Tales of Rock – Black Sabbath & Me

Manhattan, New York – 2007

These were my final day in New York. I had moved up there in 2005 for the company I was working for. By this point, I was working as a consultant for a firm that cleaned up smaller banks and credit unions. My office was at the corner of 34th and 5th Avenue, across the street from the Empire State Building.

My friend Duncan, who I’ve been friends with for over 20 years now, found out that Black Sabbath would be kicking off their latest tour at Radio City Music Hall.

Black Sabbath are the godfathers of heavy metal.

I’ve written about their guitarist, Tony Iommi before in this blog. It’s quite interesting and will give you insight into how the Sabbath sound was accidentally created. Check it out!

Black Sabbath began in the late 60s and played with singer Ozzy Osbourne for most of the 70s. But when Ozzy became too drunk and drugged out he was kicked out of the band. He was replaced by Ronnie James Dio another godfather of metal.

I love the early Sabbath albums. The first four to be specific. But two of my favorite albums the band ever made are Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules made with Ronnie. They’re perfect bookends of the Dio Years.

The band was reuniting with Ronnie for a special tour called The Dio Years and we had to attend. The tour of North America would debut in Manhattan and that show would be recorded for an upcoming live concert DVD to be released in 2007. But they had just released a CD to refresh the memories of the fans of the Dio years.

One of the things that Duncan and I have always had in common was our love for hard rock and heavy metal. You can find our stories here.

He bought the tickets and flew up to the city and stayed at my apartment in Jersey City. We met up and hung out in the city. We went out to lunch together and even flirted with some old ladies in the restaurant. We were just being our usual mischievous selves. Two metalheads wandering around the city.

But by nightfall, we were gearing up for the show. After several drinks and Duncan smoking from a little one-hitter I got for him, we were ready to rock.

We went to the show and to be honest it wasn’t like any metal show we’d ever been to. Most shows we attended were a sweaty, drunken, drugged-out mess. I mean, we were always well behaved and just banged our heads in metal fury, but this was Radio City Music Hall. Security was super tight, and there was no smoking in the theater. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to RCMH but it’s a nice place. Really nice. Great acoustics to play and record a live show, but there would be no monkey business at that show. So the crowd was subdued.

Whenever the band played anything from Heaven and Hell or Mob Rules we would rock out. But if they played anything else they did with Ronnie, that was my cue to go get us two more beers.

The show was great and we had a great time as always. We got out of the concert exhausted. Of course, Duncan had a strong case of the munchies and immediately headed for a food cart. I stayed away from street meat but Duncan wasn’t hearing it. He proceeded to devour a couple of kabobs.

We made our way to the PATH train to get back to Jersey City, where I was currently residing. I was surprised how many people were on the same train at that hour and we were sausaged in there with a ton of other people.

We finally made it back to my house, and it was a race to the bathroom for Duncan. I told him not to eat food from a Roach Coach, knowing this could happen. But he was fine.

He crashed at my place, and the next morning he was to head back to Charlotte, North Carolina where he lives. I asked him if he could stay longer because the band was going to be at Best Buy in two days to do an album signing.

But Duncan being the consummate employee to the bank where he’s worked since 1993, said he had to go.

But, I was determined to go back to Manhattan and meet the band if possible.

Two days later, I headed back over to Manhattan. When I got there, the line of fans went out the door of the store, around the corner, and down the street. I got at the end of the line around 5 pm.

The great thing about having to wait in a long line to see your heroes is, you get to meet and chat with a bunch of other people that all have the same thing in common. We are all there for the same thing. So it’s not boring because you can trade stories and talk about the band’s music. It was a nice day, so I was happy to be there with my rock n’ roll brethren. I wished Duncan had stuck around but I really wanted to see if I could meet them.

After about an hour or so, I finally got inside the store. The limit was 3 copies of their new album. So, of course, I bought 3. When I finally got up front I took a couple of photos.

Of course, once I was in the eye and earshot of the band I made sure they heard me say in my best Dio impression, “I’ve been waiting so long to see you guys, I feel like I’m the last in line!

(That’s a line from a Ronnie James Dio song and I got a laugh from the band!) Yes!

 

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But the best part was actually meeting the godfathers of heavy metal. When it came to my turn, I had all of the CDs open and had pulled out the liner notes to get them signed. I dropped them onto the table in front of Tony Iommi. I put out my hand and he took it to shake.

“Thank you for 40 years of joy, Mr. Iommi.”

“Your welcome. It’s been my pleasure.”

I was so caught up in the moment of meeting one of the gods of rock, I wasn’t paying attention to where my liner notes they were signing went. I looked down and they were gone.

“Hey, where’s my stuff?”

A voice came from the man sitting next to him. “I think they’re moving down that way.”

BLACK SABBATH | Black Sabbath: The Dio Years Autographed

I looked over, and those words came from the mouth of the man himself.

“Thank you, Ronnie James Dio!” I shook his hand and it was a glorious moment to stand before the golden voice of all British heavy metal. He looked really old and small, but I knew in my heart that tiny gnome held great power. He signed my stuff and passed it down to none other than Geezer Butler! The man who wrote many of the great Black Sabbath songs.

I shook his hand as well and thanked him for all of the joy he and the band had brought my friends and me over the last four decades. Vinnie Appice had replaced drummer Bill Ward for health reasons so it was no big deal to meet him. (Sorry, Vinnie)

I walked outside with a guy I had met in line, and we carefully held all of our liner notes out to let the sharpie signatures dry. We headed over to a bar and shared a laugh and a beer.

It was a beautiful few days in my life and a nice cap to my time in New York. In two months I’d be living in Pennsauken, New Jersey with my ex-mother-in-law. But that’s another story.

But there’s more… keep reading!

Philadelphia, PA – 2010

I was living in Philadelphia by now and working at Philly.com. I was doing well, had a beautiful girlfriend and everything was right in the world. (As much as it could be)

I heard that Ozzy Osborne was going to be at the Borders book store at the corner of Broad and Chestnut. (Now a giant Walgreens) After work, I headed over there. I bought a copy of his new book and got in line. It started on the first floor and went around the store and upstairs. Ahh… always a line to see the gods of rock.

Here’s some stuff about him from the blog.

When I finally got up to meet him, I couldn’t believe I was standing there in front of the amazing OZ! I handed him my copy of his book.

“Thank you for 40 years of joy, Mr. Osbourne!”

(Mumbles) “Your welcome.”

And security pushed me along so the next fan could get their book signed.

Not as great as seeing his former bandmates and Dio three years earlier, but  I was at least happy to get his book and autograph. I did get some better pictures at this event though.

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This band made so much great music over the years I’ll listen to their records until the day I die.

 

 

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Lin – What Would Simon Say?

I was walking back from the grocery store that’s about two blocks from my house the other day. I’m carrying two big paper bags when I suddenly see Lin with her little dog.

The dog immediately pulls on the leash and its back legs starts viciously barking at me as if I’m a criminal. Normally kids and animals like me because they can sense my inner kindness, but this pup is just being a jerk.

Typical yappy dog. Lin seems in a hurry to get where she’s going. “Hi, I’m just taking him to the park.”

“Nice seeing you. Have fun.”

And that was it. Now, I’m loaded down with groceries and she’s being pulled by a precocious pooch.

But I noticed something I hadn’t before. Both times I encountered her she was seated. But today she had on a pair of black bicycle shorts and some sort of white halter top on. (Those tight compacting shorts that hold everything in)

As she walked away I stole a glance back at her.

This is not the girl I saw in her Instagram photos. In her pics on social media, she’s raven-haired and fit. A petite, cutie. But this person walking away from me no longer fits that description.

She’s blonde and packed on quite a bit of weight. Her back is chubby and her legs are thick. This isn’t good. Could she be stuffing her feelings about her ex? Has she gotten back with him? He cheated on her and she dumped him. But now she’s a little chubette and I can’t imagine him wanting to come back to a worse version of the chick he already cheated on.

Then her next boyfriend in Fairmount suddenly cut her loose too. Something’s wrong here.

Maybe she just stuffed her face during Covid? No. That wouldn’t make sense. She’s a nurse. They were busier than ever during Covid. It must be the depression of being on her own and the loss of not one, but two boyfriends. What is with these Asian girls? No offense, but this reminds me a lot of when I knew Kita from the tanning salon a few years ago. Addicted to tanning, the super bleached blonde hair. Do these girls want to change themselves because they’re unhappy in their lives? They look perfectly great with their natural hair and skin color. It’s beautiful to me. I’m a huge fan and have been for over 40 years. I’ve had a couple of Asian girlfriends and liked the way they looked.

I don’t know, but I’m getting a bad vibe about this chick and I swore no more crazies back in 2019. There just seems to be a lot of things going on with this chick.

I saw her one more time the other day. I was about half a block away from her as she was entering the building next door. She was in the hallway with her yippie dog and fiddling with the lock on the front door. I know she didn’t see me earlier and as I walked by all I could see was that back fat.

I get that if you read this you’ll think I’m being shallow. Maybe I am. But I’m not pursuing this girl. It appears that in the short time that I’ve known her, (Two brief encounters) that she’s got some issues with several things. The sudden hair color changed, twice! The rapid weight gain. Drug use. The bounced rent check. The sudden need to get a tattoo.

Where are this girl’s friends and family? She’s got a good career, but it seems she’s making a lot of wrong and desperate moves. I’ve known too many mentally unstable people during my 15 years in this city.

So, sadly… I’m going to steer clear of this one.

Oh well, like I always say: Good or bad, at least I got a story out of it.

Simon Cowell GIFs | Tenor

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An Evening With James – Part 2

Yesterday I began the two-part saga of hanging out with my friend James. Thanks for tuning in for the conclusion!

The Lyft arrives and it’s a five-star driver with a pleasant personality and a clean car. I’m safe and on my way to see James. Based on my calculations I’m less than 15 minutes away from his house. But for some reason I guess I was traveling during a surge period and this ride is costing me $17! What the heck?

But I let it go because it was my mistake that got me here and I’m happy I’m safe and in an air-conditioned, clean vehicle to my friend’s doorstep. I chat with the driver and he points out all of the hot spots in town on our way there. Noted. I’ll pass these recommendations onto James when I see him. He’s single now and should get out in the real world to hunt and not so much on these dating apps.

He drops me off and I knock on James’s front door. After a few minutes, I hear a window opening above my head. I look up and James is sticking his head out the window. “Didn’t you get my text? The door’s open. I’m just out of the shower.”

I go in and head for the kitchen. He has a jar full of those peanut butter-filled pretzels on the counter and I munch on a few of them. Nothing’s changed since I was here last. Several pieces of furniture are gone, but he’s set up a turntable and some speakers next to the 50 plus liquor bottles in the corner of the room. He wants to install a bar of some type to put his collection into but he’s just been too busy. But it’s been a productive busy. Lots of interesting dates and the obligations of running his talent agency.

I think about the last time I was here. Lethal cocktails, beers, burgers, and dogs. I loved it all but at my age, none of the above loves me back anymore. I was under the weather for 2 days after that last time. That won’t happen again, right?

James comes down and starts making cocktails. I’m petting one of his exotic cats. I like the grey and black one that resembles a tiger. James thinks that cat is an a$$hole but I like him because he’s so handsome.

James gives me one of his famous Manhattans. It packs a punch but is delicious. Are you supposed to use 100 proof rye whiskey in that drink? Probably not, but  I can’t say no to a freshly made quality cocktail that’s made with authentic ingredients right down to the brandied berry on the toothpick. Plus… they’re free. Free always tastes better than paid for. James makes really good cocktails and never scrimps on the quality.

So I tell him about the last few weeks of non-stop commercial writing assignments, my encounters with Lin, and my harrowing trip to get here today. Then it’s his turn.

His life now that he’s single sounds like my life when I started this blog back in 2016. Non-stop dates, events, and oceans of alcohol.

He’s hungry, so he whips up some tasty little frozen chicken nuggets. James is the king of hot sauce and dipping and he brings out the plate of snacks. He’s telling me about all of his dates in detail, (which I love because I’m now living vicariously through my young apprentice) and we munch on the chicken while sipping our potent beverages. (I even ripped off a few little bits and fed them to his cat which he enjoyed!) James told me that could give the cat diarrhea later but I figured a few little scraps wouldn’t hurt him. Cats have far more robust and septic digestive systems than humans or even dogs.

The next couple of cocktails I consumed were whiskey and coffee liqueur based and they were delicious. But I was already buzzing from my first Manhattan.  Did I know that these venomous drinks were a recipe for a hangover tomorrow? Of course, I did. But did it at any time cross my mind during this social visit with my friend? No, it did not.

So, it turns out I was right about his motives for the evening. It was number 2. Strip club. Okay, James. Whatever you want buddy. You’ve never been there and you should at least see what it’s all about.

We’ve been chatting for a few hours and through several cocktails and I’m fine with it. It was probably around 10:30 or 11:00 by the time he called the Lyft to take us to Delilah’s.

Delilah’s describes itself on their website as “a landmark in Philadelphia for over a quarter-century. Over that time Delilah’s has established itself as the premier entertainment destination for business travelers, celebrities, and uninhibited Philadelphians alike.”

That sounds great, but that’s never what any of these kinds of places are like. Even using the phrase, “gentlemen’s club” is abhorrent. You can hang whatever title you want on any of these joints and they are all just strip joints, plain and simple. It can be big, and fancy with tall stripper poles and lots of fancy lights, stages, and music, but it’s all the same stuff.

A den of iniquity full of sleazy, sweaty losers who are looking to escape reality. A place where these losers can flash some money and get the attention of a few desperate, damaged women in skimpy outfits. The last time I was here, was for my friend Duncan after his divorce. I don’t go to places like this because I never need to. I can meet real women in the real world. Places like this are gross and so are the men who frequent them.

I used to know a guy that was addicted to these scum holes. He has no personality or game of any kind and has blown thousands of dollars at places like this. He’s always been a sleazy loser and this is the only way he can ever get the attention of fit young women. He has to pay for it. Pathetic.

The women who work there are usually all mentally damaged in some form. What girl chooses to end up in a vocation where she has to parade around in her underwear for a living and be nice to a bunch of gross losers while they stuff dollar bills in her bra or thong? No little girl ever dreams of being a stripper when she grows up. She’s been damaged by someone along the way. It’s so sad.

We arrive and go inside. We’re both in good spirits due to the amount of distilled spirits flowing through our veins and just being together. James pays our cover which was $10 each. We have to go through a vigorous security process similar to getting on a plane. Maybe worse. Patted down by burly security guards, put your keys, wallet, and phone in a tray while you pass through a metal detector to enter the club. I whipped out my vaccination card but nobody cared. As long as I wasn’t packing any weapons they didn’t care if we were patient zero and carriers of covid and ebola!

We walk up to the first bar as you enter the main area. The last time I was here I prefer to sit in the back because it’s quiet and a bit more remote. But James has never been here before and he’s dazzled by the energy of the place and all the female pulchritude.

Within 30 seconds two attractive blondes in skimpy outfits were upon us.

Have you ever walked onto the property of a used car lot? What’s the first thing that happens? Right… you are immediately accosted by some sleazy used car salesman who descends upon you like a desperate starving vulture.

That’s what it felt like. These girls are looking to maximize their earnings each night and we are simply ATMs. They charm us with their wiles to figure out our emotional PIN, and their job is to separate us from our cash.

These two hapless souls were all over us from the minute we got to the bar. We barely had time to order a couple of Stella Artois. James picked up on the vibe immediately, and we got our beers and headed to the back away from these cute piranhas.

We take our seats at the end of one of the bars and enjoy the show. The women that work at Delilah’s are better looking than the gals that work at some of the other clubs in town. This is the premier place, right? But as I said, it’s all the same trip in every one of these places across the nation.

James seems to be getting into the spirit of things though, so I’m happy he’s having a good time. He’s never been here so being newly single again, he’s glad he can go where he pleases and do what he wants and doesn’t have to answer to anyone anymore. He doesn’t have to get permission from his girlfriend to go live the life he wants.

I tell him since I wasn’t entirely sure we were coming here tonight I didn’t prepare. (I never prepare because I never go to places like this.) When you go to a strip club you should always bring plenty of cash because it’s king in these joints. Cash for lap dances in the private rooms and lots of singles for stuffing in G-strings.

So against my better judgment, I head over to the ATM. Now, when I used to go to the Gold Club down in center city with Johnny R before I cut that alcoholic loser off, I knew to never use their mac machine. Here’s why… Strip clubs know they have a captive audience full of drunk, horny losers. They exploit every inch of that real estate. Crappy drinks are overpriced, the girls are money-hungry jackals, and the fee to use the mac machine is usually jacked up. They know you don’t want to leave to get more money. You want that lap dance from that hottie who’s been teasing you for the last hour with promises of love and maybe other things in the back room.

The Gold Club is a place where sexual stuff can happen. I’ve witnessed Johnny R get all kinds of favors from the girls there in the back room. It’s a low-class place and the staff isn’t as pretty as at Delilah’s so they’re more apt to give a few favors for the right price.

The ATM fee at the Gold club is around $6. Which is twice to three times what you’d pay at an average ATM anywhere else in the city. But dudes pay it and probably don’t even notice they’re getting hit with the fee. Being drunk and horny clouds their vision. But, here I am at Delilah’s, the “classy” joint in town and I’m about to take money from their ATM. I figure, what the heck. I’m only going to write all about this later and it’ll be more informative to my readers if they know the real deal.

So I go to the mac machine and put my debit card in. I choose to take out $80. I get my four twenties and receipt and head back to the bar to see James.

I pull out the receipt from the machine and show it to him. He doesn’t notice it at first, but see if you can.

Yea… a horror show. A $16 fee just to get your money out of that thing! That’s highway robbery!

I’m a cheapskate anyway when I go to these kinds of hellholes, so seeing this I knew I would NOT be spending much money in this dump. I wouldn’t anyway, but wow. Just wow. It made me wish that I was the owner of that ATM. What a cash cow!

James laughs in surprise and whips out a neatly wrapped stack of $100 in one-dollar bills he has to have gotten from his local bank of account. I laughed at his planning. Well done, James! You came prepared. You’re a regular boy scout!

I gave him 2 twenties and he reluctantly counted out $40 in one-dollar bills to me in exchange.

He’s been chatting with probably the prettiest, fit dancer in the place and tells me he’s going off to get a lap dance. Good for him. He needs to experience this place to its fullest. But I think he’s in for a rude awakening. We all know what happens and NEVER happens in the champagne room at Delilah’s.

While he’s gone two really cute Hispanic girls approach me. They’re both adorable and alluring. I haven’t seen them in here all night, nor have I seen either one of them dances on stage. They both proceed to cut right to the chase. “Give us $300 and you can come in one of the back rooms and have s*x with us. (Gotta watch the words I use here. Google Adsense flags anything sexy on my sight now. If I want to earn ad revenue on here, I gotta keep it clean) I graciously decline their offer, as tempting as these two lovely sirens are.

James returns 15 minutes later, and I ask him how was his “lapper” with the brunette.

“Sucked. She sort of writhed and hovered over me, and there was no touching.”

“Welcome to an upscale gentleman’s club, James. You can get tossed for touching in this place.”

I can tell James is disappointed with what we’ve experienced thus far. We throw back a few beers and the good news is, neither of us was drunk. I tell him that even though I had to let my friend Johnny R go because of his multiple addictions and failure, the guy was right. He never wanted to come to Delilah’s. He always preferred the Gold Club in the center city because he liked its authenticity. It doesn’t pretend to be a classy joint like this place does. It knows it’s a sleazy strip club and it does it well. The girls are average and very friendly, the day shift is a little scary, but at least they’re truthful with what they provide and what they are.

By the end of the night, we were approaching the 2 am witching hour and last call. James was determined to spend some money apparently and stay in the spirit of things. He was crumbling up bills and tossing them onto the stage. At one point he went to the edge of the stage and just laid out money along the edge. It was all one-dollar bills but he seemed to be enjoying himself despite the grinding disappointment of this place and their ilk.

He encouraged me to do the same so I placed 2 bills on the edge of the stage. God, I hate these places but I love James, so who cares. We had a fun night out. I took a LYFT home and he was within walking distance of his house so he headed home.

When I get home, I notice my clothes smelled of cigarette and cigar smoke and I reek of cheap perfume. Hopefully, a hot shower will wash the stench from me, but sadly the women that work there can’t wash off that kind of a shame.

And the best part? I got a colorful story out of it, and when I checked my wallet the next morning  I still had most of my money! I had $38 in ones and $40 in twenties, so at least I didn’t get fleeced last night!

The only thing is, I didn’t have a migraine the next day, but all those rich cocktails did give me a headache for the rest of the day, and my stomach has been a little shakey for two days.

I’m getting too old for this rich life, but I’m having fun doing it. I think next time we go out, I’ll stick to spiked seltzers, lots of water, and some good food to sop up the booze.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. 

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Lin – A Brief Repose

I went to Southgate bar and grill for opening happy hour, but Lin didn’t show. It would have been awesome if she’d have walked through the door, but no dice.

She probably forgot about it. No big deal.

I was complaining to my friend the other day about how I thought being a paid writer was a bit sexier than it is in reality. I pictured myself being like Hank Moody in the series, Californication. Just that cool guy, who hangs out, drinks, smokes, and parties his way around town. Bedding multiple, attractive ladies along the way.

But that’s fiction. Being a real writer who earns a living doing it is a solitary existence that takes patience and diligence daily. You can’t write 2500 words about ‘the tax advantages of solar power’ or  ‘Lead Routing for Today’s Salesforce’ if you’re hungover or messed up on drugs.

You have little free time because you’re stuck behind your keyboard for hours on end researching and writing about a bunch of stuff you know little about. But it pays the bills and keeps a roof over your head while you’re waiting for your next novel to become a bestseller.

There’s nothing glamourous about it and it’s a lonely existence. But I like writing and learning about new things. I also love the dopamine drop when you finally finish a long piece knowing you’ll be paid handsomely for it. But more likely than not several assignments are waiting urgently right behind the one you just finished that need to be done. You have deadlines that must be met. This kind of writing isn’t sleeping late, heading over to Cavanaugh’s for lunch and then writing your dating blog for the rest of the afternoon while you sip poorly made manhattans.

This is work and it’s a grind. But that’s what most jobs are. They’re not fun. That’s why they give you money to do them. These companies don’t have the talent on hand to write all of this stuff for their internal communications, websites, and their blogs. So they job it out to freelancers like me to get the job done quickly.

When I said at the top of this piece that I was complaining… I wasn’t complaining. I like having a job where I get to write all day. A year ago, I could be where I was working in some B-rate sports bar, dealing with a$$holes, drug addicts, mentally unstable whackos, alcoholics, illegal aliens, felons, and sex offenders. And that’s just the people I worked with!  (Sadly, I’m not exaggerating)

So, it’s just not as sexy as I thought it was like in the movies. But nothing is. Do you think being a cop is cool and fun? That’s a dangerous and sometimes boring job. It’s feast or famine most days.

I was simply lamenting with someone of like mind who shares this same vocation. She has so much more experience than I do when it comes to this sort of work. (She was the editor for a news agency in Philly for years, so she knows her stuff) I respect her and like her as a person and I’m so fortunate to have her in my life. She’s opened not only a new profession where I can use my talent and earn a living but a whole new chapter in the book that’s my life. So I may complain but I’m still enjoying it!

So, I was coming back from my daily trip to my go-to breakfast nook, Rachael’s in Rittenhouse. They know what I like and make me the same thing every day so I don’t have to even order when I go in. I say hello, grab a seat and they bring me my breakfast. During this long period of non-stop writing assignments it’s been a happy little break I get each morning to get some fresh air, see some people, eat a delicious meal, and then back home to work.

I was still ruminating about how my life as a paid writer was nothing like Hank Moody’s but I just thought about the money.

But I walked on the west side of 19th street today because there was some construction going on on the other side. I was walking by Metropolitan Bakery and I hear a familiar voice.

“Hello, Charles.”

Sitting there outside at one of the little tables sipping her coffee was lovely, Lin!

It’s as if the gods had heard me complaining about my boring writer’s life and decided to throw me a bone to cheer me up. They wanted to show me that I can still have a little joy in the daily grind of cranking out article after article.

She gestures to the seat across from her, “Sit.”

I happily sit down and the dopamine is flowing through me. This is great! It’s just what I needed today. Two days ago I was so frustrated with a client’s demands that I wanted to pack it in. (Not really) And now, I was chatting with my neighbor. It was a tiny miracle. Just incredible luck and timing. The lift I need in my day to carry on.

“Your hair looks different. You look great.”

“Yea I got it trimmed and they frosted it.”

“Well, it looks nice.”

We chatted a bit and she stated that her schedule is usually pretty crazy. I asked her what she was doing after coffee, and she said she was going to walk up to the bookstore (Shakespeare & Co.) on Walnut Street. But then she had to go home and go to bed.

“To bed?”

“Yea, I’m working from 6 pm to 6 am for the next few days. It’s brutal.”

And here I was crying about writing industrial articles for money from 9 am to 9 pm every day from the comfort of my air-conditioned house. I told her I wished I could walk up there with her and stroll around the bookstore and look at literature, but I had to get home and write. (People like other people that are busy. Remember what I always say on this blog: “We always want that which retreats from us.”)

However, there were a few flags. Not red, but flags. She recently met me. I’ve only seen her twice. But a few things are going on here. In the last photo on her Instagram, she has her natural hair color. Black. When I met her it was sort of blonde. That’s new. A week or so later at this encounter her hair is cut in a shorter style and frosted.

Not a big deal I suppose, but she mentions that she’s getting her first tattoo and raised her arm to show me where.

She also mentions to me that she recently met up with her ex. Not “a month ago guy up in Fairmount”, but “4-year guy” who cheated on her and they split up. That’s never good. I asked her if she thinks he was trying to get back with her, and she said yes. So, he cheated because he was bored or tired of her, and now that hasn’t worked out for him and he wants his girlfriend back. This is all just pride and young person nonsense. Why did she agree to meet with him? She’s young, she was hurt when he cheated. She dumped him, and now she regrets it. She’s not happy with herself. Rudderless for the moment. The different hair. Blonde of all things. Now a tattoo. Chatting with the ex.

The flags are turning red.

She goes on to tell me she recently bounced her rent check. She’s only lived next door for a little over a month. She said the landlord charged her $20 for the bounced check fee and an additional $100 fine for the infraction. That seemed harsh. Incidentally, we both share the same landlord. I’ve never had a problem in the 11 years I’ve lived here.

This girl is a registered nurse! She’s got to be making good money working all of these hours she says she’s working. Maybe she’s just being reckless with her money. Maybe spending too much on stuff to stuff her empty heart filled with nothing but regret and sadness? Who knows.

She also mentioned that she recently acquired some mushrooms. So now she’s smoking weed and using psychedelics? Does anybody want to know that their nurse is a casual user? I don’t know if they can even do that. Don’t they get regularly tested? This girl is all over the place. Even in the short time I’ve known her, this seems like an overshare and a lot for me to download.

Red flags are now waving at me in the wind.

We chatted a little more and I pulled out my phone and typed in her name into the directory. Then I handed it to her. She put her digits into my phone and that was it.

I told her I was sorry we couldn’t hang out at the bookstore but we definitely should at some point. She agreed and kept saying, “text me. Yea, just text me. Our schedules are crazy. I’ll be around. Text me”.

So that’s a good sign. Now I have her number. I probably won’t text her for a week, because I have to focus on finishing these articles. I don’t want to get distracted by an attractive young lady. I have to get these done. But by Wednesday of next week, I’ll probably send her my contact info and send her a friendly little text to say hello.

Will I hear back from her? Maybe. I don’t know what her life or schedule is like. I may never hear from her. What if she gave me the wrong number? Nah, that would just be rude. I can’t think like that. But I’m going to text her once I’m done with all of these assignments.

I said goodbye to her and she went one way and I went the other. But I returned home energized and refreshed knowing that I had gotten to see my neighbor again and got her number. It was the better move and felt easy.

So I’ll hit her up next week.

As I said at the end of the last post about Lin, we’ll have to see what happens. But I’m already getting a vibe from this chick that she’s a bit confused and doesn’t know what she’s doing.

She may not make it to the “hang-out with Chaz” stage.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. 

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Sex Worker Reveals What It’s Really Like To Be A Stripper & Prostitute

Here’s a submission from one of my readers. Enjoy!

Stripping and prostitution aren’t all bad, but sex work is no walk in the park.

Being a sex worker can be a blast.

Easy money that’s fun to make. Partying for a living. Getting a great workout, and sometimes even having great sex, on the job. Going to great restaurants and staying at nice hotels on someone else’s dime. Meeting lots of cool people and making them feel great. Fulfilling clients’ fantasies while escaping your own troubles. Having the opportunity to travel all over the country and even the world, while remaining gainfully employed and recouping any costs incurred.

One of the biggest perks working as a stripper and prostitute is the high earning-to-time-expended ratio.

Students, single moms, and aspiring artists can literally buy themselves time to live the other aspects of their lives, such as supporting dependents and pursuing higher education.

Writing has always been my greatest talent, and I have a sensitive writer’s temperament. Stripping and escorting have helped inspire and sustain my writing, but they’ve also exposed me to genuinely heartbreaking things.

Sure, there are things about stripping and escorting that irritate me — like people not tipping at the stage when I’m working the pole hard and Johns canceling appointments last minute — but then there are things that have an emotional impact on me as well.

Here are the ten most heartbreaking aspects of being a sex worker.

1. We see clients (mainly men) at their most vulnerable.

Guys really spill their guts to you and it can be quite draining. Sometimes you just smile and nod at inane rambling, but other times the conversation gets pretty damn real.

You see guys who are mentally disturbed, addicts, and physically disabled. But most of all, you see guys who want to vent about their marriage issues or drink their pain away, using you as an enabler.

2. Law enforcement treats murdered or raped sex workers as sub-human.

There’s a degrading expression among cops. The term “no human involved” (NHI) is utilized when a murder victim is a sex worker, especially if the victim is a trans woman of color.

We don’t get the Natalee Holloway media treatment if we go missing. And crimes against only make the news when someone famous — like Eliot Spitzer, Charlie Sheen, or an intriguing serial killer — is involved.

3. Feminists don’t have our backs and drown out our voices with their own.

I’m a bit sick of Tina Fey being lauded as a feminist when she thrives on jokes that shame and dehumanize sex workers.

If you watch “30 Rock” or read her book “Bossypants” from a sex workers’ point of view, you’d be shocked by how little she thinks of us. Other feminists who hold higher degrees and teach at prestigious institutions have gotten the general public, federal government, and chief executive officer himself on board with the conflation of sex trafficking and consensual sex work.

You’ve noticed what a trendy topic sex trafficking (modern slavery) is, right? It’s really hit the mainstream, but feminists, law enforcement, and federal lawmakers don’t have a damn clue how to actually distinguish voluntary sex workers from exploited trafficking victims.

Instead, by enacting bills like FOSTA-SESTA, they’re letting the bad apples make it harder for the rest of us to do things such as bank and avoid housing discrimination.

4. We are disenfranchised from mainstream society.

A few years back, Chase Bank was accused of shutting down the bank accounts of adult entertainers and their spouses, even when the work they do is legal.

When porn star Teagan Presley received a letter from Chase saying accounts belonging to herself and her husband were being closed, she was told in person by someone at the bank it was because she was deemed to be “high risk.”

Soon after, Frank Keating, CEO of the American Bankers Association, wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal in which he claimed the US Department of Justice was actively involved in the situation.

“Operation Choke Point,” he wrote, “is asking banks to identify customers who may be breaking the law or simply doing something government officials don’t like … Banks must then ‘choke off’ those customers’ access to financial services, shutting down their accounts.”

Sex workers have used other services like Paypal, Bitcoin, GreenDot Cards, MoneyPaks, and more to obtain deposits from clients, and law enforcement keeps catching on to us and shutting down various resources. The closures of Craigslist’s adult section, Backpage, and websites like MyRedbook (where sex workers could advertise), have forced some of us onto the streets to survive.

Federal authorities portray these moves as ways to protect underage sex trafficking victims and bust money-laundering pimps, but what they really do is endanger consenting sex workers who are of age and willingly involved in the industry in the process. This kind of discrimination is why a lot of us, including myself for a time, literally live out of hotels.

5. We will forever be defined by our time as sex workers.

I’m not fame-obsessed like most Americans. I don’t care about celebrities and I don’t care to become one. However, now that I’ve worked not only as a stripper but as a full-blown hooker, I’m terrified of becoming a successful writer or public figure. I’m worried that a single Tweet or viral blog post could put me under the microscope and do me in.

Aside from certain careers where a sex worker’s past isn’t such a big deal, our career options can be severely limited for the rest of our lives.

People like writer and producer Diablo Cody (whose real name is Brook Maurio) are burdened with having to forever field interview questions about stripping. Olympic runner Suzy Favor Hamilton, who briefly worked as an escort, had her name stripped from the Big Ten female athlete of the year award and has been burdened with having to explain that part of her life using another stigmatized subject, mental health, to explain her actions and make them somewhat more acceptable to society.

6. We watch people do themselves in with drug addictions.

You meet a great deal of proud recovering alcoholics and addicts as a sex worker, but you also meet tons of clients and colleagues looking for an enabler or looking for a place to drink or do drugs with someone.

I lost one stripper friend to a heroin overdose, and she had a somewhat rapid unraveling. Her first relapse was booze, and the needle soon followed.

Hearing girls in the dressing room boast about being off “H” for a few days was depressing, to say the least, as was seeing others zoned out of their mind on Xanax or booze, moving about like numb zombies.

I’ve personally abused Adderall when stripping, causing me to act strung out, and I’ll see people taking higher-stakes chances with their lives.

I’ve tried to help out strippers who were living out of hotels by offering them accommodations with me or offering to loan them the house free for the night. It’s draining to repeatedly try in vain to help people who won’t help themselves.

7. We lead double lives and have to lie all the time.

There are some out and proud prostitutes, while others have been outed against their will.

Lying is both exhausting and something that doesn’t come easily to me. I gloss over discussions of work with my family and steer conversations toward my hobbies, volunteering, and culture consumption, and inquiries about other family members.

When it comes to dating, I’ve disclosed to several men that I stripped (and even met some men I’ve dated at the clubs), but I’ve never disclosed being an escort to any guy. Not getting really serious with guys is a defense mechanism; I fear domestic violence or retribution like online shaming.

On a day-to-day basis, I’m always fudging my work situation a bit, sometimes in front of people who know the truth. These days, I’ve made progress proving to my family that my mental health has improved and is being better managed; however, it’s hard to have the weight of hypocrisy on my shoulders as I lie about my main source of income.

8. There’s rampant racism.

There is tremendous pressure for escorts to lower their price points and sell themselves short, thanks to the internet keeping prices competitive, just like it does for other industries.

And as is the case in other fields, minority women are often under more pressure to resort to this than their white counterparts.

When I work at the strip club, it seems like guys consider the minority girls more “attainable” if they’re thinking strictly with their penises. On the flip side, tons of white escorts have “No Blacks Allowed” policies, in the same way, many escorts don’t “see” men under 30.

While I’m all about sex workers setting and maintaining their own boundaries, having a blanket “No Blacks Allowed” policy seems a tad overzealous.

I admit I’m guilty of racism at times. I too often ignore black customers at the strip club, even when there are no other customers or I’ve already tried all the others. I’ll sometimes roll my eyes when young minority men get bottle service and make it rain on the big booty girl, while not tipping me a single dollar for hanging upside down on a 20-foot pole.

9. People feel entitled to our bodies outside of respectful parameters.

I refuse to work at full-nude strip clubs and was reminded why the other night when both of my first two lap dance recipients tried to sneak their hands under my thong.

There are a ton of guys out there who think buying a $20 lap dance entitles them to finger us, touch our breasts, whip their penises out, or even get a quick blowjob or handjob.

Before switching to escorting, I remember a guy ejaculating after two lap dances and thinking to myself, “How is getting a guy off for $40 any better than turning a cheap trick? If I’m going to get guys off, I should charge what an intellectual college grad deserves.”

All sex workers have different boundaries, but guys seem to find out what they are by crossing them instead of asking first.

As a whore, I provide companionship with a side of mostly vanilla sex acts for money. If a client forces anal sex on me, that’s a form of rape. If he forces sex without a condom on me, that’s a form of rape. If he threatens to write a bad review about me if I don’t perform a certain sex act or forego a condom, that’s a form of rape.

I’m usually able to use the internet to weed out bad guys, but this behavior knows no class or race.

10. There’s constant cyber-bullying.

A website called The Erotic Review is my arch-nemesis. Since I began escorting in 2010, that site has gotten even worse at bullying escorts into compromising our boundaries, namely whether or not we allow reviews and how we let the threat of bad reviews impact our appointments, our price points, and our-self esteem.

To earn a 10/10 on “performance,” unsafe sex is required. The term “BBBJ” (bareback blow job, i.e. condomless) is extremely in demand, and that was bad enough, but now clients can report when girls allow “BBFS” (bareback full service, as in condomless sex, and perhaps even condomless anal sex).

Girls who are naive, uneducated, or who rely on sites like these for free advertising pander to these jerks and escort agencies only contribute to the problem. Guys who pay less expect more, and they complain when they don’t get it. Guys who pay more tend to be more discreet.

I’ve worked with four agencies, all female-owned, and found that the owners are invariably in it for themselves, which means offering competitive prices and catering to review board culture. Thankfully, my agency work has never compromised my independent brand.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

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