Vegas. One can never truly appreciate the buzz of every color neon imaginable. Everything glowed: bars, clubs, casinos, hotels, buses, even the Waffle House had neon. Now, I always thought that the purpose of neon was to differentiate yourself from the others: but what about when EVERYTHING has neon trim? Is that stuff toxic in large doses? Neon is a gas, remember. It didn’t matter, because even at 2 in the morning, it was exciting. And there was heavy traffic, too. We were excited. We could smell the money.
The Cheetah. The night shift at The Cheetah is not just a memorable experience. It’s epic. Beautiful dancing women, potent drinks and handsome men out for a night in Sin City without their wives: it’s the perfect recipe for a lucrative evening. It’s too bad we weren’t there. Oh we got there, alright, walked through an amazing crowd, music pulsating, fueled by the fact that soon we were going to be on stage in Vegas, baby!
But apparently as soon as it strikes 3 am, everyone either turns into a toad or runs out the door on their way to some unknown party. Because when we got dressed and hit the floor, it was absolutely dead. I mean, crickets. There was a bartender, two overweight waitresses and a toothless old man with his hands down his pants. Where the hell did everybody go?
And that wasn’t even the worst part. We had to pay all of our house fees up front. I repeat: we had to pay all of our house fees up front. What?$%^^%$? That was news to me and it was definitely not part of our plan. For that shift, it was $60 to work. In the whole scheme of things, it wasn’t a bad deal. Those fees included all tipout: the house, the housemom, the dj, security…only problem? We didn’t really have it – it being $180. Between cab fares, hotel, food and a bit of gambling, we had very little left on hand. We had planned on working by that point. Thanks to a convenient ATM, we scrounged up the fees…nervously. Because looking around at that club, chances were unless there was a very, very late night convention around the corner, we weren’t gonna be making shite. We decided we didn’t have much of a choice: make it work. I am positive Tim Gunn never planned on that phrase being put to the test under these circumstances, but it was what we had to do. I’m working on turning all of this into some off-the-cuff, sexy, melodramatic reality show one day. On the CW. Or if I just get really bad actors with an even worse script: TBS – fa sho’.
It’s one thing to stand around in a club that happens to be experiencing a momentary lapse in clientele. You’re still hopeful that customers will stumble in by midnight, making the night worth it. But it’s a completely different experience when you’re in a club – in Vegas (isn’t it supposed to be hoppin’ all the time?) – after 3 am (who the hell in their right mind is going to stumble in here at this hour?) – surrounded by not-so-Vegas, over-the-hill strippers (where are all the hotties from the ads?) – starting the night in the negative (awww, f*ck…!) This is not what we imagined coming to Vegas would be like. Eyeing each other from varying points across the floor, we were all easily thinking the same thing -
This is some bullshit.
So we ambushed the housemom.
How do we get on the regular nightshift?
You have to get hired by that specific manager.
How do we get to him to get hired?
Show up a little earlier than normal and he’ll still be here.
What about our permits?
I’ll hold onto those for you.
Why can’t we take them with us?
Well, since you’re coming back tomorrow anyway…
We knew this was a ploy to get us to come back. We were, by far, the best-looking girls on that shift and they wanted to keep us there. For the time being, we felt trapped. But since we were coming back the next night to work the night shift where the ‘business’ was, we weren’t too worried. Our final goal of the evening? Make enough money to be able to pay our shift fees up front the following evening. Under normal circumstances, this wouldn’t be too tough. Unfortunately, it was going to be quite difficult to eek $180 out of this “crowd.” My only hope was the toothless guy with his hand down his pants and he was getting a handjob from one of the fat girls, so that golden opportunity had slipped through my fingers. (I couldn’t resist)
Luckily, one of my traveling companions was able to snag a guy to go into the bonus room. I don’t remember what that room was actually called. It was off of the main floor, but not quite private enough to be considered a VIP or a Champagne Room. Come to think of it, I don’t even remember them having a VIP room. What I do remember is that those dances cost considerably more. And as soon as we collectively acquired enough $ to cover cab fare, another hotel stay and food for the next day, we headed out.
Into the bright ass light of day. It was 7:00 in the morning. And I thought the neon was bright.