One day, my fiancÚ and I realized that neither of us had ever seen the inside of a gentlemen's club and were curious about what one was like. So we headed out that night to head out to a small club on the edge of town and sat down at a quiet table near the corner.
While the novelty of the show wore off almost immediately, the people, in particular the patrons became endlessly fascinating. The two of us began pointing out people we found interesting and keeping an eye on the various dramas taking place that night.
After about an hour someone approached our table and without warning sat down across from us. "I didn't expect to see you here," he said, "This really doesn't look like your kind of place."
I saw his face briefly when a spotlight passed over us, it was the reporter from whom I had stolen a lunch. The look in his eyes told the truth, like a shark, he smelled blood in the water and was looking to attack.
"I'm in a lot of places you'd never expect to see me. Every ghost has a few unusual haunts."
"Well, are you at least enjoying the show?"
I looked around the room briefly, "The people are fascinating. If that's what you're asking."
"So you're trying to tell me you're not watching the girls," he said.
"Not in about the past 45 minutes."
"Then what in the Hell are you doing here?"
"Getting stories, yourself?" I asked.
"I'm a reporter, I'm doing some work for the paper. You on the other hand, are of full of it. There aren't any stories here for you."
"Really?" I asked. "What makes you think that?"
"Look around you. Two-dimensional women, guys foaming at the mouth half drunk and all the scum in between. I'd say it's the making of a seedy crime story, not the type of thing you'd write," he said.
I could read the headline already, "Warlock caught in local strip club with fiancÚ in tow." Throw in a few sordid lies and you'd have the makings of a great scandal. I had to act fast.
"Strip away the dancers and the terrible lighting and what do you have? You have people who are under an extreme situation who don't think they're being watched. All around you have people responding to their base instincts like no one else was in the room. Where else are you going to get that?"
He thought about it for a minute, "I don't know."
I pointed to one guy near the stage, "You see that guy over there. I overhead a waitress say that he's been here since three this afternoon at that same table. He's been ordering one drink every hour on the hour and he's so regular the waitresses have it ready before he asks. He's watching his money very carefully."
He looked over his shoulder at the man, "Why do you figure he's doing that?"
"I didn't know either at first, but something caught my eye in the light. He's wearing a wedding band. Now, if there's not a story there, then where is there one?"
"I see," he slipped into deep thought for a second.
"Then there's her over at the bar," I motioned in the general direction. "She used to be a stripper here. You can tell by her bag that bears the club name and the fact she hasn't paid for a drink all night. But she's not dancing tonight and won't for a while because of that knee brace. Looks like she banged it up pretty good. But not a single guy has paid her any attention all night and she's been sulking over that since I got here."
"Wow, good eyes."
"So tell me, what story are you working on Mr. Reporter?"
He whipped around in his chair to face me, "Um, I'm doing a report on new laws that affect local strip clubs."
"Does it really take four hours in a club to ask about new laws?"
"What do you mean? I just got here!"
I glanced down at his hands, "Really, the stamp on the back of your hand reads 'Happy Hour' and I believe that ended at six."
His eyes opened wide and he stammered for words, "I-I-I've gotta go, I'll chat with you later."
He got up to walk away but I called him out, "Hey, you didn't tell me if you were enjoying the show."
He just scowled at me and walked off. The headline never appeared.
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