Big Ray’s House of Fancy Fun Bags was by far the best strip club in all of Sitwell. The joint didn’t earn this credential because it had the most beautiful dancers, or even the most classy adult entertainers. No, it was basically because it was the only nudey bar in town. Thus, Big Ray wasn’t very particular about who he hired. Toothless, overweight, stretch marks, C-section scars, old – it didn’t matter. If you were a woman and were willing to show what God gave you in exchange for sweaty singles pried out of the hands of desperate lechers, Big Ray was happy to hire you.
Even though it was noon on a weekday, there were plenty of perverts lined up by the main stage to check out the next act.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” came the voice of the club’s resident tune spinner, DJ Home Slice. “She’s hot. She’s on fire. No, literally, she’s been reporting a burning sensation when she pees. She’s fifty-five years young and still shaking her money maker. Give it up for Roxy!”
Stank Daddy’s hit rap song blew up the house speakers as Roxy took to the main stage. She was old, much too old for stripping, but she showed up to work on time and Big Ray didn’t have the heart to tell her to take a hike. She trotted down the runway with a cigarette dangling out of her mouth, a palette of clownish makeup slathered on her wrinkly face, and a nicotine patch stuck to her arm.
“Stank Daddy in the house, gonna smack a bitch…”
Roxy grabbed the aluminum pole in the center stage and twirled around and around. She then attempted to climb it, only to huff and puff and fall on her ass. She immediately jumped right up.
“And she’s ok!” the DJ announced. The assorted perverts clapped and tossed dollar bills onto the stage.
One of the perverts looked way too familiar. “Momma!”
Embarrassed, Roxy folded her flabby arms over her giant saggy knockers and leaned in to talk to her son. “Buford! How many times have I got to tell you to never bother Momma while she’s at work!”
“Daddy kicked me out of the house, Momma!” Buford said.
“He did?” Roxy asked. “Why’d he go and do a thing like that for?”
“He said I play too many video games,” Buford said. “Said I gotta grow up and be a man and start making some money.”
Roxy frowned. “Oh son.”
A random pervert was none too pleased at the display. “Hey! I threw a dollar on stage and I expect to see some geriatric titties!”
Roxy let the pervert have it. “Pipe down, ya’ puke! Can’t you see I’m trying to do some parenting here?!”
The stripper ran her hand through her son’s hair. “Baby, maybe you’re Daddy’s just doing what’s best for you.”
Buford started to cry. “Oh sure. Take his side.”
“I’m not taking his side,” Roxy said. “Lord knows your Daddy can be as stubborn as a mule and dumber than a pig but he knows how to make money and, well…”
“Well, what?” Buford asked.
“Look at yourself, son,” Roxy said. “You’re twenty- eight. You got no skills. You got no girl. You’d never be able to support yourself if something happened to your Daddy.”
Buford sniffed. “Momma, I don’t need a lecture. I need a place to stay.”
Roxy appeared startled. “You want to stay with me?”
Buford shook his head up and down. “Uh huh.”
The random pervert squawked again. “Hey, Toots! Either shake that dumper or get off the stage!”
Roxy turned and faced the pervert. “Shut your suck-hole or get ready for a high heel shoe up your ass, pecker head!”
The pervert walked away from the stage in a huff. Roxy returned her attention to the young man. “Honey, we gotta wrap this up. Your costin’ Momma money.”
“I know, Momma,” Buford said. “Please, just let me stay with you.”
“Oh sweetheart,” Roxy said. “I want to and it’s gonna break my heart to say no…”
“Then don’t say no,” Buford said.
“But I gotta say no,” Roxy said.
“Why?” Buford whined.
“Because your Daddy is right about this,” the old stripper said. “You’ll never become a man if you don’t learn how to take care of yourself.”
“But I was meant for something bigger!” Buford said.
Roxy sighed. “Buford Dufresne, you were not.”
“What?” Buford asked.
“Oh I know, it’s a shock, baby,” Roxy said. “Every little boy and girl grows up, thinking they’re special, thinking they’re gonna be all rich and famous when they grow up. You think your Momma thought she’d be dancin’ on stage for a bunch of Looky Lou’s when she was just a little girl?”
“No,” Buford said.
“Well, you’re wrong,” Roxy said. “Because that was my dream when I was young and I achieved it. But not everyone is as lucky as I am, Buford. You need to take all your dreams about becoming famous and stuff them down deep inside your soul and never speak about them again. You need to get out there and work a regular job and be a regular person just like every body else.”
“I can’t believe this,” Buford said.
“There comes a time when every young person lets go of their dreams and settles for less,” Roxy said. “You held onto yours a lot longer than most, and you were able to because your Daddy coddled you but it’s time, Buford. You got to learn how to fend for yourself.”
“But Momma!” Buford said.
“No,” Roxy said. “Besides, you know Momma does extracurricular work at home, entertaining interesting gentlemen and such.”
“I know,” Buford said.
“You get on, now,” Roxy said. “Scoot. And don’t come back until you can fend for yourself, you hear?”
Buford looked sullen, defeated. “I hear.”
“You’ll thank Momma and Daddy for this one day,” Roxy said.
Buford stormed away from the stage. “No I won’t.”
The Stank Daddy beats continued.
“Smack a bitch with a tire iron, smack a bitch with a wrench, smack a bitch with a club until her ass starts speakin’ French…”
“OK, you degenerates,” Roxy said as she twirled around the pole. “Time for Old Roxy to put on a show for you and…ergh!”
The old stripper grabbed her back. She seethed with pain. She looked at the DJ and ran her finger across her throat, in a gesture he took to mean that he needed to cut the music.
“Fuck me,” Roxy said as she stumbled off the stage all hunched over. “Take five, everyone. Old Roxy needs to take her Glucosamine Chondroitin pill.”