All the great clubs in Las Vegas have one-word names. I'm not sure why. The Wynn-Las Vegas had a club named LA BETE for about two minutes before they closed it, redecorated, and reopened as TRYST. Even Paris Hilton and her promenading poodles of an entourage seem to love the place now that the name is only one word.

Frankly, the whole thing reminds me too much of that one-named singer Charlene. Sad drunks in karaoke bars all over Illinois muddle through "I've Never Been To Me" like a bunch of vainglorious Bat Segundo guests, as if their pathetic attempts at self-actualization will ever garner anything approaching the roar of the greasepaint or the smell of the crowd.

But this is Las Vegas, two words, and don't call it "Vegas." That's a surefire way to prove you're a will of the wisp neophyte to the cocktail waitresses.

We prey on tourists like you. We have mastered the art of smiling intimately and muttering beneath the sonorous drumbeat, "Your mother wears Army boots," when you think we're cooing, "Your other fare are coming up." Just give us a Franklin, baby, and we'll connect you with one of the clean hookers at the third bar on the second floor.

I work at PURE, and when I get a break, I kick off my FM pumps, examine my bunion, and sit in the breakroom with Colette (whose real name is Brenda). We complain about the customers. I think Colette invented the word "snark" when she was c-tailing at Cheetah's in the early 90's. She swears it's a combination of the words "snide" and "shark." There were a lot of snarks at Cheetah's in those days.

Now the snarks come to PURE and try to score free Ecstasy just because they're paying for the Red Room VIP treatment. Colette used to work the Red Room. Now she's on the club floor with me, and younger, curvier drink slingers have taken our place in the upper echelon of tips-per-shift.

Just as we start our ritual bitch session, the assistant manager bursts into the room and shrieks, "Drop everything! Give me ten ... books!"

We look at her like she has lost her mind, which she clearly has.

"Roz," I ask her, "You been sniffing the cash again?"

"It's a guest," Roz pants, "He's already dropped $16,000 on Cristal, now he says he feels like reading. I don't know! He's some kind of - of- galleycat! I told him I could have lesbian strippers all over him, but he says he just wants to read!"

Colette looks at me. I wonder exactly how far I would go to get a tip. Law school is expensive.

"Edisto Terrapin Soups & Stews," I say. "Copyright 1956. I have a whole box of old books in the trunk of my car."

"Y'know, normal people collect spoons," groans Colette.

Roz smiles. "Pashmina, baby, I think it's time you worked the Red Room."

Miss Snark remembers what the Red Room was on The Shining...and she's afraid, very afraid!

Scoring to come


pennyoz said...

So call me a whore. This is now my hot favorite!

California Jackson said...

Wow--very original, and for the most part the "required" words and phrases fit in almost seamlessly.

Caitlin said...

I really like this one! It's a bit different to some of the others and has a nice voice.

Anonymous said...

Great writing!

JLB said...

Kudos on the creativity for this one!!!

Miss Audrey said...

This one was really smooth ~
I liked it a lot.