Wednesday, November 22, 2006

confessions of a strip club barman

It was one of those nights. Bad r’n’b music echoed through an almost empty club. A couple of punters sat in dark corners of the bar, eyeing off the girls as they cradled a glass of cheap bourbon.

It was a Monday night after all, no one expected a record crowd.

I was feeling a little apprehensive about showing up for work tonight. Since I was leaving for my trip next week I’m on holidays and have been running amok. I showed up at the club on my night off and things got a little crazy. Long story short, I was cut off from the bar and forcibly ejected from the club by the manager. Turns out it was all good though as I still had a job when I turned up for work tonight.

Quiet nights like this are so painful. It’s much better to be run off your feet when you work in a bar otherwise you end up standing around polishing glasses and checking the clock every 10 minutes.

An old punter approached the bar – Jack Daniels and coke, not too much ice.

“What’s with this shit?” she asked, holding the small plastic change plate I just put down in front of him on the bar.

I explained that as part of the service at the club that’s how we have to return change to people.

“Don’t mince about; just put it in my fuckin hand next time hey?”

I was considering how to reply to that request when there was a loud crash. We both turned towards the stage to see what had happened. One of the girls was hanging upside down from the pole when she lost her grip and crashed head first onto the stage.


That nearly never happens. I mean, the girls do moves on the pole that would put most gymnasts to shame, but they’re pretty good at not falling on their heads.

We get a few bar people and managers from surrounding clubs drop in on quiet nights like tonight so it was no surprise to see the owner of the local gay bar sitting with our manager at the end of my bar.

They chatted for a while, and then he stood up and ran out of the club. I asked the manager what that was all about and she told me that he “had a surprise for her”.

A couple of moments later he came back into he club flanked on both side by two young boys in hot pants, sailor caps, glitter and more makeup than all the girls in the club combined.

“We want to do a show for you girls!” they cheered.

The two punters in the club quickly and quietly left. This was the complete opposite of what they were looking for tonight and if any of their mates saw them in here with two barely dressed effeminate boys their fiercely protected masculinity would be in real trouble.

I was truly surprised at how the girls reacted to the new visitors. They all huddled up one end of the club, pointing and giggling like school girls. I convinced the owner of the gay club to shout one of his ‘sailors’ a private dance. I couldn’t tell who was more embarrassed, the girl or the girly-boy.

She was taking him into the back room when I head a loud crash from the stage.

I was almost too afraid to look. Surely not again! One of the girls had fallen off the pole and dislocated her knee cap. I didn’t even know you could do that. She left for the hospital and I decided it was time to close the bar down.

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