Garter: “Anyone who says we’re not essential workers is either married, dead, or both. We’re used to using our bodies to secure an income. Now, we’re using them to secure our right to secure an income. We’re not just going to lie down and take it.”
“Do you read Medscape?” asks Lacey Garter, a stripper who normally works weekday lunches at Cheetah’s Gentleman’s Club, but who is today standing outside in the brisk October air, completely naked except for her cowboy boots and Hello Kitty merkin, protesting the city’s decision to enforce its prohibition on live entertainment within the club’s mirrored walls. “I read Medscape. It’s one of those sites that collects medical journal articles. Anyway, they had a piece yesterday about the surge in opioid overdose deaths since covid began. It’s always hilarious when science gets around to confirming what everybody already knows: people in pain only feel worse when you isolate them in home environments that are frequently causative of some aspect of that pain. People need help in these troubled times. The government knows this - it’s why they classified marijuana dispensaries as essential businesses. Marijuana makes people feel measurably better. Well, let me tell you about another obvious fact that science has gotten around to acknowledging: human contact, especially when it’s of a sexual nature, also makes people feel measurably better. And we’re not even talking about actual touching — San Diego’s strip clubs have been practicing the six-foot rule for years, thanks to the limp old men who run this town. You shut down strip clubs, you wind up with things like New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin masturbating during a business Zoom meeting — at least in the club, there’s a bouncer handy for dudes like that. Classic return of the repressed — I read about that on Medscape, too. We’re here to help, and we’re hoping that our protest attracts enough attention to make that possible.” As of press time, no less than four traffic accidents had taken place outside the club on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, one of them involving an ambulance that mysteriously lost control upon arriving at the scene of a previous crash.