Sunday, July 12, 2009

Nurse the Hate: Hate West Virginia Strip Clubs

There are few places as desperate and lonely as a West Virginia strip club. I say this with the conviction of first hand experience. A number of years ago the band was playing a gig in West Virginia, and we had hours to kill before show time. Leo and Bobby were keen to stop at a horrible looking club on the way to Charleston to celebrate my birthday. Now this is a complete joke in itself as I’m not a big "strip club guy" at all, but the timing of my birthday was perfect to get those guys in the door.

Strip clubs have always depressed me. I know the dancer doesn’t like me. She knows she doesn’t like me. Yet, here we are pretending she finds me fascinating as long as I keep shoveling money into her crotch. I don’t like the hustle. It’s always left me slightly angry that some dopey stripper thinks she outsmarted me for my money, like I didn’t know what was going on. For that reason, I really haven’t been to a strip club more than 5 or 6 times (and strangely ALWAYS in the company of Leo).

So here I was, at The Electric Shack. The Electric Shack was a cinderblock bunker of a building with the crude logo hand painted in Day-Glo spraypaint. It was small, about the size of your average Subway location. The gravel parking lot showed one pickup truck here in the mid afternoon. We walked inside to check out the scene. It was horrific.

A too skinny looking biker chick awkwardly twirled around a makeshift pole while the male bartender stocked the coolers with cans of Busch beer. The only customer intently stared at the woman while I considered averting my eyes to stop the image from burning into my mind forever. Leo bought us beers, and we sat down at the wooden railing lining the dance area. The second, and only other dancer, emerged from behind a beaded curtain. She was heavy with a giant gap between her teeth. I think a Motley Crue song played on the jukebox as she clumsily tried to dance suggestively. She went to the floor in what I can only guess was an attempt at a Flashdance move, but it was as if she was struggling to stay on board a ship on the high seas.

Bobby and Leo tell her it’s my birthday when she approaches looking for tips. This is Big News, as she can sense a payday. “Do you want to go into the back room? Let me give you something fer yer birfday!” she hissed through her snaggle-toothed mouth. (Yeah, give me something like Chlamydia.) “God no!” I blurt out. We finish our beer and leave, amazed at what we had just experienced. Sure it was gross and sad, but it was also something not just everyone has seen. Sort of like seeing a unicorn.

The only reason I bring this ugly episode up at all is to pass along the best low rent strip club story I have ever heard. My story is bleak. Believe it or not, here's one that's even worse. This took place at a place a couple notches below The Electric Shack. The setting is Boone County, West Virginia. For those of you that have never been to Boone County, it’s barely part of the United States. It’s almost like another planet. It’s the home of Hasil Adkins, Jesco White, and The Amazing Delores just to name a few of the luminaries. It’s like a surreal version of the Dukes of Hazzard.

These two guys I know went to this strip club in Boone County that was two trailers cut into an “L” shape. We’re not talking about a Bob Vila “This Old House” style home remodel. This job was done low budget West Virginia style. Someone took a saw and cut holes in the metal and then dropped the trailers onto a dirt lot. The floor of the “club” was literally the dirt of the parking lot. It was a real ritzy joint if you get my drift.

The guys went to get beers and checked out the dancers. Within five minutes, one of the girls asked the guys if they wanted to go to “the back room”. The back room was the other trailer, separated from the main “club” by a blanket nailed above the crudely cut doorway. One of the guys immediately answers, “Yes!” and is taken to the back room. The dancer pulls down his pants and takes a rag from a plastic bucket filled with room temperature soapy water. She cleans off his cock and balls and asks what he wants. His answer is clearly not what the dancer is expecting.

He replies, “Well, I don’t have any money, but if you could wash my balls again I would really appreciate it.”

“Billy!” yells out the dancer.

Three seconds later a beefy redneck guy emerges in the back room. Our guy is standing there with his pants around his ankles when he is grabbed by the scruff of the neck. In seconds he is efficiently thrown out of the trailer and dumped sprawling into the parking lot, dust swirling as he hits the ground.

I think the guys went home after that.


At July 13, 2009 at 9:51:00 AM EDT , Blogger ScottyJ said...

Good post Greg!!

I would never EVER go to a Boone County strip joint.

At July 13, 2009 at 6:11:00 PM EDT , Blogger Ricardo said...

:) Nice, as a strip club fan, you get the good the bad and the plain surreal, seems like you landed on the surreal ! I'll check the WV directory just to see if I can locate the clubs you mention here. :) Rick -- The Strip Club Search

At July 13, 2009 at 10:52:00 PM EDT , Blogger Greg Miller said...

I have no idea if The Electric Shack is still there. If there is a God it was probably plowed over as landfill.

At July 14, 2009 at 2:11:00 PM EDT , Blogger AZ Girly said...

My worst strip club story: the first strip club I ever went to was an all-nude club in a seedy little section of town. Small, no booze, and pretty nasty. Cruising around town with my best friend, she goes hey we're 18 and bored, let's go check out a strip club! Sure...we walk in, watch a dance, and when the song ends, one of the girls gets off the stage and comes over to us (still topless), jumping up & down bc she recognizes us. We went to grade school together. She then proceeded to show us pictures of her new baby. I'm still traumatized from that one.

At July 14, 2009 at 11:38:00 PM EDT , Blogger Lucky said...

The next time you want to use one of my "real life" experiences you may want to credit the people that they actually happened to. in this case my friend Pete who i was with that night at 2 double wides back to back, not L shaped. And it was at the end of litte Seven Mile Rd in Barboursville.

At July 16, 2009 at 11:31:00 AM EDT , Blogger Ken Miller said...

As I recall, we only went to the Electric Shack because the "Nude Car Wash" was closed.

At July 17, 2009 at 12:48:00 AM EDT , Blogger AZ said...

Greg, I'm with you on this and Dave is my Leo. Have done some joints in the vicinity of Chester near the track, but I thankfully was not with my friend Dave at a joint in WV where he encountered the one-armed dancer.

At July 19, 2009 at 9:48:00 AM EDT , Blogger Greg Miller said...

Regarding credit on the story, generally this is a story one tries to distance themselves from, so imagine my shock to see "Lucky" trying to rightfully stake his claim!

I am not sure how to even react to the one armed dancer story... I guess it's the West Vg version of "Only in Vegas".

At July 22, 2009 at 8:14:00 PM EDT , Blogger Pissed Off Hillbilly said...

Rule of thumb for any strip club:

You're gonna get screwed, but you're not gonna get fucked.

At July 22, 2009 at 9:46:00 PM EDT , Blogger Lillian said...

That is pure awesome! I used to work for the railroad in Elk Run. There was this town just before Elk Run called Keith. While we stayed in the hotel to wait on the return trip to Hinton we'd go see the snake handlers in Keith, then cruise up to the "Hog Trough" and get into a fight. There was a similar "strip club" located in an old Winnabago in the woods behind the place. I'm from WV and the first trip into there scared the crap out of me. Good memories!

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