I’m Dreaming of a Scary Christmas

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I’m reminded by a regular reader and contributor to The Sting Of The Scorpion Blog that it seems that many Christmas stories we know today had a much different start so many years ago. Writers wrote stories differently way back in the early years. Many times stories were written down so they could be shared with many generations to come, most of which had always been word of mouth stories. This reader has taken a “look” into some of the roots for the rhyme or reason behind the scary season and why we love to see, read, and hear all of those great scary Christmas stories.

I know what you’re thinking. What possesses someone to write scary Christmas stories? What is there about Christmas that could possibly be considered scary, creepy, ghoulish, demented, or hair-raising?

Oh, where to start.

At their heart, scary Christmas stories are about subverting innocent childhood memories, adding eerie and unimagined dimensions to them. For regular people, Christmas is about celebration and wonder—or that mad dash to the mall. They aren’t like those strange, twisted individuals who imagine burning red eyes flaring alongside the other lights in a Christmas tree, or hear soot-caked claws scraping inside the brick belly of the chimney.

A Background on Scary Christmas Stories

I blame the Victorians. They loved their ghost stories, and Christmastime was when they gathered around the fire and did their best to scare each other. Charles Dickens almost single-handedly rescued Christmas—at least as a secular, feel-good holiday—through his famous ghost story, A Christmas Carol.

The practice has its roots in primitive Yuletide rituals, before the Christians came along and roped it all together into Christmas. Before anyone celebrated the birth of Christ, winter was a frightening time. The nights stretched on forever, the cold swept in, and nothing grew. Primitive people celebrated surviving to the halfway point—the winter solstice, or Yule—which represented the death and (hopeful) rebirth of the sun.

Christmas Eve back then was perhaps the darkest part of the year. With the sun gone and the light extinguished, the membrane between the worlds of the living and the dead grew thin. Ghost were allowed to escape, to wreak havoc or make amends.

So it’s plain to see that Christmas has always been scary. The light and innocence of the time was a direct response to the pervasive darkness and fear that came with winter. Like fairy tales, Christmas traditions often have grisly, Old-World origins that have been forgotten.

Even Santa had a dark side. Whatever his incarnation—Santa, Saint Nick, Father Christmas—he tended to have a shadow partner, a silent, hooded fellow named Black Pete or Knecht Ruprecht who doled out justice to those who had been naughty, usually beating them with a stick from the bundle he hauled around on his back.

And we won’t even start with Krampus (at least for now).

Suffice it to say, scary Christmas stories have very deep roots in our current culture, even though we aren’t really aware of them these days. A select few souls try to keep this tradition alive, usually by enjoying the scary Christmas tales told by others, or by penning a few ourselves.

5 Elements of Scary Christmas Stories

Scary Christmas stories come in all shapes and sizes and wrapping paper. But if you’re of a mind to scribble down a few scary holiday tales of your own, here are a few common elements to bear in mind.

1). Subversion, or do the Twist

This is the fun part. Find an aspect about the holiday and twist it around, or find a scary explanation for it. Tim Allen did this with his series The Santa Clause. Before it became a movie, it started out as a dark short story about a man who shoots Santa and then is doomed to take his place.

This is where the Doctor Who specials really shine. They take a beloved aspect of Christmas (e.g., glass globes, Christmas trees, Santas, stars, snow, snowmen, etc.) and twist it into something frightening (and fascinating).

So when you write your scary Christmas story, don’t forget to do the twist!

2). Yuletide Justice

Christmas is about justice. Children in particular understand this. Good kids get their reward, bad kids get their comeuppance, and all is well with the world. In a true Christmas story of the darker persuasion, don’t forget that in the end, Christmas Eve is one of those few times of the year when the scales of justice are in balance.

3). Reunions

Christmas is about coming together with family and friends—sometimes even from beyond the grave. The clarion call to return home for Christmas can easily be connected to the draw of nostalgia, the longing for times long past, for the innocence of childhood and the wonder of growing up.

That nostalgia draws loved ones together (even if the relationship has soured some) across miles, and sometimes worlds. Ghosts often find their way home for Christmas, but the return of a beloved family member from beyond the grave isn’t always what we imagine it will be.

And sometimes it isn’t love that draws the dearly departed back home. Sometimes, it’s revenge.

4). Powers Dark and Powers Bright

Because it’s considered a holiday for children, we usually play up the lighter, more whimsical aspects of Christmas. But a scary Christmas story should serve as a reminder that everything has its opposite. Good and evil, night and day, winter and spring, Santa and Ruprecht, Rudolph and Frosty. Just as the scales of justice must be balanced, make sure you balance the light with the dark.

5). Toys (and Other Bright Shiny Things)

Like it or not, Christmas is about toys these days. Most people love toys, especially writers. Like Anton Chekov, for instance. He reminds writers to: “Remove everything that has no relevance to the story. If you say in the first chapter that these is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter, it absolutely must go off. If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there.”

There is also writers’ favorite Christmas gift to their readers: the MacGuffin.

The “MacGuffin” was made famous by Alfred Hitchcock. It is a plot device that can take on many shapes and forms, but primarily serves as the motivation for the characters in a story. In many cases, it doesn’t matter what the MacGuffin is; what matter is that so many people in the story want it. A MacGuffin can be an object, a person, a place—a bag of cash, a suitcase bomb, a Maltese falcon, a jewel, etc.

So be sure to break out the best, shiniest MacGuffin for your story. Fire off that Chekov’s gun! Make sure your story makes good use of its toys. As I close, I remind everyone to look at their Christmas books, Christmas movies, and the sorted Christmas tales you tell, you might be surprised at it’s origin or true meaning. Tis the season to have a very Merry Scary Christmas!

Selling You A Fantasy

I would like to take the time to introduce the purpose of this post and how it was inspired. Many of y’all know me through Blogcatalog and know that I worked as a bartender in a huge high end full nude strip club here in Houston. Most of y’all might also know I used to chronicle my life and the life of customers, patrons, the pizza delivery guy, and the strippers on a dedicated blog before Google gobbled it up making it disappear forever. However, luckily for me, I had my little black notebook that I would use to right down most of my observations and conversations while I worked. Anyway, a member @ Blogcatalog posted a thread asking “What is the point of strip clubs?” and I told him that I would create a post on my blog that might better explain things based on my own personal experience and through what I learned from many others. So, in more ways than one, this post is dedicated to DM. I hope it may shed some light on understanding the different “angles” that are created by each and every person who walks through the doors of a strip club. Then again, as much as I ramble on it just might make things as clear as mud. The hard part for me is where to begin to try to answer his question. I have to remember that in reality the actual “point” cannot be defined because each individual has their own opinion. So, keep in mind a simple fact while reading  today, everything you will read is just that, my opinion and the opinions of others. Turn back now (after you look at the pictures of course) if the subjects of stripping, alcohol, nudity, strippers, adult language, adult content, money, religion, naked girls, drinking, and many more I’m sure. If you are still here then sit back and enjoy the show.
 
I’m going to start it off simple. The purpose of a strip club is to sell you a fantasy, plain, simple, and to put it bluntly. During the process of selling you this fantasy your money will be separated from your wallet as quickly as possible. As a newbie in a strip club your money will go fast and your time at the strip club will be short. You will leave with a smile on your face but you will experience confusion wondering how you spent so much money so damn fast. Where did all your money go? Good question. I can break down where it all went for you. If you came to my club then you spent it like I will explain. First, you paid the valet who was wearing a barely there itsy bitsy tiny bikini to park your car, then you tipped her to take “special” care of your ride. Second, you paid the admission to the greeter who most likely was completely nude. Her nudity distracted you and you probably paid a higher admission because you didn’t ask any questions about the price or any of the packages. Then, one of these nude ladies escorted you to a table. She held you tightly, you had your arm around her, y’all talked and laughed as she gave you a tour of the facility, then she seats you in a great spot, she then leans in to give you a very tight hug and a kiss on the cheek or forehead, and then at that point you feel obligated to tip her for everything she has just done for you. Third, you are approached by a stunning waitress wearing only an apron and high heels who asks you for your drink order. You give her your order and she walks away in a way that you can’t stop watching as she heads to see me at the bar. When she returns with your drink she will place it on the table in a truly seductive fashion. She will tell you an oddball price with forces you to pull out the bigger bills. When she makes change and places it onto the table you will pick most of it up and place it on her tray for the fabulous service you have just experienced and hope she remembers you. So far you have interacted with four women, none who are strippers, and you have dropped no less than a $100 bill. Don’t worry about that, we have six ATM’s in the building and the bartender can advance cash on your personal or company credit card, for a fee of course.
After you have visited the ATM you sit back down and you are ready to go. You’re amped up about seeing some of the most beautiful women on the entire planet naked and just mere inches from your nose. You just might think you have your best game face on but every single person in the club knows one of your reasons for being here and they use that to your disadvantage with a vengeance. The top reason for coming to a full nude strip bar is to see full nude strippers, end of discussion. It’s the undeniable fact in this entire discussion. What you may not know is that since the moment you walked in you have been “stalked” by at least one of the strippers. She is going to keep an eye on you and see what you are up to. When she approaches you she has “sized” you up and she is ready to wheel and deal. She doesn’t want your time, your conversation, or to drink with you, she want to mentally fuck you into an absolute frenzy so she can separate you from as much money as she can in the shortest amount of time. She is a salesperson, she will up-sale everything she has to offer. She bundles, she discounts, and she bargains. The whole time the price to spend time with her is steadily increasing. What started as a $25 lap dance is now a $150 private dance in a secluded area where everything can be just a little more provocative and exciting. You paid in advance before y’all ever left the table. During your two song lap dance you will be tempted to tip her but will be told to hold on to your wad until everything is over. Lucky for you there are “grab bars” on the sides of the chairs where you are instructed to keep your hands at all times. She also informs you that under no circumstances, no matter what she does in front of you or to you, that you are to remain seated and keeps those hands down to your side. She has one goal, she is going to get you so sexually excited that you will be in a love drunk bliss by the time it is all over. You aren’t her first and you damn sure won’t be her last. When she is done you are sweating, you have the biggest hard on you have ever experienced so far in life, and she made sure to leave her “wetness” everywhere she touched on your body. After you catch your breath you are deciding how much to tip her for her over-the-top performance. You probably just doubled the original price. No worries tho, because she just fucked you harder through your clothes than you could have ever experienced flesh to flesh. She then returns you to your table and slithers away into the darkness. How many times will this happen with this stay at the club? You would be very surprised.
 
Feeling thirsty you flag down your waitress and make another order. This time you order more than a single drink because the glasses won’t be full for long. You repeat this many times during which time you spend intervals of time at one or more of the 22 stages tipping a variety of the nude strippers in hopes that you will catch the eye of one of them and she will find you at your table waiting. You don’t wait too long before a trickle of strippers descends upon you at your table. Every single one is looking for the quickest deal they can flip so they can move on to the next person. You have made your choice, it’s like picking meat at a market. She has the body style, hair, personality, and so forth you are looking for at that very moment based on the choices in front of you. Y’all will sit and talk about a variety of things, mostly the conversation will be directed to talk about you. She will tell you to explain your deepest darkest fantasy. She might ask you to imagine if the two of you were having sex and explain what each of you would be doing. She is going to get you all worked up and then keep you all worked up from this point forward. She will, because she is “bored”, give you a couple of free lap dances, nothing too dirty or extreme, nothing like the private dances, but just enough to make you want more so you will be willing to spend more. It’s a game. You don’t know it’s a game tho, you think this is all real when in reality she is just selling you an illusion, a fantasy, and letting you live on a little borrowed time that you are renting from her.
As you wind down you realize it’s time to leave and get back into your life which is in the real world, a world beyond the doors of the club. You will pay me a visit at the bar to thank me for keeping the drinks going to you and your table all night. You will drop me a tip for all my “troubles” and you head to the exit. You will encounter a few strippers before you get to the doors who will try to convince you to stay but you are determined to leave. The valet has changed guard a few times so you will give your ticket to a new girl, one who you believe is even sexier than the first one you encountered. She arrives in your ride, slowly opens the door where she slowly exposes her long legs and she might, just might, give you your final sneak peek for the night. You tip her too of course, she seats you in your car, helps you with your seatbelt making sure she touches you everywhere you would hope she would, she will give you a peck on the cheek, she will shut your door for you, and away you will drive. Why do they go through all of this for someone departing the club and property? It’s super simple. Now you are already arranging in your head when you will be coming back for your next experience in receiving a mind blowing fantasy.
 
As you drive away you will still be in a haze of a daze. You smell the perfume, the sweat, the scent, and other juices that flowed in the evening from a variety of the strippers you spent time with. Not to worry, this was done on purpose. Your mind will now play the memory game that will be directed by each and everything you can smell. It will become real intense. the further you drive away from the club you are making the decision based on the choices, go home or go back. You continue to drive further away, regretting each mile as you go until you are finally home. What’s waiting for you at home? Your life? You will shower, slowly washing away the scents, you watch the suds go down the drain. At that very moment you begin to realize that it was all real, it wasn’t a dream, but for now it is over. You fall asleep remembering your fresh memories but they are starting to fade already. You may try to dream about your favorite stripper but you are so tired you cannot even concentrate, the night is finally over. When you wake up, maybe to go to work, to go to school, or just going out to run errands, you have a harder time remembering anything from the night before. You really don’t like this feeling so it bums you out most of the day. As each day passes that one night becomes a more distant memory and gets to the point where it fades away altogether. Your next time to the club will also happen based on a trigger, that might be something someone says, a scent you smell, a you see a person who reminds you of a stripper that night or so you will think. The process has the potential to start all over again, then again, and so forth.
 
Now, I realize that this scenario isn’t everyone’s experience. But, I used this approach because it was something I saw every night. It’s called lust. It’s called fantasy. People, in general have neither lust or fantasy in their everyday life, they suffer from a shortage of it and sometime it needs to be fed. There is no definite answer to what the point of a strip club actually may be. I do know this little fact, if there wasn’t a demand for strip clubs then they would crumble into dust and blow away in the winds. While working at a club that comfortably sat 900 patrons and worked that maximum limit every night of the week I can personally say that I think the demand is actually growing. Strip clubs have evolved over the years, they went from being a strip joint to a strip bar to strip clubs to gentlemen’s clubs. They tend to market themselves really well and place themselves in areas which are considered to be safer and cleaner. Yes, I know, not everywhere. And, yes, I know the scenario in this post is not always the case because not every club/bar/joint is the absolute same. It’s a business which thrives on there being a demand for what they supply or provide. Most of the strippers that were there when I was there had 6 figure incomes that they were reporting to the IRS and my job didn’t pay too shabby either. A stripper will sell you a fantasy for a pretty penny and walk away leaving you wanting more. It’s an art. They are some of the best salespeople you will ever meet in your life. Face it, most men and women want to see the opposite (sometimes the same) sex in the buff and are willing to pay for it. In the age of technology that we live in today people want face time for their money.
 
A note for clarification. The pictures used here today were borrowed from the internet through a Google search. The pictures are assumed royalty free and free to use for non-commercial purposes. If there are any questions, comments, or concerns then one can e-mail Scorpion Sting or feel free to leave it all in the comments section below. Now we are done.

The Funny Thing About Fantasies

Originally Posted 16 August 2012

 

In my life it would seem that I am considered a “jack of all trades” where I know just about enough about certain things to be dangerous. How does the saying go? Jack of all trades and master of none or something to that extent. My knowledge, mostly, has come from necessity rather than want. As a man, a father, a husband, a home owner, an employee, and even as a friend, I find myself doing things a skilled, trained, licensed, or certified person would be doing. There is one exception, and that is that I am cheap. As I mentioned, when it comes to maintenance, repairs, or installations I know just enough to be dangerous. I may not be the best, but I always try to do my best. Perhaps that is my actual down fall, free or not, I care.

 

It doesn’t help that my boss knows what I am capable of either. For that matter, either one of my bosses because I have done remodeling, maintenance, repairs, and installations at both of my places of employment. It is always a nice interruption to the daily grind I suppose. Since first thing Monday morning I have been impersonating a plumber at my day job. The quotes for the work needing to be done ranged from $3500.00 all the way to $5900.00 so that was going to happen. Then, my boss got the brainchild of an idea that I would be a great candidate to do the work. I did, however, go reluctantly and I was reminded that the tasks at hand clearly fell under the description of “other duties” which of course don’t actually have a definition. So be it because it gets me the hell out of the office and warehouse for a few days. The project, in reality, was very simple, tapping into an existing water line and make two new connections in two separate locations from the exterior of the same building. After 3 days and one morning I was done. And if I don’t say myself, it looks pretty damn good. Nobody will ever be able to tell it was a complete amateur job. But, that is not what this story is actually about. I felt the need to prime the story with a little background so the second part could actually make some realm of sense. All week long we have been in the high 90’s with 80% or better in humidity. In plain English, it was so hot I could cook stuff in my shorts. Needless to say, when the day was done, I smelled like a farm animal because of being out in the sun and heat all day. Did wonders for my tan since I had 3 days going topless.

 

Monday being the first day of my plumbing experience had given me a funk so bad that I had a hard time being where I was because I was trying to figure out what that smell was. It was me, plain and simple. When I arrived at the club I figured I could splash on a little cologne and I would be okay. Nope, it had zero effect on the pungency. A few of the dancers got very offended by my funk and asked if I could go home and fix it. Fix it? That’s funny. Plus, I was not diving the 45 minutes each way, it wasn’t happening. Then my boss came up to me and said to follow her. So I did. She had asked if I had a change of clothes and if so to get them and meet her in her office. So I did, I got them and returned to her office. I then followed her into the dancer’s locker room. A rather large area, but can accommodate about 175 people at once at any given time. Which is good because we have 350 or more dancers and female employees at the club at any given time. She made an announcement to everyone in the locker room that there was a male employee present. Nobody even batted an eye. Then my boss left, but not before instructing me to shower, get dressed, and get to work. I am thinking to myself at this point that I am in a place where many men would kill to be. Granted, I see everyone one of these dancers naked at least 3 times a night already, but for some reason it was different in a private group setting. I spotted a dancer I know real good, I would even consider her to be my friend. I walked over to her and asked if she had soap, shampoo, and a towel she wouldn’t mind me using. She graciously accommodated my requests and handed me everything with a huge smile, a bit sinister if you ask me.

 

I parked my butt on the bench in front of the showers to get undressed. Its a big shower, can accommodate 35 people each with a shower head to themselves. There were a few dancers in the shower already, in various stages of their own shower, some washing, some rinsing their hair, and the dancer directly in front of me, a mere 4 feet away, was shaving herself bare. I found myself undressing real slow, keeping an eye on my surroundings. Others would walk by, tell me hi, see if I need anything or any help. I even got a high five from one I barely even knew and she stated that “now its a party up in dis bitch”. Really? Was my presence going to make it a party? If I were a single man under some different conditions, then perhaps, but not today. I was good with being a literal peeping tom, which when it is all boiled down, is what I was. Nobody seemed to mind, nobody seemed to actually care if I was there, but I can’t help but think to myself that the dancers in the shower were putting on a bit of a show. How? There seemed to be an awful lot of them facing away from me while bending over with straight legs, spending a long time washing themselves knowing I was watching them. Little things, probably just my overactive imagination. Oh yea, finish getting undressed and get in the shower.

 

Completely naked I joined 13 dancers already there. I heard “don’t be shy come down here by us” and similar things. So, I did. Right smack in the middle of 13 completely naked dancers showering with me. By this point I had put my mind in another place and another time so I could just focus on getting clean and staying out of harms way. It was the longest 20 minute shower I think I have ever had! I stepped out of the shower, dried off, and returned to the bench. I couldn’t help feeling as if I had eyes on me, maybe it was just wishful thinking on my part. What made it worse was one of the dancers who seems like she is always doing a private show just for me on my bar sits next to me, she is still naked and wet and started talking with me as I was getting dressed. She told me she had memories now, not her imagination, which she will use to make her extra wet the next time she is dancing on my bar. I thought to myself, am I flattered or afraid. In the end, I am a little of both.

 

I left that locker room a “new” person. Although nothing sexual happened I was left with a very satisfied feeling. I know the story is probably a bit disappointing to most, especially those thinking I was leading into some kind of a shower orgy with strippers story. Sorry, it happened the way it happened. I value too many things to toss it out the window for a little action on the side. After getting off work, I went home, showered again, and got into bed with my wife, where I held her hand for the remainder of the night, it was nice. After some reflection, my wife and I discussed my shower at work. I know other people, some I am related to, that would have kept the whole thing a secret from their spouse. But, that is not how we operate. Since then, being at the club is different. I have dancers screwing with me now, some have the impression I don’t like girls. It doesn’t really matter what they think or say, I know where I stand. I think I got to fulfill a portion of a fantasy that many men would have loved to be in the middle of. I good with the way this has all worked out. Some have said that I missed out on an opportunity of a lifetime and it will never be something that I will ever have a chance at ever again. Maybe so, maybe not. I am left with an intact marriage and a wife who trusts me in life as well as to bartend in a club which features full nude dancers. I think I have the good end of that deal.