A number of years ago the notorious Unca Don and I worked on a computer project for a large company in Toronto, Ontario, USA North. I was there in the trenches pretty much full time; Don's role was to fly up every couple of weeks, look around, arch an eyebrow, and leave. It was truly masterful eyebrow-arching, however, and worth every cent of the gazillions of Canada Bucks that he was being paid. My own job title there was Ignominious Lackey. My function was to roam the men's rooms in the building and do shoe checks. If I saw a pair of shoes under a stall door that belonged to a project member I was to swear loudly at them in Canadian and force them back to work. It was an ugly, stinky job and I certainly earned both dollars I made up there.
One of the members of our project team, David yclept, was nicknamed the Fontmeister because he spent the majority of his time each working day fucking around loading different fonts in the laser printer. No one ever challenged him on this because no one was quite certain what his real job was supposed to be. I always speculated that he had been assigned to our project team just in case the team somehow became hopelessly trapped in a snowstorm on a mountain in Peru. We could kill him and eat him and no one would feel the least bit guilty.
Like many of the Anglo Canadians I got to know there, David was very much an anal retentive person. On the few occasions that the team went out to socialize, when David would excuse himself to go to the restroom there was always a slight popping noise when he stood up, and he left a little raised pucker in the vinyl on his bar stool. You get the idea. David was an older lonely divorcee, and socially I was like unto a god to him. I think this was because I had fun when I went out but I'm not positive about this [see my More Dance post for an atypical example of my going out in Toronto. - The Management].
Regardless of the reason, David was always bugging me to go with him to a strip club that he knew of. I kept putting him off, hoping against hope that our project team would become trapped on a mountainside, but finally I had to give in. Thus, early one Friday evening in the lovely city of Toronto your hero -- me -- found himself sitting in his hotel lobby waiting for David to pick him up. You could have sliced the foreboding and ominousity with a knife. But at last David arrived and we departed for the suburb of Mississauga where this gentleman's club was supposedly located.
It took us 45 minutes to get to Mississauga, then David drove around for an hour trying to find the damn strip club as more and more punctuation marks found their way into the thought balloons above my head. He was never able to find it. Finally he admitted defeat and told me that we could go to a strip club in Markham, the suburb in which he lived. At this point you should know that Markham was only about a 5 minute drive from my hotel. If we had gone there initially instead of hiring Sherpa guides and traveling to Mississauga, your hero -- me -- could have been already well on his way to having that "fun" thing that David had heard so much about. But nope, instead I had to suffer through another 50 minutes of inane drivel while we headed to Markham. Sigh.
We finally arrived at the strip club. I emerged from the car a pale shadow of my former self with chattering teeth and a tic in my left eye that I have to this day. The insipidity of the conversation in the car had come close to killing me. But I am made of sterner stuff than most and I rallied quickly at the sight of a building with a neon sign and no windows. "Woohoo!" I think. "Booze! Naked women! Loud music! No conversation!" It was as if I had come home to the Promised Land.
We walked through the door into a blaring version of the song that every strip club in the world plays over and over and that I've never known the name of but that makes me become erect and automatically reach for my wallet every time I hear it. And here I encountered my first pleasant surprise of the evening: the cover charge to get in was five dollars Canadian. Nothing in Toronto costs five dollars when you go out. And in the States I expect to drop at least 25 bucks at the door for your classier ecdysiastical establishment, plus I usually tip the guy in the tux extravagantly to round me up a decent table. So when I only had to pay the equivalent of 38¢ US to get inside this club my eyebrows shot over the top of my head and landed in the back my stylish bikini brief underwear. "Excellent!" I said, rubbing my hands together.
The club was sparsely populated at that time for some reason, and David and I quickly found ourselves a table and ordered adult beverages from a cocktail waitress with a cute ass. She (and it) came back shortly with our drinks, and I got my second surprise: the gin and tonic I ordered cost four dollars. In most places you go to in Toronto that same drink would have cost about forty bucks. I'm exaggerating, but only slightly. So I had discovered another bargain and had found it in that most unlikely of venues, a strip club. As I implied earlier, normally I expect everything to cost about five times what it should in a place like that. Hence, another "Excellent!" and more rubbing of hands. I now had more money for table dances!
And speaking of which, up popped a lovely young blonde who offered to demonstrate her dancing ability for me. As you know, I'm a big fan of dance so I was all for this idea. But I have also been to ten trillion strip clubs around the world and have learned a thing or two in the process. "What are the rules here, and how much is a lap dance?" I asked her cannily. "The rules are that I can touch you anywhere I want to and do anything I want to you, you cannot initiate any contact with me, and a lap dance costs five dollars," replied my new-found angel.
Audible gasp! My eyebrows plummeted further down and landed in my socks when I heard this. Five bucks? Canadian? For a lap dance by this heavenly creature? "I'm staying here forever! Fuck Unca Don!" I thought to myself for neither the first nor the last time.
"Mwoo-hah-hah! Get out of that lacy negligee and into my lap, honey, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship!" I cried enthusiastically. (I might have said "Bwah-hah-hah!" instead, my memory is unclear on this point.) So the blond angel hopped aboard the Hulles train to financial freedom [Whrrr! goes my new metaphor mixer!] and I sighed contentedly and settled in for a long night of nirvanity. Well, it ought to be a word; nothing else comes close to describing my feelings at having a drop-dead gorgeous twenty-two-year-old woman writhing naked in my lap as we laugh and drink cheap cocktails and I toss off urbane and witty remarks ("Nice tits!").
Actually, the truth of the matter is that I really enjoyed my conversation with said angel. She was a university student (although sadly she was not an English major nor had she ever studied Catullus in Latin) who stripped to pay for her schooling and she was a very bright woman and was lively and charming and fun to be with and she had a great sense of humor. It also didn't hurt that buck naked was a good look for her and that she was a good writher. I immediately told her to simply charge me twenty bucks (Canadian!) a dance so I didn't need to do any math and that she need not seek other patronage while I remained on the premises. From the way her face lit up I suddenly knew that These Other Cheap Bastards Don't Tip. Well, too bad for them; I determined to do my own small bit to further higher education in Canada and aid in the survival of this particular species of gorgeous blonde so that they will be fruitful and multiply and spread throughout the strip clubs of North America.
As my angel and I laughed and drank and one of us writhed, I finally tore my eyes away from her and looked across the table to see what manner of trout David had landed. To my astonishment, he was sitting alone at the table watching the hockey game on one of the TVs that I only then noticed lined the ceiling! No shit. There were TVs hanging from the ceiling everywhere tuned to the Leafs game, and David would not even risk a glance over at the stunning blonde that was bare-ass naked about eight feet away from him.
"David, are you okay? Are you not feeling well?" I asked incredulously.
"No, I'm fine, I'm okay, this is great!"
"Well, you sick fuck, you've been bugging me for weeks to take you to a strip bar and now that we're finally here after spending half the night driving around Mississauga and I have the most beautiful woman in the world naked in front of us for a mere twenty bucks and you're watching THE FUCKING HOCKEY GAME?" I didn't say but thought very loudly indeed. So I turned back with a sigh to the business in front of me and resumed nirvanity at the point I had left it.
After a while I turned around again to check on Mr. Excitement. He was still riveted to the hockey game and it finally occurred to me that perhaps he was uncomfortable in this environment. I take strip clubs pretty much for granted these days and have come to feel that having pretty young girls gyrate naked in front of me is one of my God-given rights as an American that ought to be exercised often lest it be wrested from me. But David, it seemed, was not of this school of thought. Perhaps they have different God-given rights in Canada.
"David, are you sure you're alright? We can go any time you want if you're not having a good time." I lied magnanimously.
"No, this is fun, I'm having a great time!" he said.
"Well, let me know whenever you want to go and that will be fine with me. What's the score by the way?" Hockey really does get in your blood when you're in Canada.
After a reasonably long evening of adult entertainment we finally left the strip club and David dropped me off at my hotel. I floated back to my room, visions of sugar plums dancing in my head, and contentedly hit the sack.
The next Monday at work I happened to overhear David talking to some other members of the project team: "Yeah, Hulles and I went to a great strip club on Friday night and we got completely crazy and...." You get the picture, just like I finally did at the time. David merely wanted to appear to others like he possessed a real personality. He wanted his peers to think he was a vivacious and exciting man and a wild party animal and that he was not really the lame Fontmeister that everyone had believed.
Hah. As soon as he was gone I told everybody the real story and we all laughed long and hard at his expense, then when he came back we decided not to wait for the whole mountain thing and simply killed him and ate him on the spot.