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Loungin' With Lucifer

Ten o'clock in P-town, my second Ketel One on the rocks, and still no sign of Jett. Wonder what's keeping that bee-ahtch? Not that I wouldn't be more than satisfied to sit on this barstool for a while and bathe my liver in a river of vodka, but damn, girl, we have to roll on this Scottsdale club before it gets too late. Who does she think she is, the lesbian Beyoncé?

More than a few fellas start panting when Jett comes around. But that's all the better for her to steal their girlfriends when they're least expecting it. About five-five, with short black hair and enough cleavage to make a Mormon hail Old Scratch, she's a solid eight in the het world. However, because she looks at men as if they were fence posts, I find her as sexy as that hirsute wife-beater-wearin' oaf from My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé. The feeling, of course, is mutual.

But, hey, we get along or we wouldn't get hammered together, right? She sometimes refers to me as Big Pun because of my waistline, and I call her Jett, because she reminds me of Joan Jett when she rocks that black-leather jacket of hers. Actually, I answer to Kreme, because I'm all about Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I can eat a dozen Bavarians (you know, the cream-filled kind) and polish off a quart of spiked milk without coming up for air.

"Ready to ride, K?" Jett sidles up to the bar with a chick on her arm who looks like a blond Penlope Cruz. "This is Isabelle. Okay if I bring her along?"

I shrug. "The more lesbians, the better. I thought we said 9:30?"

"Suddenly you have work ethic? I had to pick up Isabelle. With the two of us on your arms, you'll look like Big Poppa."

"Yeah, the Notorious F.A.T.," I grunt. I pay my tab, and we're out the door, ready for Devil's Martini. Started in Toronto by owner Richard Geddes, there are two in Scottsdale: one in Old Town, and a newer one in north Scottsdale. He plans to expand to San Diego and beyond.

Tonight we're hitting the Old Town facility at 4175 North Goldwater Boulevard, a squat, yellowish brick building with arched windows and a vague aura of malevolence. Guidos in dark suits guard the velvet rope. Some chucklehead with spiked hair tries sneaking past them and is promptly swatted back. Another in white athletic shoes is denied entry until he procures more stylish soles.

"These shoes cost $200 a fucking pair!" he yells, stomping off.

"There's a dress code?" I ask Jett.

"Resort casual," she says.

"They do that with the Pumas in L.A. to keep out the gangbangers."

She shrugs, "They do it here 'cause it's Snottsdale."

The bouncers espy Isabelle -- our babeage extraordinaire -- and wave us through. Gals get in free. Possessing the male appendage costs me $10. Nothing but trouble, that Y chromosome.

We head for the main dance hall, where hordes of nubile creatures in estrus rub up against each other. There's a 60-40 female-to-male split, but most guys seem resigned to gawking. All about the stark, whitewashed club are daises these sluts hop atop for go-go dancing with each other. Girls gone wild in Scottsdale.

"Look at the tits on that one!" exclaims Jett. Some cleavage more cavernous than hers passes us.

"Roll your tongue back into your mouth, bubba," I retort to my lipsticker sidekick.

"No harm in lookin', right, Isabelle?" says Jett, with a leer that would get most guys arrested.

"She's cute, but I like the one in the brown leather jacket over there," says Iz.

"You two are hornier than Ashton Kutcher at a Depends convention. Now I really need a drink."

"Too crowded here, let's go across the hall," says Jett, tugging my sleeve.

We enter a room dominated by a large, square bar. The action's only two or three deep here. Well-heeled, well-coifed 25- to 40-year-olds buzz about, reeking of perfume and cologne. Bar staff are dressed in white shirts and slacks. Very South Beach. A hole opens up for us, and we dive in. The ladies order Absolut and tonic. For a change of pace, I ask the specialty of the house.

"A Red-Headed Slut," says a barkeep.

"Don't tell me my mother's been here, too."

"Huh?"

"What's in it?" I go on.

"Jaeger, peach schnapps and cranberry," says Sir Studly, with a jaw as square as Jennifer Aniston's.

"Ketel One on the rocks," I tell him. Can't abide the frou-frou stuff.

As my mixologist plies his trade, there's a commotion.

Some bald-headed goon with a gray goatee kicks this cheesedick beside him. The assaultee starts yelling, "I got my boys over here!" as a lass with long, brown hair in a perm pushes him away from Mr. Clean. Apparently the guy made the mistake of asking Curly Joe to "Hurry up." Luckily, the girlfriend intervened, or chrome dome would've had him searching the tile for his incisors.

 

Jett screams in my ear over an OutKast joint. "Iz and I are gonna check out the ladies' room."

I lift my tumbler and smile. "Have fun. Think of me." As if . . .

Jett grimaces, exits. Well, Mr. Ketel, just you and me. We wander through the Gap-ad-perfect clientele to the next room, and another bar. All vaguely reminiscent of an East Coast club. Only this place possesses a certain desert decadence unknown back East. Though the low, eggshell-hued couches and chairs with overstuffed cushions would fit at some Long Island spot, here the women lounge with the real promise of casual bedroom gymnastics. Despite what you see on Sex and the City, everything's a prelude to cohabitation and reproduction in New York. At least for the females.

On the bar tops are glasses filled with free smokes. And if you can afford it, the place offers several different years of Dom. Elbow on bar, I study the parade of female flesh. Some gals expose backs and shoulders. Others midriffs down to plucked privates. There are enough bottle blondes to make Hugh Hefner envious. That's why they pluck, Chuck.

This drunken dork with short hair and a striped shirt walks up to me with his arms outspread. "Rush Limbaugh!"

"No, Hermann Goering. But I have a box of OxyContin in the car if you're buying."

His eyes grow wide, not sure what to make of this. Tells me his name is Dustin, and that he's an engineer. Apparently, I've stumbled onto a birthday party for his pal, Ray, an African-American dude who's dancing by himself to Lil' Jon's "Get Low." Dustin asks me why I'm taking notes. I tell him.

"You should write about how big my dick is!" at which point he cups his hand like he's stroking himself. His friends join in on the circle-jerk, yelling, "Woo-hoo!"

International language for "I'm a fucking retard." Best argument I've seen for reinstating the draft.

A cute blonde waves me over. Tells me her name is Emily Holke, a graphic designer. She seems dangerously close to planting one on me, which I ascribe to her being blotto. Says she's from Indiana originally, now lives in Tempe.

"I'm not one of these Scottsdale ho's," she insists. "You can use my name as long as you don't say I'm one of these Scottsdale ho's."

Your secret's safe with me, sista. The fella she's with offers to buy me a drink. A veritable Samaritan. Tells me his name is Shawn, a pilot for some outfit he declines to name.

"They wouldn't like it if I were drinking," he explains.

"The CIA?" Or worse . . . he's probably piloting that America West flight I'm taking to L.A.

Shakes his head, "Can't say." Hmm, where's George Tenent when you need him? The guy looks like Sean Astin from The Lord of the Rings, but taller and minus the Hobbit gear. He hands me a Ketel One, and I bless the uterus that bore him.

Just when things are getting civilized, along comes Jett, sans Isabelle. She pulls me away from my new friends, tells me she wants to show me something "cool."

"How was the john?" I ask.

"We ran into a bachelorette party in there. You'd have loved it. These chicks were sucking on straws that looked like penises."

"Practice makes perfect," I suggest.

"They weren't hot, though. This place makes a big deal out of how great their ladies' bathrooms are. Supposed to have a hair stylist on duty, but I didn't see one. Plenty of stalls, though."

"Thanks for the report, Private."

She slaps me on the arm. "Hey, check this out."

In a sofa-filled alcove, Isabelle is giving some other chick a lap dance, grinding her Latina fanny into this brunette's face. The brunette looks like she just swallowed a cockroach. Stays put, though.

"Isabelle used to be a stripper," notes Jett.

"So I see."

Isabelle finishes her grinding. Doesn't look back for a tip. The brunette is aghast, face flushed. Like she just got the thrill of her life, and hated every minute of it.

"We staying here all night?" asks Isabelle, perky and pleased with herself. Jett looks at me.

"We should talk to Torres before we go," says Jett. "Over here."

 

She and Isabelle each grab an arm and pull me into a couch-littered passageway. Seated is Nicole Torres and her pal Vanessa, who's a brunette with shoulder-length hair and not much to say. Torres, whose head is shorn á la Sinead O'Connor, tells me she's majoring in poetry at ASU. Tells me she's Spanish and that she studied lit in Scotland. She recommends I read Brit novelist Sarah Waters. Wrote Tipping the Velvet. Chick lit. Not my cup o' tea, personally.

Jett nudges me. "It's 1 a.m., K. Closing time here. Time for Johnny Chu's."

We head downtown to Fate, Johnny's Asian fusion restaurant. You can't drink there, either, but you can get some fine after-hours grub. You know what you call a town that stops serving booze at 1 in the morning? Hell on Earth, friends -- otherwise known as the Inferno.


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