Saturday, July 11th, 2009, 2:06 am
When last we left our hero (that’s me) I was bitching about having to stay out till the wee hours partying in Vegas. Woe is me! But though it’s fun to run amok, after 12 hours in the Rio sometimes all you want is a cold beer and some relaxed conversation. That’s the always the best part of my time here at the World Series, hanging out with my friends and talking about anything and nothing.
And sometimes those conversations happen…in strip clubs. That’s where I found myself last Thursday, as Bluff magazine had their yearly WSOP party at the Sapphire gentleman’s club. There was a shuttle from the Rio to the club and I went with Al and Drizz on one of the early runs. We got in, grabbed a table, and within five minutes I had a beer in my hand.
Also within five minutes I’d had two comely young ladies ask if I wanted a lap dance. I’m not a prude nor am I impolite, but I smiled up at them and said no, thank you, not at this time. I was waiting for everyone else to show up and I didn’t want my attention distracted by someone gyrating on my lap.
Al didn’t have those same concerns–I looked over and his attention was definitely focused elsewhere. The guy sitting to my left had come in with us and sat down at our table, he seemed a nice enough chap but coming to a party in a strip club and apparently not knowing a soul struck me as a bit odd. Then again, from the look in his eye as his girl performed rhythmic gymnastics in his lap he didn’t much care.
I looked toward the door to see if Pauly or Otis or anyone else was inbound…and hands gripped my shoulders and a slender brunette sat down upon me. “Oh, hi,” I said, suave as always, and she leaned forward and said, “Hwaht iz yhour name?” It must suck to live in Eastern Europe, as it seems like most of the pretty girls have left the Motherland and moved to Vegas. I said my name and she said her name was Elena. My brows rose. When I went to the Bluff party last year I got a lap dance from a dark-haired girl named…Elena. Who had used the exact same plan of attack (blindside, sidesaddle). I remembered that the girl last year was from Belarus (don’t ask why certain things stick in my memory) and I asked this girl where she was from. “Budapest,” she purred, and I said aha, it’s not such a small world after all. I was about to say that some friends of mine had visited there not too long ago when she asked me in graphic terms if I liked a certain part of her anatomy.
So we weren’t going to have a light, breezy conversation. She did her thing and she did it quite well, and while I won’t say it’s unpleasant to have a pretty girl use you as a scratching post I always feel a bit silly sitting in a public space while a half-naked woman does light calisthenics in my lap. She asked if I wanted to go again, I refrained from saying that I really hadn’t wanted to go before, and paid her for her time.
She rose to move onto pastures new…and the Asian woman who’d kept Drizz company for a few minutes pivoted and sat down on my still warm lap. She wasn’t so much interested in giving me a lap dance as sitting down for a few minutes to chat. She seemed bored, talked some trash about how lazy some of the other girls there are, and then started talking about Michael Jackson. I nodded and shook my head a lot because it was frickin’ loud in there and I couldn’t understand a goddam word she was saying. It’s odd having a conversation with someone who you can’t understand, especially when she’s half-naked, sitting in your lap, and not showing any inclination to move along. Eventually she decided to transfer herself to the guy who’d ridden the shuttle with us and I got to my feet. If I remained in my chair I would be a veritable sitting duck–standing I had a far better chance of fending off any unwanted lapdancers and hopefully not spend $500 at a party with an open bar.
It was about then that Jen arrived with some of her L.A. friends who’d arrived in town to celebrate her birthday. AndÂ When I say “some”, I mean like, ten. And as Jen went to say hello to Al I found myself talking to ten attractive women about strip club etiquette and dynamics and having a good time. Heck, I had a GREAT time–at one point I thought, “I’m in a strip club and I’m holding court with ten girls who aren’t strippers. This may be the high point of my entire life.” Hyperbole to be sure, but it was a a blast, especially once Pauly and Change and Otis arrived.
I mentioned that it was an open bar–that was true, up to a point. 11pm, but be exact. Around 11:15 I asked Pauly if he wanted something from the bar and he said sure, a Stella. I went over to get two Stellas (and a water for Change) and had a fiver out to act as a tip. The gothy bartendress brought the drinks, looked at my fin, and said, “The cash bar is over”. Oh, OK, how much for my two beers and bottle of Aquafina? “Thirty-five bucks”. I struggled back to my feet and handed over the bills required for the transaction. The water cost $9.50. “This had better cure (deleted) cancer” Change said as I told the tale. That’ll teach me not to double-fist during an open bar.
There was a silver lining to that dark cloud–I didn’t get plastered, only drinking enough to ensure I was at my wittiest and most charming. We left around 2AM, I don’t recall if we did anything after (Pai Gow? Maybe we played some Pai Gow) and I got a good night’s sleep.
But not a long night’s sleep, because I’d done something stupid that afternoon. My hair was getting out of control and I needed a trim. At the sports book bar a few days earlier Otis said I should get my hair cut short–as short as his. Which is quite short. I wasn’t sure, as my hair can really get funky when it’s unskillfully shorn. “Look,” Otis said, “if you get it cut this short I’ll pay for it”. I went so far as to take a picture of his hair to show whoever took shears to mine.
So I was at the Hooker Bar with Al having a taste when I decided that I HAD to get a haircut. It says a lot about the problems I’ve had with my hair that I gotta have two beers in me before I can make an appointment. I went down to the Rio salon and learned that they were booked for the day, but I could come back tomorrow at 9:30AM. Like a drunken idiot I said fine. So after going to a strip club/work function till 2AM I had to get up by 8:30AM to get to the Rio. Brilliant. I got to the salon just in time and took a seat on a leather sofa to wait my turn. I sank into the buttery softness and realized I hadn’t sat on a couch since I left home. It felt nice, and made me homesick.
Then it was time to get chopped. I think my stylist’s name was Celeste, she didn’t think it un-hetero for me to have a picture of a friend on my phone and say, “Make it so”. She got out the shears and went to work on my mop. About halfway through I looked at it and said, “Holy shit”. It was short. Very short. Shorter than my hair had ever, ever been. I wasn’t sure if I liked it, or didn’t like it, but it WAS different. And short. Very short.
I walked back to the Amazon Room and at one point passed a mirror hanging in the hall. I saw my reflection…and didn’t recognize myself. As my friends filed in and saw me the reaction was violent. “Where’s your HAIR?” was the general reaction. A few people said they liked it. More asked if I’d lost a bet. Otis duly paid up, but not before looking me over and saying. “…yeah, that’s quite a bit shorter than my hair”. Not a criticism, exactly, just a statement of fact. I dunno, I think I like it, though I might not get it cut quite this short next time. I know talk like this is worthless without pics so, here I am, cropped close:
And now…now I’m three days and two parties behind schedule and this post is long enough for one sitting. Gotta catch up on what’s happened in Vegas before I leave Vegas. And that day is coming up fast.
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