flamingo, knight, loupe
Carolina Hayes pulled her feathered, electrified and bedazzled headdress off and put it on a shelf in the back of the dressing room. Jessica Martin and Arlene Treanor were nearby, doing the same. They all sat and took off their strappy sandals with the 4 inch heels, moaning in relief as they did so. The three girls shared a dressing room with two other dancers, but these three were roommates as well. Taking turns, they unzipped each other and came out of their glittery costumes.
Being dancers at Bally’s in Las Vegas was a coveted gig, and all three had worked hard to be where they were. Right now they were part of the line up for Jubilee! It was the longest-running show on the Strip. Tonight’s show had been a crowd pleaser, there were lots of men in the audience and they did like the showgirls. At 3am, they were all tired, sore, and ready to go home.
The girls lived quietly, most of their time went to rehearsals and work. You could lose a dancing job as quickly as you won it, and they had to stay on their toes, as it were. Tonight though, they clocked out for the week and had two days off coming! They planned to watch a movie, do nails and dish about guys tonight. That would put them all in bed by about 6 or 7am, like much of the rest of the entertainment industry in Vegas.
They hailed a cab outside of Bally’s and headed home. Jessica looked around the cab and started laughing quietly.
“What is it Jess?” Asked Carolina. “What’s so funny?”
“I think this is the same cab I took last night on my date.” Tthe girls looked at her expectantly. “Oh that’s right, you were gone when I got up this morning, I haven’t had a chance to tell you.” She shook her head and gave a thumbs down. “It started out okay, you know? We had a nice dinner at that new steakhouse they built on the way out-of-town. The one with the knight riding the steer out in front of it?” The girls nodded.
“Was he nice?” Carolina wanted to know.
“Well he’s nice, but he’s also got a gambling problem,” said Jess.
“Oh no!” Carolina said, but Jess nodded.
“After supper we went into a casino. He sat down at the blackjack table and that was it. A couple of hours later he kissed me on the cheek and told me to take a cab home that he’d see me later.”
“Oh no he didn’t!” Carolina and Arlene echoed each other.
“Oh gees what a jerk!” Said Arlene. “What did you do?”
“I wrote my address down and left it for him. Told him to come on when he was ready.”
“You did what?” Arlene’s mouth gaped.
“The address I wrote down for him is for the metro police, over on Sunrise Ave.” All three women burst into laughter. “I told him to take his pants off and ask for the Flamingo room.” They went into fresh fits of laughter.
The cab dropped them off in the driveway and then disappeared into the night. Carolina picked up the newspaper and followed the other two into the house. When she came in, Arlene was describing a date she’d had back at home in Florida.
“Y’all, he was just as cute, we had the best time.”
“Hold that thought Arlene,” said Jess. “Let’s get out stuff put away and into our pajamas then we can make popcorn and talk.” They all agree that was a good idea. A while later they met back in the kitchen, washed, changed and each with her nail kit.
“So Arlene, how was your date? Was he a friend from high school or after?”
“Oh this was a date in high school,” said Arlene. “He was a senior and I was a junior. His name was Ricky and he took me to this nice (it came out as nahs with her southern accent) place, we done ordered our food and I excused myself to go to the little girls room, you know?” They nodded. “Well, I was wearing a skirt and I got it all caught up in the back with my panty hose,” she showed them with her hands, “and came back in, right past my date with my unders showin’ to the whole room!”
Carolina and Jess were rolling in laughter, almost in tears at the thought.
“Oh my gosh, what did you do?” They asked.
“Well, they wasn’t much I could do,” Arlene said, “I just pulled it out and sat down.”
“Did he say anything?”
“Did he say anything.” Arlene echoed, dramatically. “Did he ever! Butt this butt that. Butt honey, don’t you want another drink? I could have dessert, butt I’m full. Then he started telling jokes. What did one cheek say to the other? Together we can stop this crap…” Everyone laughed at that one. “He called me sweet cheeks all night long.”
“How did you get rid of him?” Asked Carolina.
“Ah called my Daddy. He put the fear of Smith and Wesson into him,” Arlene finished, chuckling. “He never breathed a word of it, far as we know.”
“What about you Carolina? What was your date from hell like?” Asked Jess.
“Yea, come on Carolina,” said Arlene. “We’ve all had one!”
“Well there was this guy who asked me out right after I got here. He looked professional, like a lawyer or something. So I said yes. He was smart, you know? Talking to me about real stuff like crime in the city and how it affected his business at the jewelry store.”
She held up her hands before the girls started in. “No, now he just worked there, but that was okay. At least he had a job, that’s a plus in my book! So anyways, we were talking after dinner when he whipped out this jewelers loupe and wanted to see the ring on my hand.”
“He did what?” The girls sat back.
“That’s nothing.” said Carolina, “he took the ring off my finger to look at it.” She held up her right hand, with a small ring.
“Oh,” said Arlene. “That’s the ring your brother gave you before he left for Iraq, isn’t it?” She pronounced it I-rack.
“He looked at it for like, a second then he threw it on a busboy‘s tray as he was going by!”
“You’re kidding!” Said Arlene.
“How awful,” said Jess. “What did you do?”
“Well I didn’t intend to cause a scene, but I yelled when he tossed the ring. I mean, it’s all I have of Jeffrey now, until he gets home. I jumped up and grabbed the kid and we searched for the ring. When I found it I went back to the table and the guy was all over himself apologizing.”
“Well he oughta be!” Jess said.
“Well he thought he would be the big guy and let me know that the ring was a fake, only I already knew that. I told him about my brother and how the ring was just costume jewelry that he gave me for luck. I thought he was going to cry.”
“Did you ever see him again?” Asked Jess.
“No, he must have been too embarrassed. Too bad, I would have gone. It was just a mistake.” said Carolina.
“Well he shouldn’t have thrown it out like that,” said Jess, “it wasn’t his.”
“You know, it’s almost 5 in the morning and I’m tired. I think I’m going to go on to bed. Do you mind?” Asked Carolina.
“Nah, me too,” said Jess. “Heck we’re all off tomorrow, let’s go to the dam!”
“Can‘t, I have to get the car out of the shop first. Let’s just stay home and catch up.” Carolina reminded her.
“Just as well,” said Arlene. “I‘m not even doing my nails tonight.”
“Goodnight!” Jess said to the others as she walked down the hallway.
“Goodnight, Jess, goodnight Carolina!” Said Arlene.
It could be a little depressing if you let it, thinking about their failed dates. Well they had each other, Carolina thought. At least they could laugh about it together.
“Nite sweet cheeks, see you in the morning!”