Pilgrim’s Pride: Beer pong, drag queens and porn stars

Scenes from a Vegas Thanksgiving Eve

What—your Thanksgiving photos don’t look like this?
Photo: Wingman Sean

Thursday, November 26, 12:05 a.m.

"And then my father says, ‘I've spent my whole life trying to keep my daughter off the pole; didn’t know I had to worry about my son!'” Sean and I have a good laugh at his poor father thinking anything could keep the original wingman off a stripper pole, all the while eyeing the little shots being poured for us from a nondescript plastic pitcher. “Needs more booze,” Sean declares predictably but with genuine concern on his face for Krave Lounge’s free-shot quality. He smacks his lips and turns his attention back to his cocktail and the smattering of men pawing each other in small cliques. “Water, water everywhere ...” I sigh, contemplating lesbianism out of sheer boredom.

“I wonder what time this place gets busy,” Sean had asked just moments before, the answer being midnight; till then, Sean, back from LA for the holiday, and I languished amid what appeared to be a poor showing. We passed the time discussing our favorite mutual topic: men. Then at midnight, the dam broke, flooding the club with off-duty backup dancers.

Just then, a woman with just a hint of Adam’s apple, clearly the host of Krave’s WTF Wednesday, takes the microphone up to the lounge’s tiny stage. Appropriately, Sean asks, “What the fuck do you think she’s about to do?!” He answers his own question: “Hopefully keep her top on …”

“Welcome to What the Fuck Wednesdayyyyy!” she calls to a nearly catatonic crowd. No one will cheer our hostesses’ announcements but they spring to yappy, snappy life to cheer for the tank-topped bartenders, who maintain a bemused look the whole night.

“I’m certain this is what the pilgrims were doing the night before their big feast with the locals!” I shout into Sean’s ear as the DJ cranks LMFAO’s “I’m in Las Vegas Bitch” up a notch for the go-gos, she in standard boy-shorts and double bra, he in knee-high basketball shoes and lace up ... er, panties. “I can’t go at it too long or I get tired and sore,” he says (I pray he’s talking about dancing).

Sean leaves me momentary to find the men’s room. “Make sure someone puts something in my drink,” he calls, jokingly, I hope. The hostess returns in full drag regalia as Chi Chi de la Cruz, complete with mile-wide wig and tight dress stretched over a very feminine body. She gestures to the beer pong tables set up side-by-side and points a long, manicured finger directly at me, and then to Sean, just as he shows up back at my side. “You two look like a team!” she says, gesturing next to the tables.

I take my place across from a hot brunette (whom I later learn is comedian Shayma Tash, opening act for Carrot Top and host of the Harmon Theater’s Tickled Pink comedy show), and I immediately start losing. After a few shots of beer, I find that liquid courage actually does make up for lack of coordination. The tables quickly turn as I sink a few and the score evens up. Sean and his partner watch, their game already done.


Club Guide

Chi Chi shoots me a desperate look, motioning with the microphone to wrap things up and get the hell off her stage. Krave co-owner Kelly Murphy whispers in my ear that if I flash Shayma he’ll declare me the instant winner. Without thinking—clearly—I comply and somewhere, a pilgrim in his lacy ruff and buckles rolls over in his grave.

This Thanksgiving I’m thankful I wore a pretty bra.

But I demand we finish. Chi Chi, now about to flip her wig, sends in Krave VIP host Tyler to clean up. He takes his place and prepares to sink the winning ping pong ball when, despite the many beers, I suddenly acquire Matrix-like reflexes. Like Obama to an interrupting fly, my hand darts out to snatch the ball before it can hit home—and I instantly lose. Like sinking the eight-ball. Curses! Chi Chi looks relieved and brings out “Dick Butts,” some random dude, and his porn star buddy for a stripper contest.

But I’m still reeling from my crushing defeat; “Who the hell was that?! Is he like some whiz at beer pong or something???” I demand, as if Evil Tyler did something magnificent. Kelly shakes his head. “No, he’s just gay.”


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