Like most non-natives, I came to know the city of San Francisco via the early '80s Ted Knight vehicle Too Close for Comfort. And I came to love San Francisco thanks to its close ties to the Church of Satan. My travels bring me here a couple of times a year and I love it more and more with each visit. It's a city that fills me with wonder at every turn, partly because of its rich and varied history, but also because it's a town that doesn't skimp on drifters.
A few years ago after one of my Sketchfest shows, I met a friend and her girlfriend at a bar for a few drinks. As it turned out, the girlfriend worked at a place called the Lusty Lady, which she explained was just a few blocks away and also had naked ladies. I finished my drink and also my friend's drink and my friend's girlfriend's drink as quickly as possible and we headed over.
Like most guys who tell stories about going to strip joints, I'd like to preface the following by stating that I'm not normally a strip joint kind of guy. That said, I fully admit to being totally into naked ladies. I was just looking at some on the Internet earlier today and it was awesome. Also, it turned out the Lusty Lady wasn't really a strip joint, but a peep show, which is different. Even better, it was "the world's only unionized worker-owned peep show co-op." As both a feminist and supporter of unions, I was excited to check out some boobs with a couple of total lesbians.
Since my friend's girlfriend worked there, everyone at the place was really friendly to us when we walked in. A bald guy wearing a track suit that suggested he was probably in charge even escorted us to a private booth. My friend's girlfriend said the booths were normally very clean so she was embarrassed that the glass between us and the naked ladies was a little cloudier than normal. Still, I didn't want to let that ruin our good time, so I made a mental note to burn my clothes later and settled in for the show.
It turned out my friend's girlfriend knew both naked ladies on the other side of the glass, so in between showing us their naked parts they made small talk that helped me relax, which I really appreciated. Since they were already totally naked, though, it didn't take long for us to see everything, so after a few minutes, we decided to check out the rest of the place, including another room where one of my friend's girlfriend's friends waved at us with a giant purple dildo, which I got a real kick out of.
Our tour complete, we decided to head for the exit where the bald guy in the track suit was brushing his teeth.
"Long night at work," I thought. "Gotta stay fresh."
As I walked past him, the bald guy in the track suit offered me a handshake. I was about to accept it when I noticed what appeared to be a frothy mix of toothpaste and saliva dripping down his palm.
"No, thanks," I told him. He was a little offended, but I've got limits.
"Your boss is a bit strange," I told my friend's girlfriend once we got outside.
"I've never seen that guy in my whole life," she answered.
I was disappointed to hear the Lusty Lady shut its doors this past fall. I hope the bald guy in the track suit is all right. He seemed really great.
Dave Hill is a N.Y.-based comedian and musician who also writes for publications (ahem) and has shows Feb. 6-8. sfsketchfest.com/x/performers/dave-hill