Great story. Boys will be boys. I'd be worried if you were all as old as me and still doing the same things.
|The Mongoloid Moose Think Tank was facing an historic event, one we would never have the chance to celebrate again. Both Brian and Gary were celebrating coming of age birthdays, 19 and 18 respectively. This was an event deserving of grand outing in the Driving with Doug tradition. But the question remained: where should we take our compatriots to celebrate the occasion?
I guess you could say that we were getting tired of Diners and Bowling Alleys. We craved new blood, and a little skin on the side wouldn't hurt either. But unlike other Driving with Doug stories, this one was not a disaster. Oh No. No last minute decisions; we planned everything a good two days in advance. No miscommunications; calls were made every hour on the hour to avoid confusion. No getting lost... Okay, so maybe this is like other Driving with Doug stories.
It was on a starry skied night on the Ides of April that the six of us piled into Doug's monstrous vehicle and began our hour-long journey to New Jersey’s fabled Frank's Chicken House, a well renowned house of pleasures of the flesh and sins of the mind. Our minds full of beauty, our hearts full of lust, and our pockets full of singles, our destination was more than clear. There was no stopping us!
Strip clubs are just one of the many rights-of-passage our overly consumption-driven culture has blessed America’s coming-of-age youth with. Considering that ancient manhood tests usually involved facing off against fierce animals that were normally hunted by adults in the tribe in groups of three or more, visiting a strip club doesn’t seem all that harrowing or life-threatening. But seeing as how our culture of excess can be equally prudish and conservative, there are probably those that would prefer their sons face a lion with a pointed stick than receive a lap dance from a well stacked blonde wriggling herself through her Masters Degree in Astrophysics.
It is obviously unfair of me to casually shrug off the complex social and psychological issues that plague both sides of the debate on Adult Entertainment in all of its squishy forms. But when push comes to shove, the arguments for and against strip clubs are best left to the purists and politicians that can afford to be cavalier with the freedoms of others, for us adolescents are tainted to the bone by rapidly changing hormones and body chemistries, and our sexual identities are changing and evolving faster then our voices. We have innocent desires that compel us to seek recreation in bizarre and unsavory arenas. We must vent. Allow us our guilty pleasures.
In order to insure that we made it there both in time and in one piece, I volunteered to drive in Doug's place, relegating him to back seat driver status along with Brian and Gary. Chris was riding shotgun, and Shawn managed to wedge himself precariously in between with his feet on the dash. It wasn’t exactly a roomy carpool with three across and two deep, but considering the destination we were ready and willing to ride on the hood if deemed necessary.
Our journey was a long one, and as is most often the case with us, strange topics of conversation arose. It wasn’t more than twenty minutes into the trip that Brian and Doug declared that, for some strange reason, Gary smelled of Pork. Shawn informed us of his father's reaction to his nose ring, which was none, since he hadn't shown him yet, the reason being that Shawn's father had reacted to his first earring by ripping it out of his earlobe. Needless to say, Shawn did not want the same thing happening with his nose stud, which he has been able to hide up until now by turning it up into his nostrils when in his father's presence. We're taking bets on how long this will work. Somehow the topic of excremeditation arose, and everyone in the car felt it necessary to relate their own experiences in the realm of the massive intestinal sculpture. There were other thoughts brought up, but my mind has blocked them from my memory in order to preserve what is left of my ever-dwindling sanity. Besides, you don't want road-trip dialogue; you want juicy details. Of course, this being a Driving with Doug story, we haven’t quite arrived yet.
Everything was going smooth as we switched from turnpike to parkway to highway, but we somehow lost our way once we actually entered the town of Manville. This seemed a rather appropriately named town for that night's activities, as we truly perceived ourselves to be a bunch of Manly Men on our way to a Manly place to do Manly things with our Manly friends in the Manly town of Manville. You could almost smell the testosterone. Now, some of those involved might try to blame our becoming lost on me, but this could hardly be the case, since Frank's Chicken Ranch is located a mere ten minutes from my current place of employment. No, obviously it couldn't be my fault. Vandals had apparently switched the street signs to impede our progress.
But laying blame is not important. What is important is the life lesson that driving aimlessly down dark side streets and stopping at every corner with car packed full of young hooligans is not a very wise thing to be doing on a Friday night in Jersey, and it wasn't long before we were pulled over by The Man.
Flashing lights waylaid us, and a man in blue materialized at the driver’s side window. The police officer asked for my driver's license, which I promptly handed to him. He then asked me if I had a valid driver’s license. I did a quick double take and pointed to his hand, to which he responded that he knew that. I was a little confused, and things weren't looking much better when he asked for the registration and I turned and asked Doug where it was. The police officer asked whose car it was. Doug answered that it was his. He then asked me why I was driving. It seemed like a rather stupid question to me, but then I realized that Doug's reputation on the highways might not have reached as far as Central Jersey yet, so I responded that Doug didn't like to drive.
Things weren’t looking good at all, as we were probably appearing more and more shifty and suspicious to the officer, especially since we were all crammed into 1970 sedan that my grandparents would have considered out of date. What probably saved us was when he asked Doug where the PBA shield on the back window came from, to which he replied that his father was a chairman of the PBA, citing which branch. Then, the moment of truth came when the officer asked we where heading.
It was a quick decision to make: could I get away with the truth, or did the local police frown on out of town juveniles roaming the streets in search of life-sized pornography? I quickly decided that the truth would set us free, and you could've heard a pin drop as I told him we were on a quest to find Frank's Chicken House. I don't know how I should feel about his response to this, but he cheerily informed us that we were headed the wrong way, and proceeded to give us detailed directions, going as far as to suggest parking locations.
Needless to say, Frank's was a sort of a let down. Preparations for the night’s event had built up such anticipation that we nearly expected to see a yellow brick road and flying monkeys. Reality, how ever, was slightly more jarring. It wasn’t a dive by a long shot, but definitely didn’t rate wearing a suit. Or a tie. Bathing could have been somewhat optional. It didn't matter though, because we weren’t there for the ambiance. We had come to do what all healthy young males go to strip clubs to do; watch nude female dancers cavort on stage while eagerly awaiting the floor dancers to make their rounds with our dollar bills clenched firmly between our teeth. I'm not going to bother explaining that. If you can't figure it out, you probably don't want to know. Chris, a juice bar veteran, spent the time between dancers showing us the proper way to fold our dollar bills to our advantage.
The greatest part of the evening had to be when that night's main attraction, Kristy Kupcakes, hit the stage. A model recently appearing in both Playboy and Hustler, she was the literal climax of that evening's show. While the other dancers would make their rounds dancing for the tables around the club, it was apparent that Ms. Kupcakes was not to be held to the same routine, as she was a special guest. However, in the middle of her act, she suddenly decided to make an exception, and she spontaneously came down off the stage and proceeded to dance for everyone at our table, and our table only. It can't be easily explained how special we felt with all of the other patrons staring enviously at our table. Kristy visited her special talents to each member of the table briefly, lingering just long enough to demonstrate what can only be described as the deadly art of Breat-Fu. It was through this full-contact assault that it was personally discovered by myself that Kristy Kupcakes had her frosting artificially enhanced, if you catch my meaning. It is a fact that can be proven by the still-lingering bruises on my temples, one of the hazards of literally putting your money where your mouth is.
So, by now some people may be thinking nasty thoughts about us. Maybe we deserve them. Are we sexual deviants, or simply young men exploring our as of yet unfamiliar sexuality? Are we exploiting young women unable to seek employment elsewhere by stuffing singles into their garters, or are they exploiting our juvenile desires with twenty dollar lap dances and hundred dollar champagne room visits? Are we contributing to the moral decline of society, or are we simply jockeying for the best seats available to view the titillating floor show that is the human body?
I don’t have the answers. I don’t even think I’ve asked all of the questions. I would have let Major Stress write this article, but he was unable to attend due to a prior engagement at a week-long cock fighting tournament in Virginia. It is probably for the best, as his answers tend to do little good for anyone. But I can answer at least one question definitively. Are we all “Filthy Men?” Damn right we are. We’d be fools to deny it, and hypocrites to denounce it. But at least we're honest about it, both with you and with ourselves. We may have spent a night on the darker side of the moon, but we're still the same people we were during the day. And even though our experiences were prurient at best, perhaps we just might have a little more respect and understanding for women struggling to make it in today's world.
Then again, the waitress at the diner that night didn't take too kindly to us trying to give her the tip by putting the bills between our teeth.
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