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Published on March 5th, 2014 | by Richard Black

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The Academy Awards, Avoiding a Manslaughter, and How to Make Money at a Strip Club

I’ve mentioned it before but winter is not my best time. I blame a portion of my mood on the weather, another on genetics and the bulk on award shows.

I despise award shows but if I’m being honest with myself it’s largely because I’m not in them.  Yes it’s an honor to be nominated but It’s not easy to be looked over year after year. Despite these setbacks I try to carry on.

This is not to say that I don’t appreciate the hard work and talent it takes to make a living as an actor, I don’t  actually, but I feel as if I should pay lip service to the profession. Still I can see that it’s not easy to be the 1% who manages the lucky trifecta to have be at the right place at the right time with the right goods.

My complaint is that success in the field in, addition to making a very comfortable living, should be enough for anyone in any profession. I’ve never seen a show granting plumbers awards for “Best Installed Toilet” or one for accountants featuring “Best Tax Write off of 2013” but those jobs generally don’t sell much ad time on TV.

Back however to me.

The long and short of it is that every few weeks or during the winter I vacate the home to let my wife watch Hollywood give itself a handjob to an international audience. Whether it’s the Golden Globes, the SAG awards or the Oscar, it’s an event that takes up a good six hours of time and then another two or three the next day to watch the talking heads discuss who was wearing what in a post coital rehash.

This year I headed out to a local bar I’ve been known to frequent from time to time which was not the wisest decision I could have made. The weather in middle America had been positively awful. Due to plunging temperatures in my portion of the U.S. we caught a delightful mélange of freezing rain, sleet and a few inches of snow that rendered the streets a hazard for anything with wheels and a motor.

I don’t usually venture out under those sorts of conditions but it was a matter of life and death, either my own or my wife’s and if I were a betting man I’d put my money on my wife.

And so, in order to alleviate a potential manslaughter, I drove over a sheet of ice for two miles to go to a Welsh pub I’d visited during similar times of duress and found that God or Yahweh or whoever is keeping watch has a sense of humor and maybe even irony.

Instead of blaring the local hockey game or something worse like Howard Jones’s greatest hits over the state of the art sound system I was treated to the sounds and visuals of the Academy Awards at earsplitting volume. I considered hoofing it to another bar a few blocks down the street in sub zero temperatures and, in a rare moment of maturity and self preservation, determined that I should probably stick it out.

I fiddled around with my notes on the new greatest American novel for a few beers. I watched Ellen Degeneres do a delightful job hosting the Oscar’s latest reacharound when a guy plunked down in a stool next to me at the bar.

We traded a few witticisms, he bought me a round and I fronted him for another, and after we’d had a few more the topic turned from the awards to strip clubs.

It’s a common occurrence really and just one of the many pleasures of being me. In retrospect I can’t even count how many times I think this particular sort of conversation has been a segue to an offer for group sex. I’ve been too oblivious to notice for the most part and am really, despite all perceptions, devoted to my wife.

Suffice it to say that I often find myself engaged in some fairly fucked up conversations at bars. I try to avoid them as best as I can but there’s something about me that makes anyone with a few drinks under their belt to tell me about the threesome they’ve been having with their wife’s best friend didn’t work out and the two women are now living happily in Portland Oregon.

So I thought strip clubs would be a relatively tame subject, I generally consider them to be demeaning to men but that’s another topic for another time.

I was wrong, not about them being degrading to men but as a safe subject. Sex never is.

“So dude listen to this. My girlfriend and I hit the East side every once in a while” he said, the East side being where all the strip clubs are in my part of town, “I lost my wallet there last weekend and when I came back it still had eighty bucks.”

“Bitchin’” I said bringing back the eighties lingo as I frantically waved to the bartender to square up.

“Yeah it was. The fucked up thing though…” he said, ‘my girl likes this shit. Tits man. She loves tits.”

I nodded and said something ambiguous about sexuality being a sliding scale.

“So this chick, the stripper,” he clarified, “took us both into a VIP room and gave me four hundred bucks to let her go down on my girl.”

“So you came out of a strip club with more money than you went in with,” I asked focusing on the relevant details of the story.

“Yeah,” the guy nodded, “win and win right?”

I nodded and bonged my beer, wished the guy the best of luck and hoped, for his sake that he had a wang the size of a babies arm, a tongue a mile long or a fat wallet before he propositioned me to pleasure his wife.

“Where you going bud?” he asked as I threw on my coat and he signaled for another round.

“Diarrhea,” I said using my standard response to avoid a threesome as I scampered out of the bar.  I’m into monogamy. I always have been. Call it old fashioned, call it boring but I love my wife and I don’t want anything aside from myself or a tampon to pierce her nether regions.

I’m just classy that way.


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