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.
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."
I was nervous and excited, but the crowd could produce only two legitimate contestants and one partially Sasquatch nightlife columnist.
I stepped past the slightly overweight blond who was bombed off her ass and the cute long-haired brunet to take my spot at the end of the bar. The booty music began and, being tall, I put my hands up on the ceiling and rocked my ass down to the ground. I turned around to let the spotlights land on the lush pockets beneath my arms for all the club to see.
Rufus claims there was an audible boo from a few haters in the crowd.
It didn't take but two seconds to recognize that my competition was disrobing. Blondie had her big ol' tits out, and brunie was pulling her jeans halfway down her ass to show some cheek and G-string. Not that my ass doesn't hang about that far out of my blue jeans on a daily basis (they're just cut that way), but there's only two reasons you're going to see Night Court's ass: You're a guest at the Hambright family Christmas at egg nog time or we're fucking.
Anyway, the music stopped, and Grease Slick took his mic and initiated the arbitrary cheer-o-meter elimination process on the blond girl who shook her cellulite before dropping down into a split. The crowd's response was unenthusiastic. The second chick got some claps and hollas.
The announcer oozed over to me, and I knew I had the not-stripping and the armpits working against me, but I couldn't be the first contestant in this half-ass booty contest to go down. So I pulled out the card that no crowd of sentient beings can resist.
I flipped double birds and yelled, "Fuck you, motherfuckers!"
Silence. How awkward.
Broken by the announcer singing an off-key "Na, na, na, na" in my ear, which I gathered would be followed by an equally unmelodic "hey, hey, hey, goodbye."
So I got down and turned to the crowd to find out what crack-induced delirium kept the fellas from cheering for me.
I approached a tall Libyan man, showed him my pits, and said, "Is this why you didn't cheer for me?"
He recoiled. His friend groaned.
I asked him, "You don't like that?"
He said, "No, but I like your hot body."
"You wanna see them again, don't you?"
"Yes," he said.
"Beg me," I challenged.
"Please," he replied.
Oh all right. I lifted again, and this time, he hugged me and said, "Come with us to E Bar."
Can't. Gotta check in with my girl Lola on the dance floor.
It took about ten seconds for me to get tapped by a monstrous, built, cute-in-the-face Nigerian man in a crisp white shirt. From head to toe, he was as neat and clean as a little boy with a meticulous mommy.
Good dancer too. We shook booty-style front ways and sideways, he backed his booty up into me, and when I put my arms around his massive chest, I motioned to Lola like "holy shit."
She nodded over her beer and gave me her "for real" eyes.
Then he backed me up against the big column on the dance floor, and I shot him the smile, the eyes, and the pits all at once. An all-out natural woman charm attack.
His response was "I want to eat you," which sent me running around the column, and he chased me in one direction, then the other, peeking his head around.
Lola let me cool off with a sip of her beer, and after my head cleared, I made a difficult decision: Two months as a natural woman is enough.
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