RARA-AVIS: B-Girls and such

From: Moorich2@aol.com
Date: 28 Mar 2003

At long last the discussion has turned to an area I have researched! First of all I have never heard B-Girl used in real life. My sense was always that it translated to prostitute but I admit that may have been wrong when referring to earlier eras. Nowadays my impression is that any girl encouraging customers to buy them drinks for a profit is either a prostitute or a dancer or waitress in a strip club. The prostitute would be more likely to be paying off the bartender for allowing her to operate rather than getting a rakeoff from the drinks.

Beyond that, many jurisdictions in the U.S. have laws against giving waitresses/dancers or whomever a percentage based on drinks sold. It is against the law in the District of Columbia. A quarter of a century ago in Atlanta it was legal. I know because I had a friend from high school days who became a dancer/waitress in a couple of places including the Clairmont Lounge, which would be flattered to be called a dive. I used to go see her there in the company of her husband...it's a long story. Anyway, she collected the swizzle sticks in order to keep track of the drinks.

It always amused me that this dismal basement dive, mentioned several times in Ralph Dennis' novels, had a rule that only champagne could be purchased for the ladies. By the way, before I forget it, I also used the Clairmont Lounge in a novel but to read it you have to read French as it was only published by Gallimard as Serie Noire #1933.

To backtrack a bit, my first overseas knowledge in this area came in Vietnam.
 I did not frequent the bars there but as my comrades in arms returned to our hooch at night they would sometimes interrupt my Bible studies with stories of their exploits. Saigon tea was served up to soldiers nodding yes to the question "You buy me drink? You numba one GI." From the stories I suspect the girls received a percentage for the sales of "Saigon Tea."

But back to the "our girls only drink champagne" dodge which spans the globe.
 In Europe, the champagne-only rule is quite common and to enter one of those establishments is to find yourself in the hands of the Philistines. Six friends of mine (two each from the U.K., U.S. and Australia) were a little too celebratory in Brussels about a year before I moved there. They woke up the next day and badly hungover they added up their various credit card receipts and discovered they had spent over $16,000. This is an amazing amount to me considering that no one got laid. While it is true that two of the participants were Australian, which will skew the number up, at least one and perhaps two of the number were gay and one would think they would have been somewhat immune to the blandishments of the ladies. I asked one of my friends, a Brit, how on earth could they spend that much money on a pure bar bill. "You have to understand," he told me, "When you are pouring it over their bodies, there is considerable wastage."

Thank God that happened before I arrived and thus warned was able to avoid such traps in Brussels where I lived for a time. My only related personal experience in Europe came in Rome when one evening I was searching for a Christian Science Reading Room and through a miscalculation discovered myself in an establishment with the picturesque name "Chica, Chica Boom."

But all of this is so off-topic, I will let the veil drop over that particular misadventure.

Richard Moore

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