Monday, November 10, 2008

A Rider Field Trip

It's all Lois's fault. Then again Cindy's to blame as well. I (Helen), of course, am totally innocent in the matter.

It all started with Cindy deciding to come up from her home state of Iowa to chilly Minnesota to visit, do a few book signings, and chat with our local writers group. And from there it digressed.

"Let's think of something special to entertain Cindy," Lois said. "To celebrate her NYTs showing."

Yeah, right. Lois has been dying to see the Chippendale male dancers her entire adult life (quite possibly even before that) and Cindy was just the excuse to get her there. But first she had to rope in a few accomplices. A Rider field trip, if you will. Research for romance writers. Tax deductible, you think?

Where do I start?

Oh, yeah. Naked men and screaming women.

We were in an auditorium with at least 1,000 other woman, most of them a good decade younger than us and several drinks ahead of us. It was like nothing I've ever seen before.

The guys come out onto the stage and, well, dance (in a not entirely synchronized fashion, but who cares, right?) women go crazy. That about sums it up. Except for the part where the guys cruise through the audience rubbing up against, hugging or kissing any woman willing to stuff a few bucks into his tightie whities.

You should have seen Lois. And Cindy. You'd think they never got out of their houses at night. Never scene a man's naked chest and, ahem, you know ... bum. Now I know why they made me stop at that gas station on the way down. They said they needed change. Ones.

Trust me, they were all over those guys. (And if they try telling you otherwise later today, don't believe a word they say.) Let's just hope their dhs don't read this blog.

This is our whole crew with some of the dancers after the show. In the front row, it's Ann Bleakley, dancer, dancer, Michelle Buonfiglio, dancer and Tina Plant. Back row, sweet little innocent me, Lois (the trouble maker), dancer, Cindy (Lois's partner in crime), dancer, Amy Kennedy-Fossen, and Marcia, owner of A Novel Place bookstore in Osseo.

Honestly, we had fun. It was a female bonding experience to remember.

So what's was your best girls night out? Ever been to see male strippers? Isn't it interesting how women going to see male strippers seems to be socially acceptable, but men seeing female strippers is considered sleazy and crude?

Here's another pic of the guys with just a couple of us. That's Lois and Cindy and I have no clue who that other chick is and what she might be doing with that male stripper.

I'm innocent, I tell you. Innocent.

And we've got a fun treat from Cindy, Lois and me. One of this week's lucky commentors will receive a 2009 Chippendales calendar. It's pretty cool. Check back Saturday for info on the lucky winner!

HOLD THE PHONE: Cindy here, Totally unwilling to let sweet innocent "why I just sat there and blushed 'til I got the vapers," Helen get by with her goodie two shoes act.
I was merely being the polite, affable out of town guest, going along with the plan and working quietly in the background on: a) research material, b) my concern, in my meek grandmotherly fashion, about those poor boys catching a chill, and c) trying to keep Helen out of the local jail. I mean really. I AM a grandmother. This 'field trip' was far below my standards (picking up strange men in bars not withstanding). Helen was OUT OF CONTROL. What Helen said about Lois, though? All true!! The woman is an animal and there might be a Chippendale or two with the the teeth marks to prove it. Do note which Riders are either sitting on or exposing themselves to, those poor defenseless boys (Hint: it's Lois and Helen) and which Rider is standing quietly in the background behaving like a lady. Just because you can't see my hands, doesn't mean they're someplace they shouldn't be.


Lois wrote:

Liars!! They’re both liars I tell you. I know I’m a little late showing up to discount their stories, but that’s not because I needed 36 hours to recuperate or anything. I’m perfectly fine. What vodka?


Anyway, okay, the Chippendales trip may have been my idea. But I felt that as writers, professional writers, it was our responsibility, our duty, if you will, to experience such an event. But let me assure you, I conducted myself in an extremely lady-like fashion all evening. I was, I admit, a bit shocked by the others. But then, Cindy is from Iowa and well…Enough said. As for Helen, the woman has more hands than an octopus. They were everywhere. Even trying to shove me forward into the sweaty, hard-muscled, nicely…Well, what I’m trying to say is she tried to force me on some of the gentlemen, but I assure you, I resisted. As for Tina Plant, I do believe I saw her with a dollar bill stuck in her bodice. That’s right. In her bodice. Don’t think I put it there. That would have been wrong. And weird!!

Marcy the bookseller--I was shocked. There was yelling…actual, rather lewd suggestions regarding what the gentlemen should do with their attire.

Buonfiglio, well, if you know Michelle of Lifetimetv.com, there’s no need for explanations. And Amy, just cuz it was your birthday…really! Ann Bleakley! Seriously, the woman doesn’t even drink, so there were no excuses.

Honestly, I’m quite embarrassed for all of them.


67 comments:

Playground Monitor said...

I've been once -- 23 years ago. A male revue was in town and one of the dancers was a guy I grew up with. Of course for the life of me I couldn't imagine anyone wanting to see Joey take off his clothes. I remembered him as the chubby boy whose father was our postal carrier.

I convinced 3 girlfriends to go with me and we got there early for a good table. I sent a note backstage to let Joey know an old classmate was in the audience.

Let me start by saying I live in the Bible Belt and our little hamlet, despite having the intelligence to put man on the moon, doesn't have the smarts to know when to let well enough alone. They have strict ordinances about such shows and the big NO NO NO is touching the dancers. You may hand him a dollar bill, but you may NOT stuff it into his G-string. What a bunch of party poopers!

So the show starts and the women scream and whoop and holler. The liquor was flowing and for some it had started flowing so long before the show they were already passed out when the guys started dancing. We could tell they were, how shall I say it, from the more rural parts of the area and not as well versed on how to pace their imbibing. They'd ordered the special super-duper drink in a galvanized bucket that tastes like fruit punch and apparently it packed quite a punch.

Back to the show. Finally Joey came out and did his dance and all I can say is that between high school and that night, Joey had been doing some serious workouts with the Bowflex. Hoo boy!

Management had announced prior to the show that plainclothes officers were in the audience and at the first touch, the show would stop. Period. We whooped and hollered with the rest of the gals and offered a few dollars to the dancers. Nobody touched and the show ran its full length.

After the show ended, we hung around for a bit and Bowflex Joey came by the table and impressed the heck outta my girlfriends.

And that, my friends, is my male stripper experience. I don't think it was nearly as much fun as yours -- except maybe the part where I knew one of the strippers from high school.

Ya gotta watch that Cindy. She's a wild one, I tell ya. Don't let that sweet face and talk of grandkids fool ya. And if I ever get the chance to see the Chippendale guys, don't let my talk of grandkids fool you either. ::grin::

Marilyn

Verification word = smones. I'm sure there smones from you gals as the guys stripped off those tight pants.

Keri Ford said...

Nope, never experienced the male stripper. I've been sheltered!

And wasn't Cindy the one picking up a man out of a bar at nationals one year??

Megan Hart said...

Helen, your post made me laugh out loud.

Yes, I've seen strippers. I've seen the Chippendales (some of whom were actually at last year's RT just a week after I'd already...erm...seen them) and I've seen local shows and I've gone to dark rooms with gyrating, briefs-clad boys who offered to handcuff me to a pole since it was my birthday. (I politely declined.)

It's become something of a birthday tradition for me now -- It's Megan's birthday, where are we gonna find some underclothed men?

Let me tell you something, you learn a lot about your friends when you take 'em to a strip show...

You all look like you had a great time!

M

Lou Gagliardi said...

No, I have never seen male strippers before..but I gotta say I like the blonde in the center of the first pic.

And yes, isn't it interesting that its okay for women to go to a male strip show; but the moment a male goes to a female strip show, he's a pervert, a pig, and all those other names in the book...

Cindy Gerard said...

All right, all right. I couldn't let this farce go on. I just had to comment and defend myself. Please note I added critical, factual data to Helen's post after the first 4 visitors commented. Make sure you go back and get the REST OF THE STORY!!

Helen Brenna said...

Marilyn - I can think of a few old high school classmates I wouldn't mind seeing up there dancing a bit. How funny!

Yes, Keri, I believe that was our Cindy. Well, she was in character Saturday night!

Hey, Megan. I'm so innocent I've never been to RT. Who do you think of the Riders goes every year, though?

So, Lou, you're a lover of long hair, eh?

Helen Brenna said...

All lies, Cindy. All lies.

Betina Krahn said...

I am so jealous! I've always wanted to go to a "show" and enjoy the sea of aroused estrogen incited by testosterone run amuck!

The guys look so cute and really sweet. . . I mean once you get around to looking at their faces. And Helen. . . a picture is worth a thousand words. Sitting backward on a guy's lap is good for only a couple of things. . . one of which is plucking his eyebrows. And honey, I don't see no tweezers!

Cindy-- consider yourself celebrated! And by the way, I read Show No Mercy on the way to and from my reunion on Friday. YOWSER! Nearly grabbed the man on the plane next to me for some exxtra-curricular! Hot stuff. And such tremendous guys and great writing! I'm so glad it's getting the attenion and SALES it deserves!

You go, girl!

Wait. . . is that outdated? Too 90's? I can't keep up.

Playground Monitor said...

the sea of aroused estrogen incited by testosterone run amuck

Love that description. Anybody ever tell you that you ought to be a writer? ::grin:: I'll bet, ladies, that had she been to the show she'd have said "screaming women and hawt guys."

And even after Cindy's disclaimer, I stand by my comments. ;-)

Just remember that bite marks leave DNA evidence.

Marilyn

Cindy Gerard said...

Betina
You're a doll. thanks! Means so much coming from you who set so many bars for writers to ascribe to. pardon my grammer :o( - but you get the picture.
Hugs
Cindy

Christie Ridgway said...

I've never seen a show like this. And now I so want to celebrate Megan's birthday with her since she seems to have the experience to know where to find a good time.

I keep telling my husband I want to see a topless show in Las Vegas and he seems willing to accompany me (go figure) but still haven't done that either.

Helen Brenna said...

Betina, next time you're in MN maybe we'll have to schedule another field trip!!

Yep, Marilyn, DNA evidence. Um ... maybe we shouldn't go there.

Christie, I imagine my dh, too, would be willing to attend a topless show in Vegas. So when are YOU coming to MN?

Michele Hauf said...

Sounds like you ladies had a lot of fun!

And I can vouch that all were present and accounted for when I met the girls the next day to do a book signing. Not a hangover in the bunch (unless they hid it well).

CrystalGB said...

I have never seen male strippers. Looks like fun was had by all. :)

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

OK. Having attended this thing, let me just say that Cindy Gerard had me at fellatio.

So don't go lettin her wax all, "Me? I'm just a sweet little romance writer from Ioway-- RWA bar hook-up notwithstanding."

She revealed before all that the way she remembered how to pronounce my name when she was GuestBlogging at RBTB was to rhyme "Buonfiglio" with 'fallatio.'

Poor Cindy didn't realize thet in my filter-free existence rife with sexual obsession and adoration of all things penile, I find that flattering.

You're never going to invite me back here, are you...

Helen Brenna said...

Hauf, we missed you, dear! And I woulda bought you a lap dance, too!

Helen Brenna said...

Crystalb, we did have fun. A lot!

Helen Brenna said...

LOL, Michelle B - we TOLD Cindy you'd love that!

terrio said...

This blog is cracking me up. You ladies know how to have a good time!

I went to a male revue many moons ago and remember being amazed by how the women reacted. Say what you want about men frequenting strip joints, but they are much better behaved. LOL! The only dancer I remember was named Maverick and he was verra nice to look at.

Now I feel bad that I didn't provide Deb with this kind of entertainment when she came to VA this weekend. LOL! I had no idea the standards were set so high around here!

lois greiman said...

I'm not suggesting ANYTHING, of course. But I ummm, I heard that Thunder Down Under, the Aussie dancers, are in town. Thunder. Down. Under. Just saying...

Cindy Gerard said...

Lois - And I'm just saying that if you go to the Thunder without me - there will be hell to pay.
And yes, Michelle B - we know all about your little proclivities :o) WEll, maybe not ALL so come back any time but do dish, 'kay?

AuthorM said...

Lou-- I don't think men who go to strip clubs are automatically pigs. I think it depends on their expectations of the show and the performers. (And, probably, the class of strip club.)

Christie -- EVERYONE is welcome to join me for my birthday, any year!

Helen -- haha, I've only gone to RT twice but I *think* I know which Rider goes every year!

Lois -- I saw TFDU in Vegas and the show was a lot of fun -- gotta love guys who can poke fun at themselves while simultaneously running around in interesting combinations of undergarments!

Now that I am thinking about this, I'm amazed to realize how many male strip show I have actually been to! I should start deducting it as a tax expense. All those dollar bills...

M

lois greiman said...

Megan, when IS your birthday. I want to plan ahead. :)

AuthorM said...

Lois...it's in March! I could be persuaded to put off my annual celebration until April, if necessary...

WATCH OUT, ORLANDO!

And I don't mean Bloom!

Playground Monitor said...

This post just keeps getting better and better. You gals are a hoot! That's not how I remember how to pronounce Michelle B's name, but I'll probably giggle now every time I see her.

I went to a topless show. Three actually. They were part of a tour the DH and I took the first time we went to Paris. One was a seedy little bar with not-so-attractive strippers. The second was a club in the Bastille area with better looking women and a singer who did Edith Piaf proud wiht her rendition of La Vie En Rose. The third was the Lido, which is classy and was the best-dressed nudity I'd ever seen.

Verification word = junta, meaning a small group ruling a country. I think y'all were a small group ruling the club that night. ;-)

lois greiman said...

Orlando!! Holy crap, Megan, you're a genius. Let's all go to Orlando in June. And why doesn't RT have strippers?

Helen Brenna said...

Terrio, the men might be better behaved, but that's only because *they're* not allowed to touch. Saturday night, there was a lot of touching going on!

Cindy Gerard said...

Marilyn - actually I think that alcohol did most of the ruling that night. Not us! but those young uns were sipping up the suds, let me tell ya.

And Helen - BTW, I've been thinking. Whatever happened to "What happens in the Twin Cities, STAYS in the Twin Cities???"

Helen Brenna said...

Male strippers at the RITA and GH ceremony, too!

Cindy Gerard said...

Lois, Lois, Lois. Don't you know you just come off as more pathetic when you try to defend yourself? Poor thing. Denial is a very lonely road.

Anonymous said...

Ciao Cindy!! I love this hot-hot post!!
YES ,of course I went to see male strippers! 15 years ago ,for the first time in Italy , there was a show with an American group called "California Dream men" in a theatre in Rome. I think I've never heard women screaming like that!It was sold out immediately.
But what was really crazy was that nobody said that had bought the ticket,but "its a small world"and
we all met there. A friend of mine that pretened to be "superior"
was broadcast in the local news without knowing it, and she was busted....
Like if there was something to be ashamed . Personally ,I would go again immediately, if I had the chance! By the way, you girls look great and... there is always something to learn about "hunks" and research is never enough for a writer!
Hugs, Rossella

lois greiman said...

I was demure I tell you. Ask any of the guys I... Well, I was demure.

lois greiman said...

The ongoing question of the night was whether the guys actually liked the um...fondling. So Tina decided to ask. And apparently he said, "Of course. Who wouldn't?" Which made me pause (for a second:) and think. Turns out I'd rather be the fondler than the fondlie...thank you very much

AuthorM said...

Lois -- RT doesn't have strippers because it's far too chaste and demure an event to have such a thing! We might have to go outside venue to find something.

Helen -- yeah, I went to a show once in the back of a gentleman's club -- the men out front weren't allowed to touch the women but the women in the back were encouraged to put their dollars anyplace they could reach on the gentleman dancing.

Cindy Gerard said...

Lois - Cindy says: "Snort"

Rosella - Hi sweetie. how's Rome?

Helen - do you get the feeling you've lost control????

AuthorM said...

Lois -- I asked a stripper once if he enjoyed what he was doing and he said, seriously, "I'm 23 and I like women. This is the best job I've ever had."

I had to give him two dollars for that answer!

Helen Brenna said...

Totally lost, Cindy, totally.

I like Rosella's answer, "Of course, I've seen male stripper ..."

Of course.

Lois, demur. Sure.

terrio said...

Helen - good point. But once the girls go around for the tips, much touching occurs in some places. My cousin was stripper and I had the pleasure of being her driver one night. Lets just say I saw dollars go places that I'd rather not think about. *shivers*

M - Where was that?!

So who is doing the research to find the *entertainment* in DC? LOL!

AuthorM said...

Terrio -- it was in some local joint that burned down a while back...they had mostly female entertainment but had started having men once in a while. It was quite a different experience than going to a show like the Chippendales. I got a *LOT* of inspiration out of it (and I'm being serious...I wrote a character based on that guy and he's cropped up several times now.)

terrio said...

M - that's research I can get behind.

AuthorM said...

terrio -- It does distract them when your lap is covered by a notebook and pen, though.

catslady said...

What a hoot!! I've seen some but nothing like the Chippendales lol.

Kylie said...

Well just based on previous experience--I'm blaming this whole thing on Cindy! Whenever she's around there are males posing and pictures being taken.

It's just too bad I wasn't there. Sounds like this group needed a *mature* rider to make sound decisions for them. Ahem.

Helen Brenna said...

Where do I send that check, Kylie? LOL

And yes, from what I've heard, I'm SURE your presence would've kept us in line.

lois greiman said...

Kylie, where were you?? Next time!! You and Cindy and Rox should go to RT. Not that I hardly evvvvver go.

Cindy Gerard said...

okay - Kylie's comments call for a double "Snort."
Mature? Pleeuuuuzzzz. I've seen our Ms. B in action and trust me - it ain't pretty. For a good time call ..... :o)

flchen1 said...

OMG, ladies, you are all a hoot! I haven't had the pleasure of seeing such a show, but I can see that attending with all of you would be the way to go ;) I'd keep my hands to myself, of course ;)

Helen Brenna said...

Says flchen1 with her fingers crossed.

Cindy Gerard said...

Yeah, I've been noticing that EVERYONE but us has pretty much been playing the innocent card. Makes a body wonder, right Helen and Lois? They don't fool us.

Jane said...

I've been to strip clubs, but I've never seen male strippers. I missed out on seeing the Thunder From Down Under when I was in Vegas.

lois greiman said...

Right, Cindy, WE haven't been pretending to be innocent. We really ARE innocent. ;)

Estella said...

Too funny!
I have never seen male strippers.

Helen Brenna said...

Lois, I sense some sarcasm in your last comment. What's up with that?

Estella, you haven't lived until you've watched a man strip!

amy*skf said...

Well I feel cheated--I didn't see Chip or Dale...

I didn't even know I was going to the Chippendales, which made it all the more fun. And seriously Cindy no one's buyin' the "I'm a grandma!" act. I saw you with dollar bills.

It was the most fun I've had only looking at mens bodies...although most of the time I felt too many clothes were involved.

You all crack me up.

lois greiman said...

Happy birthday, Amy. May you be 25 forever. :)

Cindy Gerard said...

Geez. Won't ANYBODY play along with my act??? It's Minnesotans against the lone Iowan that's all I've got to say.
:o)
Happy B'day Amy!

Lou Gagliardi said...

Helen, I wish that it hadn't taken me this long to respond, but yes, I'm a lover of long hair!

Kylie said...

Yes, Keri--EXACTLY. It *was* Cindy picking up that nice young Georgian lawyer in a bar in Atlanta at Nationals. I have no idea whatever go into her that night either...!

Marcy said...

I just felt some of the Dales that were on the stage - needed less clothes on their shoulders. It was great time and Loved being with all of you!!!!

amy*skf said...

Marcy, I loved it every time you yelled, "Take off your shirt!"

It made my night.

Debra Dixon said...

ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was out of town and am just now seeing this.

But, first let me make a complaint.

I know I'm out of town but GEEZ you'd think they could invite all the Riders if naked men are involved.

These women may look gracious and say all the right things when they win RITA's and get on the NYT list but you can't trust them as far as you can throw a jock strap.

Cindy Gerard said...

Helen and Lois - I'm feeling maligned and abused. What about you?

And you, Kylie, for shame. You were the instigator of that entire pick up. You know I'll do anything if there's a bet involved. WEll, almost anything ...

Helen Brenna said...

I'm licking my wounds, Cindy.

Deb - Next time you're in MN, baby, I know what we'll be doing!!

Marcy! Fun seeing you here!

lois greiman said...

I can't find Thunder Down Under anywhere. Sigh. I think we'll have to wait till next year. Then we'll give everyone advance notice and fly y'all in. :)

robynl said...

I went twice to a male stripper. I wasn't married at the time. Most of the women went crazy and acted foolish as far as I thought. But each to their own.

Tina Plant said...

I have never seen such an out of control room of women in my life. We eight were the mellow ones! Now that I know what to expect, I can try to fit in better next year. (How scary is that!) Let's make it an annual event over deer hunting opener weekend and if we can find Thunder next year, let's see them! More the merrier. Because it's my role in life, I'll do my best to set up trouble. Lois, I'll buy you TWO shots of vodka and we'll put bills in BOTH your hands and see what happens. Marcy, we'll rush the stage. Helen - you don't need help. :-)

Helen Brenna said...

Shh, Tina. You weren't supposed to tell anyone!