5 - Naked Ladies!
After John won hands down, we offered the curious security
guard the opportunity to present him with the grand prize, a
T-shirt. He jumped at the chance, and even posed for
pictures holding John's hand in the air like the winner of a
boxing title. A couple of other guards gathered around, jealous
of their colleague's position as presenter of the award, so we
appeased them all with more of Mike's cigars. (Note to criminals
- it is really easy to distract the guards at the Golden Gate
casino. While we don't advocate ripping the joint off, we just
thought you'd like to know.)
With just about everybody's breath stinking from cocktail
sauce, a bunch of us piled into assorted cars and headed for
strip club that looks a lot like a spoof of strip clubs
- Larry's Villa. The mirror behind the stage, smeared with oil
from the hands of the dancers, had not been cleaned for weeks
or perhaps months. More than a third of the balloons tacked to
the ceiling were popped, and the rest had so much dust on them
that I could have written my name on them with my finger.
Scott bites into
a delicious hot dog with a little "extra" smoky flavor.
The appeal of strip clubs alludes me, but we were on a special
mission. Phil, the man behind the Encyclopedia Vegasana at the
Big Empire, had challenged the rest of us while compiling his
great work. He said he would submit to ten spankings for every
term we could come up with that he had forgotten to include in
the encyclopedia. After much wrangling, we finally settled on
20 spanks. Since none of us wanted to touch Phil's butt, we elected
to have the task completed by professionals.
Our friend John had recommended Larry's Villa at the corner
of Bonanza and Western to us after we asked what the cheapest
strip club in town was. At Larry's there is no cover and no minimum.
You could come in and watch the dancers without spending a dime.
Only a masochist would want to do this, though.
I'd never been to a strip club before. I am not a prude. In
fact, I enjoy naked ladies as much as the next guy, maybe even
10% more, and one of my all-time favorite paintings is Leonardo
da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Not the Mona Lisa that everyone else gets
to see, but the hot and nasty full-body shot that the Louvre
only lets a select few view. But, no matter how many naked ladies
I had seen before in magazines, movies and real life, nothing
could prepare me for the assault on my senses mounted by Larry's
Villa. As seedy as people say the Gold spike and the Western
are, they're Playboy Mansions compared to the scummy interior
of this stucco dump.
My understanding has always been that strip clubs want to
have an air of pretension. They're called "Gentleman's clubs"
to suggest that us horny guys are in the company of diplomats
and former presidents so we better not jerk-off right then and
there. The truck mud-flap naked girl silhouette's on Larry's
Villa's sign made it clear there was less pretension here than
in an Alabama trailer park. Our group of 20 or so, including
several women, cautiously stepped in. We came around the barrier
set up to keep kids in the parking lot from sneaking peeks and
into the main room.
It stunk and it was filthy. The walls, floor and ceiling were
entirely black. The lighting came from the blue glow of video
poker machines at the bar and the twinkling lights hung from
the runway. Dingy, decaying party streamers and deflated balloons
hung from the ceiling. Scattered about in the dark were single
men, sitting alone, drinking beer and fighting to stay awake.
We made our way across the room and found four empty booths.
We filed into them, sinking into the sticky vinyl cushions.
I felt somewhat responsible for dragging some of the people
into this den of iniquity. That included one of my bosses, who
is a woman and obviously a very good sport. It also included
Carol and Michael, who sat at my table and to whom I kept repeating,
"I didn't make you come here." But, oddly enough, they
were enjoying themselves. I also felt responsible for some of
the people who shied away from this spectacle and felt that playing
craps at the Plaza would be a far more respectable thing to do.
This included Jerry, who slippery as a live squid, slithered
out of the bear hug I slapped on him after the shrimp cocktail
It was about time to teach Phil a lesson. Having lost a bet,
he was owed 20 spankings by the group of us, but since none of
us had the proper professional punishment experience, we decided
to take Phil to the specialists at Larry's Villa. Jerry, a married
man, did not wish to go to the "gentleman's club,"
and said he'd meet us later at the Plaza. In spite of the fact
that one can only experience the real Las Vegas by taking in
its every aspect from the slots that make you lose to the scummy
dives that make you doubt the goodness of the human soul, Jerry
could not be persuaded to join us out. I give him credit for
standing by his principles, provincial as they might be.
Now, in case you have never been to a superlatively scummy
"gentleman's club," allow me to tell you that fortune
has smiled upon you. The 20 of us took up four tables, while
"Cocktail" John and I scoped the dancers for the one
who would be the best candidate for Phil spankage. The first
was frowsy and angry. The second was nondescript and pissy. But
the third was, among this crop, the cream. And so we chose her,
not because of her smile or her personality, but because of her
Meanwhile, I had formed a deep bond with our waitress, a fresh-looking
young lady who stripped on Sunday nights, but not tonight. It
was love, I tell you! Love! I wanted-needed-to see her shake
her upper torso while it was unclothed and unfettered by material!
"Maybe you can switch with one of these girls,"
I said pointing at the stage, and putting on my cutest little
"No, I really cain't" she said, her twang harmonizing
with the ping of my heartstrings.
A waitress came to the table and took our orders. There were
five of us and we all ordered some beer or booze. The bill was
a ridiculously low $16.
Bob Black, who was sitting at a booth closer to the stage,
stopped by our booth on his way back from the bathroom. "You've
got to see the can," he said with a grin. "Why?"
I asked. "You just have to," he insisted. Never one
to ignore a man who says "You just have to," I got
up and went to the john. As I left, Bob slid into my seat and
said, "I'll just sit here and keep this seat next to your
I've never seen a bathroom so foul, malodorous and filthy
in my life. This is even after living for two years with a man
appropriately nicknamed "Supercrapper."
I've never been afraid to sit on a public toilet seat. In
fact, I am a firm believer in antibiotics and usually trust their
ability to kill anything I can contract from a warm seat. In
the Larry's Villa bathroom, however, I was afraid to even approach
the molding urinal flush handle. Patrons had covered every square
inch of wall with graffiti, smeared feces, piss and blood. Chunks
of plaster had been knocked out by angry men, and a stall door
hung cockeyed from its lower hinge. The floor was stickier than
a fly strip, and the smell of one thousand half-digested buffets
hung heavily in the air. I quickly exited and took a deep breath.
Then I went back in to explore some more.
"Cocktail" John, Swain of Shrimp, pooled the donations,
and wound up getting not only "Dancer #3" but a second
as well who was every bit as topless as the first, but
with a look in her eye that reminded me of the Johnny Cash song,
"Mean Eyed Cat." Amid cheers, they called Phil to the
stage and proceeded to beat the tar out of his little hiney!
The mean-eyed dancer seemed to have left her milk of human kindness
spoiling on the kitchen counter back at her apartment, for she
stroked Phil with the leather as though it were payback time
for every unwelcome pinch, every cruel catcall, every bad grade,
and every gray morning she'd ever experienced. The second dancer-the
one I found cuter-though not nearly as cute as my waitress who
refused to take her clothes off for what I had to offer her-took
more pity on Phil, tapping him with the belt with such pansy-lightness,
that I began heckling her weakness just to get her riled. It
didn't work. Phil, rubbing his blue-shorts-clad hinder, staggered
from the stage, and soon after, we all left the place.
Jerry takes his
boot medicine from Dan for refusing to see the dancing naked
Phil had no idea what was in store, but was enjoying himself
anyway, as a connoisseur of shimmying, topless girls. I found
myself at the "uncomfortable with being in a strip club"
table, where most of us spent more time watching golf on the
big screen TV than looking at the girls on stage. One past-her-prime
dancer even reprimanded us for being bored with the goings on.
We found her scorn somewhat misplaced, for if she were more entertaining,
perhaps we would not have been so uninterested. I was on the
verge of suggesting she take a look in the grimy mirror if she
wanted to see who was really at fault.
John, a regular at Larry's, arranged the spankings with a
couple of the girls. We all pitched in five bucks, and sat back
waiting for the beatings to begin. One of the girls borrowed
Feldy's belt, and he worried a little about getting it back,
or, worse, getting it back with Phil cooties.
When the dancers finally got around to pulling Phil onto the
stage, all our awkward sitting around came to fruition. We cheered
loudly for our friend, who kept the whole room in stitches with
his wide eyes and goofy looks while the girls danced around him.
They brought out the belt and coerced Phil to stand up and bend
over. The first girl proceeded to give him ten extremely solid
whacks. When Phil turned around and grimaced, rubbing his sore
butt, he was not hamming it up. She had really pummeled him.
The second girl went a little easier, but not much, and we were
all quite satisfied that Phil had got what was coming to him.
In retrospect, the event was not much of a punishment for
Phil, who loves topless women and being the center of attention
more than anything in the world, and we had somehow come up with
a way to combine the two.
As our crew made its way out of Larry's, Phil accepted high
fives from the club's regulars as though he had just scored the
winning touchdown in the Super Bowl. Actually, for Phil, a sports
non-enthusiast, this was better. Before we even made it to the
parking lot he was scheming how to receive more spankings next
My watch read one a.m.; the night was still so young that
it should have been in bed. Still, I felt exhausted by the non-stop
activity of the day, starting sixteen hours earlier with Dan's
accordion wake-up call. To compensate, I took a few tokes off
a cheap tobacco of a Swisher Sweet. Soon enough, the sticky black
smoke swirled through my lungs and the nicotine hit my brain.
Most of us returned to the Plaza while a few decided that
they could take no more and turned in for the night. At the Plaza,
most everyone hit the craps tables and met back up with the cowards
who had avoided the spanking spectacle. To get away from the
action for a moment, I took my wife to the Omaha Lounge for the
uninspired song stylings and tacky wardrobes of the Lara Ash
My wife is not used to drinking much, and the powerful gin
and tonic the Plaza served had her twitching in her seat. When
Lara Ash started up a mummified version of Kool and the Gang's
"Celebration," Amy rose from her seat to shake her
rump. I jerked her back down.
"What?" she demanded snippily.
"Read the signs," I said. Surrounding the stage
and stapled to the bar were "No Dancing" bills.
Amy laughed, "They don't mean it."
"Oh, yes they do," I countered, "why do you
think they hire the Lara Ash Band?"
Returning to the Union Plaza was the best investment I ever
made. The tables were hot enough to bake a meatloaf and my
Andrew Jackson soon met its equal and together they spawned
a third little double-saw. Dice flew in a flurry of frenzy out
of which Jerry appeared, betting wrong for some unknown reason.
Had my counsel taught him nothing?
The fine line
between Ultimate Fighting and Ballroom Dancing is once again
Drunk as I was, I couldn't help but yell at Jerry that he
was wrong and that it would hinder his karma, but I did not listen,
though shooter after shooter rolled hot enough to make the right
bettors a few dollars a turn.
At the Plaza we joined up with the soiree attendees who had
elected out of watching the dancing honeys. Mike and I hoped
to win some of our money back from the previous night. Instead,
the crap table did another number on us. I personally lost forty
bones quicker than I like to, and my poor brother lost about
70. I considered myself partly responsible for his poor performance,
but not so much that I would pay him back.
Mike had to leave early in the morning, so I walked back with
him to the Gold Spike, where he would attempt to sleep for a
On my way back to the Plaza, I ran into a couple of stragglers
from our group, headed to their various hotels and homes. I was
outwardly pleasant towards them, but inside could not help feeling
they were being awful sissies for leaving so early.
Just as I sauntered up to the remainder of the soiree attendees,
they announced that it was time to leave the Plaza behind. Some
folks wanted to sleep. I harrumphed at the very notion, and gathered
up a few hardy souls. Jerry, Bob, Dan and I split from the crowd
at the future site of Neonopolis. They headed for the Spike,
while we kept straight on, ready to challenge the quarter crap
game at El Cortez.
Clearly, my noogie had worn off; so when people began to let
their drowsy eyes lead them away toward a few hours of shut-eye,
I knew it was time to refresh the noogie and give Jerry another
lesson. Stinky and I, Jerry and Bob lifted our noses at the droopy
Gold Spike and continued straight on to El Cortez, an experience
which I can summarize in a quatrain:
The felt was green, the table was wood
its legs were stout and sturdy
I leaned myself against the rail
and stayed until 6:30.
I tried to convince Jerry to rip off the stock car in the
middle of the sidewalk. He was about to go for it, when a couple
of bicycle cops rode by and glared him into submission.
At the ElCo, the table yielded up a number of empty spots
right in a row. Dan took up my left, and Jerry bought in on my
right. He eventually moved across the table, as his rat biscuits
kept disappearing, and not to the dealers. I played innocent,
pretending that my ever-growing pile of quarters was due to a
Bob stepped into Jerry's space and introduced Dan and I to
a new saying, or at least a new pronunciation of an old saying.
We were all thirsty, but the cocktail waitresses were having
a pow-wow next to the bar, and showed no interest in serving
drinks to anybody. So Bob called out, in his best worn-out cocktail
waitress voice, "Cocktaaaaaails. Sumthin' ta driiiink?"
He explained that the pronunciation came from one of the servers
at Binion's Horseshoe, where he had played earlier in the day.
We all took up the saying with gusto, hoping to entice a waitress
The table was split into crusty old ElCo regulars and us.
We didn't mind their company, but they were clearly underwhelmed
with ours. Every time we cracked each other up with another round
of "Cocktaaaaaails..." they rolled their eyes, indicating
they'd seen the likes of us come and go before and weren't impressed
in the slightest.
The animosity grew as first Bob, then me, and finally Dan
sent the dice flying off the table repeatedly during our respective
Bob raised the ire of the pit with his high-flying dice. The
stickman said, for the first but definitely not only time, "We
spend $10,000 on a craps table and you guys want to play on the
I chucked the bones off the table a couple of times before
crapping out and giving them up to Dan.
Although he could barely keep his eyes open and was about
as close to falling asleep standing up as one can get, Dan still
managed to hurl the dice with all the force of Hercules on that
one TV show. The dealers warned him at least three times to take
it easy, but had no intention of kicking us out, so Dan kept
it up. One of the old-timers across from me rested his head on
the edge of the table, dozing contentedly. Dan reared back and
threw, and the dice bounced up, smacking the old-timer square
in the face. He started awake and growled at Dan, while Bob and
I unsuccessfully stifled our laughter. We would find out later
that he had said something about how the Caesars medallions Dan
wore around his neck must not have been medals for playing craps,
but rather earned for outstanding performance in jerking off.
Even though the dice had only landed on the table about one
out of every three times any of us rolled, we had all managed
to build up a little pile of winnings. Of course, a little pile
of winnings at a quarter table doesn't come anywhere near making
up for sixty bucks lost playing dollars.
Dan finally gave up the dice, and, probably out of spite,
a couple of old-timers chipped away at our good fortune. Jerry
got his turn, and again the stickman could be heard complaining
about our penchant for playing craps on the floor.
As the dice continued around the table, something magical
happened. First one, and then another, and finally a third of
the grumbly old veteran craps men threw too hard or too bouncy
or just plain wrong, and ended up with dice on the floor. We
had infected the whole table with our amateurish shenanigans!
Delirious from lack of sleep, we hooted and hollered, because
they could no longer grumble at us for our antics.
The cocktail waitresses had been by a few times, and upon
realizing that we planned on tipping them every time they brought
us a drink, were relatively attentive. Bob ordered up a water,
and seemed about ready to turn in. He mentioned something about
being hungry, and particularly in the mood for French Fries.
I waited for him to raise the bottle of water to his lips before
calling out, "French Friiiiiiies.... sumthin' ta eaaaaaaat?"
He burst into delirious laughter, and came tantalizingly close
to spitting water out his nose and onto the table. I made it
my personal mission to see to it that I said something funny
enough to accomplish that goal. He was on his guard, though,
and I didn't even get close. I took heart, however, knowing he
would not always be so wary, and that some time in the future,
I will make him sneeze a drink onto some felt somewhere.
On to Part 6