We got up fairly early, around noon, which is fairly early for strippers. Our plan? Go to the sheriff’s station and get our permits, come back to the hotel, squeeze in some gambling and a small nap, get ready for work and arrive at The Cheetah by 2 am to get on the 3 am roster. No sweat.
We arrived at the sheriff’s station, paperwork in hand, smiles on faces – until we saw the line. Apparently, everyone decided to get their permit today. For Las Vegas, this was the only hub to get permits for anything: stripping, bartending, serving, dealing, gun permits, hunting permits, fishing permits – yeah, I know. It’s the desert, who the hell is fishing?! People had their kids running around, babies crying, people coughing, sniffling…everyone is on top of everyone. At one point we were sitting on the floor. And all of this was only line 1. Line 2 was more of the same, plus a window lady with an attitude. Finally, we made it to the home stretch: line 3.
After over 4 hours of standing, sitting and pacing, line 3 was like an oasis in the middle of the desert – the promised land. When the first of our trio finally made it into the back room where fingerprinting and payment occurred, I could have sworn I heard angels singing. It was that stressful of a wait. Not that it was a brisk skip and a jump after line 3: we still had to wait for them to print our permits. So that was another hour. We finally left the grand old sheriff’s station well into the early evening. No gambling for us. We went straight to bed, but it wasn’t as restful as I would have liked.
One of my trip mates had a problem that kept popping up every other hour like clockwork: her boyfriend. All he did was ride her ass over the phone. What in the world was his deal? He just bitched about nothing. He had no money (he didn’t have a job). Why was she in Vegas? (making money) Where’s this? Where’d you put that? It was just unrelenting nonsense from the plane, to the hotel and beyond. So, two of us were trying to sleep through the tirade of reasons why she hadn’t made any money yet and as soon as she did, she’ll wire money home. Why she was so submissive to him, I didn’t understand. Sure, there’s love but that shouldn’t allow for such abuse and disrespect, right? My feelings exactly.
Ah, sleep. Finally. It ended way too soon because as soon as I drifted off, I was being jostled awake and into a hot shower. It was our first night as Vegas strippers. And I don’t think I’ve ever been more nervous.