A novel by Karen Lockhart
Copyright© 2017 Karen Lockhart
We arrived at the Braintree split on I93 south and headed for the Durgin Parkway. Wow, it was a good thing Jean was riding in the car, I never would have taken those off ramps. In fifteen minutes, Jean pointed out this boxy three story brick building.
“Kevin, slow down. On the left is the club; it looks just like the one in England! The entrance looks like it's on the side facing the parking lot.”
I could see signs of recent construction in the parking lot. Very few parking spaces had been painted, but everyone seemed to be lined up okay.
Jean pointed out the entrance to Kevin, suggesting he park some distance away so as not to cause curiosity when he stayed in the car.
I looked at Jean or should I say Terri the Tiger, and asked her what was next.
“I suggest we walk up and try to get in, failing that we should ask for the manager. If this club is run the same as the London branch, any job requests are filed online, with a photo included. If you pass muster, they bring you in for an inspection and interview.”
“If that's the case Jean, what are we doing now?” I asked.
She laughed: “Just follow my lead.”
So I did.
We walked up to the door where a bouncer the size of a NFL tackle stood guard. He looked us over and said “Members only, or employees, and you two are neither.”
Terri pushed up her sleeves, and purred. “Not yet honey, but is the boss around?”
Before answering, he asked if her tattoos were real. When Terri nodded, he exclaimed: “I know you! If that keeps on going, your name is Terri the Tiger, right?”
Now she smiled and said “Yes, now is the manager in?”
The human mountain turned and picked up a phone. All I heard was a mumble, then he nodded his head, hung up the phone, and said “Mr Logan will be right here, and to come in.”
Soon, a tall, handsome, bald-headed man in a $3000 suit approached.
“Ladies, my name is Logan, and I know of one of you but you are?” he said looking at me.
Well here goes nothing, “Ginny Hanson, Mr Logan. My friend Terri suggested I come along to see your operation.”
“My operation huh? Well then come in and look around girls. Ask anything you want.”
We walked into what seemed like a huge bar and a large dance floor. Pretty women were carrying trays with drinks and some were topless. Behind the bar were two beautiful women who were mixing drinks tossing bottles around, reminding me of Tom Cruise and that Australian actor Bryan Brown, only these girls did it for real.
Logan said: “I see Jeanie and Amelia have caught your attention; ask them for a drink, on the house, of course.”
I asked for a California lemonade, and Terri asked for a Texas Root Beer.
With bottles and sliced lemons and limes flying, I had a drink in front of me in less than two minutes. I turned to Terri; she was already sipping her drink.
“I never heard of a Texas Root beer, what's in it?”
Terri laughed, “The main liqueur is Galliano, I forget the rest, but she didn't,” pointing at Amelia.
We continued on to the second floor.
Again a long bar, but instead of a dance floor this one had a stage. Performing now was Judy Garland, or a guy that looked like her and actually singing, not lip-syncing like I've seen before.
“All my performers do their own singing. They're a bunch of talented girls who could work anywhere, except for one small thing,” Mr Logan said. “You'll also find at the east end of each floor are a dozen private rooms where members can have private lap dances. No touching by either person. If a member does, his membership is voided, and if an employee does it, she's fired on the spot. Each room is equipped with CCTV that's constantly monitored, just like in Las Vegas.”
I was overwhelmed, and even Terri was awe-struck.
“Any questions yet?” Logan asked.
“The members. I see some obviously badly made up women, like drag queens, and others in suits. Are all these members?” Terry asked.
“Yes, some come in drag, or dressed, if you will. Some come in street clothes and change here, then change back before they leave to go home. As you can see, some come and stay in street clothes.”
“There are no sis-women here,” he continued, “The only full women have had surgery after being already in our employ. Once they have SRS, they no longer may work as entertainers. Other than bartenders who can work here forever, they can work as waitresses, but only for six months. When they leave, I give them a recommendation that will get them a job anywhere and I mean any place!”
I was fascinated. “How are they paid, how do you make money?”
By now, we had reached the third floor, where I saw only two or three offices, and what looked like a penthouse apartment.
“The bartenders and waitresses we pay by direct deposit, any tips are theirs. If they do lap dances, the girls charge $100, the room costs the members $125 per hour. The membership card records the fees. We have three card readers on each floor, two at each bar, and a central spot at a hostess desk.”
“Now, what brings you ladies here tonight?” Logan finally asked.
“We were told of this club, and had to see it for ourselves,” Terri paused, “Are you hiring? I'm a pre-surgical, and Ginny here, is post.”
“As I said, except for our bartenders, no one new works here after the GRS surgery, so Ginny can you tend bar?” Logan asked.
I just shook my head, “Not like those two, I can't.”
He turned and looked at Terri, “Can I see your stage act Terri? I'm told you are among the best.
She shrugged, “Sure. Do you have a preference? I can work with a pole or have a more athletic act that doesn't use one.”
Logan paused, “If you do a stage act, you pay me $50 per day and keep the tips, but if you perform in a revue, it must pay $250 divided by how many girls perform. You keep all the money from lap-dances however. Waitresses get $20 per hour, keep your tips, and if you choose, $100 per lap dance. On average our bartenders make $1200 per night counting tips, and waitresses, with lap-dances over $1500 per night. Working five days a week, that's roughly $5000 to $7500 a week.”
“Girls, think it over, we only take job applications over the internet. Fill one out, send it in, and I'll call you in for an interview. Terri, you're going to interview right now for a stage act. By the way, can either of you sing?”
We returned to the second floor, and one of the clubs floor managers showed us to a dressing room. Terri stripped down to just an orange gaff, and started to loosen up. She was asked if she had a choice in music.
“How about “Satisfaction” by the Stones?” Terri and I moved to the left side of the stage in the dark.
We heard the opening bars of Satisfaction, and a spot light lit the stage center. Slinking into the light was a Bengal Tiger! Sinuously, Terri wound around the stage, flexing muscles and bending in ways that would have me in traction.
The audience were fighting to see who could stuff money in her thong. It was amazing! Too soon the music ended. Terri stood and curtseyed, rapidly walking out of the spotlight to a thunderous applause.
When the house lights came on, I even saw the mountainous bouncer standing in the back of the room clapping for all he was worth!
Logan walked into the dressing room with a huge smile on his face. “ I've never seen an act bring down the house like you just did. Terri, can we make a deal?”
Terri still in Bengal Tiger mode, purred, then said “Not at your prices dear, you and I would need to have a different agreement than the free-lancers that pay you to perform.”
I jumped in, “Mr Logan, Terri won't do lap-dances so to make up for that, how about $250 each day, and of course, she keeps all her tips?”
Logan smiled, “Honey you need a better agent. You should have seen the line at the bar. The girls couldn't keep up with demand. I'll pay $250 per dance, can you do that five times a day?”
Back in Jean mode, she started to count the bills on the make-up table. Sorting ones and fives to one side and tens and twenty’s to the other.
I made a rough count of $420 for just one dance!
'You have a deal Boss. Write up a contract for those numbers lasting six months. After that time, we can sit down and talk.”
Fully dressed again Jean gave him a hug and a quick kiss on the cheek. “Give me a call when the contract is ready for me to sign. I need a week to square things where I'm dancing now too.”
“Okay, it's a deal. My CPA is my wife, she'll start on it tonight. Oh, buy the way, we live on the third floor. How about you, a waitress or bartender are the only spots for you, and you really can't tend bar.”
I said I'd fill out the online form, and have to think about the two positions.
“Okay , honey, a pal of the Tiger has a job here, let me know.”
Jean and I headed for the parking lot and poor Kevin. He'd been waiting in the car for over three hours, but before we left, the door was blocked by the huge bouncer.
“Ma’am” he said, “I've never seen anything like that, thank you.”
Jean just smiled and gave his arm a rub as we walked out the security door.
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