Author’s Note: I watched a lot of TV when I was a kid. One of my favorites was old reruns of Dragnet. For me, Jack Webb’s vocal mannerisms as the Joe Friday character are classic, and sometimes even now, that just comes out. That’s what happened here when I sat down to write this BoTG piece. For reference, in case you’re unfamiliar…
Ladies and Gentlemen…
The story you’re about to read is true.
The names have not been changed because I’m too lazy to think up funny ones.
Plus everyone already knows all of these idiots involved in this, anyway.
And that they are all…well…idiots.
My name is Seamus. I carry a badge.
It was Saturday, January 6th. It was cold in North Carolina. Really damned cold. But football was on and I didn’t plan to go anywhere. Because football was on.
So I wasn’t wearing pants.
But I’d learned that my good friend King Hippo had unexpectedly gone missing. I had to find him. To do that, I had to start at the beginning. That would require a trip to Los Angeles.
I grudgingly put on pants.
On the plane ride to LA, I scoured over old emails and old posts on some stupid Dick Joke Blog I’ve somehow gotten myself mixed up in.
Finally, I found a clue…
Of course. RAMMIT Fever. How could I forget? Probably because I drink a lot. And smoke a lot of weed.
But what I needed to remember now was how such an innocent hype video could have led to my idiot friend’s disappearance. So when I landed I decided to talk to my other idiot friend. Well, one of them anyway. I have several.
But first, on the way, I had to make a quick stop…
Weed is legal in California now. Internal Affairs can suck my nuts.
But how the hell I ended up in Inglewood, I have no idea. So I bought a Lakers hat and tried to blend in while trying to find my car. Where the fuck did I park?
When I finally found my car, I got on the 405, to the 105, to the 110, to the 10, to the 710, back to the 10 again, to the 605….HOLY SHIT WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS FUCKING CITY????
I decided to pull over and get high again.
When I finally hit the 210, traffic was light. So I quickly made it to Rancho Cucam…ahhh fuck, I went the wrong way.
I turned around and quickly enough I got to where I was going. I parked outside the modest residence. And got high again. A few minutes later, I approached the house and knocked on the front door. I could hear porn playing loudly inside.
When the door opened, I reached in to identify myself…
BallsofSteelandFury: What the hell are you doing?
tWBS: Identifying myself so as not to alarm you, Sir. (looks at own hand) Ah shit, I lost my badge in Inglewood.
Balls: How high are you right now?
tWBS: I’ll ask the questions here, Sir. How high am I right now?
Balls: Wow, holy shit. You’re baked as hell. What are you even doing here?
tWBS: Please stick to the facts, Sir. Hippo has gone missing. And I think you’re behind it. I’m here to investigate.
Balls: He hasn’t gone missing and you’re not even a cop. But get your ass in here before someone really does call one for real. Holy shit.
I reluctantly followed the suspect inside. Mostly because I wanted to watch some porn.
I get horny when I’m high.
The suspect sat me down and offered me a beer. I was beginning to think maybe I had misjudged this guy. Then he turned off the porn. Perhaps my original instincts were right after all. What an asshole.
tWBS: WTF man? I was watching that!!!
Balls: Calm your high ass down. I need to show you what you’re obviously too high to remember.
tWBS: I’m not high. YOU’RE HIGH!!!!
Balls: Whatever you say, Spicoli. Here, look at this…
The suspect then showed me old posts and emails, wherein a bet was discussed. The loser would donate to the winner’s chosen charity.
Something about single mothers of Capital Cabaret or some such nonsense…
He had all the answers. He’d obviously thought this through and had covered his tracks very well. I didn’t trust him.
tWBS: So you’re telling me that you two made this bet, and somehow roped me into being involved. And I don’t remember any of it?
Balls: Yeah, that’s what I’m telling you. Maybe get off the ganja there, Bob Marley. In fact, you’re supposed to be there with him RIGHT NOW!!!!! That was part of the deal. Here, gimme your phone.
I handed over my phone to the suspect. It felt like another trick he was trying to pull, and I wanted to catch him in the act this time. First he went to NFL.com and showed me the final score. Falcons 26, Rams 13.
He then opened up one of my apps and showed me where I’d also bet real money on the Rams…. and lost.
Next, he opened up my email app and showed me my own emails. Some where the details of the bet were discussed between the three of us. And some from earlier that night to/from King Hippo. Wherein Hippo had decided to pay the strip club bet debt immediately. That very night after the Rams loss. In the middle of the night. On the coldest fucking night of the year.
Balls: Finish your beer. I’m putting you on a plane back to North Carolina right damned now.
tWBS: But…it’s cold there.
Balls: Then get a lapdance, dumbass. That was the whole point to begin with. Jeebus.
tWBS: Well can I at least get a new badge before I leave?
Balls: You’re wearing it, dumbass. It’s pinned to your shirt. And I highly suggest you take it off before you get to the club.
When my plane touched down in North Carolina I checked my watch. Somehow, only an hour had passed since I first left the house and boarded the plane to LA. Wow those planes are fast.
It was still late though. And still cold as fuck. I wondered to myself why we had to do this tonight. But I couldn’t back out now.
I got in Dave and drove to the strip club. Ostensibly to check on the welfare of the missing Hippo.
When I arrived, it was kinda dead. Because it was late. And cold as fuck. As I might have mentioned.
But the lack of a crowd was fine with me. The fewer people the better. Plus it should make it easier to locate a Hippo.
Author’s Note Pt Deux: I am now dispensing with the Dragnet literary device. Mostly because it would be too long and too cumbersome to continue given the story I’m about to tell. And this is already going to be long enough without that.
But I do think that stuff up there is funny, so I’m leaving it. I’d hate for it to never see the light of day and I really don’t have anywhere else to use it.
Having said that, everything I’m about to tell you going forward really IS real. I’m not necessarily proud of this story, but it is the truth. And if you don’t already know how much of an asshole tWBS can be when the situation dictates, you’re about to find out.
Buckle up, Buttercup.
Having never been to this establishment, I wasn’t familiar with the layout. In fact, I hadn’t been to any strip club in many, many years. Truth be told (and in spite of the jokey jokey to the contrary at times) I never really enjoyed them all that much even in my youth.
But I digress…
I quickly surveyed the seating areas between the stage and the bar. It was apparently a Hippo-free zone currently. So, I took a seat at the bar and ordered a Diet Coke. Yes, I’m serious. I still had to drive later. The bartender was lovely, and even refused to charge me since I was being a yuuuuge pussy and not drinking drinking. She didn’t put it quite that way. She was very sweet about it, in fact. Lovely girl.
After a few minutes, I finally got the bright idea to check my phone. Hey look, new email from King Hippo…
“I’m leaving my phone in the car, but I’m here.”
I quickly sent a return email…
“Where? I’m at the bar.”
A few minutes later, when I hadn’t heard back, I realized that Dragnet dream sequence Balls was probably correct. I need to get off the ganja. Hippo had just told me he left his phone in the car. Duh.
About that time a lovely lady named Claire approached me at the bar. She was very attractive. Very friendly. Very well-spoken. Not at all overly intrusive. And also very helpful. I explained to her I was looking for someone.
Claire: One of the girls? Or a friend?
tWBS: A friend. He’s supposed to be here but I don’t see him anywhere.
I explained the bet to her and told her he should be here somewhere. She laughed, but not derisively at all. She then offered to help me find Hippo.
Now, I’m very aware that this girl is here to make a living. So I’m not about to ask her to spend time with me for free. So I gave her a wad of money for her time, no strings attached, to help me look.
We then walked all over the floor of the club, slyly peeking at every guy in there. It was dark, and most of their backs were to us from the bar. So I wanted to be sure. But no Hippo.
Then she suggested…
Claire: He could be getting a private dance. What does he look like?
I then described the Hippo’s physical characteristics in a very generic way. It felt wrong to do it any other way….you know, just in case he’s back there doing something he ought not be.
She did also ask me if he was white or black. Which had never dawned on me to even tell her. Which I now felt stupid about since Claire herself is black.
So, we then went to the private area and looked. No Hippo.
Now, one thing to remember about these clubs is that it’s very loud. And very dark. Thus the entire time Claire and I have been walking around and talking back and forth, we’ve by necessity been leaning in closely to one another in order to hear what the other is saying.
She smelled extremely nice, is my point. Fortunately I’d had my monthly bath earlier that day myself. Which was good because at this point, Claire leaned in and nuzzled my neck. And she was rather convincing with it, regardless of how fake it was.
Claire and I then returned to the private dance room and spent some time together. And I don’t mean doing just what you sickos are thinking. We also talked some. She really is a very sweet and engaging girl. For example, I know she aspires to become a dress designer. And also that she has a cat whose paws sweat excessively when he’s stressed. People tell you weird shit like that when they learn you’re a Vet, btw.
And I won’t lie. Some of our time was spent in….let’s call it “non-conversation”. She’s pretty good at what she does. I’ll leave it at that.
But I still had to find a Hippo. So, as we’re leaving that area, Claire suggests we try upstairs.
Upstairs. There’s an upstairs.
Now, while Claire could have volunteered that information earlier I suppose, I couldn’t blame her. Plus our time together hadn’t been for naught. For either of us. So no worries.
But, we go upstairs together. And lookie over there. Seated on a sofa overlooking the stage from above, is the lovely and talented King Hippo. Seated with him, is a very lovely little blonde who goes by the name Monroe, IIRC. Though I might be misremembering that.
Claire and I go over and do the introduction niceties. Monroe, to her credit, introduced herself by pinching my nipple. Which I had no problem with whatsoever. Especially because it means Hippo found himself a friendly young lass. Good for him. Claire and I then agree to stick together for the night and join our friends here and just relax some. But first we both have to use the bathroom and maybe have a smoke. We’ll meet back here in just a few minutes.
A few minutes later upon my return, Hippo lets me know that Claire had come back and we had missed one another, but she is now downstairs about to go on the main stage. Well, can’t blame her. She very well might have thought I was cutting out on her and she wasn’t getting any more outta me. Gotta get the dough where/while you can. Good for her.
But rather than be a third wheel on Hippo’s party, I decide to take a seat at a table behind him and far enough away to not be a distraction, and wait for Claire’s (hopefully) return after she’s finished her set.
There’s a big TV there with sports news on. I’ve got my Diet Coke flowing like a fiend. Hippo is obviously having a nice time, which for me was the whole point anyway. So I’m perfectly happy. No shit.
Then the Yakuza shows up.
Now, perhaps calling this girl the “Yakuza” will sound derogatory to some of you. And admittedly, it only occurred to me to call her that because this really was an Asian girl. But IMHO, she earned the title. And honestly, I only call her that because I don’t know her “real” name. And I don’t know her name because I couldn’t understand a damned thing she was saying to me because of how drunk she was. That should have been my first warning.
No actually, my first warning should have been her initial approach of me. Everything Claire had been, this girl was not.
She approaches and forcefully slides my chair away from the table (they’re on wheels), pushes my drink and my phone to the other side of the table, and places her drink down. She then very roughly plants herself onto my lap and starts grinding. And I mean roughly enough that there was pain involved, and not the good kind.
Bear in mind, she hasn’t even said a word to me yet. Just the plop and flop.
But as her grinding intensifies, she starts leaning back and nuzzling. Or at least trying to. She could take lessons from Claire, lemme tell ya. And then she starts trying to talk to me.
I keep telling her I can’t understand what she’s saying, but that didn’t seem to matter to her. At which point she points to the private room.
But by now, I figure I’ve lost out on Claire for the evening, so I might as well enjoy it as best I can. In spite of her lack of social graces, I can’t deny that this girl was very attractive outwardly. Plus she was a petite but sturdy little Asian girl. Which for me just so happened to have been bad timing, but that’s another story.
OK then….why not?
She stands up, I stand up, and we head towards the entrance of the private room. As we’re passing by the sofa where Hippo and Monroe are still very comfortable, I stop to let Hippo know I’ve probably missed my return connection with Claire, so I’m going in here with….whoever the hell this girl is.
As an aside, as we pass by the sofa, Monroe asks for my jacket because she’s cold. I honestly didn’t know whether to hand it over or not. I didn’t necessarily want her covering up and depriving Hippo of….well, ya know. But I also didn’t want to say no and have her presume Hippo is an ass by association with me. So I handed it over. Maybe I wouldn’t be needing it for the next little while anyway.
But back to the Yakuza.
She and I approach the entrance to the private room, and I briefly talk to the private room bouncer type dude regarding money type stuff. At which point I decide on the time and the dollar amount I’m willing to waste on this endeavour which I’m already at least 50% sure I’m likely to regret. As I remove the said dollar amount from my wallet, she grabs it herself (she’s not supposed to do that by the way) and counts it. While she’s doing this, he ducks inside the private room, only for a moment. But it was long enough. As he’s re-emerging (I presume he was checking on what location to seat us) she’s turning and walking away with my money.
tWBS: WTF was that, man?
Private Room Bouncer Type Dude (sighing): I honestly don’t know. She’s been this way all night. I think she’s also very drunk. You better go catch her.
tWBS: Ohhhhh….I HAVE TO GO CATCH HER?????
PRBTD: Really sorry, man. But I can’t leave here and…
tWBS: Oh don’t worry. I’ll go catch her. Just remember you said that if this goes bad.
I turn and survey the room. And I see her approaching an empty table, and looking back over her shoulder at me. So on my way I go. But she sees me heading her way and immediately changes course and sits down at the end of the bar next to a guy and starts talking to him.
Now, I’ve been known to do some stupid reckless shit in my day. But I do always try to mitigate the risks when I can. Plus, the way the bar is situated, she’s cornered now. She can’t get out without getting past me so long as I stay where I am.
So, I’ve got time to think. I don’t need long, but I need to decide if the guy she’s just sidled up to is nothing more than a customer…or if he’s potentially a partner in crime, and possibly dangerous to ol’ tWBS’ long term well-being if I go wading in and do this by myself right here right now. But I also don’t want to take my eyes off her and lose her, either. So I watch, probably for no longer than 30 seconds to a minute. But it’s long enough to see her look back at me several times.
But he never did. Not once. And he’s giggling like an idiot.
And since no other security or staff have arrived, obviously PRBTD hasn’t called anyone yet. Sooooo…I’m going in. And she sees me coming her way. And tries to quickly get up. But she doesn’t make it. Like I said, she was cornered.
tWBS (somewhat menacingly): I’d prefer this doesn’t turn into anything it doesn’t have to be. But if you don’t give me my money back, I’m going to have to call the cops.
No Longer Giggling Like an Idiot Dude (trying to be a tough guy): Hey man, she’s with me and…
tWBS (somewhat more menacingly): If she’s with you, that’s fine. And it’s also your problem. But she’s not going anywhere until she either gives me my money back she just tried to steal, or the cops get here.
Yakuza: But I don’t even know how much I owe YOU !!!!!
tWBS (becoming genuinely pissed now): Which means you’ve done this to more than one guy tonight, right? Multiple counts. Multiple charges. So…you wanna give me my money back or would you like me to call the cops?
NLGLID has now gotten the fuck outta there. Probably his best decision of the night all things considered, and I wish I’d made the same choice earlier. But White Knight Bartender now comes over to her rescue. Or so he thinks. Fortunately for me probably, there’s a bar between us so there’s not much he can do.
WKB: Hey man, I can have you drunk and threatening the girls and the customers.
tWBS (even more pissed now): I assure you, I’m stone cold sober. And she knows what she did. And I have not touched her or anyone else, nor have I threatened anyone. Other than threatening to call the cops if she doesn’t give me the money she stole. That guy over there (points to PRBTD) saw her do it and told me to deal with it. So, you wanna let me do it or should I call the cops? I suspect that’s frowned upon as far as it being bad for business. But she’s not getting past me. Sorry.
At which point WKB backs off, but does pick up the phone. Finally, someone has a brain.
Yakuza then pulls out a wad of cash from her cute little purse, but is too drunk to count it. I dunno the Capital Cabaret’s Security Force response time, but I know my time is limited if I don’t want this to get complicated. So I grab the money out of her hand (don’t do this folks, it’s a bad idea to do that in a club…it could have caused me a great deal of problems) and begin counting out what she owes me. I then hand the rest back to her and turn to walk away. At which point she grabs my arm and won’t let me walk away.
Yakuza: I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. Please don’t call the cops.
I look at WKB and now see his look. He now knows I wasn’t lying.
tWBS (very fucking annoyed now): You need to let go of me right now. I’ve got what you owe me. Now I’m outta here.
And I yank my arm out of her grasp and walk away. But I’m pissed and I know I shouldn’t drive right away, so I wait a few minutes to catch my breath. While I do, I head down to the bathroom and then to have a smoke. When I’ve calmed down, I return upstairs to let Hippo know I’m leaving, and I give him only a very brief reason why. I didn’t want to ruin his evening too. The faster I extracted myself from it, the better.
Then as I’m leaving, a big security dude and a female manager (not a dancer…at least not on this night) approach me.
Oh shit, here we go. Now thinking I’ve waited just a couple of minutes too long to get my ass outta there, I prepare myself to kick or get kicked…so to speak. And I figure there’s a good likelihood this ends with me in a backroom somewhere waiting for the cops after all.
Female Manager (very nicely): Are you OK? We just heard what happened and we’re so sorry. Is there anything we can do?
tWBS (pleasantly surprised): No, I appreciate that. But it’s been taken care of. But if that girl really does work here, she’s going to end up getting you guys in a lot of trouble before it’s over.
FM: She doesn’t. Not after tonight. Thank you for being so understanding.
At which point I descended the stairs to head for the exits.
Funny thing though, as I hit the bottom stair, the doors to the elevator across the foyer opened. Yakuza was in the elevator with 3 big security dudes. When the doors opened fully, I could see the two guys on either side of her had her by the arms and the other was flanking from behind. I watched as they hauled her toward the rear exit, and she was not a happy camper.
I didn’t stick around to watch the rest. I got my ass outta there.
When last I saw Hippo, he was still having a nice enjoyable time with Monroe.
And like I said earlier….that really was the whole point for me anyway.
In spite of my not too enjoyable time on this evening, I do have to say that the management of the club were great once they were alerted to the issue. They really did seem sincere in their regrets of what had happened, and they obviously dealt with the issue once they knew. And all’s well that ends well.
But seriously guys, even though I did it in the heat of the moment, and probably would again under those same circumstances…
I can’t stress enough how bad of an idea it is generally to grab money out of the hands of an exotic dancer. Especially in frustration/anger as I did. In some places, that’ll get your leg broke. Or worse.
But we did at least get to see lots of boobs and butts, so it coulda been worse.