Here is one of my older columns. You can see them fresh at http://www.starnewsonline.com or in the Thursday issue of Currents.
I was hugging the walls of Olive or Twist and all around me were men. Hungry men. Curious men. They had gathered. The call had been sent out. They saw it on the news or they saw the bus or they received a text message. Girls Gone Wild had arrived in Wilmington. Was this a dream? Girls Gone Wild was probably the pinnacle of their adolescent hopes and wonderment, and now they were here! In their town! Some men go their whole lives without ever coming close to achieving a goal like that. And just like most dreams, most of those men in the crowd would leave unsatisfied and disappointed. A bouncer that was at least two hundred and fifty pounds of Planet Fitness-toned muscle stood with his arms crossed on the stair well. This stair well lead to the upper-floor. This upper floor was where all the Girls Gone Wild girls were located. The only way he was letting anyone past him was if you were part of the staff, were from Girls Gone Wild, or if you were a girl wanting to, you know, go up there and go wild. I lightly fantasized about running up to him and giving him an Indiana Jones uppercut and busting into the second floor yelling, “Freedom of the Press!” But I hadn’t hit a guy since grade school. And the guy I hit was two years younger than me.
“Hey, you want to go up there?” a guy next to me asked. I nodded.
“I know that bouncer! Give me a second and I’ll take you with me!”
The guy walked towards the bathroom, and it quickly occurred to me that this dude could be lying.
A little information about Girls Gone Wild. Joe Francis started Mantra Films in the mid-nineties. Girl Gone Wild quickly followed suit. Mr. Francis made millions off the general publics need for voyeuristic viewing pleasures. Spring Break? Summer Break? Christmas Break? Lunch Break? Girls Gone Wild became famous for having cameras anytime a young blond-haired beauty pulled her shirt over her head, sans bra. But you can’t dance in that type of mud puddle without your pants getting dirty. Over the years, Joe Francis has had a rainbow of wonderful legal trouble. Battery, tax evasion, bribery, possession of contraband, contempt of court, sexual assault, alleged rape and he has even been kidnapped. When I learned that Girls Gone Wild was going to be at Olive or Twist, I was surprised. They still make those videos? Sure enough, a quick Google lead me to GirlsGoneWild.com, where I could buy these amazing DVDs of America’s future house-moms getting naked for as little as $9.99.
So, how wild was it? Was it a modern day Sodom and Gomorra? No. I’ve been to pre-school plays more exciting. The bottom floor had a guy to girl ratio of 6 to 1. The top floor, barely visible from the bottom, was where the action took place. It was boring until a camera flicked on and then, on the stair case, four barely dressed women from the Girls Gone Wild crew began dancing on each other like strippers. Once, one of the girls decided to mingle with the commoners on the bottom floor. Surrounded by ten guys, she danced and shaked her booty. The guys yelled into the camera and gave shout outs to their people back home. But once the camera stopped, the action stopped. Something “wild” could have happened on the upper level, but I wasn’t privy to it. How Olive or Twist got the privilege to host such a “crazy” party is a mystery. At press time, they hadn’t returned my phone calls. But being there made me wish I was young again, so I wouldn’t know how stupid it all was. There was a time when you couldn’t keep me out of a dance club. And I have to admit that, when I was younger, a night where I could be less than a hundred feet from Girls Going Wild would have appealed to me. The people at Olive or Twist weren’t a bad lot. Everyone seemed to be having a great time. The music was horrible, but it’s a dance club. The music is always horrible. But I liked Olive or Twist. Rumors of its wack-ness were greatly exaggerated. It’s actually a nice establishment. But having Girls Gone Wild there? There is nothing funny or entertaining about the objectification of women. And that’s how Girls Gone Wild makes money. Sex, sadly, sells. I’m no saint. Still, I would be remiss if I didn’t take one parting stab at Mr. Francis’s endeavors. Girls Gone Wild? No, my friend. Girls Gone Lame.