Daulerio asked me to describe my experience at the Rick's Cabaret on Monday night. This is probably the best I can do. Strip clubs are not about decadence, or fantasy, or even commerce. They are, at their core, about interaction. The dance is not delicate, or disguised. This is not a place where someone can be left alone. You might say that is the point. I might say that I'm trying to watch the game here, and if I desire a word with you, trust me, I will beckon. Life is full of senseless, empty conversations. We all go through them every day, inventing vague generalities uttered only to end this conversation as soon as possible. Even if you are someone that I like, transferring interaction from Meet to Converse to Mutual Understanding requires an effort that neither of us are willing to put forth. Nothing personal. There's just so much to do. I've got a lot on my mind. So do you. Perhaps there will be a time, friend, when you and I break bread and meld minds. For now, however, I am predisposed. Forgive me. A strip club, even one as welcoming, clean and hospitable as Rick's Cabaret, is a minefield of these senseless, empty conversations. At least in the real world, people have the good horsesense to resist sitting right down at the table, unsolicited, and launching into banalities. I know that I am here, and that my presence implies an invitation. I wish it did not, and that I could convey it somehow. Perhaps a sign would help. It is a very important game. It does not matter that you are naked. All told, your nakedness is just making this worse. Your dances are like grotesque Busby Berkeley numbers, punctuating the natural state of void. Your nakedness is tipping the scales of this game in a way I don't appreciate. Sure. You are attractive. It's a job requirement. I get it. I congratulate you. But really, that's all we have to talk about. And that's not gonna take us very far. Also, I feel, when I'm in these situations, compelled to try to entertain you. I am not sure why. I am simply wired this way. Worse, I feel compelled to continue to try to entertain you even when it is obvious that you are not entertained and weren't desiring entertainment in the first place. This makes you think I am weird. You're right, of course. You may feel free to leave. It's the fourth quarter, and we really need to win this game. You tell me, "you seem more interested in the game than the girls." I think this is meant as a dig. I don't take it as one. I am sorry that I am here. I am sorry that what usually works is not working. This is my fault. I really should be wearing a sign. An Arizona Cardinals hat probably would have sufficed. You see, the problem is that I'm not acting any differently in here than I do in the real world. I know that's not how it's supposed to work. I know that acting differently is the whole point. I'm just not very good at it. I'm sorry. I'm sure you'll have more luck at another table. I'm sure athletes know how to do this the right way. I just don't. There are worse crimes, I hope. Finally, you get the hint, and you look at me as if to say, you could have said something 20 minutes ago and saved us both a lot of trouble. You're right. You tend to be. The game has ended. Can I go now? Is this over? ——————————————— That is all to say: I am not much of a strip club guy. Daulerio seemed to have fun, though. And the shrimp was fantastic.