I mentioned in my other post that I have a vast collection of t-shirts because they are typically what I wear everyday. I also mentioned that on our vacation to San Antonio that we visited Fiesta Texas (Six Flags Theme Park). If I recall correctly, I added that the little adventure was worthy of it’s own post. So, here is that post. Now, due to some certain particulars, I will not be mentioning anyone by their actual names. By now y’all have most likely noticed the photo above of the t-shirt I was wearing on the morning of our visit. I said “was” wearing because initially I was refused entry into the park because I “was” wearing it as I passed through the gates. In fact, let’s start with the gate first, I will get back to the shirt later.
I don’t know how it is where y’all live but most places of entertainment that I have been to include walking through a metal detector. Seems to be a way of life in larger cities. Remember one thing as you read forward, I have had six (6) open knee surgeries on my right knee, the latest resulting in a knee replacement, so I have a little hardware holding everything together these days. I know, based on past metal detector experience, that I light those things up like a Christmas tree when I walk through. Which is the exact reason why I already had my U.S. Government issued information card in my hand. It explains the metals and other materials to the screener in English, Spanish, and French. It also has a toll free number if there are any further stupid questions. I step through and it of course goes apeshit crazy, in fact, all four times I passed through it the alarms went off. I handed the man my card and Veteran’s ID card, both were dismissed, but I was asked to follow another man off to the side so I could be wanded and patted down repeatedly. Finally, enough is enough, I asked the obviously arrogant question if they couldn’t see the huge fucking scars on my leg. And you know what my answer was? “Sorry, Mr. Z., I guess we didn’t observe those during our investigation”. This is from 3 separate people, all claiming they didn’t see them or fully understand the information card I provided.
After 15 minutes I was released to go into the park, but only if I am wearing a different shirt which is not offensive or inappropriate. Wait just a fucking minute! Offensive or inappropriate? By what standard? Because if we are going to point fingers I saw a few that I thought were in very bad taste, but according to the screeners a shirt with the Mexican flag bearing the words ” Thank you Obama for not sending me home” or the shirt with a burning American flag which read “Burn Bitch Burn” were just fine to wear in the park because the two people were not believed to be “American” based on their skin color. Y’all are yanking my chain, right? Nope. At this point my wife takes me by the arm and tells me to just go get another of my shirts from the car. WTF? So, the screening idiot stamps my hand, therefore being able to avoid the whole line and metal detector again. How nice. I did go to my car, I was furious, I did smoke a few cigarettes, I did change into a plain gray shirt, and I did go back to the park. Why? Because my wife asked me to come back in to have the family day, together, and in peace.
The rest of the day was uneventful, except the Superman ride was down 90% of the day, the only ride I ride. Yes, I did file a formal complaint to both Fiesta Texas and to Six Flags. It was all done electronically Sunday afternoon, I have yet to get a reply. Personally, I don’t think my shirt having the word ass on it offended anyone, nor do I think it would. I also believe in the freedom of speech, I may not have agreed with the two examples given above, but it is what it is, just a shirt, just an opinion. I personally wasn’t looking for the attention I received, but it happened. However, I remain pretty pissed at the fucktards they have as screeners, because that was just super ignorant on their part. Glad to know they can’t read OR see while they are looking out for everyone’s “safety”. I will cut this off here because if I don’t I could go on for hours, and I got dinner to finish cooking.
One of my many new t-shirts!
As a bartender in a full nude strip bar I was witness to many amazing sites, I got to meet many amazing people, and best of all I got to listen to the stories of many people. The incredible challenge I always had was knowing what to do with all of the information that had been offered to me. What do I do? Write a book? Write a movie? Neither, but I did write it all down. I took notes and wrote down triggers so that the stories would come back to me easy. Why do all that? Why bother? Good question, which the story I will tell today will hopefully relay and answer some of those questions. In time gone by I had a separate blog dedicated solely to telling stories from my perspective from behind the bar based on my conversations and observations. And, unfortunately I fell victim to some culling of blogs and it became a deleted statistic I chalked up as a great loss. However, as y’all can see here, I have been trying to maintain the tradition of telling my stories. from this point forward I will warn you that the content will become adult oriented and the language as well as the descriptive picture will become a bit more colorful. I’m not the best story-teller, but I try to be a fair story re-teller. Without further ado I will begin with a story about a 17 y/o runaway that set out on a journey that changed her perspective and changed her life forever. These are her experiences as she told them to me.
On the day after she turned 17 she decided that life in Schuyler Nebraska wasn’t what she wanted any longer. She had been thinking about leaving for a while but never had the guts to just up and walk away. Her home life was not anything she can admit to be glamorous by any means. Her mother had died a few years before which she took real hard. She was an only child and now she was still living with her mom’s boyfriend. He, in all reality, was all she had. He is decent to her. He has allowed her to continue to live with him as long as she stayed in school. It has become really weird because he has a new girlfriend who also lives with them. She is only 3 years older and that is hard enough to deal with. All remembrance of her mother is of her own accounts as the boyfriend rarely if ever talks about her. She started feeling out-of-place and in the way of the new life he was starting for himself. So, she decided that she needed to get away, far away, far enough that she didn’t have to worry about the life she wanted to leave behind. She celebrated her birthday with her friends and her part-time on and off boyfriend. It wasn’t a party or anything, just went out to a friends property to drink and get a little wild. The next morning she left the house she grew up in for the last 8 years with nothing but the clothes on her back and the cash she had been saving. As far as she was concerned she only took what she needed and would get more as she moved on and when it was needed. She just started walking south, following the back country roads, following railroads at times, and sleeping where she could when she could. She would bath in restrooms of fast food places and gas stations which was already getting old after a few days. She would get picked up on occasion but it rarely lasted very long because she would feel uncomfortable and unsafe. The only way she felt she could pay was with some kind of sexual favor and she didn’t want to go there.
Unfortunately as she traveled she found herself in need of money, food, and a warm place to stay the night. She learned that her body was something that she could use and get what she wanted in return. She would blow into different hole in the wall towns and waitress at the local bars mostly. She learned that the less she wore to work and the more she teased the men that this equaled more money. She recalled the time she wore the shortest shorts she could find to the bar one night. She remembers these shorts because they have become her lucky shorts over time. She thinks its funny because she got them at a thrift shop for twenty-five cents. While at the bar that night she was convinced to enter into a wet t-shirt contest because the 1st place prize was $1500.00 and a trip to Las Vegas. She remembers thinking Vegas was going the wrong direction for her but if she got the trip she would go and check it out. She spent allot of time telling little white lies about her age in order to work in the bars. Lucky for her they never asked for any identification because she didn’t even have any. So, she entered the contest with all the local girls from the bar and the area around. She knew she would have to make it dirty to have a chance. She wanted the guys to remember her when they went home drunk to their wives and girlfriends. She has began to find the power of showing a little skin here and there. She didn’t win the wet t-shirt contest, but she did place 3rd out of some 40 other women, which in her opinion wasn’t too damn bad. As well, it had a $400.00 prize to go with the title. She knew she would have to try just a little harder the next time. As it turns out her journey to wherever she was going was taking quite some time. It’s been close to a year now and she still finds herself moving. She spent a few months over the winter in San Antonio Texas where she made some good friends and had a decent job working at a hole in the wall strip club as a waitress and a bar-back. She was thinking that this is where it’s at, she just might have found her knew home.
Then, one day out of the blue her roommate decided she wanted to go to Houston to visit family and asked if she wanted to tag along for the weekend. She figured why not, let’s go. Just so happens that when they got into town they saw an advertisement for, as it was billed, the largest wet t-shirt contest on the planet. They joked about going, then the joking became serious, then the joking turned into a dare, the dare turned into a bet. They showed up at Club X in the early evening that Saturday to see if they could check out the competition. They realized real fast that the club was actually a full need strip club and they might be in over their heads. Since she was 18 now she actually had the required identification to prove her age to participate in the wet t-shirt contest. They were given t-shirts with the club logo all over it. As she finds out later, I had a contest of my own to design those t-shirts, she found that funny for some reason I found out later. After getting ready and so forth they had a few drinks when it was announced that there will be over 700 participants in the wet t-shirt contest. Seems that many people want the prizes and don’t care that they will have to show their tits to get it. She had learned over the last year that it’s just a wet t-shirt contest but what it turns out to be is a totally different animal. The men don’t want to see the girls in their t-shirt, they want to see everything but that. She also found that she needed to learn how to move like a stripper if she ever wanted to win, an edge that she thinks she mastered. Then, the parade of tatas began and she remembers how nervous she really was because there were 700 plus girls who all wanted the same prize. She made it thru the initial cut, she made it thru the semi-final cut, and ended up in the top 10 by the time the night progressed. It was time to turn up the heat, game fucking on! She put her game face on and showed Houston what she was made of. She ended up not winning however, she didn’t win the $10,000.00 cash prize for 1st, she didn’t win the $7,500.00 cash prize for 2nd place. She did secure 3rd place and that $5,000.00 purse. She was also approached by the club’s dancer recruiter and asked to attend the boot camp if she would like to have a job. Oh, her friend? Her friend got put out in the semi-finals, receiving a zero dollar prize. She thought about the offer quite a bit the rest of the night and on into Sunday. She spoke to her friends mom and asked if she could stay with them for a while and she was told yes, of course. Her friend went back to San Antonio that night and she went back down to the strip club to talk to the recruiter about her offer. Since she had already answered the question if she wanted the job or not by staying she got geared up and fired up about going to boot camp to see if she gets the job.
She had to go shopping, she needed some clothes to do the boot camp, and some more street clothes because what she had wasn’t much anymore. During the two weeks of the boot camp she kept wondering if stripping was what she wanted to do. She kept weighing her options, and decided she would give it her best shot. At the end of the 2 weeks she was offered the job and she accepted the job. She remembers thinking that she can’t believe she has got herself into this. She realized that her journey was not important because she didn’t have a destination in mind at the time. Her first couple weeks were a little rough, getting into the routine, dealing with being on probation, and getting used to dancing in the nude in front of such large crowds. It was very overwhelming for her. Once she had been there for about a month she explained that she had stages she liked and disliked, her favorite stage was my bar because it was an opportunity to really let loose. My bar was extended out in all directions to serve as a decent sized stage, this stage even had it’s own pole. She began to meet people and open up and talk to people like myself when she had the time. She did pretty good money-wise and that made her pretty happy. Then, those dreams came crashing down around her, she ended up tearing her knee up real bad one night doing some very enlightening moves. I actually saw it because it happened on my bar. She considered her stripper career to now be ended. She ended up with a real wicked scar down the outside of her leg as a souvenir. She actually kept her job but moved to the front door checking i.d.s and taking admissions. While she was doing that she was going to school to get her TABC license. Once she got that she moved into the bars as a bar-back. She missed the money of stripping but didn’t really miss having to get naked to get paid. She did okay behind the bar, about $50,000 a year plus about $15,000.00 in tips annually. So, bartending wasn’t a bad gig either. Now, she reminded me, that it didn’t stop her from filling in on occasion or the random striptease while she was tending bar. She had fun with it.
She doesn’t think her journey is over because she doesn’t see herself staying in one place for too long. I think she will always do well in life because she chases what she wants and when she catches it she rides it like she stole it. Her story isn’t unlike many. People generally think poorly of strippers and often consider them to be no better than drug addict prostitutes. Not everyone that ends up stripping is running away from something, in fact, many aren’t running at all, they found that the income is great. Sadly, our society shuns nudity and makes it very taboo which tends to lend to be why when a person says strip bar or stripper it is usually done in a whisper. Yes, I know, being a nude stripper isn’t a game that everyone can or even wants to play, but it seems that more and more women are exploring it as an option. Everyday woman, like the ones you work with, go to school with, see at the grocery store, your neighbor, woman everywhere are trying new things for new reasons. Not every story always has a happy ending, as in life, sometimes there are tragedies as well. Keep that in mind the next time you judge someone before knowing them. I hope you have enjoyed this latest installment to the Bartender Stories. Until next time, remember to eat it every day!