Packing Heat at the Tinder Box LoungeMicki Myers
(Interview With The Marlboro Man) If you’ve never seen yourself up on the stage wearing nothing but a holster and pasties cigarette in one hand, gun in the other singing “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” to an audience of rowdy lesbians then you just haven’t lived. Some towns have it all— and others, then some. For a $5 cover and $2 beers, Amateur Nite at the Tinder Box is well worth your time. Cheryl removes one item at a time: gloves, spurs, shirt chaps, boots and pants, then uses her hat to play a little peek-a-boo until she’s got the crowd’s attention. It’ll be handed around for tips and numbers once she takes her bow, deep from the waist to let us admire the view. Then there’s another Marlboro Woman, and then a Garth Brooks, and then a Ratso Rizzo flashing us the works beneath her filthy overcoat, followed by a Melissa Etheridge wannabe in pleather jeans. Later, Cheryl joins us at the bar for shots, intrigued by the big-city types on her turf, casting about for connections. There’s a deadbeat girlfriend, food stamps, couple of kids, nothing a contract couldn’t fix, you know, if. Leo glances at his watch. Show you something, she says suddenly, and snaps open the barrel of her gun. But it’s too late—for her, for us, for the ambition she’s spent a lifetime striking dead matches against in the hopes of raising a spark. One of the tassels hanging from a pastie brushes up against a scar. I drain my beer, look for the door. I got real bullets in here, Mister, she says. Yup. Got me some real-ass bullets here.
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