Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Strip Search

On the airplane this morning from Kansas City (Slogan for Today: “We’re Colder Than Your Ex”), I learned from a fellow passenger that Dallas’ main problems during Super Bowl week were not ice, snow, and ticket fiascos. They were actually critical shortages of limousines…and strippers.

The problem with the limos did not strike me as funny. The shortage of strippers did, given that stripping is essentially a spectator sport (at least in the public arena) and any one stripper can theoretically entertain any number of viewers. However, it is true that as opposed to football or baseball, where a view of the entire field is critical to understanding the ebb and flow of the game, the area of focus is really an on-stage cylinder extending six and a half feet from the floor and within arm’s reach of a centrally located pole. (To be frank, I suspect that most spectators are concerned with an even more narrow area of focus, but I may be wrong. It might really be all about personality and intellect. See “The Whore of Mensa” by Woody Allen.) So given the narrow range of interest, distance becomes an issue, and either an excess of strippers or telescopes are needed to maintain the required proximity. Besides, it’s awfully hard to toss dollars down from the cheap seats.

Anyway, the Super Bowl Stripper Shortage got me thinking about a conversation held a few weeks ago in a western Kansas ED. One of our nurses was complaining that her husband had gone to a strip club in Salina rather than joining a group of ER folks for a night on the town. This was news to me, because I really never saw Salina…while the home of the first girl I ever saw non-clinically unclothed…as an epicenter of adult entertainment. True, it is just twenty miles down the road from Exit 272 on Interstate 70, known popularly as the “Exit of Sin” because off the north ramp is the Lion’s Den Adult Supermarket and just to the south is the Russell Stover Factory and Outlet Store. It’s an efficient way to knock out nearly a third of your deadly sins in one stop. And just in case the gravity of your offense is lost on you, as you get back on the westbound road there is a large billboard reminding you that “…the EYES of the LORD are upon YOU.” (Interestingly, there is no such sign as you get back on the highway eastbound, which probably reflects the thought that if you’re headed towards the land of the heathen liberals, like Topeka, you’re a lost cause anyway.)

I was thinking about the odds of having a strip club in Salina, and then recalled that this would not be so unusual given that I had seen a “Gentleman’s Club” in Great Bend. Great Bend is a town of about 10,000 people located on the Great Bend (gentle turn) of the Ar-KANSAS River (mostly dry). The main landmark is a ten story tower public housing project in the middle of the Town Square. The strip club is located in a steel building on Kansas 183, and was noticeable only because it was across the street from Braum’s Officially Delicious Ice Cream.

This got the mental wheels working, and I think I’ve figured out how to resolve any future stripper shortages at major sporting events. Strip clubs need to be organized into farm systems. Places like Great Bend are the rookie leagues; Salina is A ball, and Topeka (where the parking lot outside of the strip club always seems much busier during the legislative session) is AA. Larger places, like Kansas City and Denver, represent the AAA level, just before the majors such as New York, Miami, LA, and Dallas.

You can see how this would work. As strippers in the majors get injured, go on the disabled list, age out, droop, or sag, their places are taken by those brought up from AAA. This progression moves through the ranks, opening up new opportunities at the entry level. Organizations can even offer coaching along the way to improve individual performance and bottom line revenues. (Yep, I really said that). Plastic surgeons can serve as Team Physicians. I see nothing but a growth industry here. (I really said that, too.) And when there’s a shortage, like during Super Bowl week, just call folks up from the farm system.

I can barely wait to buy my team jersey.

One other quick airplane note: On Southwest, they give out crackers shaped like little airplanes. Instantly regressing to the guy who dissembles animal crackers by having the run around the table, then biting off the limbs followed by nipping at the head (I’m sure a psychologist can have a field day with that one), I took the crackers and had them soar around my seat, accompanied by the obligatory “swooshing” sound.

After a minute of play, I bit off the engine. The cracker went quiet, then plunged to the floor.

There were no survivors.

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