It's almost midnight on a Friday at Assman's Wacky World (3000 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale), and 42-year-old Dave Tarr, the Assman himself, is bending over on the deck behind the restaurant to plant a kiss on his thin, blond girlfriend's butt. He stands up and rests his lanky arm around her tan shoulders, bare but for the two baby-blue spaghetti strings of her tank top. Lori, for whom Assman's boat, Lori's Ass-ets, is named, puts her arm around his torso, and they walk inside the club and start dancing to Sean Paul's "Like Glue." A crowd of 30 is mingling on the 50-foot deck and getting sloshed while a pug scampers around their legs. Sandwiched between a railing of the deck and the roof is a translucent set of plastic, white legs that are blinking with the seizure-inducing rapidity of the strobe light inside. It flashes across the Intracoastal at Shooters Waterfront Café (3033 NE 32nd Ave., Fort Lauderdale) as if to say, "Kiss my ass."
"Shooters is what got me into the bar business," Assman explains. "Two years ago, I was sitting at the restaurant bar with my girlfriend and a friend of hers. They were all drunk and having a good time, not doing anything wrong, just dancing together, just getting crazy.
"A security officer comes up to me and taps me on the shoulder and says, 'I want you out of here. '
"I said, 'Why?'
"He said, 'Your girls.'
"Well, first off, I didn't realize that I was responsible for somebody else's behavior.
"He goes, 'Listen, I don't need lip. I just want you out and never come back. '" Then, Assman says, he walked quietly to his boat. Soon, a guard showed up and arrested him when he asked his companions, "Can you believe this shit?"
Assman returned to Shooters about six months ago and, he says, the same security guard, an off-duty cop, approached him and whispered, "I didn't like you then, and I don't like you now." The guard stepped back and in front of the entire crowd at the pool said, 'I want you and these prostitutes out of here. '"
Assman recalls, "I said, 'My friend, I hope you didn't just call these women prostitutes.'
"He said, 'You want to go to jail, don't you?'
"I was so angry, I started calling people. Apparently, the security guard had told the manager [John Wile] that I was a pimp soliciting girls for sex at his club. It must have been the hat, you know?" he says, pointing to his papier-mâché top hat decorated with tiny plastic palm trees. "I look like a pimp."
Wile confirms that Assman was arrested at Shooters because girls in his company were out of hand. But the Shooters manager asserts: "He was arrested by the police, not by anybody at Shooters. We had nothing to do with it." On a recent weekend afternoon, Wile contends, there were few diners at Assman's joint. "It appears that Mr. Tarr needs to pay more attention to his business," he says, "and a whole lot less to ours.
So, Assman's Wacky World, which opened three weeks ago, was conceived in controversy, huh?
Well, that's just the start. The newborn restaurant/nightclub emerged from the womb well-equipped for a life of masochism and debauchery. There's a little hand-propelled, kick-yourself-in-the-ass machine fashioned out of pipe with four black shoes that spin around and strike your cheeks one after the other. Then, there are the miniskirted nurses who deliver shots of alcohol from IVs and a sign for "assoholics anonymous" pointing the way in to the onetime home of the Down Under.
You might ask yourself: Is this place gonna make it?
Dunno, folks, dunno.
Don't ask me why, but I had a lot of questions after I strapped on a rubber ass and put on an Under Construction tape belt. I had more when strangers began smacking my faux ass and telling me to bend over just as my second tasty Assman's Private Ass-et cocktail started kicking in: Is there anything enjoyable about this? Is there a place for ass-obsession in today's Fort Lauderdale of valet parking and $9 cosmos?
Then Bill, a mustachioed boater in his late 40s, asked me to lift my fake ass so that he could take a look at my real one.
Oh, blast this tedious research. I obliged.
"Diamond," he said, referring to the nirvana slot, the space between a woman's thighs right beneath her ass, displayed as a heart in AWW's logo.
Lori turned tail, and Bill continued his assessment: "See, she's a heart. Assman likes hearts, and I like diamonds."
I asked, "What are you? Why don't you bend over?"
He sat still in his chair behind a sneaky, feline grin.
"Don't objectify me," I said.
Bill and a couple of others insisted that I define objectify.
OK. "Make objects of women -- boobs and ass -- like they're not real people but just body parts."
"Now, wait a second now," Bill returned. "What's derogatory about wanting to look at women's asses?"
"Nothing," I said, "but why don't you bend over?"
It was a no-go. But hey, at least you can bitch about it at AWW's "It's a Girl's Life Wednesdays," an open-mic rag-on-men night.
Then Assman gave us the tour. We began in the wine cellar. A large, dark, wood table dominated the beautiful room. A small loft was overhead, Ass said. "We're going to put a stripper pole in the middle of the table," he said, "and when you ring a bell, a stripper is going to jump down from the loft and dance for you. Bachelor parties or bachelorette." Judging by the small size of the loft, the plan seemed a little impractical, but at least he's catering to both genders.
Assman took me out on the dock and showed me the Lori's Ass-ets. "I'm gonna have stripper fishing. For six people, we charge you $250 a person. We give you a five-hour charter, a mate, open bar, limo transportation, and three strippers. It's the same as fishing, only while you're waiting, it's kind of boring, so you've got girls to dance for you."
Hmm. Big-breasted, high-heeled women straddling a pole and stepping over chopped squid in six-foot swells. Seemed like a shaky notion.
Then, there was the enormous streamlined phallus docked behind Lori's Ass-ets. The Cosmic Muffin was built in the 1930s as a Boeing 307 Stratoliner and was once Howard Hughes' private aircraft. Converted into a water-going vessel in the 1970s, it now doubles as one of AWW's several VIP rooms.
Another V.I.P room is upstairs. As we got to the top of the stairs, Assman said, "Where you just walked through, you actually will have walked through an elephant's ass. We're putting animal asses everywhere." He pointed to a spot in the corner and said, "A private dance floor is going in there."
He explained, "Obviously, we have a little more work to do."
We walked outside to a sprawling second-floor deck, and as we approached a round table with chairs, he said, "The theme is, anyone has the right to express themselves any way they want to be, and I happen to be the Assman. We had a lesbian couple in here. It was actually the exact parallel universe to the Assman, but in the lesbian society, and her name was Assmammy."
See ya on the flip side.
Assman said he finances AWW with profits from his technology company, Success Concepts (a point-of-sale system marketer and reseller of prepaid products and financial services). He said he paid $1.8 million for the building and rents the land from an elderly woman for $1,800 a month.
So, does Assman think Assman's is gonna last?
"I don't give a fuck," he said. "I got enough money. I can stay open for a year if no one comes, and then I'm broke again, but what's the worst that can happen? I'm still happy. I don't care."
And the controversy he's courted -- how's he going to deal with that?
"I can deal with controversy. I've gotten a lot of bullshit thrown in my face. I used to be crazy; now I'm eccentric, you know?"
He laughed as he exhaled. "As I get older, I become eccentric."
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