Published October 2020 in Exotic
It’s been a while since I’ve actually shared stories in this column. So, this month, I’m publishing a story that I would have sent in years ago, but couldn’t for obvious reasons. And, I will restate this one more time—I will always go out of my way to protect the real identities of people and places mentioned in my writing, but, well, the establishment that is involved in the following recount isn’t exactly a current-year pillar of the adult industry and I’m not harming them by sharing said tidbits. Rather, I’m simply documenting what would be called "urban legend," if someone hadn’t taken the time to verify the truth behind it.
Here we go, with *Crypt Keeper voice* "Taaaaaaaaaaaallllesssss...From The DJ BoOoOoOoThAhahahaha."
Portland has our institutions. Some are still thriving (Mary’s Club, Dante’s) some have passed away (Doc’s, Safari, Doc’s Back When It Was Safari) and a few have been reborn from the ashes (*fingers crossed* big money, big money, Jiggles, big money...).
Few, however, are legends. Such is the case with Otter’s Inn*.
Formerly a double-wide trailer, this "mobile" (if that’s not the most ironic term, I swear...) home had been spray-painted black and parked on the border of Sketchy 82nd Avenue and Not That Bad 82nd Avenue in Portland, a few blocks from the train tracks (on which sides of the neighborhood are judged as such).
I went in on a whim.
At the time, I wasn’t even 21. But, I had a Portland State University identification card and was able to convince one out of three bartenders that you can’t get into a master’s program until you were four years out of high school (little did they know, it was a master’s from Portland State, which you can currently get on Wish.com for seven bucks plus shipping). A dancer friend of mine, who was pushing fifty and was a visible smoker, if that makes sense (she was kind, but rough...like Tom Waits’ voice, manifested in physical human female form), told me that, in her words, she was "finally the hottest girl at the club." I not-so-politely laughed and asked where that was.
"Otter’s," Nicole said. "Last week, it was me and the girl with one leg."
I stopped and asked what a blue-haired womxn in 2020 would call a "problematic" question, "What fucking time do they open?"
Flash forward a few hours and I’m sitting in a gravel parking lot, next to a drug deal and a pimped out, purple Cadillac with a "D.A.R.E." sticker on the bumper, outside of Otter’s Inn. I smoked up the courage to go inside and did so, walking up the fold-out trailer steps that anyone with a permanently unemployed uncle is familiar with.
The place looked exactly like it does in your head. I imagine that Kid Rock’s midget hypeman (R.I.P.) would have lived here and bragged about it on Cribs. It was like walking inside a mullet and finding a bar and a pole. The place was two fuzzy tiger posters short of having a baby in a dirty wifebeater on the floor. And, to a college kid with a fake identification, it was paradise.
Before asking the bartender when Pegleg was coming up next, I had to make myself known and pretend to be a baller, so that the strippers would put up with whatever fell out of my mouth after a few bottles of "we don’t have Guinness, but we do have" beers. I did something that was clearly out-of-the-norm and asked for twenty dollars in ones.
"All ones," a bartender with a re-done Tweety Bird tattoo clarified, handing me a pile of the most terrified looking Washingtons I’d ever seen.
And, with this, the bartender said, "Be nice, by the way, she was in an accident a few years ago."
I sat down on what used to be a fold-out bed and placed a horrified George on the woodgrain-patterned plastic in front of me. On stage, to the tune of that "Click Click Boom" song that all the Vin Diesel movies use in their trailers (oh...I see what she was doing now, at least I hope—that would be genius), appeared a woman with not one, but two legs. Shit. This wasn’t the one. However, she did lean down and pull her pile of tips back to her...with a hook hand.
Ever seen Adventures In Babysitting? Good, because that gives me a pass to say the following: people with hooks for hands are fucking horrifying. It’s [current year] and we have prosthetic limbs. Hell, they had them in the ‘70s. This chick knew what she was doing. But, dear reader, you may not know what she was doing, so let me explain.
In the industry, we call this the "Buttplug Theory," which came about when a certain club in Portland featured a dancer with a buttplug. One dancer, one buttplug—as the Bible says it should be. But, buttplug girl took to social media to brag about her diamond butthole and it drew in one hell of a crowd. So, guess what? Every other girl in the club got a buttplug. Then, every girl at every other club got a buttplug. My friend started making custom buttplugs, they started showing up on television and the rest is history. Now, you can’t even get an audition without at least three separate pieces of anal jewelry. Thanks, Buttplug Girl.
Basically, like any woman, strippers are constantly in competition with each other. The Buttplug Theory states that any alteration a dancer makes to their outfit, body or musical selection will start a mandatory trend, which, if not followed, will age-out the dancers who do not comply with said alteration. Dubstep, heel clacking, buttplugs, rinse and repeat. Next year, it will probably be pussy masks or toe piercings. Further, the trendsetters (i.e. the first girls to get buttplugs) often leave their home clubs, once conquered, only to venture out to virgin territory and preach the good word to new dancers—thus, spreading their message, while simultaneously asserting dominance and first-mover advantage in the market. I’m guessing the first girl to get a buttplug was told to "Go shove it up your ass" by her previous employer, and thanks to her taking it literally, she’s now a legend.
So, hook-for-a-hand probably took a gig at the club with Pegleg, because she wanted to raise the bar, when it came to "most disabled dancer in the double-wide." And, what better way to raise a bar than with a metal fucking hook for a hand? Just attach it to the bar, turn it on and wait.
Anyhow, as ol’ Two Legs (excuse me, Hook Hand) performed, I just did what I do when I’m talking to people with massive sores or Nickelback shirts and ignored the glaring flaw—focusing instead on this chick’s personality, dancer skills and...
"The other girl is missing a leg," Hook Hand said as she swung around the pole with her Skywalker arm—moving swiftly, like a garment being shuffled forward on a mechanical dry cleaner rack.
"Really?" I said with that "just trying to pretend the naked girl with a hook for a hand isn’t pitching me on the other amputee in the trailer" tone we’ve all used before. My suspicion had been confirmed. The legend of Otter’s Inn was real.
Hook Hand leaned into me, putting her gorgeous breasts into my face. She smelled good and she was pretty. Goddamn. I wanted to say something, but the "hit on the crippled stripper because she’s probably never been told she’s beautiful before" game is a lame pick-up tactic and I’m better than that.
After flipping backwards and upside-down, so that her perfectly toned "this belongs at Stars Cabaret, not Otter’s Inn" ass was on my chest, with her two (this was the disappointing part) legs wrapped over my shoulders. Then, she pulled herself up, holding my left ear close to her mouth, at which point she dropped the best joke I’ve ever heard...
"What’s got three legs, three arms and a pussy in your face?"
"I give up," I told her ear, clit and part of her thigh, while wrapped up like an octopus that had just consumed a pirate.
"Day shift at our club."
I went to the ATM immediately.