Recently I was booked to perform in a small Midwestern city which has had a serious economic downturn because of a loss of automotive-related plant closings. All the booking agent told me was that the one-night show would take place in a rowdy bar. Well, when I pulled up to the venue, I realized that the agent had failed to mention one thing. It was a strip joint. And don’t think it was a Gentleman’s Club. This was the kind of place where not even the owner referred to his employees as dancers or entertainers, they were strippers.
Now as most of you realize, I am not a prude, so no big deal. This wasn’t even my first titty bar rodeo, as early in my career I had set up a show at a more ritzy nudie club. My idea was to do an old-time burlesque show, with myself performing comedy in-between the girls. The show actually went really well, as many friends of mine who claimed they couldn’t come out to see me before, somehow were able to make this show. I’m sure getting away for the night went something like this.
(To girlfriend/wife): Hey honey, I’m going to see Scott Long do comedy….Nah, don’t worry about coming along, I’m just going to support him. I wouldn’t want to put you through his act….Oh and if you don’t mind, can I grab some money our of your purse. I’m a little short on cash….No, I don’t need a twenty, I will just grab whatever ones you have….Love you, don’t wait up.
After the success of my first show, the owner wanted me to do another. This one did not go as well, as it had gotten out where I’d done the last show and I had to find a different group of people to help support me. This was a much smaller group who were made up of comics. If you weren’t aware, most comics do not laugh much at other comic’s jokes and actually get a perverse pleasure watching a fellow comic bomb. There was plenty of that going on, as the audience there seemed to have no idea what was going on and why this idiot was up on-stage cutting into their time oogling naked broads. I get that they were just trying to escape their pathetic lives one table dance at a time. I will admit I came into this event a bit too confident after my initial success, as I had hatched what I thought would be a sure-fire comedy bit. My final appearance for the night, I came out in a pair of dockers and a cardigan sweater. Telling them that I was the top children’s host/adult entertainer in the world, I had the DJ begin playing the Mr.Roger’s Neighborhood theme, while I proceeded to undress. I know, I know, but it seemed like a funny idea at the time. The success of a bit is often incumbent on the audience and this wasn’t the right one for ths. I"m not sure where the right one is located, but I can promise I have no interest trying specific act again to find out. After my shirt came off, my nipples were encased in pasies, with attached tassles that I began to twirl. I wasn’t exactly Gypsy Rose Lee, but I was definitely giving it my all. All I can say is thank God, Jesus, Buddah, etc. that there wasn’t camera phones or Youtube at the time, as I would have had my Michael RIchards moment.
So this was my past. The show a couple weeks back was less momentous, as there were no dancers on the bill. You see, the economic downturn had impacted the strip clubs bottom line (yeah, I realize) and so the owner decided to open up on the sabbath and bring comedy to his one-stage room with a poll sitting right in front of the mic stand. It is here where we get into economics. The closing of the factories had impacted a lot of the town, but probably not one industry more than the discretionary income for tuckin’ bucks. The downward spiral continued, as since the strippers were making less money, they left for bigger riches in more high dollar cities. The owner admitted to me that this had brought down the quality of talent he could provide. Talk about the ultimate ugly cycle. Now no matter how much he might gain in the short term from promoting the idea of use your government stimulus check to do some real stimulating, I’m aftraid in the long-term things look pretty bleak for this establishment. Maybe enough attractive stay-at-home MILF’s will be forced to help their household income and shake their moneymakers part-time on-stage, but imy guess it will be too late by then to save my new friend’s club.
Things are really bad in the Industrial Midwest and I just don’t see much help on its way. Maybe the government should rethink its economic indicators which focus on consumer goods. It might just be that chicks dancing to Motley Crue songs are the biggest determining factor on if the economy is boom or bust. Bust might just be the keyword, as if a stripper can afford to invest in iimplants, things are probably going well. Inflating keeps away inflation?