The other night, I was hanging out with my girlfriends Corinne and Hannah (not their actual names but sort of close). We were yakking about our lives, struggles and loves.
Then, as will happen, the subject turned to stripping.
I think I launched us onto the topic by saying “I always used to figure if I got really broke, I could be a stripper again but, at this point, I wouldn’t be getting top dollar.”
Corinne and Hannah nodded. Both had come to the sobering realization that they’d reached an age when stripping might not be lucrative. Mind you, Hannah and Corinne are both gorgeous and very successful. But those of us who’ve been to the far edges of sanity and insolvency never forget staring into that black maw. And, from time to time, we think: Could I still get paid to dance naked?
As I’ve written about before, my stripper career was very brief and I was terrible at it because I couldn’t quite get used to the feeling of being NAKED IN A ROOM FULL OF STRANGERS.
Hannah, who is blond and extroverted probably did really well (plus, she’s from Texas) and Corinne too. In fact, Corinne demonstrated her skill right then and there by reenacting her strip club audition whilst wearing a baggy black sweat suit covered in plaster dust. She suddenly dropped into a split, then came back up, shook her ass at us, humped the floor, and did a few other agile and salacious moves.
I’d say at least half, maybe more, of the really smart, hot, successful women I’ve known have, at some point, tried stripping. Laura the Hot Farmer: Stripper
Amanda Palmer: Stripper. Hannah and Corinne: Strippers.
Smart Women Who Have Stripped probably warrants a whole essay, but I don’t have time for that now because I have to tell the story of The Great Umlaut Cake.
Back when I was touring and performing a lot, I dressed like a rock chick. You know, short skirts, ripped stockings, boots, bra straps hanging out, that kind of thing. My BFF Jenny Meyer loved the way I dressed but, she also loved calling me SLUT when I wore a particularly short skirt. Then, “Slut” got to be a nickname. Women love to call one another “slut, ‘ho, hooker, whore, tramp, trollop” and the like. Making those words ours. And only ours.
This morning, I was typing an email to my friend/yoga student Klodin who speaks many languages and veers between English, French and Italian in the course of a few sentences. My French is severely dormant so I practice by emailing in French. Of course, Google knows everything, so Gmail knew I was typing in French and helpfully gave me auto correct IN FRENCH. It got confused though when, halfway through the email, I switched to English. It thought I was speaking Swedish and put an umlaut over the “I” in the word HAIR. I sent the email as is. It probably didn’t make much sense, but few things do and, anyway, Klodin is good at finding sense where there is little sense.
This Google-inflicted umlaut reminded me of The Great Umlaut Story.
One year, maybe twelve or so years ago, for my birthday, my BFF Jenny went to get me a cake at Venerio’s in NYC. I passionately love the fluffy white birthday cake from Venerios and even though Jenny hates the stuff, it was my birthday, so she ordered me a fluffy white cake and brought it to a big birthday dinner we were having at an Indian restaurant. She took the cake to the kitchen and the waiters were kind enough to bring it out at Jenny’s signal. It had candles and the whole restaurant was singing Happy Birthday to me and then the waiter deposited the cake in front of me. In red it said: “Happy Birthday Slut”
We all laughed so hard we spat on the cake turning it into a Germ Cake, but we’d survived worse, so we ate it.
The best part was how Jenny had gotten the very matter-of fact and non-jovial cake-decorators at Venerio’s to write SLUT on one of their beautiful fluffy white cakes.
“I told them to write happy birthday Sluuut. They asked for the spelling. I said: S. L. U. T with an umlaut over the U. I told them the cake was for my friend who is Swedish. Then, as soon as I left Venerios, I opened the cake box and wiped the umlaut away.”
And that is the story of the Great Umlaut Cake of slutdom and three ex-strippers sitting at a table.