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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Strip Club Workers Can Tell, \'You\'re From the Convention, Aren\'t You?\'


TAMPA, Fla. - “You're from the convention, aren't you?” asks Rico, the security guard stationed outside of one of Tampa's hottest strip clubs, Guilty.

We wonder how he knows. Our bright orange lanyards from the Republican National Convention are back in the car.

“We can always tell,” he says.

The Tampa Bay area has many virtues: the Buccaneers, handmade cigars, the headquarters of the Home Shopping Network.

Oh, and it's the strip club capital of America (there are 50). The most renowned of these, Mons Venus, is said to be the birthplace of the lap dance.

How could Republicans stay away? They could not, even in the midst of a tropical storm a nd with a $20 cover fee.

Just before midnight, Stormy, a dancer gyrating underneath a mirrored spaceship dome, knelt down, asked us whether we wanted to stuff a dollar bill into her cleavage and explained that so far, she had mostly seen Ron Paul supporters.

“Paul is awesome,” she said. “I'm not going to vote,” she said, adjusting her straps and her bills, “There's no hope. But if I was, I'd write him in.”

Hayden, her co-worker, seemed more engaged in the political process. She bent down, sought her tip, and inquired about our flag pin, specially designed for the Republican convention.

“I've been looking for an American flag pin,” she said. We wondered why.

“Because of my Sarah Palin look.”

It was true: she looked just like Ms. Palin. The hair. The narrow glasses. The blazer, the only garment she was wearing. It needed a flag. We offered ours. She insisted we affix it to the fitted gray bla zer, which barely reached her midriff. She urged us to “come by when I'm off.”

We politely declined. But not before asking what, in the opinion of the faux former governor of Alaska, was a telltale sign of a Republican client.

“They get dances because they're novel,” she said. “And they tip well.”