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crazy in the strip club

June 21st, 2007 · No Comments

If you’ve been reading for a while, you may have noticed that I have a strange affinity for people who’s perceptions of reality are, well, different from the majority’s. Delusional, schizophrenic, psychotic. Whatever, we’ll just call them crazy and mean it in the most affectionate way.

Here in Alaska, and especially at this little club, we have a surprising concentration of crazy strippers. I chalk this up to two factors. First, stripping is a good job for someone who disregards social norms and has a hard time dealing with a schedule or a boss. So there are more crazy strippers than, say, crazy paralegals or dental hygenists. The second factor is geographic. When I was on the east coast, there were no crazy people. If there were, people made snide comments, called the police, or just freaked out. On the west coast, there are more crazy people, and the commoners revel in their own tolerance. As in, “look, that persons talking to someone that isn’t there! They’re crazy! I’m gonna show what a great person I am by smiling and giving them my spare change!” Here in Alaska, we accept that we’re all probably crazy and the crazy people just blend in. I grew up being babysat by a person who thought they were sent from the future to save the world. I knew people who talked to aliens, people who thought they were aliens, etc. We all realized that they probably weren’t *really* aliens, but it wasn’t a big deal, ya know? So we definitely have a higher concentration of crazy people who retain their freedom and liberty in this state.

Here’s a story from last night (none of the people in the story are actually still working with me, so I figure it’s okay to tell stories. Names changed, of course.):

Driving to work, I saw a woman hitchhiking, so I pulled over to give her a ride. As soon as she opened the door I recognized Rose. She came into the bar last week, when it was dead, and announced that the owner had said she could come in and have a cup of coffee for free. She plopped down onto a bar stool on the other side of my high rollin’ cantankerous old masonry man, and told him that her name was Annie she used to be a topless dancer in Oregon, and she wanted to waitress. He looked her up and down. He looked at me. He turned back to her. “Sweetie, would you like fifty dollars?” he asked.

She threw her arms around his neck, “oh Jesus, thank you JESUS, Jesus THANK YOU, oh Jesus…”

I helped him disentangle her, and then I introduced myself, “hi, I’m Tara.”

She smiled and pumped my hand energetically. “I’m Pagan Rose.”

“Huh?”

“See, my shirt is Pagan, and I have a Pagan necklace, this is called a Pentacle, and I’m Pagan.”

I had noticed the attire. I had to ask. “So how does Jesus come into your Pagan faith?”

“Oh,” she tossed her head, “I’m a theologist.”

Ah, that explained it. But wait, something new was happening, her head was nodding, her eyes closing… the customer took it as an opportunity to turn away from her and continue our conversation. When he went to the bathroom I scooted over and woke her up to suggest that she put her money in her pocket before it got lost. She thanked me, but then her eyes started to tear up and she explained that people she didn’t like were talking to her by ESP and she couldn’t get them to stop. I asked if there was anything I could do and she asked me to put my hands on her and pray to Jesus. I did (I know, aren’t y’all impressed) and waddya know, it worked. Those people stopped talking to her.

So now Rose was climbing into my van, and she didn’t seem to recognize me.

“Can you take me to the titty bar?” she asked.

“Sure.”

“It’s an emergency,” she continued, “my house is haunted and there are snakes in the attic. Do you know of a place I can stay that’s not an apartment? My name’s Claire and my house is haunted and there are snakes in the attic.”

I took her to work with me and left her at the bar. In the dressing room, a woman I’d never seen approached me. She looked to be in her fifties, had a hunch back, long frizzy hair, and face that she obviously couldn’t stop herself from picking at.

“Hi,” I smiled at her, “I’m Tara.”

“I’m Betty and I’m the owners daughter,” she told me, “he called me this morning and was just begging me to come here and dance or waitress. I’m so nervous, do you think I’m ugly? Anyways I don’t know why my dad wants me to work for him, all these years he never has, do you think he’s trying to pimp me out?”

I told her I doubted it, and she wandered away from me asking the room if anyone had any high heels that were low for the owners daughter.

I marched back out to the bar and found the manager.

“Do you know that new girl?” I asked.

“Not really.”

“Well, I think there might be a problem, she thinks that she’s the owners daughter?”

“That’s okay.”

“You don’t think that’s a problem?”

“No.”

I stared at her. For once, I was kind of speechless.

“Besides,” she said, turning back to the bar, “we can’t discriminate against people for mental health problems.”

Back in the dressing room there were four other new girls. I locked my locker for the first time this season.

Tags: Stripping · The day-to-day of it all

0 responses so far ↓

  • 1 whitewolf // Jun 22, 2007 at 5:34 am

    Are you out in Alaska right now? I have met my share of crazy ppl in my life. Starting with a guy that I knew in Belleville, Ontario, Canada who thought he was raised by wolves (I mean you hear about ppl being raised by wolves by you don’t expect them to be upright and speaking english to you). I nodded and didn’t say anything (best not to fight with crazy ppl).

    There is a comedian here in Canada called Scott Thompson that said that ppl get crazier the further out east you get in one of his standup routines and I have to agree with him.

    Blessed Be!

  • 2 Maxine // Jun 24, 2007 at 12:33 pm

    You like crazy people? THAT’S why you’ve been talking to me, A-HAH! 😆

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