to my stage — am I a fucking weirdo magnet today, or what? — and I laughed and danced to the Thong Song (Sisqo), accepting tips here and there. Chunk-Style threw down a twenty, and I danced far out of reach. I gave him a fair show, but certainly, I didn’t want his hands anywhere near me. He asks me for a private dance, and I decline, mumbling that I have others to dance for soon, or I have to go to the dressing room after my set. He throws his hands in the air and asks, “Is that IT?” when I finish his dollar dance at the rail. Of course that’s it.

Not more than ten minutes after Chunk-Style’s dissatisfaction with my unwillingness to touch him, I decide to hang with the door girl and count my cash for the night. I want to buy a pretty nice little Cannondale bike tomorrow (which, I suppose, is now today). I checked my math, and I’d surpassed my goal. Mine!

Midway through telling the doorgirl about this fancy-shmancy pants not-like-your-kid’s bicycle, she notices that the tweaker in the lobby only has one flip-flop on. He’s leaning against the wall next to the girls’ long black robes, entirely unaware that the lobby is for passing through and not for staying; he looks vaguely like Lord of the Rings’ Gollum. She pipes up: “Why do you only have one shoe on?”

Never mind that it snowed today, just a dusting, or that it’s near-freezing outside. He tells her the other shoe is in his truck, and she explains that he can’t go into the club without TWO shoes on. 

“…Are you waiting for someone?”
“…Okay… … Who are you waiting for?”
“I don’t know.”
“You can’t stay in the lobby. You either need to leave, or find your other shoe.”
“My other shoe is in my truck.”

He leaves, trying a door to the smoking patio and failing to exit, and then trying a door marked in four-inch letters with “NOT AN EXIT” at eye-level for a few minutes. He finally takes off, and we laugh about it. I repeat the story to the dancers, now in disbelief at the sheer number of oddballs we’ve encountered.

Ten minutes later, Gollum is back, still half-shod, presumably after a long walk or trying to get into this mysterious truck. We wrestle the name of his nephew, Dusty, out of him, and call Dusty up. Dusty manages to find Gollum’s shoe: not in any truck, which was never at the club, but in a deep puddle. He pays the entry and is set free into the club, one foot cold, wet, and covered in mud. 

A few college kids approach my stage again, drawn to me like a magnet. Weirdo #239’s friend throws a handful of ones on the rail, and asks me to handstand into Weirdo #239’s lap (as Weirdo is telling me repeatedly what a crush he has on me). I don’t leave the stage for dollar dances as a rule, because drunks can’t be trusted with strippers handstanding into their laps. LAAAAAAAAAAAAAME, he says. Lame. He buys Weirdo a private dance with me, throwing in a generous tip to head back immediately. I toss the cash behind me for safekeeping from buyer’s-regret fingers, and explain that I’m currently on stage, but that I’d be available shortly. Shortly, unfortunately, came too soon.

#239, a pharmacy student, refused much eye contact while dumping praises and his songs of how much of a crush he has on me. We hit the private dance room, and not long into the dance, he’s pushing inward on my nipples — hard. I swat his hands away and let him know it hurts, and not more than a few seconds later, he tries again. I smash both hands under my knees, grinding the bones in his hands with each hip thrust. Message received. Soon after, I turn around, facing away from him, and he’s nearly pushing me off. He’s asking, “Is it okay to get turned on back here?”

I’m trying hard not to laugh, I really am, but a few bursts of “heh” pop out. Yes. It’s okay to get turned on in a private dance; it’s kind of the point. I return to dancing, and again, he’s trying to push me off. I stop, ask him if he’s uncomfortable, and whether he wants to continue. I’m already paid and generously tipped, so I don’t care whether he wants a dance or not.

“Yes. No. Yesnoyes. No. Yes, keep going.” I dance another few seconds before he’s pushing me away, nearly throwing me on the floor. I stop, telling him that it’s okay — really — if he wants to stop.

“YOU SUCK!” The song ends, my brows raised in a jaded and fuck you stare I’ve perfected, and I stand. 

“That was the best ever. Oh my god I have such a crush on you. It’s okay to have a crush on you? I think I’m falling in love with you.” Just like that. Straight from sucking to being worshipped in seconds. I walk away, shaking my head.

A hundred-pound Asian kid accepts my last-ditch effort at getting dances in the last few songs of the night. I’m tired. He looks, smells, and acts normal, and one unicorn sane and sober creature of the night was going to be much appreciated. Until he starts leaning forward in the dances. Forward, okay — I’m flexible, bendy, even if it is awkward. He’s leaning forward until he’s nearly bent in half, trying to both hold me from falling on the floor and hold his weight on the edge of a booth.

(I know where this is going. It’s going to end up with a hundred-pounder on top of me on the floor, isn’t it?)

I gave up on trying to dance for him, instead lacing my bare feet into the probably-disgusting crease in the couches, trying to salvage some semblance of balance. Dissatisfied, he tries to push my shoulders to get me to dance. I shrug. I’m currently the middle of an Asian sandwich, and the song flips over. That’s two dances for me, whether I’m actually wiggling or not. The second song passes, and surprise surprise!, he declines a third. I pat him on the top of the head as he walks out.

My night ends, and the dancers and staff are zooming through their end-of-shift duties, anxious to get home. I offer my guest room to a traveling dancer I’ve known off and on for years, knowing she didn’t do well and a hotel for the night would eat much of her profits. She and her boyfriend are here now, fast asleep. I finally carved out time to write.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been busy. I ran another half-marathon (2:03:53), taking it fairly easy and using the scenic route as a slightly-faster-than-training run. I’ve only been back in my heels and sneakers about six weeks since I broke my stupid toe, and only four of those in any amount of actual training. Still, I’m aiming for a 30-kilometer (18.6mi) race in May. Soon, a bit of cycling for cross-training, aiming for a yet-to-be-chosen late summer marathon. 

Bills, paid. Taxes, paid early and with terror that the USPS will lose the mail containing my checks. The grass is finally green and the air is very slowly warming. It’s nearly mowing season, and this pleases me.


~ by The Stiletto-Shod One on April 12, 2013.

2 Responses to “Half-Shod Gollum, the Boogie Man, a Vampire, and Chunk-Style”

  1. LoLoLoL! I think Ive encountered a few of these “gentlemen” before. btw u have 3 more days until Uncle Sam catches up with u

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