I was young and low on cash, when two of my good friends decided to tie the knot. In a creative effort to be thrifty and at the same time give the couple a memorable gift, I conspired with the maid of honor to have me be the stripper at the bachelorette party. I figured at the time that if this were not gift enough, I could use the dollar bills that were sure to be stuffed in my shorts to buy them something nice.
Having never been to a bachelorette party, let alone a stripper at one, I immediately started studying up on the skills I would need to be properly prepared. I watched several movies including, Strip Tease, Show Girls, Bachelor Party, Full Metal Jacket, Benji, Season two of The Golden Girls and countless episodes of Soul Train (to brush up on my moves). It was clear from my research that I would need a manly costume of some kind. As luck would have it, my roommate at the time was in the fire academy and was willing to loan me his full authentic fireman outfit. With my research complete and manly costume in hand, I made my way to the party. On my way I mulled over sexy stripper things to say while I performed. This was something I learned was important from other research I had done in my personal time.
I arrived to the party at the requested time (late afternoon) and was directed to a back room to change. I was instructed to wait there until I heard the music start, then come out and let the show begin! I excitedly donned my friends fireman outfit which was several sizes larger than myself and sat with tremendous anticipation listening for my cue. After an hour of waiting, I started to grow a little concerned. It had turned out to be the hottest day of the year and the room I was in was not air conditioned. There was no way for me to be certain but I was pretty sure the room was at a minimum 287 degrees. This, coupled with the fact that authentic fireman outfits are apparently designed to comfortably fight fire in sub zero temperatures, had me sweating profusely. I began to panic. I unbuckled my fireman coat to try and cool off and discovered my chest hair matted and stuck to my chest. “OH NO!” I thought to myself, “My chest hair is sexiest when full and fluffy!” I soon discovered that this was to be the least of my worries as I began to get weak and shaky from a combination of dehydration and nerves. I thought about poking my head out and asking for a glass of water but I couldn’t risk being seen by the bride to be. I thought about getting naked to try and cool down but my “cue” could come at any moment and I needed to be ready. I was stuck. I had no choice but to sit in this sauna and sweat it out in my fire suit prison of Hell.
Forty five minutes later, I heard the conversation and giggling pick up outside my sauna door. The music started. My heart raced. I wiped my sweaty chest on the curtains, buckled up my over sized fireman’s coat, slapped on my helmet, mask and oxygen tank and made my way down the hallway toward the circle of shrieking women. “I brought my hose. Where’s the fire?” I said in the sexiest voice I could muster in my dehydrated state. “What?” they all shouted back. I took off my mask and oxygen tank and repeated myself. “WHOOOOO HOOOO!” they cheered, followed by an uproar of laughter, catcalls and more laughter.
I made it through a song and a half before collapsing in a pool of sweaty shame into the bachelrette’s lap wearing only my fireman pants around my ankles, my sweat soaked boxer shorts and the banana I had stuffed down the front of them for added visual effect. Everything that happened after that is kind of a blur. The next clear memory I have is sitting at home eating a banana. Checking my briefs for singles and finding none, I decided with absolute certainty that I could cross fireman and stripper off of my list of potential career paths.