Faith and trust are two different things. I'm learning how to have total faith in someone I truely love, but at the same time develop a trust that needs to last me a lifetime. Is it always this hard? Being inquisitive and untrusting isn't helping. I think it's a defense mechanism; I mean, who wants to be hurt, to have their little heart with wings shot down from the stratosphere and come crashing back into the dating pool?

She's gone now. She's away with a friend, or so she said. I should just take her word, but paranoia chews at my mind, gnawing until I have to pick up the phone and check on her. I feel like a chaperone, the one whose child is going to the big dance, and the kid just doesn't want the parent there. Maybe I'm the one who needs to grow up, though. I think maybe it's getting ridiculous, getting to the point where the pumping lemma I'm supposed to be studying takes a back seat to thoughts of her doing things she'd never consider.

I'm so close this time. Better to not screw it up again, I think.

I make no effort to disguise my contempt for advertising in every form; it's vile, nasty, rude, mean, and never-ending, and needs to stop. Companies don't deserve the same freedom of speech (I speak only in terms of the U.S. here, as I am clueless as to how it works in other countries, since I don't live in any of them, so feck off :) that people do.

I digress, but only a tad.

A few nights ago something I'd been worried about (a little; I'm not an obsessive pervert, much) was confirmed. Again I find myself more miffed at the advertising surrounding the event than at the event itself, but lately that's how things seem to work out for me.

Larry's Villa is a strip club in Las Vegas, Nevada. As far as I have been able to tell, it's the closest strip club to my home (not that this matters much, but it's a neat detail), and was, until recently, the only "free" one in town.

When I say "free", in quotes, I mean you can get in without paying a cover charge (everybody, not just locals), and you're not required to buy a drink once you're inside. Sure, they bug you to buy drinks like every club does, but you wouldn't get thrown out for always saying "no." It literally meant that if you didn't tip, you could theoretically sit there for an hour staring at topless women and not spend a penny.

You need balls of steel to pull this off, but it is feasible. I preferred this dumpy little locals place over the ritzier "gentlemen's clubs" because this place lacked all the usual shit that annoys me about strip clubs. The dancers put on their own music; there's no stupid ass deejay "spinning the latest 1337 tunes" and spewing the same boring drivel every deejay in Las Vegas seems to stick to: reminders that you're in Las Vegas, reminders to tip, reminders to buy lap dances, and reminders that you are indeed involved in some sort of party. The waitress asked you for drink orders like other clubs do, but not nearly as often, and without the obnoxious pushy attitude of other places (and without the drink minimum). The girls don't hustle you much, either.

This isn't to say I never spent money when I went there. They have video poker machines (which I avoid like the plague) to suck away money in addition to the girls, but the girls were what I went for. I'd usually tip a few dollars when I saw a girl I liked.

That's all changed, though. And soon we'll get back to why advertising pissed me off yet again.

They added a one-drink minimum to the place.

Not the end of the world, by any means; their cheapest drink is $3.00, so they're pulling the same stunt lots of other clubs are -- overpriced drinks, and you have to buy one to get in the door. Instant profit from all customers, instead of attracting loyal customers. Probably looks great on paper.

But maybe they should change their signs. All of them. Since the day we moved to Las Vegas, there's been a giant billboard on Rancho visible from Highway 95 loudly boasting "Larry's Villa! No minimums. No cover. Turn right here for the girls!"

There's also a similar sign, but smaller, on the damned building. Similar billboards are scattered all over town.

Around the same time this new "one drink minimum" policy was adopted, they updated the billboard on Rancho (it's next to their building). The colors changed, but the text didn't. You can literally stand in front of the entrance, with its little laser-printed "One drink minimum" sign while still looking at the damned billboard proudly boasting "No minimums. No cover."

It's a classic bait-and-switch.

The annoying thing is this: our society is so forgiving, nay, apologetic for and tolerant of advertising, that I'd be the one in the wrong if I actually did anything about this irritation. I'm no lawyer, but I'm pretty sure it's either false advertising, or bait and switch, and that either way it's a violation of some law or ordinance.

Yet, if I did anything about it at all apart from whining about it here (and it's entirely likely I'll catch it from my fellow E2 readers for whining about it here), everyone would immediately pounce on me saying I was overreacting, or just looking for a lawsuit, or just trying to stir up trouble.

We eagerly overlook that the business in question has done something wrong, and we instead want to shoot the messenger.

I know the obvious alternative -- argue about it at the club itself -- has occured to many of you. Now that you've gotten that witty little thought into your mind, and you're feeling good about thinking of a simple solution that this dumbass author didn't, think harder about the solution first. You have to stand there, in front of an impatient waitress, a very large and evil looking bouncer, and try to rationally explain (above the loud music) why you shouldn't have to pay a cover charge or buy any drinks. I suspect they'll care very little about how much you get roughed up as they throw your ass out, even if you're right.

I just hate being lied to, that's all :)


As an aside, the ownership of Larry's Villa needs to seriously reconsider this latest move for another reason I haven't touched on yet. I've only ever seen five individual women working at the place. That's five dancers total. Not just on one night; every time I've visited, it has always been one of the same five women I've seen over and over getting up on stage. And only a couple of them are worth paying to see; the others are kinda "bleh" and if I'm going to be asked to pay to get in, the same money will give me much better looking women than at this place.

I have had it. I am sick and tired of having to pick up the god damn slack because I am the only person in the world qualified to responsibly operate an automobile.

I can't take it anymore. People need to be taken out back and beaten until their understand that a car is not a plastic Playskool wagon. It is a two-ton moving weapon. Cars are made of steel. Human beings are not.

I am at my wits end. Driving requires concentration and attention, as well as some semblance of skill. People should not be checking out the girls in the car next to them, talking on cellular phones, dialing numbers on cellular phones, applying makeup, fixing their hair, reading books, looking in the glove box for napkins, changing clothes, thumbing through compact disc flip files, smacking kids in the back seat, eating burritos, groping significant others, assembling erector sets or any the other countless bullshit I've seen people do while driving. Put both your stupid paws on the steering wheel and watch where you're going.

I'm tired of having to drive onto the shoulder to miss people swerving into my lane because they are incompetent. I am tired of having to drive off the road into someone's front yard to avoid someone else hitting me from behind and putting me in the hospital for a week and driving up my insurance rates. I am tired of having to stand on my brakes. I'm tired of having to swerve. I want to stay in my lane and not have to play a game of 4000 pound dodge ball. Can it really be that hard, people?

Sigh.

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