Bite Me was longing for the hot, sexy strip club vibe of Sunset Boulevard, so she started asking around about strip clubs in Phoenix. She was concerned that they may not exist in abundance, since Phoenix seems to be all too rife with family values and God Bless America vibes. But your humble narrator was delighted to learn that there was no shortage of flesh factories here.
That said, it turned out that checking out the grub at Christie's Cabaret may well have been one of Bite Me's worst ideas yet. No, no, no. It's not that the food was bad. In fact, if you can believe it, the food was pretty damn good. But the whole m.o. of this column is to accost diners after they've eaten and are leaving a restaurant. Yet, go figure, the guys leaving a strip club are none too eager to have their photo snapped. In fact, the guys she approached practically slapped her and ran away hiding their faces. Bite Me has to assume that some of these fellas had chicks at home who thought their men were shooting pool with their friends rather than stuffin' dollar bills into the g-strings of luscious babes. And she can't blame 'em. They didn't go there for the food, no matter how spicy the chicken wings.
Oh, well, screw them. Bite Me still adored the place. This past Thursday, Bite Me paid her seven bucks and found a table near the front stage. Hot chicks? You bet your tight ass! Great food? Oh yeah! Your horny host ordered a drink and some spinach and artichoke dip and drank in the beautiful betties struttin' their stuff. Tanned, gorgeous, shapely hotties were plentiful.
44 North 32nd Street
602-275-3095. Mon.-Sat.: 11 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sun. 1 p.m.-1 a.m. Appetizers: $3.50-$13; entrees: $8.50-$24.50. Major cards.
One sexy blonde kept circling Bite Me and her buddy until your ever-lovin' host finally convinced her pal to fork over the cash for a private dance. He didn't regret it. This über-babe flaunted her tight abs and gorgeous legs as she grinded away, all too aware that she had the goods and was happy to share. Bite Me appreciated the glint in her eye as she sashayed away, knowing that she'd left behind a happy man in a state of, er, tension.
Bite Me: What brings you here tonight, darlin'? (Thomas had no interest in being interviewed by Bite Me after his evening out at Christie's Cabaret. Only after convincing us to skip the photo session was he open to interrogation. Hey, ya gotta give the guy credit for his honesty and going on the record, even if he didn't flaunt his mug.)
Thomas: I'm getting married next month.
Bite Me: Whoa, buster, you're sure gettin' a jump on things, aren't ya? You've got a bit of time 'til you walk down the aisle.
Thomas: Yeah, but, um, my friend, my best friend, told me that since he got married last summer he gets laid about twice a month. And his wife used to be really hot. And she has totally porked out. I've seen her and she has gotten fat. He's depressed. My girlfriend is hot now, but I'm totally stressed. But she's hot. I met this chick here tonight and she was so fine. She looked like a chick out of a magazine and she was so sexy and she was fun, fun like chicks are when they're single. It totally got me hot. But I know I'm gonna be depressed later.
Bite Me: Wow. You're depressing me. Why don't you tell your girlfriend what you're afraid of so she knows that a tight ass is key to keeping her man? If you lay out the rules up front, she's sort of bound to 'em, isn't she?
Thomas: Oh, GOD, I can't tell her I was here. She'd kick my ass. She won't even let me subscribe to Hustler.
Bite Me: Listen, dude, you've got problems. Hangin' at a strip club shouldn't be heavy. It should be just a fun release for a night. As I told one of my friends at his bachelor party. They'll always be here, hot and sexy young chicks who make you feel like a stud. You can always come back.
Thomas: You're right.
Bite Me: More than you know.
Bite Me: This is a dumb question, but, do you like working here?
Keith: It definitely beats working a desk job.
Bite Me: Do you feel protective of the chicks?
Bite Me: They're not objects, dammit.
Keith: Absolutely. And you have to be together, have something in your back pocket to get in here. A table dance is 10 dollars. You can't get anything more than a lap dance. We're restricted somewhat because we serve alcohol.
Bite Me: Well, yeah, and the food. They're probably strict on booty and burgers.
Bite Me: What kind of girls work here? Students?
Keith: The problem is that most of them start working here to put themselves through college, but once they're done, they realize the money is better working here than using their degrees. It's hard to leave. We have paralegals, schoolteachers, single moms, students. Most of them start out as waitresses. But once you start dancing, you can never go back to waiting tables.
Bite Me: So how does a chick try out for a job here?
Keith: A girl can come down here anytime for an audition and it really depends on how she looks. If she looks really good, they'll tell her to come back at night and audition for the night guys and the house mom on the main stage.
Bite Me: What's a house mom?
Keith: She takes care of the girls. They're all independent contractors. Technically, they don't work for us. She keeps track of the girls, takes responsibility for them.
Bite Me: That's really sweet. So do people get off the bus with dreams of making it on the strip stages of Phoenix?
Keith: It does happen. When I worked at Bourbon Street, a strip club near here, the funny thing I saw was girls who absolutely should not be in this business, and when they don't get the job they freak out. Because they can't believe that they're not good enough to be a stripper.
Bite Me: Is it because they don't have big breasts? Or maybe some girls are hot and then they get money stripping to buy big breasts? Like that TV show Are You Hot? They had tryouts for it here last weekend and the prize was breast implants.
Keith: Yeah, maybe they're hot, but all they need is a little something extra.
Bite Me: You didn't tell them what was wrong with them, did you?
Keith: Actually, we did.
Bite Me: Ew, like Simon on American Idol.
Keith: Exactly. I'd tell them to "lose another 15 pounds, do something with your hair, get your fingernails done. You haven't presented yourself well. You don't have on your makeup. You can't show up to an audition like that." No, ma'am.
Bite Me: Well, maybe it shocks them enough to get liposuction and implants.
Director, Christie's Cabaret
Bite Me: I see you're wearing sunglasses. It's 9:45 p.m. What brand are they?
Vegas: Calvin Klein.
Bite Me: And your name is Vegas?
Vegas: Yes. I'm the director, the guy that runs the show.
Bite Me: So how does a girl go about getting a gig here?
Vegas: We're looking for girls with good high energy.
Bite Me: Yeah, but doesn't a girl have to be hot to work here?
Vegas: You could look really good and be a bitch and not be able to work here.
Bite Me: Do you like it here? Are you from here?
Vegas: It's the Valley of the Sun, I love it. I come from the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas.
Bite Me: Well, aren't you a spectacularly charmed human!
Vegas: I've been around. (Bite Me wonders just how around Mr. Vegas has been. Does he date the voluptuous babes who parade through Christie's? Is he a player?)
Bite Me: You married?
Vegas: I'm very single. This is not a job for married people with kids.
Bite Me: Anybody famous come here?
Vegas: A whole boatload. But I wouldn't say who.
Bite Me: I hear the food is good here. But I say people don't eat a big meal while they're lookin' at topless chicks. Am I right?
Vegas: You're wrong. They do. At lunch and dinner, they get hungry just like everybody else.
Bite Me: So a guy sees some long-legged babe and he suddenly says, "Hey, I'm havin' the cheese steak"?
Vegas: Entertainers make you hungry.
Customer service representative
Bite Me: So hey, you're a girl at a strip club? Do you dance here? (Kelly would be photographed only after we promised not to take photos of her boyfriend or mention him by name. We understood. What happens in the bedroom should stay in the bedroom!)
Kelly: No. I'm definitely not a dancer. I came here with my boyfriend.
Bite Me: How'd that happen?
Kelly: Well, we've been together for over two years. And lately he's been talking about going to strip clubs because his friends have been going to Christie's and this other new club, Skin. So I told him he could go if I went with him.
Bite Me: C'mon, tell me the truth. Did he bring you here because he wanted to pick up a stripper or buy you a lap dance so he could get off?
Kelly: I swear I was thinking the same thing, but I wanted to do it anyway. If they were gonna grind on him, I wanted to see it. But it was weird because the girls were really cool. They looked at me to see what they could do. I was expecting a bunch of ho's. (Bite Me was expecting a bunch of ho's herself. But these chicks were top-of-the-line hot. We're talking Demi Moore Striptease hot, not Courtney Love at Jumbo's Clown Room, the famously dingy joint on Hollywood Boulevard.)
Bite Me: So they're not like that, wow! What were you thinking when he got a table dance? Were you jealous?
Kelly: It was totally crazy because I got jealous, but then it kind of turned me on because the girl was looking at me while she was rubbing up against him. It was like she was doing it to me. And then he paid her to do it to me. It was kinda hot. I think it was like watching porn but different. I would come here again. It's so gross to say this, but it's hot. I'm turned on.
Bite Me: Well, I don't want to keep you. I have a feeling you need to get on with your night. But did you have anything to eat?
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Kelly: Oh my God. My boyfriend totally ordered the nacho thing we saw someone else eating. We had to get it to go, because no one could stop and eat.
Bite Me: Precisely.
As parlayed to Marnye Kaye Oppenheim