Grubby sent out a semi-cryptic tweet this morning which reminded me of an event that happened on Easter Sunday six years ago in 2005. I was in Vegas for March Madness and had just locked up my first ever WSOP assignment with Poker Prof and Flipchip. To celebrate, Grubby and I headed out to a few strip clubs, not really aware of the fact that Easter Sunday would be one of the worst days of the year to hang out with strippers. We had to assume that a few were more religious than we had anticipated.
Anyway, this portion of Existentialist Conversations with Strippers got cut from the final draft of Lost Vegas, something that I was really bummed about, but I understood why my editor(s) felt that the subject matter was redundant.
So, let's take a ride in the Tao of Poker time machine and head back to 2005...
Existentialist Conversations with Strippers, Part III"I would believe only in a god who could dance." - NietzscheWe wandered past the credulous tourists and devoted gamblers onto the casino floor. I was staying in Vegas for another day but Senor had to get back to Rhode Island for work. Grubby agreed to drive Senor to the airport and we had about fifteen minutes to kill. Senor wanted to play Pai Gow Poker at some point during his trip. We never had the chance with all the time we spent at the Mandalay Bay's sports book gambling on college basketball, or playing regular poker, and hanging out at strip clubs. We wasted a few minutes after we got slightly lost and stopped to ogle at all the hot college girls on spring break. We resumed our quest for a Pai Gow table and finally found one. The only problem... it was a $50 minimum table... when we were looking for a $5 or $10 table.
Caesar's did not spread any low limit Pai Gow. There were six tables and half of them were empty. We walked over to one table where a pit boss was talking to the dealer. Grubby asked the suit if he could drop the minimum bet to $25 since we wanted to teach Senor how to play. We told him we were going to leave in five minutes to take him to the airport. The pit boss agreed. Our dealer Lee, a middle aged Korean woman, quickly explained the rules to Senor. We bought in for $100 each and got four green chips. I won the first few hands and pushed the rest. Senor won $75 in three hands and walked away after he tipped Lee $10. He won enough money for dinner and was satisfied with his first Pai Gow experience. Grubby and I played for a few more hands. I went up $100 then decided to walk away. Grubby was a winner too. On our way to the cashier's window Senor mentioned, "You won yourself enough money to cover dinner and a few lap dances."
Grubby drove Senor to the airport but we encountered traffic trying to get out of the labyrinth called Caesar's parking garage. Grubby avoided the crowded Las Vegas Blvd. and drove down side streets en route to McCarran Airport. Grubby was officially a local and had been living in Vegas for three months. It felt cool to have a different perspective of a city that was so heavily populated with dipshit tourists and jaded locals working in the service industry. After we said good-bye to Senor, Grubby sped off in our quest to do a little strip club hopping. We had already hit up Sin a few days prior, which I loved -- especially Jessina. Grubby suggested a handful of places. He and his sister, Grubette, had had a crazy night at Club Paradise a few nights earlier and he wanted to try a different place. We headed to the North part of the Strip and decided to check out Olympic Gardens.
As we drove up to the club, a Las Vegas Metro squad car sat out front with it's doors wide open. An animated guy spoke very loudly to the two cops as they stood with their arms crossed.
"That doesn't look promising," I said.
We parked and walked inside. Grubby pointed out that the doors were wide open and how that was also another bad sign. We took a peek inside and it was empty. We didn't even bother sitting down and walked right out. I could only imagine what might have gone down twenty minutes before we showed up. maybe we missed a good fight? Or an extremely drunk and frisky customer getting rowdy with the dancers?
We found our way to Treasures and the parking lot looked empty. That's when I remembered that it was Easter Sunday night.
"It's not like strippers are religious or anything," Grubby explained on the walk to the entrance of the lavish strip club.
We paid the cover charge and made our way inside. It reminded me of a cross between an art museum and Anne Rice's house in a weird fusion of Goth meets Italian Renaissance. A stage with funky lights and a stripper pole sat up front with winding stairs leading up to a balcony which wrapped around the room. If you removed all the smaller tables and booths along the walls, the strip club could have been a great venue for live music. We found a table and a few minutes passed before a waitress came over. I did not spot any available strippers. In the booth across from us, a bald accountant from Ohio happily sat with two strippers. They were laughing and sipping cocktails and the black girl erotically rubbed his chest and while the blonde girl applied more lipstick as we watched and a small wave of envy flashed over us.
"This is just like a regular bar. I'm being ignored," Grubby said in a dejected tone.
"Easter Sunday," I reassured him that it wasn't us, just the fact that strippers were more religious than we anticipated.
Our waitress eventually arrived with our over-priced beers and I scanned the room for available strippers. One danced on the stage as bad Eastern European techno music blasted over the sound system in the near-empty room. A few dancers were scattered around and busy entertaining other guests. At Sin it seemed that strippers constantly walked around and offered their services for a dance. At Treasures, the most action we got was watching the bald Ohio guy get double teamed by the Silicone Twins.
That's when Julie stumbled over.
Extremely wasted women are a turn off... unless they are completely passed out (Sorry, bad frat boy joke). She was so ripped to the tits drunk that she didn't even bother using her stripper name and blurted out her real name. Julie then sprawled out on my lap and slurred, "Spank me!"
I obliged and she screamed again motioning towards Grubby, "Spank me!"
He spanked her and I followed up with another "whack." I wondered if I could add that to my resume?Special Skills: Knowledge of Java. I also speak three languages fluently, can make a bong out of any household item, and spank strippers.How could I not get hired with those mad skills? Julie asked us if we wanted a dance. Grubby gave her a quick thumbs down and I reluctantly agreed. She sat up and waited until the next song. She slumped over me and I could smell the liquor on her breath. That's when I uttered, "You know, Nietzsche died of syphilis."
That comment went right over her head.
Out of the hundreds of strippers working that night, I was matched up with the Tara Reid of strippers. The new song began and she took off her top and began her tipsy lap dance. A couple of times she lost her balance and slipped off my lap. I caught her each time and was worried that if I dropped her, one of the bouncers would rush over and kick me in the junk. It was a horrible experience and I pissed away $20 on half-assed grope from a soused stripper. Normally, a half-naked woman grinding away to Rick James' Give It To Me Baby is a lot of fun. Unfortunately, I wasn't aroused by Drunk Julie and couldn't wait for our moment to end. Our four minutes together was like ordering a bowl of soup and having it served cold with a dozen cockroaches floating around in there and glazed with both a urine and semen sample.
We walked out of the strip club and passed the bouncers. I shrugged my shoulders and looked up into the desert sky. I smiled because I found myself on the bitter end of karmic payback for attending a strip club on Easter Sunday.
Thus end our Tao of Poker flashback. Oh, and Happy Easter to Grubby!