Pits, Stop!

We're not really prepared for the reaction when we let the hair -- yes, that hair -- grow wild

It's 8 on Saturday night, and the evening is unfolding almost as sluggishly as the pace it took for my armpit hair to grow into the two luxurious bushes I now wear. That's two months, to be exact, ever since I lost my razor (don't ask) and decided to let nature take its course.

Allowing two nests of musky muff to sprout under my arms came as a real shocker to my friends, who suddenly stopped answering my phone calls and begged off on going out, tending to that thing they call "our own lives," whatever that means.

Even my usually reliable sidekick Career Girl refused to go out with me as I donned a skimpy lingerie-like black tank to unleash my hairy self on the world because, as she put it, "I hate to see people embarrass themselves."

I took my luscious pits straight to Automatic Slims, home of slightly alternative frat 'n' skate rock culture.

First things first. I asked my tall, pretty brunet barkeep how she thought my pits would go over with the Slims crowd.

"I don't think they're going to like it."

A young man in a blue T-shirt who looked like Edward Norton was strutting down the aisle of the warehouse-sized nightclub singing into a microphone.

The club was mostly empty at that point. Local cover band Ashley Red, a regular at local downtown bar Fat Cats, was kicking off the night with a dramatic set during which the lead singer climbed up on the 20-foot stage with stripper pole to rock out the crowd.

The young man who looked like Edward Norton, a 25-year-old named Dave, who said he just got his master's in film at UM, became extremely friendly. He said: "You're not only a classic beauty but you're smart too. These other girls are not pretty the way you're pretty."

Ego boost, hello, and I thanked him, but then I displayed my pits.

He was mildly horrified but not too repulsed to invite me to Fat Cat's to hang with him. When we walked up to the door a little after midnight, the bouncer asked me for identification. I said "I got your identification right here" and flashed my furry friends at him. He shouted "Whoa" and jumped back.

"Oh, come on," I insisted, "don't I get just a little hug?"

He froze long enough for me to throw a half-hug 'round his massive arms, and I entered the club. I threw a rock 'n' roll sign to Skidmark, the Saturday-night band. The guitar player recoiled when he saw what I was packing.

So offensive.

Undeterred, I proceeded to the back of the bar, where I met Anne, a woman with Crystal Gale-long brown hair. I showed her the pits and asked her if it was hot, and she gave me a resounding "No" before showing my freakishness off to her beau, 35-year-old Buck.

I lifted my arm for him, and he yelled, "Take it back! That ain't no candy." Then he burst into laughter.

Seeing that I looked hurt, he explained, "Nobody expects that shit. You got me."

"What if your girlfriend wanted to grow her hair out?" I responded. "It's kinda hot, right?"

"No," he replied, "it's not. I shave around my..." he gestured all around his body and down to his crotch.

"But," I countered, "if she grew some, you'd lick it, right?"

Buck answered, "I'd get a weed wacker and say, 'Hey, cut that shit!'"

"Oh," I responded and raised my arm to hail the bartender.

"Keep your arm down, goddamn it," Buck insisted.

All right, all right.

Dave was back from bouncing around the bar, and we did a kamikaze shot, and he dispensed more flattery. "Do you know that every guy in this bar wants to talk to you?"

Now, I've got a healthy ego, but I always take into account standard deviation on taste.

"I would like to kiss you," Dave announced, creeping closer to my face.

Which woke me up to reality. He asked, "Do you think that any other guy would kiss you with your hairy armpits?"

"Yeah," I replied, getting ready to move on.

It's not like Dave doesn't pass go on hots and smarts. From the brief time that we spent together, I would conclude that he's a helluva catch for the right girl.

But it ain't Night Court.

A couple of days later, I'm ready for round two.

My cheering squad consists of Rufus, Ez, and Lola. After knocking a few back at Brick to get my nerve up, we walk to downtown Fort Lauderdale's Capone's, notorious for its bootylicious vibe and high-stakes, get-nearly-naked Hot Body contest.

We worked out all the kinks in my booty dancing for a good half-hour before the DJ started counting down songs until the desperately anticipated weekly be-a-ho-bag-for-cash contest got under way.

A grease slick of an announcer in a wife-beater tank top and with a coiled ponytail on the back of his head was up on the bar top where the competition would take place, calling for contestants.

"We need four contestants."

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