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You have the right remain silent … or as loud as you want baby.
I’m not really a strip club kinda guy.
So I do what cops are never supposed to do.
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“You have to go! It’s for the Captain!” Welsh said as he clapped me on the back.
“I know, but strip clubs aren’t really my cup of tea,” I said. “I’d rather not.”
“Okay, it’s not a strip club, it’s a gentleman’s club,” Welsh said, emphasizing the word.
“You realize those are the same thing, right?” I asked.
“They are not!” Welsh shot back, horror in his expression. “There are a lot of differences!”
“Women taking off their clothes and men watching them, that’s what they are,” I said with a laugh. “You can’t argue that.”
“A gentleman’s club is far classier, hence the name. Everything is nicer, including the girls. So, you’re a lot more likely to find someone hot to take home than you would if you were at a strip club,” he said. There was a look on his face that told me he planned to do that very thing.
“I don’t have any intention of even going, let alone taking any of the girls’ home,” I replied. “Seriously man, I’ve got work to do.”
“Oh, you’re going. It’s his bachelor party! With any luck Cap’s only going to be married this one time, and you’re going to feel pretty stupid in the morning when you are the only one in the unit who didn’t show up at the party,” Welsh shook his head.
I hesitated. He did have a point with that one. I didn’t want to be the only one who didn’t show up, and with the buzz about the party being at the club circulating through the force, I had a feeling I was the only one who wouldn’t be.
“We’re leaving in an hour. You don’t have a lot of time to decide,” he pushed.
“I already made up my mind,” I said. “I’m not going.”
“That’s stupid. You are going, and you’re going to have a good time. Trust me. You can’t go to Smitty’s and not have a good time,” Welsh replied.
“Smitty’s? He chose Smitty’s?” I asked. “Now I’m definitely not going.”
“What’s wrong with Smitty’s?”
“Jesus Jack. Quit being such a pussy. Just show up for an hour. You never know, you might want to stay longer when you see what they have on the menu and get a drink or two in you,” Welsh argued.
I hesitated once more. I really didn’t like those venues, but he kept making good points. If I went, I didn’t have to stay for very long. I could show up, make sure Cap saw that I was there, then head home.
“Are you just trying to get a rise out of me? Is that it?” I asked. “Seems to me like you want me there pretty bad, when we all know that you’re going to be throwing money at the strippers and ignoring the rest of us.”
“Do you have to call them that? It’s degrading. These women are dancers. Hence why they work where they do. Show them some respect,” Welsh shook his head once more in mock disgust.
“I’d show them plenty of respect if they kept their clothes on,” I replied. “Now finish with filing the reports from today so we can get out of here.”
“I’m only going to hurry if you’re going to the club. We can start showing up like an hour before Cap gets there to get the table set up and shit,” Welsh rubbed his hands together in anticipation.
“I’m working in the morning so I can’t get drunk,” I flipped through a couple folders on the desk before sliding them into a drawer.
“You sound older than you are, Jack. Thirty-three should be your prime of life, not when you’re at home in your slippers at seven on a Friday,” Welsh gave me a look and I shrugged. My job was exhausting, and I didn’t often go out for drinks with friends anymore.
It wasn’t just about being home at a certain time. I had outgrown a lot of that lifestyle. I still had a drink every now and then, but Welsh, being eight years younger than me, would far rather be out partying when he could get away with it than not.
It was embarrassing at times. As an officer of the law, I felt we should carry ourselves with more respect, even when we were off duty. But it wasn’t my place to tell him what to do with his free time.
He was an adult, and he could do whatever he wanted.
“Just come for one hour. Just one!” he persisted. “I’ll even pay for you to get an Uber back home. Really.”
I sighed, putting more files in another drawer. I hated doing paperwork, and I wanted to get it done as quickly as possible. Welsh happened to be good at it, so if I could get him off my back, we could get out of there in a matter of minutes.
At the end of a long stint, I was ready to be off. One more day, and I could be.