Authors: Greg Raffetto
So 34 steps later (I counted
one time), I reached the top of the landing, which turns to the right and there’s a couple of velvet ropes, a podium, and a dark hallway, which I begin to cautiously walk down, when all of the sudden I hear “Scuse me” from my left. I turn, and here’s this plexiglass window with a booth behind it, and a pretty, middle-aged, black woman with what might aptly be described as “huge” hair and nails behind it. “Uh, hi, I’m Greg…I’m supposed to start work here tonight,” I stammered. The woman replied, “Oh, I figured that, honey, I’ll tell you what to do. My name’s Geneva.” Geneva and I would spend the next half hour or so talking, but she would never come out of the booth, nor even get up from her chair. I couldn’t have told you if she were five foot or six foot tall, but what I could tell you was that she surely was my best friend for the moment.
“Now honey,” Geneva began, “You’re gonna be the front door Greeter…so, when the ladies come in that door, and up those stairs, they’re gonna want to come on in to the club.”
“And I let ‘em in, right?” I replied.
“Nope!” Geneva began laughing, “You’re just gonna keep ‘em there and keep ‘em there and let ‘em pile up and pile up, until the line runs down those stairs and out that door, and all the while they’ll be screaming to get
in…and you keep
‘em wait until I
you start lettin’ ‘em in, one party at a time, and I charge each one of ‘em, and THEN they can come in!”
Omigosh, I thought, “So, what am I supposed to do while they’re all in line waiting?”
“Well,” Geneva says slyly, with a furtive wink and a knowing nod, “THAT’S…up to YOU.”
Omigosh, I think again, you’ve GOT to be kidding me,
is my orientation?
is my preparation for entertaining not just one woman, but throngs of them? Jeez, not just entertaining them, but somehow fulfilling fantasies for them…being ‘fantasy-man’ for an entire crowd of pumped-up, man-hungry women?!?
? A FRIKKIN WINK AND A NOD FROM A BIG-HAIRED WOMAN NAMED GENEVA IS SUPPOSED TO BE MY
ON HOW TO PERFORM THE IMPOSSIBLE?
Not to be ungrateful for her thoroughly explicit and detailed instructions (NOT!), I think, but… “Um, Geneva...are there any of the
here that I can talk to?”
“Well here’s John-Paul right now,” she says.
I turn and, just then, feel a hand on my right shoulder. Attached to it is a mass of long, curly, dark hair, and from within which comes a voice with a
distinct British accent—“Aaah, fresh meat, I see [meaning me]. And how are you today, Geneva?”
Blushing, Geneva responds in a lilting voice, “Oh, I’m just fine, John-Paul.”
“So I’m J.P.” he says to me, extending his right hand, his left still on my shoulder. I shake his hand firmly, and introduce myself “I’m Greg, and I don’t know what the
I’m doing here.”
“Don’t worry,” J.P. says, “It’s you’re first night here...yes?”
“Yeah.” I reply.
“Don’t worry,” J.P. nods reassuringly, “we’ll get you set up here in no time, and you’ll be meeting and greeting the ladies like a pro.” NOW THIS WAS MORE LIKE IT! Now here was a fellow who gave you the feeling that he really
what he was
about! …And with that, J.P. promptly turned away and left…never to return that whole night.
“That answer your question, honey?” Geneva quipped, smiling at me through the glass. Motioning at me, she says “Now go on down that hallway and down the stairs and get changed. You haven’t much time before the ladies start showing up. I don’t want to have to be entertaining ‘em myself. It’s YOU they want to see, not me. Go on now. Down that hallway, down the stairs and to the left…and hurry back!”
And so I went, down that hallway, down those stairs, and to the left, and you wouldn’t frikkin’ believe the “changing room” that it led to—it was truly a spectacle to behold. I stopped dead in my tracks and stood there, dumbfounded, taking it all in just watching in utter disbelief. The room was twenty by twenty or so, mirrors on all four walls, and about fifteen guys were in the room, yet no one noticed me, not for a few seconds at least. They were all too obsessed on themselves. You see, all of these huge, chiseled, macho, hulking guys was staring intently at their reflections, each putting on face and body stage makeup, foundation, eyeliner, mascara, a few blowdrying their hair, but all looking very primpy, prissy and girly in whatever they were doing. Finally one of the biggest guys took notice of me, and in a scarily-deep baritone voice barked at me (and pointing, yet without dropping his makeup sponge), “Get me a cranberry and soda!”
“Um,” I stammered, “I’m just here to change. Its my first night.”
“You’re not a waiter?!” he bellowed at me.
“Um, no, I’m just a host.”
“Dammit, where’s J.P.?!? Somebody get me a fucking cranberry and soda!!”
“I saw him,” I said, my voice shaking a little, “but I don’t know
where he went.”
“Well if you see him…”
“I know, I know, I’ll have him bring you a cranberry and soda!”
. Have him bring me a
cranberry and soda.”
This hulk of a guy glowered at me, but there was the slightest hint of a smile—thank God—this guy was just screwing with me. This guy later turned out to be the immortal Bernie Davis, head honcho of all the L.A. Chippendales dancers. More on him later.
Anyway, since I’d worn my spandex trousers underneath my [cool] Z-Cavaricci jeans, all my “changing” entailed was taking off my boots, then my jeans, putting my boots back on, and then putting my Velcro-affixed collar and cuffs in place. Bing bang boom and I was ready—I stuffed my jeans and my jacket in my gym bag, and hoofed it back on up the stairs, with the big guy yelling once again at my back as I left “Remember,
“I know, a
cranberry and soda!” I shouted back as I went. Momentarily, I wondered whether a “
cranberry and soda” was perhaps somehow different than a regular “cranberry and soda.” Maybe…but it wasn’t my problem…it was J.P.’s problem. Then, I think to myself, Jeez, he could’ve asked me my name at least. Of course I was too nervous, nay, just too plain
to give it, much less to ask him what his name was! Save the introductions for later, Greg, I thought. Like for instance, if you make it through your first night, maybe then…yes, maybe then.
So I hoofed it back up to the front hallway to where the little ticket booth was, and none too soon it turned out. Just coming up the top of the steps was a party of three ladies. I hesitatingly approached the group, and just as I passed Geneva’s booth, I heard her muffled cheer, “Go get ‘em, lover boy!” Just then, I became keenly aware that I
was the only host there
! Apparently “Greeter” was a solo job!?! What was I to do with no other hosts to take cues from? Too late though, I had nary a moment to wonder nor complain, I just had to straight wing it—and by God I did just that. I had no other choice.
I clumsily ambled up to the trio, past the podium and ropes, with what could only have been a most awkward, silly grin plastered across my face, and spouted out the only thing that came to mind. “Hello ladies, welcome to Chippendales!”
Well thank God, despite my amateurish disposition, these ladies
that I was a
Chippendale! However oafishly, I tried my best to flirt in some semblance a smooth, gentlemanly, Chippendale-like fashion, (whatever that was). I was smiling, fake-laughing and asking each of their names (but forgetting them just as quickly, like the nervous, bungling Chippendale virgin I dare not let on that I was). Still, I knew the women had
to be buying the idea that I was the genuine article, when, out of the blue, one of them pulls a camera from her purse and asks me to pose next to her two friends so she can take
of us! I play along like a good sport, mugging for the camera in several increasingly more provocative poses with each of her two friends while the woman happily snaps away, the camera flashing wildly, with she and her friends laughing all the while.
So as it had become apparent that these women were not going to notice my relative ineptitude, I momentarily became just a wee bit more comfortable…just for a second anyway. Just then, a rumbling came from the bottom of the staircase—a second bunch—a bevy of boisterous beauties this time, seven young women came clamoring up the staircase!
Now this would get trickier. How would I begin talking and flirting with these girls in the second group without causing the gals in the first group to feel slighted? How indeed? Ohhh boy was I in over my head now! Surely NOW they would find out I wasn’t a REAL Chippendale! What was I to do? Where was my back up? Yes, where the heck WAS my back up? So I backed up. And backed up. And I backed up…to Geneva…and I asked, “Where’s my
“Oh, honey, there’s no ‘back up’” she replied, “you’re on your own up here.”
My worst fears assured, I responded, “I’m on my own? How can they put me up here completely
on my own
? Its my FIRST DAY!?!”
“They must figure you got the personality for it sweetheart…Don’t you think you think you can do it?”
“Awww, Jeez, Geneva, I, …ya know…(shaking my head) ...aaahhh ...I tell ya …well, if anyone can do it on their first night, Geneva…I guess probably
“That’s the spirit!” She exclaimed. “What’s your name again?”
“Greg.” I said again.
“Well you go do your stuff, Greg. You go show those ladies what’s what!” And so I shuffled forward away from Geneva’s booth and set off to show all those ladies ‘what’s what’ by golly. Or so I imagined for the moment.
So I figured I would “take charge” of the situation, right? Then I step up to the podium next to the velvet ropes at the top of the stairs, and I shout out with pseudo-confidence, “Okay ladies, is everybody ready to have a good time tonight?!?” And at that, the ladies in the second party go wild, shouting “YEAHHHHH!!!” ….
and then they all frikkin’ rushed me
I didn’t know what to do for a second, but there really wasn’t much I could do—five of the second group of seven came at me and started putting their hands all over me, groping my pecs, and one of them comes around
from behind and started squeezing my buttocks—very FIRMLY. Gulp! Yeeeiiiikes! I leapt forward, nearly out of my boots, plowing right into the birthday girl, face first. Then things got even worse. I’m still practically in midair at this point, and this is at the top of the landing on the stairs. I, and the birthday girl tumble backwards, down the flight of stairs for eight, perhaps ten steps, with me landing between her legs, face squarely in her sizeable bazooms. The only thing that could’ve made it still worse would’ve been if she had been wearing a dress with me between her legs, but thankfully, she was wearing jeans.
There was shocked silence for a moment, then laughter broke out, and then a flurry of flashbulbs. Beyond embarrassment, I got to my feet and extended her a hand to get up as well. I quickly retreated back up the stairs and to a place of safety behind my podium, ceremoniously clicking the velvet rope into place--to no avail
“Uh, hello, ladies, can we get back behind the rope, please?” NOTHING. I might as well have been talking to a brick wall, because they all just kept right on giggling, groping and grabbing, still shoving right past the velvet rope. Then one of them takes a bill of some denomination and begins jamming it down my trousers—waaaaaay down. When she started cupping
, I pulled back—and out came her hand—
my JUNK as well, the bill she’d stuck in my pants still clinging to its life, being barely
held in by the edge of my G-string! In momentary shock, I backed up cautiously, blurting out as I backpeddled, “Sit tight ladies, stay BEHIND the velvet rope, and I’ll be right back!”
For some reason, it appeared that they were actually going to listen to me this time, don’t ask me why. I quickly sidestepped over to Geneva’s booth, and darted away, safe for the moment. Popping my head through the black velvet curtain, I must have surprised my friend Geneva, as she exclaimed, “Oh, honey,
that! Now what’s wrong?”
“They’re mauling me out there! What do I do?” I blurted out.
She replied, “Well, what do you mean by ‘mauling’ you?”
“Well,” I explained, “Look at this,” as I pulled down my spandex trousers, revealing a single note, flapping lightly in the cross breeze from her fan. “The girl ran her hand all the way down my pants and cupped my balls when she gave this to me.”
Geneva smiled, “Oh, well, that happens, honey. Here, give it here. Let’s mark it for you.”
I wasn’t sure what Geneva meant, but I went ahead and proceeded to extract the bugger, noticing that it was a slightly crumpled one-dollar bill, and handed it to Geneva. Geneva takes the bill from my hand, places it on the counter, flattens it twice, then pulls out a black ‘Sharpie’ and asks “Now is there one ‘g’ or two ‘g’s at the end of Greg?”
“One,” I reply. She writes something on it, and hands it back to me, furrowing her brow as if about to tell me something of grave importance.
“Now you save that, Greg. You
that bill so you can show your grandkids. Promise me you’ll save that bill, okay?”
“Okay,” I promised. I looked down at the bill, and read in bold black letters ‘GREG’S FIRST CHIPPENDALE DOLLAR.’ Priceless. I still have it to this day.
“I’m going to leave this here with you, for now, Geneva; so I don’t get it mixed up with the other bills I’m going to get tonight. Okay?”
“Allright, darlin’, now you get on back out there, those ladies are restless.” And so I did, with something of renewed confidence. With that first dollar, I think I finally had accepted the fact that I truly had become a
Chippendale. I marched out to the mindless throng, which had grown during my two-minute absence, and was immediately cheered upon my entrance.
With an authoritative tone this time, I belt out “Okay ladies, who wants to pose for some pictures? One at a time this time, and watch the hands!”