A Baltimore Tour de Sleaze—Part 2
Strippers, booze, buttholes, and boobs
By Ingrid Verde and Andre Novak
Bar #2—Haven Place
When we entered Haven Place everything was pretty blurry. The lighting was dim and red, and I really had no idea what we’d walked into. The Talking Heads’ “And She Was” blasted through speakers somewhere. I immediately went to the bar and dropped my last few dollars on a bottle of Natty Boh. I remained there for a bit, surveying the scene, until I decided I needed stronger drink.
En route to the bar’s ATM, I stumbled past a guy sitting alone at a table. He looked just like Anton Chigurh, only far less menacing. After I got my money, I jogged back to the bar and ordered a Pikesville on the rocks, which I gulped down in one sip just before ordering another.
Drink in-hand, I shuffle-stepped toward what appeared to be a miniature wooden stage on the side of the building. On a marginally elevated platform, a lady danced topless to the music. The area was enclosed by a sort of box-railing supported by wooden uprights. I’m sure it was meant to keep the riff-raff away from the dancers, but it was no use—Anton Chigurh was at the front of the thing, pressing his face between the banisters and throwing dollar-bills over the railing with an awkward hook-arm. His eyes were bulging from their sockets and he looked like one of those horny wolf characters from old Tex Avery cartoons. The stripper turned, smiling, bouncing her ass around. The man pushed his face further through the uprights. I became concerned for his safety, but he seemed alright—especially after the stripper began twerking on her hands and knees, with her ass directly in front of his face. The man’s arm began spasmodically catapulting heaps of dollar-bills onto the stage. I remember thinking that his nose was perilously close to the lady’s butthole. Perhaps he wanted to dock it?
By this time, I had no idea where my friends were. I assumed they had ditched me. As I stood there, swaying around, trying to stay upright, I couldn’t blame them. I left the stage area to take a piss. The last thing I remember in Haven Place is leaning on a wall next to the urinal and closing my eyes. At some point, I apparently left the bathroom, found my friends, and walked to Sherrie’s Showbar on Pulaski Highway.
I found myself tripping out of a cab in front of the aptly-named Haven Place on Haven Street. A neon sign lit up the dark streets and the faces of smokers lingering on the corner, getting their fix in.
Inside, my eyes adjusted to a dimly lit netherworld, thick with a dense cloud of the condensed sweat from the patronage. Andre headed for the bar. He seemed excited and began loudly proclaiming that he already loved the place. I made my way to the ATM on the back wall, fully prepared to pop some bandz. My finger stuck to the machine’s sticky keys, and I noticed that many drinks had been spilled on the screen. I looked over to Brad, Jim, and Tinder Girl who were standing around a dancer on-stage. She was on a platform raised a mere 6 inches from the ground with a waist-high rail to keep the gapes out—or, perhaps, to keep her in. She was extremely thin with closely cropped platinum hair, and, most importantly, gargantuan fake titties. I walked over to my group just as Tinder Girl reached up to fondle Blondie. She looked at me excitedly—“Touch them! This right here is what I need.”
“They’re saline. Go ahead feel them,” Blondie encouraged.
I stepped closer and reached out, hesitantly. Blondie leaned forward, until my face was sandwiched between her airbags, and shimmied—effectively slapping me in the face with her boobs.
“Um, Yep. Those are nice. Uh…thanks,” I stammered.
Blondie smirked and winked before walking off stage and over to the bar. My attention shifted to the adjacent platform where a much younger looking girl gyrated on all fours while a liver-spot-freckled man peered agog through the bars at her. Whoa. I stood mesmerized by this man who was, in turn, hypnotized by the dancer. His hands grasped the rails. His eyes bugged as he put his face between the bars. He reached for dollar after dollar intent on paying for Honey’s rent that month. He trailed the dollar down her chest before tucking it into her garter, wiping his palms, and licking his lips. Honey pasted on a brave smile and danced more and more limply. I was amazed when gramps nearly pushed his entire head through the rails while attempting to bury his head into her susceptible ass crack. I needed air. Where the fuck was Andre and his Lucky Strikes when you needed them?
Bar #3—Sherrie’s Showbar
At Andre’s research-backed suggestion we headed to Sherrie’s Showbar, where being plus-sized might be requisite for employment.
Nice—good on them. The bar wrapped around the stage where a round dancer rolled about, jiggling wildly. The dancer applauded herself without using her hands, which really seemed to impress Andre. I noticed a bit of tumble-weave rolling forlornly across the other side of the wooden stage. It was a sobering sight that needed to be remedied. I turned to the bartender, a woman wearing only a bit more than the dancers, for a vodka-soda.
“We ain’t got that. We only do beer and shots.”
Beer in hand, I looked over and noticed one of the dancers wearing a neon-pink string had Brad cornered as Andre argued with her about the price of a lap dance for Brad. I stepped in and offered my two-cents—“$70? For just a lap dance? He should at least be able to cum on your butt for $70.” I had to document the moment.
“Excuse me, can I take pictures here?” I asked the stripper-lady.
“Yeah—uh, sure. Some of the girls mind but I don’t.”
I took several pictures and even some video footage of the stage before I was interrupted by the BBW who had been onstage when we arrived.
“Excuse me, can I get a tip?”
I didn’t know that dancers could even ask for tips, yet here she was looking at me expectantly.
Brad interjected. “A TIP?! I’m still trying to un-see what I just saw!”
The bartender looked at us with an expression of sheer, justifiable disgust. She set down the bottle of liquor she was pouring and placed her hand on her curvaceous hip.
“Ya’ll need to leave. Go on!”
She dismissed us with a vehement wave and no one argued as we trudged out the door.
I only recall a few things from our time at Sherrie’s. First, I remember trying to buy a lap-dance for Brad. Earlier in the evening he almost cashed-out to go home and sleep—he apparently had to work at some obscene hour of the morning on the following day. I convinced him to stay out by offering to buy him a dance at one of our destinations.
Well, a mere dance turned out to cost $70 at Sherrie’s and I wasn’t having it. It simply wasn’t market price. I haggled with the hot-mom-ish-looking stripper in neon pink who had taken an interest in Brad and my money.
“Come on—$70? That’s almost four full lap-dances at other places around town. Can’t you cut us a deal?”
“Sorry, it’s not my policy. $70.”
“What if we take the time down and do like a 1-to-2 minute dance for $20?”
“Nope—can’t do it.”
“Look,” I said quietly, leaning in, “how good is this $70 dance? I mean, is my friend gonna have a good time?”
I curved my hand to form an o-shape, which I shook up and down with a loose wrist.
I could see in the lady’s eyes that I’d gone too far. Luckily for me, Ingrid barged-in and went even further, flatly suggesting that Brad get a full-release buttjob for $70. I discreetly slipped over to the bar before things got ugly, and hoped that they simply somehow wouldn’t.
I watched an extremely curvy lady dancing on stage for some minutes and became entranced. I downed another Pikesville and that’s where my memory gets foggy. However, after we left Sherrie’s, I recall that we had no luck hailing a cab on Pulaski. Fortunately, a good samaritan pulled over and offered to drive us to The Block after we spent a few minutes gesturing—on the side of the road, with twitching claw-hands—that we wanted to catch a hack.
TO BE CONTINUED…