The 4-Mile


The 4 Mile – photo by Wild Thing

One of the things I can say about my life is that I have never shied away from a new experience. I’m always up for expanding my horizons. This adventuresome spirit has to say the least, gotten me into trouble at times. I often deny this tendency only for form’s sake while laughing the entire time! One time in particular comes to mind.

Back in the very early days of my marriage, both my husband and I bartended at the local bar in addition to our full time day jobs; we had just bought an old farmhouse and the extra income was to pay for the remodeling it so desperately needed. It was only on the weekends and once in a while the occasional weeknight.

One particularly dreary Friday night in the middle of winter, my husband was bartending. There were only 2 customers in the bar, a friend of ours and me. The three of us were talking about this and that. Our friend and I were trying to decide what to do. There was no pool table in the bar, it was too small and there were no other activities like darts, etc.

We fell into companionable silence, then I perked up and with mischief in my eyes, I said, “Why don’t we go to the 4-mile!?” Now before I go further, I should explain that the 4-Mile was a Gentlemen’s Club. The ladies there stripped completely naked … and it had been in business in our little town for many years.

Our friend laughed and said “Ok.” but my husband said “NO WAY!” Of course I asked why not, I had never been to a strip bar before and I thought it would be a great thing to do on a boring night. Besides, the three of us had done many things together that were firsts for all of us. Getting our first tattoos being one. (Another one of my ideas which come to think of it, a lot of our firsts usually are.)

He was firm though and said, “The only reason I say no is because I can’t go with the two of you.” Our friend laughed and asked him if he didn’t trust us. My husband looked at us and said, “No, I don’t. You two need me with to keep you out of trouble.” This was ridiculous in my opinion and I said so and our friend agreed.  My husband wasn’t having any of it. “Uh uh… first, you,” and he points to me, “will make some smart ass comment and the next thing I know you,” and he points to our friend, “will get into a fight defending her, and the next thing I know, I’m getting a call from the county jail to come get your sorry asses! So no … you’re not going to the 4-Mile!”

Well … fast-forward 3 years later. The three of us were on our way to a nearby town’s annual city celebration. You know the kind they have in the summer, parade, fireworks, carnival, beer tent with entertainment. We had just left when we weren’t but a fourth of a mile down the road, when it began to pour. We were on the motorcycles and we had to get off the highway. We were not dressed for riding in a torrential downpour.

If you haven’t guessed by now, we had to pull into the 4-mile; it was a fourth mile down from where we lived, hence its name. I was delighted! Finally I was going to get to go to a strip bar. So we walk in dripping wet, our leather soaked and heavy. At the bar we ordered our drinks. I was appalled to find out I had to pay $5.00 for a Diet Coke!!!! Please don’t say, well that’s not too bad, it’s a strip club after all. This was in Wisconsin … in the 80’s! We don’t pay $5.00 for a mixed drink today even in a regular bar! $3.50 is the going rate!

As I had promised right before walking in that I would be good, (to guess who under the threat of being made to sit under awning outside) I said nothing. We turned around on our stools to watch the show. My husband was on my right side, our friend on my left. Did I mention that the three of us practically did everything together in those days? If I didn’t, my apologies, we practically did everything together in those days.

The girl on stage got naked to some music and I was more interested in watching the men and their behavior, which was amusing to say the least. Some I knew and many I didn’t know. When the music was done, she was done and left the stage.

The next girl came on the stage, wiped down the pole with some sort of spray and a white towel, put them off to the side and then took her place by the pole. She nodded to another girl off to the side. Music started and she began to dance.

Now, I thought perhaps she would be different from the girl before her, nope she did the exact same dance moves as the one before her. I thought it was odd that she didn’t do something different, something to get more tips, then I saw that the men gave her just as many tips as the girl before her. I realized that men really didn’t care about what the girls were doing so much as what the girls were showing them.

I chuckled to myself and continued to observe. Being as good as good can be.

It wasn’t long, that a girl came up to my husband and asked him for a dollar. (Quick note here, the girls ask the customers for dollars for the jukebox so they have music to dance to. Would have been nice to have been told that ahead of time don’t you think?) She had a wad of dollars in her hand and as I watched him dig a dollar bill out of his pocket, I politely, and I swear it was politely, asked, “Why are you asking him for a dollar, when you already have a handful?”

Her head whipped around and she gives me the once over and then with the dirtiest of looks says to me “Shut the fuck up you biker slut!” Now, I know I promised to be good, but really, what would you do? I of course was not going to take that insult sitting down.

I stood up and looked her in the eye and said, “What did you call me you little whore?” (She was like 4’8” and weighed 89 pounds so even in her platforms at 5’6” we were eye to eye.)

Well … you can imagine what happened then. She had a boyfriend there so he got involved calling me the not very nice “C” word for which he received a broken nose from our friend and before you know it, it was an all out bar room brawl. The one bouncer grabbed our friend and me by our collars and dragged us to the door. My husband followed behind yelling, “I’ll get them out, let go of them!”

After the door slammed shut, we stood blinking in the daylight it had stopped raining. My husband stood looking at the two of us and said “See! I told you two what would happen if you two went to a strip bar!”

I really hate when he’s right.


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