It was the year that the age-old concept of the Singing Telegram found a new life as the Strip-O-Gram, and it seemed that everyone was sending strippers to embarrass their friends at work.
Businesses with names like “Eastern Onion” had been hiring out-of-work actors, singers and dancers to perform song-and-dance messages, but many of them drew the line at nudity, so this opened up a whole new labor market.
The employees of a large camera store chain were throwing a milestone birthday party for the boss, and a group of them decided that a Strip-O-Gram was just the ticket to make the boss man blush. They had contracted me for their musical entertainment, and I was informed of the other “entertainer” at the last minute.
The venue was an old Dallas dance hall with a full stage, and my DJ booth was on the stage with the curtains drawn so that only the booth was visible on the stage. There was another table in the back where I had my music organized.
One of the hosts escorted a young lady – very young, in my eyes – to the DJ booth, and explained her “mission.” She looked like a typical girl next door, nothing exotic, just a fresh-faced young girl wearing blue jeans and a T-shirt.
It’s important at times like this to maintain a professional demeanor, and to be helpful and accommodating. I suggested that she look through a section of music labeled “novelty” to find something appropriate for her routine, and I turned to my console to mix the next song.
When I turned around to ask about her song choice, she was wearing nothing but a smile … not even a tan line!
Still trying to preserve my professionalism, I asked, “ Aren’t you supposed to do that out there, for the birthday boy?”
Her indignant response was, “I am a Stripper!”
To which I answered, “No you’re not, you’re just naked. You are a STRIPPED – past tense!”
I had to instruct her to get dressed, and then wait until I played her music, and to then remove her clothes as a performance for the birthday boy…which is the point of her being there! I suggested that she might even consider perhaps dancing a little bit, and doing it all slowly.
I hate working with amateurs!
It must have been her first day on the job.