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    How To Buy A Strip Club
    by Mike Windham

    My best friend since High School, David Earl Hookins, bought a strip joint. That's right. You know what I'm talking about. One of those places that opens about 9 at night, keeps the lights on until about daylight and is chock full of women dressed in not much more than their socks and shoes. He told me to keep the purchase confidential and I am. I haven't told anybody. I'm sharing this with you because the way I see it, he's going to need a little help and I'm nothing more than his best friend.

    Now, I don't know about you, but I have found out first hand that buying a strip joint on credit isn't an easy chore.

    David Earl called me one Saturday morning. "Mike, we have to talk!"

    Half an hour later, the two of us were sitting in the front seat of his truck, eating Krystal burgers and drinking Cokes. He pulled out a couple sheets of yellow paper torn from a legal pad and showed me his plan.

    "There's this place called Nooky's, and I'm going to buy it," he said. "It's perfect. It's about a mile from that big nuclear power plant over by the river -- that's why they call it Nooky's."

    I could hardly believe what I was hearing, but I kept listening.

    He had this big plan to buy the place and install some attic fans to pull the smoke out. All he needed was a brass pole in the middle of the dance floor, a couple of Christmas flood lights and a mirrored ball. He planned to buy a pole from the hardware store. He thought a piece of galvanized 2 inch pipe would do for a while. He said something about buying and breaking a mirror, then gluing the pieces on the sides of a plastic five gallon paint bucket for a mirrored ball. I was afraid to ask him what else he needed.

    He wanted me to work on a business plan for him. Something more substantial than some notes on two sheets of legal pad paper, he said.

    "You know," he said, "I'm going to have to borrow money from the bank. They're gonna need some figures on cash flow, return on investment, break-even point. That sort of stuff."

    A week later, he and I went to the bank. I was supposed to explain why he needed the money and make the banker happy. David Earl was there to sign his name (mark his X) on the dotted line.

    David Earl's banker, to say the least, was surprised. Harry Edwards III has been loaning money to folks around here for years. He's the third Harry Edwards to sit in the corner office of a bank that's been owned by the Edwards family for a hundred years. He's been elected President of the Lions Club, the Rotary Club and the Deacons at the First Baptist Church across from the courthouse. He is respectable. He wears a tie every day and prays before every meal, at least when he's out in public. He likes to have people come in and beg to borrow his money.

    "I need a couple hundred big ones to buy Nooky's," David Earl told Harry.

    You could hear a pin drop. But the only noise we heard was Harry dropping. Suddenly, he was on the floor, reaching for his shirt collar, gasping for breath. Harry Edwards was the first man I know who choked and fainted on words somebody else was saying.

    "I'm serious. I want you to help me buy Nooky's," David Earl said, as if Harry was convulsing at a joke of some kind.

    I stepped out of the office and told the girl at the front desk we needed water, ice or something real quick. She was there in about 30 seconds flat.

    "What happened?" she asked, hiking up her skirt and squatting down next to her boss. Her stocking-covered knees were about a half inch from Harry's face. She was squeezing the ice water out of a cold rag over Harry's forehead, and if he'd turned his head the wrong way, he'd have died for sure.

    "I don't know; I just told him I needed some money for Nooky's and he damned near died!" David Earl explained. "By the way, do you want to make some easy money?"

    She came up from her squatting position like a jack in the box. Fire was in her eyes. That's when I learned Southern women make funny noises when they're really upset. Her heels were clicking across the marble floor and I could hear some sort of gutteral sound as she passed. It was scary. David Earl was left holding a cold wet dripping towel.

    After a few minutes Harry recovered, and, at first, he thought David Earl was kidding.

    "No. This is the real thing," David Earl responded. Then we proceeded to show Harry the cash flow chart. But Harry didn't want to see our numbers; the Bible Belt was tightening.

    "The bank can't possibly help you do something like that," Harry said, looking at the door, hoping, I'm sure, we'd just leave.

    David Earl started painting a picture for Harry to see. Now, let me tell you, David Earl could paint a word picture as pretty as anybody you ever saw.

    He explained himself. He didn't have to hire anybody but a bartender. The girls paid him to work there. They'd make enough in tips to survive. The girls paid the bouncers, so the rednecks would leave 'em alone if they wanted to be left alone. The girls paid the DJ to spin the records. David Earl said all he wanted to sell was a few cases of beer and Cokes and ice. He'd charge $5 a head at the door. No charge cards, just cash.

    During hunting season, he figured he'd have about 100 to 200 four-wheel drive trucks every Friday and Saturday night. Each truck would have 2 or three hunters.

    No one goes to a strip joint by themselves, he said.

    At the end of the first year, David Earl said he would net about a million dollars. God only knows what the IRS needed to see.

    Now, I don't know about you and what all you've seen in this old world. I've seen a lot. Temptation is a sharp and deadly sword, even in the Greater South. As we were walking out, that girl in the tight skirt winked at David and handed him a note with her name and phone number.

    By the way, Harry had all his money safely back in the bank by the end of the first year. In fact, David Earl paid Harry on the first day of every month. He paid in cash, with slightly rumpled one dollar bills.


    Mike Windham is a successful business owner and part-time writer from Brookhaven, Mississippi. He's got a lot more college than any of his high school teachers imagined, finally settling for 3 degrees from 3 Mississippi universities. He loves Ole Miss and the Deep South, and he still has problems with Yankees and lawyers. He owns a 28 year old pickup truck that was a gift from his family, a 4 wheel drive hunting truck, 2 dogs, 4 pairs of bib overalls, 3 chain saws, 2 guns and a pocketknife.

    Mike has been a motivational speaker and management/marketing consultant in the insurance industry since 1998. He teaches continuing education workshops nationwide. He has had more than 100 articles and essays published about business management and insurance related topics.

    Read more of Mike's hilarious stories here at USADS!
    The Job Interview
    Wrong Room
    Buying a Dog on Saturday Night
    Superbras and Whiskey
    Customer Service

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