Birds Go Insane

All week long I had been looking forward to Thursday night, because I'd been invited to an event that had all the earmarks of being a possible comedy goldmine: A video shoot for local musician Bobby Amaru.

I don't know how many of you have ever been part of making a music video before in your life, but they are almost always complete snoozefests. Most of the time what you get is band members lip-synching to the same song over and over and over while the cameraman gets footage from a variety of angles (all which will be edited and mixed together at some later point). It's a tedious, plastic process where groups are directed to jump around and pose even though their instruments and microphones aren't plugged in.

The key here is that since the concept behind the video was for it to look like "concert footage" taken over a series of gigs (the band members even changed clothes a few times to help create the illusion that they were playing the song on different nights) -- Amaru and his handlers sent out invitations to rock music fans all over the city saying "We need an audience, come be in the video with Bobby!" -- which instantly told me the place would be crawling with some of nature's most entertaining creatures:
Rock skanks who think they're gonna be on TV.
Now without getting too deep into details, there was an added ingredient in all of this dealing with the fact that up until just a few weeks ago, Bobby Amaru was the drummer for local band called Burn Season. I'm a big fan, and have been ever since I first saw them. I don't know the whole story -- but the twist here is that Burn Season already has a record deal with a prominent label, and was supposed to be in the studio working on a second album, only to discover that their drummer was in his own negotiations with a different record company who wanted to market him as the lead singer of his own group.

Long story short, a month ago I was reading an email from the members of Burn Season telling me how fantastic the new album was going to be -- only to be followed by a less-excited email in my inbox last week saying "We're breaking up."
The unwritten implication being that Bobby hung them all out to dry.
Despite all of this dramatic kindling, the shoot rapidly eroded into lameness as the actual video shooting process seemed to drag on longer than usual, prompting many of the overdressed women in the place to start urgently texting on their sidekicks until they found a party somewhere else more deserving of their presence -- at which point they basically left.

Undaunted, I decided to drop by the club on the way home to see what might be happening out there. Thursday nights at Endo Exo are usually hit or miss -- sometimes there's a crowd, sometimes it's just me and the bartenders watching ESPN. But when I got there last night it was instantly clear that something wild was happening. The place was lit up like a candle, there were limos out front, and every time the door opened a blast of bad techno would fill the air.

I stepped inside to find the place literally crawling with older drunk women, hooting and taking pictures of each other with digital cameras. All of the bartenders were up to their arms in shakers and martini glasses, and if you looked around you started to notice a number of Eurotrash-looking dudes who were making more than a big deal out of looking like they were above the entire scene -- which is precisely when I remembered what was going on.

Flashback about a month ago to some nondescript empty night at the bar, where I arrived to find the normal crew complaining their asses off. When I asked what the deal was, Matty answered,
"Freaking Kevin booked some male strip show to come in here in a few weeks.
I don't know about you -- but I'm planning on calling in sick that night."
Flash right back to the present where Matty was knee-deep in drunken Cougars -- and I knew I was in the right place.

I make no qualms about the fact that I like to go to strip clubs. Aside from all of my babbling justifications about why I enjoy hanging out at those places, I don't think it's any real secret that I have a thing for strippers. But regardless of the fact that it's basically the same concept, the only real similarity between the girls I go to see and the dudes who performed at Endo Thursday night is the name of the job.

Flashback many years ago when I was doing regular sound and lighting work around town -- there used to be this place in Orange Park called Shades that most nights was redneck hell, but every now and then would shut its doors and only allow women (and the reluctant sound crew) to come and take part in a train wreck known as "The Men of Chippendale's." Notice I said "The Men of Chippendale's -- because the dudes who tour around are clearly second-stringers. Not that it really matters though -- because once Paco comes on stage, rips off his fake policeman's outfit, and starts wiggling his moneymaker around
Bitches immediately lose their shit and go completely crazy.
Case in point, (and by far the highlight of the evening for me) was when Bartender Jodi -- who is unspeakably hot (but has a boyfriend who is a very old friend of mine) unexpectedly appeared in front of me, pulled me close and all but licked my neck. Of course a second later she separated herself again and said "You're wearing it, aren't you? You have to tell my boyfriend what the name of your cologne is so he can buy some for himself."

One look at her boyfriend (who was of course watching the whole scene) told me without words that he could give a fuck what the name of my cologne was, pointing out his major mistake of the evening -- which was thinking it was any kind of good idea to go with his girlfriend to a male strip show.

I don't care how possessive you are, I don't care how secure you think you are in your masculinity -- you do not want to see what happens to chicks at events like this. If you are foolish enough to make this mistake be prepared to watch the woman you love and adore completely forget you exist and turn into the kind of depraved creature you've only imagined she could be.

I swear to god, I wish there was a way you ladies could actually see yourselves in action once those dudes come on stage.
Or to put it another way, if I tried to do any of the things you
guys do at the strip club I go to -- they'd throw my ass out.
I wasn't even there to see the show (thankfully), but all signs clearly pointed to the fact that somewhere before I arrived a full-on gropefest had been happening in there, and just because the show was over didn't mean that the women in the place were anywhere near finished getting their freak on.

What you've got to realize is that there are distinct differences between male and female strippers. For example, when you go to a gentleman's club someone in a bikini will act like you're the hottest guy in the place for as long as it takes to get you to buy a lap dance. But once that song is over you instantly go back to being a loser. Make no mistake, once a private dance is done the stripper doesn't love you any more.

Not so with the Men of Playgirl -- who were visibly walking around in street clothes, trolling for leftovers.
Which is when the real comedy of the evening kicked in.
See, it's not every chick who will go to a male strip show. Just by their very nature they're incredibly tacky affairs, and regardless of what you might think -- a lot of women are actually kinda grossed out by skinny men with shaved chests who dance better than they do. The girls who do go to male strip shows usually do so in small groups of friends who are sure to giggle about it the next day. Unfortunately what happens all too often is that somewhere around the fourth free martini the bad dance music kicks in, which is Alejandro's cue to come on stage, dance around like he's riding a horse -- and look deeply into the eyes of a random woman in the crowd to give her the distinct impression that she has a shot at him.

It's supposed to be fantasy. It's supposed to be good trashy fun, like reading a Jackie Collins novel or making eyes at the pool boy. But there's always one or two girls who take it just a step farther and ends up doing things she probably shouldn't, like hooking up with bartenders (Yeah I'm talking to you Johnno, you know what you did).

One woman in particular took a very visual approach to her descent, going from screaming catcalls to letting some stripper write his name on her arm to flashing her boobs to any and everyone in the place, until finally she reached the very bottom rung of the ladder and did something I have honestly never seen before in a bar:
She took off her shoes and started ballet dancing.
It only took a second to spot the muscle-bound guy with dreadlocks that she was trying to impress, who watched on wordlessly as she started into her toe steps, twirling and waving her arms around like a little girl at a recital. It was almost tragic (especially when she used the side of the bar to balance herself on while she kicked her legs up into the air), but there was no stopping Sister Mary at that point. Well off the deep end -- she continued to drunkenly wobble around until her friends finally realized what she was doing, mercifully gathered her up, and did their best to steer her towards the parking lot, all while she shouted back,
"I'm only a little drunk, Antonio tell them I'm not drunk -- come dance with me!!"

[Listening to:   40 Below Summer"Falling Down" ]