Wednesday, July 28, 2004

It's easy to like my buddy Ryan. Energetic, ebullient, and effervescent. Effin' A.

The only bad thing I can say about Ryan is that perhaps he's too friendly. There are times the guy just didn't need to be so damn talkative.

He's moved out of state, and the last time I saw him was my last trip to Vegas. He came to join me and some of my friends whom he hadn't met before. In no time, they all loved him, which didn’t surprise me at all. But by the end of the weekend, as we were saying our goodbyes to everyone, Ryan was being effusive (another e- word! how many can I do?) to each person. Holding me up. I was trying to catch a ride to the airport with a couple of people, and wanted to talk to Ryan real quick before I left. But because he couldn't end a conversation, my friends got impatient and took off. I wound up getting stranded at the casino. It was no big deal. I caught a cab by myself later.

But speaking of cabs, earlier in the weekend, Ryan's eloquent (that's five so far) nature got to me a little, too.

He didn't have a lot of money. By midnight, I had blown more at the craps table than Ryan did at the slots, yet it seemed to sting him worse. So, with his little bit of spending cash left over and no interest in gambling anymore... What could we do?

I've been to Vegas more than Ryan -- more times than I could count -- but I had only been to a strip joint there once, for a friend's bachelor party. I knew about that one club, but was there a better spot to go? No idea.

We asked some craps dealers who were off-duty. Armed with Ryan’s good-natured conversational skills, we chatted with these dudes, got the inside scoop and picked a place. Strip clubs all have those wild beast names -- Cheetah's, Spearmint Rhino, Palomino's, Crazy Horse... I can’t remember what we decided on -- Hungry Hungry Hippos?

When we got in the taxi and said where to go, Ryan decided to confirm our decision with the driver. "Is that a good place? What’s your favorite strip joint? Where do you take people most often?" The cabbie pulled over and started having a long friendly chat with Ryan about this. Meanwhile the meter was running. And running. It was cutting into our lapdance cash! If Ryan didn’t shut up and tighten his belt, there wouldn’t be any G-string divas brushing up against it. Finally I piped in with our original choice, whatever it was (Take Off Zebra?)

At the club, Ryan was verbalizing all his observations to me the second we walked in the door. Which was fine. In fact, it was amusing because he was echoing my first thoughts about strip joints.

"Wow, there’s a lot of fake breasts in here," and "I don’t think I’ve ever felt them," and "This is the one place it seems to be okay to stare at their boobs, and "Beats making eye contact anyway, ‘cause the second you do, they come over and you may not want a lapdance right then."

I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason these places are so popular is ‘cause it’s revenge for all those junior high school dances we guys went to. Now, the girls are coming up to us asking if we wanna dance. And let’s face it, these women are probably hotter than anyone we've ever been with, but suddenly we get picky. "Well, she’s got a nice ass, but she’s not as sexy as that one in the schoolgirl outfit..."

One of the cutest strippers was this little Polynesian girl – great smile, beautiful body, and even though her bustline was obviously manufactured, it fit her form to a T. Or T and A. I didn’t see many women prettier than her as she gave Ryan a dance, so I occasionally glanced at her ass as it writhed in front of him.

What struck me strange was that Ryan was having a conversation with her. Not a few comments along of the lines of "Wow, you’re gorgeous," or "ooh, I like that." I couldn’t hear it, but he was clearly having an all-out dialogue with the girl. Only Ryan.

Later on, the same stripper came over to me, and asked if I was an actor like my friend Ryan. Okay, so he told her his life story. I’d be happy to make chit-chat, but once she offered to undulate her Hawaiian hiney on me, I didn’t really have much to say beyond "Da-amn".

Now, I don’t know the etiquette with touching these girls. Other dancers have rubbed their body against my fingers or even taken my hand and put it on the small of their back. I would never grab or grope anything, but as Tahitian Tina’s thighs touched the back of my hand, I slightly turned them to allow myself to feel the smoothness of her skin. That’s when she stopped, put my wrists down on the arms of the chair and glared at me.

"Do you want to go in the VIP room?" Not so much an offer as an admonishment.

I didn’t wanna spend more money, especially on some chick who seemed to be pissed off at me. "No thanks, this is cool."

Well, then, she told me to keep my hands at the side. I understand her concern, but really, I hadn’t done anything tremendously inappropriate. Still, I felt kinda bad. It was hard to stay, well, hard, under those circumstances, but, yeah, I managed to enjoy the rest of the dance okay.

Later, after we left, Ryan and I were recapping the evening. For sure the Polynesian girl was adorable, but I mentioned that she kinda copped some attitude because she thought I was trying to cop a feel, and that made the experience a little less tittilating...

Ryan said, "Yeah, when she was giving me a lapdance, I had said to her, ‘I don’t know if this is an inappropriate question but –‘"

I’m gonna stop here for a moment. Here’s a tip: If you have to start with "I don’t know if this is an inapppropriate question" it probably is. So don’t ask in the first place.

But Ryan did. He said, "...I’ve never felt fake breasts before. I was wondering what it would take to, y’know, really hold ‘em." (I can’t remember his exact words, but you get the idea.)

I wouldn’t profess to understand women for a second, but I’m pretty sure this is further good advice: Not all women with implants want you remarking that their casabas are counterfeit, no matter how obvious it is, or how much they may flaunt ‘em.

And as far as the decorum on asking to give 'em a squeeze... well, don’t ask me.

But the stripper set Ryan straight. She had told him that that was inappropriate, that she couldn’t do anything like that, that any paid contact beyond a lapdance would be considered prostitution.

No wonder she was so indignant with me for just running my finger along the upholstery. My buddy had wanted to honk her horns. Polish her headlights.

That’s Ryan for ya. Great guy, but just sometimes too verbose.

He’s getting married soon, and he’s back in town to see his LA friends and have his bachelor party. I can’t say what festivities are in store, if it’ll entail a little tail-chasing. If it does involve strippers, I just hope Ryan thinks before he speaks this time...and isn’t so extemporaneous. (Yes! A half-dozen e-words!)


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