By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
Yes! We need to drink delicious martinis with strapping blond men regaling us with stories of struggling entrepreneurship in the wake of the communist fallout! As we approach their table, however, one of them shakes his head. Brad ushers us back to our seats.
"He says you are pretty American girls, but they don't know enough English to talk to you." Denied.
When Mandy and Lauren hit up the bathroom for a recon mission, I prop my aching feet up on a mod white chair. I imagine a bottle of Louis XIII cognac—a steal at $2,200—on the table in front of me and a harem of Justin Timberlake look-alikes vying for my attention. That, I think, is the VIP treatment—not falling asleep to the best of 106.1-KISS FM circa '96-'99. My daydream is interrupted by a hand on my shoulder.
"Sweetie, you can't have your feet on the chair."
I stare up at the bouncer blankly, trying to figure out if he's kidding. Less than 5 feet away, I can see a beefed-up bonehead in a VIP booth grinding his crotch into the face of a blond woman pretending to place his member in her mouth. I can't have my feet on the freaking chair?
"No feet on the chair," he repeats.
I may have given the valet $10 to park my car 20 feet away and forked over $9 for a half-shot of Jack Daniel's, but if I think I'm putting my feet on this chair I am sadly mistaken. Simulated oral sex: totally acceptable. Attempted podiatric comfort: way out of line.
At least I've figured out a surefire way to get somebody's attention for a refill. I wonder if this guy can flag down one of those skanktresses. But by the time I get my feet on the floor and my senses in order, the bouncer's gone and Mandy and Lauren are back. The bachelorette party left, they report.
I can't blame the girls for moving the party elsewhere. If anything would make me want to vacate the dating scene, squeeze out four kids and set up camp in a trailer just outside Midlothian, it's spending an evening in this place. But it's not long before soccer moms hear the irresistible call of vodka shots once again, according to new intel from Mandy and Lauren's most recent bathroom excursion. They'd run into a middle-aged woman in a butt-length peasant dress and thigh-high boots we'd seen shuffling in and out of the bathroom all night long. No, she didn't have digestive issues. She had spawn.
"She was calling the baby sitter to check on her kids," deadpans Mandy, shaking her empty glass. Whither skanktresses? I decide to grab another round from the bar and do another turn in the restroom.
I thought I was having déjà vu. As I fluffed my bangs, I could see another brunette with too much eyeliner and displaying too much boob leaning sleepily against the paper towel dispenser. Two drunk strippers in one night? Shit, I think. Somebody's doling out roofies at the bar. I turn to talk to her, but she starts pointing at a girl with a visible thong heading into a stall.
"I'm not bi...bisexxxual," she slurs, difficult to understand not just because she's wasted, but also because of a heavy accent. "But daaaaaaaaaaamn." She nods toward the now-closed stall door.
"Good-looking?" I asked.
"Yeaaaaaah. Hey, you're hawwwwwt tooo!"
"A hearrrrt breakerrrr! I fix broken hearrrrrts!"
"Oh yeah?" I'm wondering if there's a special form of stripper voodoo I haven't heard about.
"I'm a hearrrrt surrg...surgeon," she says.
"I live in...uh...Panama?" she continues, "But the money is better. Here. I'm a heart, uh, surgeon."
Oh, dear. It is time to go.
On the elevator ride down, the attendant laughs at us as we give the night a big verbal thumbs down. "Did y'all meet Brad?" We did.
"You know he used to be a VR Trooper?" the attendant says, name-checking a '90s Power Rangers rip-off TV show. All this time, celebrity had been right under our noses while we looked for it in Russians and restrooms. Sure enough, a trip to IMDB.com the next day revealed Brad's impressive 43-episode run as "Ryan Steele." Oh, sweet irony.
What had I expected? This isn't the Hollywood Hills. Of course I wasn't going to run into Paris Hilton snorting coke off Colin Farrell's bare chest. But we did have a brief brush with fame, even if it was with a former kids show actor who got us rejected by a bunch of foreign businessmen. That's not so bad. And if you see me at the Ghostbar ever again, know that, in my heart, I'll always be a VIP—a very irritated patron.