Speaking of the Sleazy Bar Whip Party...

SSQQ is given credit for originating the Sleazy Bar Whip Party. Since its inception in the late 80's, not only is it a yearly fixture here at the studio, but other Whip clubs in Houston and Dallas have gone on to host Sleazy Bar Parties of their own. Despite SSQQ's headstart in this important area, I have been told the other parties are actually far Sleazier than SSQQ's. Well, there is actually a reason for that.

In year two of the Sleazy Bar Party I was involved in an incredibly embarrassing experience involving the Bellaire Police. Here is a true story from the annals of the SSQQ Sleazy Bar Whip Party !

The Sleazy Bar Whip Party was the brainchild of Sharon Crawford and yours truly. You see, the cosmic joke is that nowadays the women who want to learn the Whip are extremely bright, well-educated professional ladies, Yuppies if you wish. Yet back in the old days, the Whip was this really nasty dance that a different sort of woman would use to arouse a man for whatever reason, professional or extracurricular. The ironic joke is Bad Girls did not require training in how to stick out their hips; it was a life-style prerequisite. They needed no practice assuming the "Left Hip Spanking Position". But in the modern era now all the Good Girls want to dance the Whip too, but needed help learning how to stick out their backside. As we are fond of teasing, the problem is mostly "psychological". 

SSQQ used to go Whip dancing in the mid to late 1980's at this dive called "The Four Palms" off Telephone Road.  Long ago Telephone Road was infamous for its various houses of ill repute. My first cursory look at the area didn't suggest its past was really past. This was definitely still the Blue Side of Town. The Four Palms is now out of business, but in its heyday it was your typical dive : smoky, crowded, and full of low-lifes. At first glance you thought you stumbled in the Houston Zoo Reptile House by accident.

The Four Palms was known as a "Pressure Cooker Bar", a phrase for a joint where bored and restless women would go looking for some action during the day. The term "Pressure Cooker" meant that while her family's evening meal was slowing cooking at home, Momma would do some sizzling on the side.

The attraction for Sharon and me was a fabulous band called "The Soul Brothers" that played wonderful rhythm and blues Whip music every Sunday night.   Gosh, I loved to Whip at the Four Palms !  Nevertheless, many SSQQ visitors would wonder what they were getting themselves into when they walked up and saw the sign, "Check your guns and knives at the door". If you had never been there before, this sign definitely made you think twice before entering. Some ladies actually said they turned around and left. They undoubtedly had trouble with their hip motion too.

So about 10 years ago when we started having our Whip Parties I was also 10 years younger. And I was about 20 years more open-minded... having children accelerates the onset of modesty !  At any rate, when it was time for the second annual Sleazy Bar Party, I actually thought about looking, well, sleazy.  Imagine that.

For our second Annual Party, I decided to lose my inhibitions. I wore tight black pants, a leather jacket, and no shirt. There may have been a gold chain around my neck. I lost the glasses. I greased back the hair. There may have been a tattoo.   I was one tough-lookin' dude, someone Mr T or Dennis Rodman might want to hang out with.

About halfway through the party I am dripping wet. Those leather jackets may look good, but...  well, it was a chilly spring night outside, so I opened the emergency exit to pull in some extra cool air. Fifteen minutes later two of the biggest, meanest-looking Bellaire Policemen walk into Room 2.

One crosses his arms, the other puts his hands on his hips about an inch from his holster. They stop to survey the scene. They are frowning Big Time !   And damn do they look unhappy about something. 'What in the world is going on here ?', I think to myself. Then it dawns on me that we all look dangerous !

Then the fear response kicks in. I am absolutely freaking out ! By then I have turned so pale you could have rented me out as an extra in a Casper the Ghost flick.

My mind does the mental Indy 500... 'Why are the Police here ?'   I think this thought again and again. There can only be one reason the police are here... this has to be a Bust ! Nothing else made any sense.

The police saw what sort of people are coming into my business and decided to raid us. This had to be a narcotics crackdown. What else could it be ?  I cannot describe how sick in my stomach I felt. Naturally I wanted to do my best cockroach impression and slink off to a corner... I wondered briefly what the Fugitive would have done in this situation.

"Who runs this place ?"  The police have spoken. A complete hush comes over the crowd. The only noise is "Mustang Sally" playing in the background. No one is dancing.

Suddenly  200 eyeballs and 100 fingers simultaneously point in my direction !  Spotlight on Rick Archer attempting to become the Fugitive.    So much for my David Jansen impersonation. There is nowhere to hide.

Nope, None of that "I am Spartacus" crap where all the slaves step up to protect Spartacus from Roman Cruelty.  Yup, every one of my loyal students gave me up on the spot without a moment's hesitation.  All humor aside, basically everyone in the studio was just as confused and frightened as I was. 

I figured I was going to jail, but a little inner voice kept saying a brief scan of all my recent personal and professional activities revealed nothing particularly illegal, immoral, or depraved. The little voice suggested I might try acting Respectable. It occurred to me it would be a lot easier to act Respectable if I looked Respectable. I wondered how I might covertly zip up my leather jacket with 200 eyes watching no one but me. Would anyone notice ? Probably. So feeling ridiculous in my no-shirt biker outfit, I walked over to these incredibly stern-looking men. Everyone stood still and watched. SSQQ High Noon was here.

"Hello, Officers, I am Rick Archer. How may I help you ?"

The two men just stood there gawking at me !  They were clearly sizing me up. Quite frankly, I do not know if words can adequately describe how worried I was. Finally, one officer looked at the other, then looked back at me.

"Mr Archer, we have a report of a gunshot in the area. Are there any firearms on the premises ? Have you had a shooting inside or outside your establishment ?  Have you heard or did you witness the discharge of a weapon ?"  

Astonishment slowly replaced my terror. Maybe I was going to survive this. As I explained to the police a little bit about my party, they in turn explained to me more about the gunshot report. They said it was not a confirmed report, but serious enough to warrant an investigation. As the two policemen patroled around the neighborhood, they heard the music coming out of my open back door. Since there was a possibility the shot had come from from my business, it was their job to check it out.

Things started to make a little sense. Gunshots are serious business. Plus these two men had never expected to walk in on the frenzied partying of one of the biggest biker gangs in the history of Bellaire ! When they walked into Room 2, they were as shocked to see us as we were to see them !

Apparently, with 100 hombres and biker chicks, for a second there, SSQQ actually looked tough !

I explained what was "Really" going on here. Maybe it was then they realized that every tattoo in the place was fake, but now the two men began to relax during our conversation. They actually uncrossed their arms and moved their hands away from their guns. They mentioned with a smile they had been more than slightly taken aback when they first entered our building. Hmmm, that makes three of us.

Now that the tension was released, they actually started to laugh. Now that the pressure was off, I suppose our appearance was a bit humorous. I wasn't quite ready to laugh however. It was about this point that Sharon decided she wasn't going to get shot after all. Seeing the coast was clear, like any good hostess Sharon came over and asked if she could get them a soft drink or a beer. "No, thank you, Ma'am, we are still on duty". Geez, Sharon ! The last thing I wanted them to do was stay ! 

They say All's well that End's well, but speaking for me I will never let myself get caught that off-guard again. For everyone else, The Party is fabulous fun, but I can honestly say that night ended my Sleazy Days for eternity.

Rick Archer

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