Editor's note: A few weeks ago, Geoph Espen spent a memorable Saturday evening selling shots at Spiral Dance Bar in Old Town. This is what he experienced.
I haven’t opened the envelope yet. I haven’t done the
calculations. Thinking about its contents, it's almost sexual. I was a
shot boy tonight at Spiral, Lansing's local gay club. That envelope is
filled with a lot of cash.
I was told to arrive between 10:30 and 11 p.m. I got lost
walking there. My plan was totally calculated: I was gonna strut around
and own that place. Then I got a plastic tray, a handful of vials and
$10 in a cup thrust into my hands.
"Don't take your eyes off this money and get your vials back" would be my only directions for the night.
But I took it all in stride and was escorted by a very
busy bartender into a well-stocked freezer of fruity shots I’d later
introduce to my audience as “liquid dynamite.”
Turns out I was not only going to just be selling shots, I'd be pouring them myself, too. I filled those vials to the top — large amounts somehow ended up on me — and strutted out of that freezer like the best of them.
My first trip out to the floor left me staring around
doe-eyed. Then I realized I still had my shirt on. Going back behind
the bar, no shots sold, I tore my white dress shirt off and left my
chest bare of everything except my black satin tie (the hair having
been painstakingly removed earlier in the day).
Strutting with a new glamour ,I turned the corner and —
what do you know? Customers! Girls and guys. Spiral just filled up with
beautiful people: Thus is the effect of carrying a tray of alcohol
while displaying a well-toned body.
Money starts flowing and my heart starts racing.
Spiral has a fireplace patio, and I’m outside in the night air, hooking up three girls with three shots.
What's in them? "Pixie dust! ... I don't know — they're frickin’ shots!"
As the trays escalated in frequency, the pile of cash
sticking out of my pants started growing. I asked my manager, Liz, what
to do with all this money, and she says, “Come here.” Throws a manila
envelope in my hand and shows me a secret hiding place.
Around 1 a.m. I knew it was time to raise the bar, and I
had quite the surprise in store for the beautiful Spiralites in
attendance. In that cold alcohol freezer I stripped down to my
underwear. I had spent the morning gluing little sequence stars on it,
and the real magic was the battery-operated Christmas tree lights
wrapped around my waist, something I later would tell people “fell from
I was Geoph, and I was in my element.
The night began to wind down and the true personalities
of my friends emerged. Yes, a wonderfully gay man put his hands down my
underwear, but he was having the time of his life, offering me a lot of
tips, and buying shots for everyone.
I danced away with the most modelesque, gorgeous European
girl, her accent made thicker by her drunkenness, and it was sexy. I
get tingles writing about it. It was her birthday and she was smashed.
She wanted to buy shots with kisses. There were those who called me
over: “Hey, shot boy!” They didn’t buy any shots but they bought my
heart by being such fun, kindhearted people.
Before the night ended I couldn’t help exchanging some
contact info. Not all the staff felt the same about numbers. I’d
discover this while overhearing the conversations of Spiral’s
bartenders, a collection of gorgeous males in varying amounts of
Time flew, and It was last call for alcohol. I wanted to give everyone at Spiral that night a giant hug.
My third order was, “Put your clothes on and situate your
money." I did this in a white-tiled bathroom in the back. Cash was
spilling onto the floor when I dumped out that manila envelope. I
counted denominations, quantities and amounts.
After I stashed all my money, nearly in a stupor, I was
told to “go collect all the glasses from the table, then take this rag
and wipe down the counters — there’s a squirt bottle in the back.”
With the fire of cash and an amazing club experience at
my back I wiped down those tables like a madman. Making those stainless
steel tables shine hearkened back to my days in Marine Corps boot camp.
A giant orgy of club cleaning ensued, and it’s now 4 a.m. and I’m writing.
We moved chairs, swept floors, searched parking lots for
bottles, mopped and escorted lushes outside. Not ready to end their
night, patrons partied outside the doors, cigarettes in hand and drama
in tongue. I opened the doors and shouted, “You are all so beautiful!”
The refuse of Spiral’s Saturday night included everything
from broken glass to an abandoned sock. My pink-glittered fingertips
never looked more glamorous than when they were gripping a broom handle.
I had an amazing night and that was so worth it. I
haven't opened the manila envelope yet. But I hope to hell I get to
work a Saturday Night Shot Boy shift again.