Full moons are bad news. Aside from police stations and hospitals, strip clubs are probably the worst places to work during a full moon. I don’t particularly mind working holidays (Christmas is always an excuse to play a game of let’s-see-how-much-Tom-Waits-it-takes-to-get-the-guy-at-the- bar-to-go-home-and-shoot-his-wife-and-kids) and steadily busy or chaotic nights usually don’t bother me, as the usual routines tend to repeat themselves and allow for predictability (toss out the white kids in Fubu shirts, clean up a little extra puke and go home with some extra change...not a problem). However, I avoid working on a full moon like I avoid working on acid—I only do it about twice a year.
The last full moon I can remember working (key word being "remember") was in a smaller club in SW Portland. By midnight, absolutely nothing had gone wrong. In fact, things were going a little too right. The dancers were awesome, the bartender wasn’t a douche and I never once fucked up and played anything inappropriate for the fat girl (aside from the Goonies theme, an inside joke between the manager and I regarding a certain British dessert item and a shuffling motion). At this point, I thought that maybe the full moon meant things were going to go extremely well and therein would lie the fucked-upness of the evening.
Have I mentioned before that I’m a piss-poor clairvoyant?
At about ten after midnight, this buff trucker-looking dude comes walking into the bar by himself. The guy seemed normal enough until he came up and talked to me. Then I noticed that he wasn’t.
"Heyyyy, mannnn...these girls ever dance to discooooo?," he asked me in what sounded like a gay stoner accent.
"I got some covers by Rob Zombie. That’s about it."
"Cool," he replied and he began humping my subwoofer.
I didn’t know what to do. On one hand, I didn’t want to clean anything out of the speaker, but on another hand, this dude could stomp me like a crippled insect. So, I did what any self-respecting independent contractor would do and passed the job onto the bartender.
About ten minutes after homeboy was asked to leave, he returned. This time, though, he was wearing a wig and extremely runny makeup. Imagine if the Golden Girls mated with Lemmy and then auditioned the child for a role in Rocky Horror. That’s what we tossed out of the bar for the second time in one night.
I didn’t know if the guy’s outfit was an attempt at a disguise or some sort of southern-cross-dressing-Deadhead thing that I wasn’t quite hip to, but the answer walked into the bar for the third time that night at roughly one in the morning. Still wearing a wig, but this time opting against a T-shirt and jeans and favoring instead a full bondage outfit (complete with stainless steel G-string), our gender-bending, speaker-fucking, 86’d friend came stumbling up to my DJ booth, this time with a bloody nose.
If tossing a half-naked bloody gimp out of a strip club isn’t enough of a night-ruiner, talking to the cops for an hour after closing time is. Apparently, the jack shack girls next door to the bar heard a bunch of car alarms going off around the same time we threw out RuPaul The Barbarian and one of the girls found the dude sleeping in her car when she went to check on everything. Then, she did what she had already been trained to do to men in bondage and kicked the guy’s ass. It was supposedly at this point that he returned to our bar, dressed in leather and steel.
The best part? The cops hadn’t caught the fucker. Several non-emergency reports had been coming in to Barbur-area police that night between one and two o’ clock, all involving a half-naked cross-dresser. Being the fair and balanced officers of the law that they are, practically every cop in the area had been suspecting that the bar I was working at had something to do with the incident. In all honesty, the place is the OLCC’s wet dream (if any of you asshats are reading this, the club in question is not the Boom Boom and it doesn’t rhyme with Golfin’ Goo or Wiggles...that’s all I’m giving you), but it’s pretty fucked-up when a club gets a bad reputation with the fuzz for being the sort of place that has "something to do with the bloody drag queen running down Barbur." And of course, we did...sort of.
A line from one of my favorite Tom Waits songs describes the situation best: "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king." The bartender and I didn’t know a whole lot about what or who this person was, but the cops didn’t know shit and that made me a momentary expert on car-jacking she-males.
"Was he making threats, inappropriate comments, anything like that?" the one cop with the poorly groomed mustache asked me.
"He was fucking my speaker."
"Yeah, he kept grinding his groin against the bass amp."
"While he was partially nude?"
With this, I assumed the cop wanted to find a reason to ticket the bar for allowing some sort of bizarre sex show.
"No, this was while he was still dressed like a normal person. But he was talking like he was on something."
Refraining from saying, "Yeah, you know the something you always accuse my fully-clothed friends of having when you pull us over every night after work," I just said, "Drugs?"
After continuing to talk for an hour with the same cop who had arrested me for weed two weeks earlier, we finally closed up the bar and got ready to leave.
As the bartender was writing up the incident report, he asked me to describe the guy.
"What was he, like six-one, six-two...white dude...how much do you think he weighed?"
"Just write down ‘bloody transvestite in bondage.’ I think that will do."