Friday, May 27, 2011

The Time I Was Forcibly Removed From a Strip Club

It's never like this.
Sometimes my blog-post titles oversell the posts themselves. I did get forcibly removed from a strip club, but I was part of an entire group that was forcibly removed from a strip club, and I was guilty only by association. But it's not easy to explain those distinctions to the kinds of people who bounce at strip clubs.

I'm eventually going to run a post on my overall thoughts on strip clubs, but I'll put that on hold for now and instead discuss the evening I was forcibly removed from a strip club.

This episode was part of a larger undertaking, a bachelor party that began at Yankee Stadium on a perfect day for baseball, especially when it ends with a walk-off homer by Scott Brosius. After the game we hopped in a limo — riding in a limo is cool, but leaving a Yankee game in a limo is even cooler — that took us to dinner at El Cantinero in the NYU part of town.

Dinner was some buffet-style Mexican that was very good. Better than dessert was learning that the open bar wasn't just for beer, but for everything at the bar. It was the first and only time that I ever said to a bartender, "Twenty-five lemon-drop shots, please!" without fleeing the bar before I got the bill.

Things seemed to be moving smoothly until...

THE STRIP CLUB? of the guys in our party vomited in the restaurant, right before were set to return to the limo for our next leg of the journey. No one had any specific ideas about where to go next, so the somewhat creepy limo driver was all like, "I know a place."

I knew the night was going to take a slightly different turn when:
  • We crossed the 59th Street Bridge, meaning that the "place" was outside of Manhattan, not a good sign
  • The groom-to-be had somehow kicked out one of the limo windows
[Edited to add: Someone who was also at the bachelor party informed me that the reason we ended up in Long Island City was because some of the guys were balking at the cover charge at the typical Manhattan strip club. My thoughts: you get what you pay for. And what you get, sometimes, is chlamydia of the face.]

Our limo was a large stretch SUV, an Explorer or Expedition packed with a dozen or so guys, so it very easy to have no idea what was going on at one end if you were at the other end. I was sitting toward the rear when I'd heard some commotion from the front, then the limo driver started cursing. By this point, it was nighttime, and with the blacked-out windows, I couldn't tell that one of them had been popped out until I noticed that the moon and stars were juuuust a bit easier to see from one of the portals.

We finally weaved through some Queens streets and pulled up to some Long Island City strip club. You don't have to be a subscriber to Gentleman's Club Aficionado to know that the words "Long Island City" should never precede "strip club."

My previous — and, I must also stress, limited — strip club experience was one club in Canada and the place I was dragged to for my own bachelor party, in Manhattan. Both places were classy, for a strip club.

This Long Island City strip club, the name of which I don't remember but I'll call it McSkeevy's, was not. Unlike the clubs I mentioned above, which has large stages and a DJ, McSkeevy's had a tiny stage inside the bar, and the skid-mark stripped were fueled by the jukebox. I spent most of my time there at the vintage Galaga video game in the back with the guy who'd thrown up earlier, who had recovered well, all things considered.

We all eventually walked out of the club with no incident, other than memories — of bony pasty bruised tattooed near-naked hags — that required several rounds of trepanning to erase.

Not a suitable boxing ring.
We then set off for another strip club. On the way, the best-man-to-be (Bob) was getting increasingly angrier at the groom-to-be (Ben). Bob had organized the bachelor party, and Ben was getting a little too rowdy and obnoxious, since it was Ben who knocked out the limo window and all and didn't seem to have any remorse for knocking out the limo window.

While the limo was cruising down the Long Island Expressway, the hostility between Ben and Bob, who were separated at opposite ends of the vehicle, came to a head with this exchange:

Bob: So help me, Ben, if you touch those windows again I'm gonna—
Ben: You mean like this? [Ben assumes an overturned turtle position and proceeds to kick another window.]

Before Ben could ventilate the limo any further, Bob lunged at him, which was funny because Bob is over six feet tall and he had to crouch down with his knuckles dragging on the floor like some nemesis from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Bob and Ben were eventually separated, but nothing was really settled. Luckily (or so I'd thought), we arrived at the next location, which happened to be a strip club a couple of miles from my house, and perhaps tempers would cool off if we weren't all packed into an automobile and also were distracted by topless women.

It's a...well, you know.
The name of the club was, and still is, the Tender Trap. I've driven past the place in my car so many times that it no longer sticks out like strip clubs normally do. It's next to an auto-body shop, and except for the garish sign, you'd probably never even notice it.

I have to admit that I've always been curious about what went on there, and the answer is...more of the same. The girls did seem more attractive, at least from the neck up. I wasn't paying much attention to the girls, two of whom were in some sort of ring and "going at it" in a Cinemax sort of way.

Bob was still steaming about having to pay for the broken window and the fact that Ben didn't have any remorse about the incident. I couldn't hear what was being said, because the music (by a DJ) was loud, but what I could see what Bob making accusatory gestures at Ben while Ben was shrugging him off, muttering out of the side of his mouth, and trying to watch the lady action.

Finally, Ben turned to face Bob and said something that Bob didn't like, which caused Bob to do the two-handed shove to the chest that usually results in a fight.

This caught the attention of the bouncers.

The polar opposite of this.
Strip clubs tend to employ one of two kinds of bouncers: thick-necked linebackers or grizzled old bikers. You probably have more to fear from the bikers, even if they appear to be geriatrics, because they tend to be bikers not in the sense that they ride motorcycles but bikers from a real biker gang and yes biker gangs still exist even if they don't drive through local downtown areas revving their Harleys and menacing the townsfolk.

The Tender Trap employed bikers. As soon as Ben's hands touched Bob's chest, a couple of these denim-jacket-with-the-sleeves-ripped-off-and-shaggy-facial-hair dudes, who previously seemed to move with the speed of a pre-oiled Tin Man, sprung to life like robot Tyrannosaurus Rexes and grabbed the lot of us and pushed us out like we were being bulldozed.

One of the bouncers put his hand on me and I felt a grip and force that I have not experienced since, and I think if he grasped me any longer he would have absorbed my pitiful soul.

Suddenly we were all in the parking lot, Ben and Bob yelling at each other, the rest of us wondering where the hell the limo went. There are few things more pathetic than a bunch of guys milling around a strip club parking lot waiting for their ride. After about 20 minutes the limo emerged, the driver having gotten his cup of coffee from 7-Eleven or scoring some weed from behind the 7-Eleven, and I was more than ready to go home.

Fortunately, though there were a dozen other guys who had to be brought home, we were closest to my place, so we went there first. The car pulled in front of my house and I said my goodbyes, thankful that I was able to see my bed again at 4:30 in the morning and that I didn't have to travel all over Long Island with the rest of the party, and I left the limo.

I slipped out through the hole from the broken window.


  1. Ew strip clubs! Yay funny story! I LOLed :-D

  2. Really well done for the blog.these are so sweet and pretty!
    Limo In Long Island