4/3/14

The Best Girls In Town!

Last year Dorian and I moved into a single-room apartment over a strip-club purported to have "The Best Girls In Town!" I don't know if they really do, as I've never been inside the place, but from what I see of the girls who hang-out around the door I'm tempted to chalk it up to advertising.

Mind you, this is based solely on physical appearance because it's a strip-club, so I don't feel too shallow in that assessment. I can't vouch for any of the young ladies' intellect or character.

There are two less-than-pleasant things about living over a strip-club; the noise and the doormen who stand in front and drum up business with the help of some of the aforementioned young ladies. A part of their job is to call out to passers-by and lure them in with creative catch-phrases such as, "Hey, where YOU going?" "Want some female company?" "Lap-dances are half-off tonight!" and my favorite, "Come on in, I won't tell!"

That last one gets me because I wonder who they're not going to tell if I should come in, and it also implies that I should be ashamed to do so and should wear big-ass shades and skulk in with my collar pulled up around my face as high as I could get it, so as not to be seen by whomever.

The truth is, I have no interest in these places. I couldn't care less if anyone I knew were to see me going in because I don't have a moral issue with them, and I support their right to function as a business. I do kind of wish one of them wasn't located right under us, but they were here first and it keeps the rent low. Like, WAY LOW.

This is in the North Beach section of San Francisco, which is full of groovy art, tasty cafes and great literature, all in a five-block radius. As I type I have one of the best bookstores in town, City Lights, and a genuine Banksy within view across the street, not to mention five great restaurants that I can see from my window.

A genuine Banksy in New york City. This isn't the one across the street.
The strip-clubs have been a part of the 'hood for years, starting with The Condor on the corner of Broadway and Columbus, which was the first topless club to operate in the US. But a one-bedroom apartment around here generally rents for around $3500.00 a month (if you can get it), so we feel lucky to be smack-dab in the middle of such a vibrant neighborhood even if we have to put up with certain things that make it less than ideal.

For example, I can tell you that in the club beneath of us the DJ plays the same number at almost the same time most nights a week, and when he does, he announces that someone named Ashley is hitting the stage. I'm sure they have other songs and dancers but for some reason we always hear this particular intro..
"Okay, let's give it up for ASHLEEEE!!!" *cheers and applause* THUMP-THUMP-THUMP "Gosh, is it 9:30 ALREADY?"
Ashley must really be something, but I'll never know because, as most of the doormen and seasoned girls have figured out, I live here and I'm simply not going to come in, like ever, so they've given up on me. I've made friends with a few and we've had some nice sidewalk chats about things having nothing to do with the clubs.

It's the newer ones who try to reign me in, like the girl I'd never seen before standing in front of the club around the corner as I came home from Walgreens a while ago.

"Hey there, how are you tonight? Come on in and get some action!"

I was carrying a Walgreens bag brimming with frozen food in one hand and a newspaper and my front door keys in the other, so I must have looked like I was cruising for pussy.

I can't really fault them because I know it's in their job description to hit-up anyone walking by the place, and their managers tend to lean on them heavily if they don't pull the customers in. But I sometimes wish they were a little more discerning, since I'll be trudging home from work on some evenings wearing my uniform with my duffel bag slung over my shoulder as I carry a bag full of groceries, and I'll get..

"Hey come on in for a lap dance on your way home, it'll spice up your evening!"

"No thanks, I have ice cream in here, and also.. fuck off."

Okay I've never really said that, because again, I understand it's their job. They're not too different from our tour company salespeople down at the wharf who hand out flyers and drum up tour guests. But the tour company salespeople notice after a while who works at the McDonald's or the souvenir shop down the street, so they don't say things to them like, "Take a tour, it's a beautiful day to cross the Golden Gate Bridge!" They know these people couldn't possibly get on one of our buses to cross the bridge and be back before the end of their lunch break.

They also know how to take NO for an answer, whereas some of the strip-club girls look like they're going to shoot themselves if you pass on coming in for a lap-dance. The other night I was invited into the club under us by an especially statuesque girl in fishnet stockings, and when I politely declined she said, "Wait, you're telling me you DON'T want to come in and watch exotic women dance topless for you?" She looked like I'd just fed chocolate to a puppy after first dipping it in arsenic, which may have been a genuine reaction but was probably part of the act.

"No, I don't." I said. "I want to get an iced-tea from the liquor store and then return upstairs to have dinner with my wife while we watch Arrow." "Suit yourself," she said.

Thank you, I will.

I don't think I mentioned that there are approximately eight of these clubs within a three-block radius. That's a guess, but there sure are a lot, including the well-known ones like Larry Flint's Hustler Club, The Penthouse Gentlemen's Club and The Condor, which is the club that made history.

There are a handful of smaller ones too, including the one beneath us. One of the independents around the corner has a new doorman who hasn't given up on me yet; he invited Dorian and I to both come in for a lap-dance, saying, "It'll spice up your romance!" I told him I'd much rather see him give us the lap-dance, but at our apartment around the corner when he's off duty. He laughed and said he'd think about it. Thankfully he didn't show-up, but it gets to a point where it's kind of fun to mess with them after awhile.

I'm pretty sure that if they thought I was bat-shit crazy then they wouldn't want me in their club and would stop asking, so maybe next time I'm hustled I should bark like a dog as loud as I can and pee on the door, but the problem is, there are new doormen and girls all the time. The conclusion I draw from this is it must be a really shitty job and I don't really want to be an asshole who messes with people who have a shitty job, since I've had shitty jobs in the past and they're not much fun. So I'll refrain from being faux-crazy and continue to either just politely decline invitations or ignore them altogether when I pass.

Maybe I'll have a little fun with it once in awhile.

Aside from all of their aggressive hustling, there is truth in the advertisement on the outside of the club underneath of us. I know they think they're talking about the girls who work inside when they shout out "THE BEST GIRLS IN TOWN!" to the neighborhood, but really, the best girl in town is above the sign, not below it. I've lived with her for twenty four years..


Tonight I'm going to have dinner with that girl and we'll watch something silly on TV, after which we'll discuss a few things about life before going to bed. It will cost me almost nothing compared to what an evening down in the club would, and I'll be much more content in the end.

The best part of the deal is that it was entirely my own idea. Not one person stood outside our door and suggested that I come in to do it!



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8 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Proud to have you as "that girl." ^_^

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  2. I grew up there in the 70s...back then they'd just invite the whole damn family in. Seriously.

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    Replies
    1. They sure don't do that now. They haven't said a word to my cats.

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  3. If I want to spice up my evening I'll just make sure my wife sees me cleaning the house

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    Replies
    1. OOO LA LA!!! You romantic devil! lol.

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  4. At least you have fun with it!
    And cute ending.. Who would have known that you are such a softy :P

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