The Betrayal at Lace
I was trying to think of a story to tell and I thought of this one from a whole bunch of years ago.
A friend of mine from college was in from out of town for business and we ran around the city late-night going to bars on like a Wednesday night. We eventually ended up at this strip club called "Lace" at like 3AM. This dive-y strip place is like near Times Square somewhere. We paid $20 or whatever to get in and headed downstairs.
The decor of "Lace" can be described as-- nouveau dank with fingersmudge style mirrors, velour furniture with that 'still in storage' appeal and a foam-tiled extra low ceiling to bring it all together. There was like one other customer there and he looked like he was drunk and leaving. We sat down anyway and a couple stripper girls came over and asked us if we wanted a dance. So we each got a dance or whatever. It was sort of weird because there was like nobody else there-- except couple loomy goony bouncers. After our dances we started chatting with these girls all friendly. They ordered drinks too and told us not to worry-- that they're not expecting us to pay for their drinks. Told us it was the end of the night anyway. That was cool.
I don't remember their names but let's call them Bambi and Bubbles. We sat there chatting it up with Bambi and Bubbles for like 40 minutes or so. Nursing our $10 beers. Bambi was in school for something. And Bubbles from New Zealand was considering heading back to her homeland. They smoked their cigarettes and talked their talk blah blah blah and soon it was like 4AM. They didn't ask for a dime. I gotta admit they both seemed pretty nice. I got that weird wonder like, 'Like does Bambi actually like me like me?' Soon the lights flashed on/off and Bambi and Bubbles told us they had to close up and wanted to know if we wanted "goodbye dances". We checked our wallets and saw we had like $48 combined. A lap dance was $20 and they last for one song. We both agreed to have one dance and told em we only had $20 each. Enough for one song. One dance.
Bubbles and Bambi start dancing (I remember feeling a little guilty about asking my new friend to dance but I soon got over it).... and they're dancing.... and dancing.... two songs....dancing... extra bonus time! Three songs!.... I remember thinking, 'This is so coolio! My new stripper friend is hooking me up with extra stripperness! She might be my new best friend evah!' After three songs Bambi stops and whispers in my ear, 'Thanks so much, honey. That will be $60.' I was like, 'What? Bambi! I told you I only had $20!' My friend protested the same to Bubbles who was also demanding $60.
They waved over the tuxedo bouncer guy who was probably 9 feet tall and 9 feet wide and he was like, 'Problem?' Bambi was like, 'These guys just had three dances each and now don't want to pay!' I was floored thinking like, 'Bambi!!! What happened to the friendship thing! What happened to us all being 'cool' with each other....' They wanted $120 friggin dollars! Bubbles backed up Bambi's story! We explained we warned them that we were light on cash-- but the bouncer totally sided with them!! Goonie told us we should have told them to stop after one song.
Goonie then told us that the problem was that they just shut down the ATM and credit card machines....' We were like, 'What do you want us to say!? We have $48!' He was like, 'Gentlemen. We're going to walk across the street to the deli ATM together. And each of you are going to take out $60 and give it to me. Then we will be done here.' We agreed with this settlement.
So there we were at like 4-something AM at some random deli. Shamefully taking a few twenties out of an ATM while some giant tuxedoed goon loomed over us. I handed him $60. My friend handed him $60. And he stomped off like a monster with a deer sandwich and didn't even say thank you.
To this day I still am a little surprised by the level of betrayal from Bubbles and Bambi. And to this day I'm still a little surprised... that I'm still a little surprised.