âDo you want a dance?â she asked. As a result of my currently frugal financial situation, I mustered up some coy way to say no.
She persisted, now appealing to Ted and our other buddy. âWhy donât I get two of my hot girlfriends and weâll have ourselves an orgy?â
âI like orgies,â our friend said, âbut I lack funds.â
She shoved her boobs in his face as a comeback. Then she slid over to me, sat in my lap, and proposed a dance again.
I asked her how much. She said $25. I thought about it, but not for too long.
âI donât have any money,â I said, âand I have to buy my mom a birthday present.â
âMaybe Iâll get her a lap dance,â I said.
She scoffed at my joke. Not funny. Finally I told her maybe later, and she sauntered away.
This was the first of many women we poor interns were forced to fend off at the Mons Venus. Our first mistake was taking a seat on the leather couch that lines the outer wall. This was lap-dance territory (or, in the case of the man right next to us, naked-woman-back-massage territory), and we three men were prime targets for the scantily clad predators.
So we moved to the seats on the edge of the stage, where we figured we could stretch our singles a bit longer. One thing thatâs better about Mons than other nudie establishments Iâve visited is the lack of a drink minimum. Considering that fully-naked joints canât sell alcohol anyway, it always kills me to spend $14 on two glasses of cranberry juice. That would never happen at the Mons (overlay faux-yuppie-aristocrat British accent here.)
The other impressive thing about Mons Venus is the attractiveness of the girls. I donât know that they are âThe Most Beautiful Girls in the World,â as the advertisements claim, but the base level of attractiveness is certainly higher than at that strip club I once visited on a lark in Powder River, Wyoming (pop. 51).
These girls werenât just good-looking, thoughâthey were persistent, too. I mustâve been approached by 10 girls asking if I wanted âa danceâ or âto dance.â Several of them grabbed me and pulled me from my seat before I had a chance to tell them I had no money. There were two consistent reactions to my explanation: they would either pout like little girls, or laugh in my face and scurry away.
In fact, we began to get the paranoid feeling that we were the laughing stock of the whole place, because we were those guys who kept deflecting girl after girl.
âSmile!â one girl on stage told Ted. âIf I had a naked girl in front of me, Iâd smile.â
She made a good point, so I put on my silliest grin and gave her a dollar. She laughed.
I gave our next visitor $3 and told her to do the funniest thing she could think of to Ted. âBe creative,âI told her.
She returned a few minutes later and began flirting with Ted, telling him that she wanted to get him naked. She unbuttoned his shirt slowly. She stole his glasses and put them in inappropriate places. She put her hands under his t-shirt and rubbed his stomach. Then she pilfered his button-down and put it on before dancing all around the pole.
âShe wears it a lot better than I do,â Ted commented.
Later, after she returned his shirt and Ted had gone to the bathroom, the girl sat down next to me. âWas that ok?â she asked, eager to please.
âYeah, it was great, thank you,â I said.
âNo problemâitâs fun to be creative.â
âWell, yeah,â I said. âWhatâs the most creative thing youâve done here?â
âOh, I donât know,â she said. âGiving guys kisses, pussy in the face, nothing really.â
âWell Iâm glad you got the opportunity to put on a show,â I told her. âThanks a lot.â
She lingered for a bit, and I wasnât sure if she was waiting for more money or more conversation. Either way, she had literally stolen the shirt off Tedâs back, and I wasnât about to let her do the figurative version of that trick to me. I thanked her again, and she said goodbye.
Meanwhile, Ted had gone outside to take a call. There he met Toni, who was visiting from Chicago for the express purpose of auditioning at the Mons. âAre you here alone?â she asked him. âOh, I was hoping youâd give me a ride back to my hotel. I donât have any cash for a cab. Iâm from out of town.â Ted lied and said he was in no state to drive, but expressed his sympathy.
âCan you believe this shit?â she asked Ted. âI get up onstage for twenty minutes, and the lady tells me I didnât make the cut. Do you have any idea how long Iâve been in this business?â Ted didnât want to hazard a guess.
âThose chicks look like skanks anyway,â she continued. âAnd now here I am, out on the street with a million pounds of makeup on. I look like a hooker.â
âNo you donât,â Ted said, hoping this was the proper response. âAnyway, this joint isnât all itâs cracked up to be. Doesnât live up to the hype, does it? And Chicagoâs a great town.â
âYou got that right,â she said, lighting a Marlboro light. âThis isnât my scene at all.â
They shook hands. She seemed mollified. We left shortly thereafterâToni was gone already, hopefully safe in a cab somewhereâbut we returned to pick up a receipt. (This was, after all, a business expense.)
âYou guys want a receipt?â the pregnant lady at the door asked, as though weâd requested some sort of deviant sexual favor.
âOf course,â Ted said. âWeâre at work right now.â
--Brian Reed & Ted Scheinman