What Really Goes Down in the Walk-in Cooler

Below is an excerpt from my book — a mostly true story about my days as a strip club bartender in Austin, Texas where I mostly broke shit, drank a ton of booze, sometimes poured drinks, and always hit on my favorite manager.


“Kell!” I screamed with excitement upon noticing my favorite tall Asian was in the kitchen.

“So, I’ve been working a lot of night shifts lately… ” he trailed off as he handed over several slices of bacon.

“Oh, excellent. I bet you have plenty of stories to share with me then.” An evil closed-mouth smile formed on my face.

“Oh, yes.”

“Do tell.” I began to cut my limes and lemons for the day — a task I simply would not do had it not been for the fruit wedge slicer. If they had expected me to use a knife, it would’ve been detrimental to my fingers. I would inevitably lose at least a portion of one.

Kell told me about how the newest men’s bathroom attendant, Terrance, got fired for selling drugs. Not surprising. Although, it was a little disheartening to hear the man who saved me from getting stabbed by Valet Guy was no longer around. A dancer got drunk and punched another dancer in the vagina the other night. Also, not surprising. A dancer got a DUI after leaving work.

“Who?” I asked.

“Sapphire.” It was somewhat surprising.

“What’s going on with this place? All of this shit is boring!” I protested.

“Maybe your expectations are too high,” he suggested.

“Speaking of too high …”

“Say no more.”

And with that, we were both in the walk-in cooler smoking some marihuana.

Lupita magically appeared out of nowhere to partake with us. It made me worry for a moment you could smell weed outside of the cooler but Lupita reassured me she only knew we were smoking in the cooler because we both were MIA when she walked back there to grab silverware.

“Lupita, you don’t have to lie and act like you were coming to grab something related to your job duties. You’re always more than welcome to blaze with us.” Kell smiled at her. He said exactly what was on my mind.

“So guys, hypothetical question…” I began.

“Here we go.” Kell laughed to Lupita as he passed her the pipe.

“If humans were able to reproduce with animals, do you think the club would still hire them?”

The two of them thought about it for a moment and then Lupita decided it depends on what animal they were mixed with.

“A wildebeest,” I proposed.

“Then, no,” she said flatly as she exhaled the smoke and passed the pipe to me.

“What are they being hired to do?” Kell was carefully considering my question and I appreciate that. “Because,” he went on, “being half-giraffe would work out pretty nice if you were a manager ’cause then you could easily see everything going on in the club but if you were half-giraffe and a dancer, then you probably wouldn’t be able to pole dance.”

“A T-Rex wouldn’t be able to pole dance either,” I acknowledged as I minorly choked on the smoke and passed the pipe onward to Kell. He nodded with approval.

“If we’re strictly speaking of dancers, then it matters how much hair they have too,” Lupita added.

“Bullshit.” Kell was coughing and laughing at the same time. “Have you seen some of these chicks?”

I thanked them for their critical analysis as we filed out of the cooler, completely stoned.

I could always count on the two of them to reasonably ponder the questions I came up with in my spare time.

Most other people ignored my questions like this or laughed and gave me no response because they didn’t think I was being serious.

Just because a question seems ridiculous to one person doesn’t mean I don’t need answers.

Lupita trailed out of the kitchen, forgetting the silverware she claimed to come back for in the first place.

I went back to slicing fruit when Kell informed me a dancer got pissed off at Richard and posted on Facebook about him, calling him a d-bag and shit.

“Wait, did she tag him in the post?”


“See, this is the kind of news I need to hear Kell!”