Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Malika Hits the Pole

I, like most broke women, have occasionally considered what it would be like to make a living as a stripper. Anyone that’s actually looked at my body would tell me that I did right to go to college and leave stripping to women that aren’t shaped like Foghorn Leghorn from Loony Tunes. Typically I might agree with those people, if I hadn’t ever visited the Clermont Lounge here in Atlanta.
The Clermont Lounge is the total opposite of any and every other urban strip club. It is no place for women with huge fake boobs and expensive hair extensions. There you’ll find out of shape women that are in their 40’s with bad dye jobs that are growing out, accompanied by the occasional bullet and stab wounds. Occasionally you may find women that are young and attractive, but not often. The cool thing is that the locals know better than to expect high quality strippers there. It’s all about good cheap drinks, fun music and lousy strippers. You won’t find twin strippers named Mandy and Candy with size 2 waists and f-cup boobs. And that’s just the way we like it.
When women are broke or drunk, or worse yet, broke and drunk, the Clermont is the kind of place where we can make rent and collect interesting stories to tell. Any average looking woman can hit the stage in her full natural splendor. Don’t want to shave? Don’t worry about it! C-section scars? Even better! It’s almost like the worse you look, the more character you bring to the stage. You don’t even have to dance well. As a matter of fact I’ve seen plenty of old fat grandmothers with no rhythm make plenty of tips based on pity alone. Who cares why people tip you as long as they tip you?
Clermont is a dangerous place for a woman like me. There I can shake my jiggly dimpled butt and be paid well for it. I can hang out with drunken hipsters and hug on them and have them buy me drinks. Who needs a college education, when places like this are within my city?
I always imagined how my routine at the Clermont would go. I can clearly envision the smoky club, filled with 20 and 30-somethings, drunk and downing tequila shots. That’s when the intro to my song comes on. I don’t know what it is about the song “Darling Nikki” by Prince, but I’ve always wanted that to be my stripper song. Then I’d climb my 5’8 husky frame onto the stage. Of course I’d be adorned with 7 inch, clear Lucite stripper shoes and some tacky cheap cheerleader outfit. Not that I’ve thought about this every day since the onset of puberty or anything like that.
My deep dark secret is that if I had been born with a different body, I’d have been stripping since the first Bush was in office. However, God is a cruel one. Aside from a belly that refuses to shrink no matter how many hours of crunches, sit ups, Pilates, and laps I do, I was born with something no Black woman wants to be cursed with; I’ve got no butt. Just like all White women are not born with full blonde hair, cute little button noses, and cellulite-free thighs, not all Black women are born with big stripper booties. Oh, but how I want a stripper booty.
I’ve always been fascinated by stripper booties. They’re so big and round. Lucky bitches. I want a behind that’s so big, if you smack it once, three minutes later it’s still moving. I want a butt that’s so big you can play spades on it. That’s the only way to make money as a Black stripper; you need a big butt. But I was cursed with no butt. God decided that rather than giving me a physique like Buffy the Body, he’d give me something else like a good personality. I’m a riot at parties, but I couldn’t touch my toes if my life depended on it. Who the hell wants a good personality when you can have the ass of a stripper? With the right booty, you can have the personality of a bag of nickels and men will still drop to your knees and beg to pay your rent. Instead, I was given the ability to tell a good joke. Lucky me.
So I’ll never be a stripper. I can’t do it simply because I could never accept that I spent 10 years in college just to graduate and then simply take my clothes off for money. I guess it’s pride that keeps me from stripping. That and my flat butt. But would you like to hear a good joke instead?