So last night was my first trip to the Clermont Lounge in Atlanta. I’ve lived here for…shit…ten years now and I think since I’ve moved here I’ve been hearing about it. All buzz. From the fact that there is a stripper that crushes beer cans with her tits, a mother daughter duo with the mother being more attractive, a 70+ year old stripper, that celebs like Marilyn Manson, Kidd Rock, John Stewart, even Bill Murray frequent it when they are in Atlanta. Its gotten votes for being one of the best dive bars in America.
What I got was a place that I felt like I could catch a disease just from sitting in the seats. I’ve had friends tell me they’ve puked right at the table they were sitting at and it didn’t bother anyone. This place, was a shit hole. There were ladies dancing that looked like they were around my mothers age and I’m not talking Sela Ward more like Roseanne. The place says it has been around since 1965 and I have no doubt some of the women have been there since they opened.
We got there around midnight and the place was packed. When I say packed I mean like elbow room, which was annoying when a skinhead decided to try and get in a fight with a black guy right in front of me. I couldn’t move even if I’d wanted to. What was interesting, considering it is a “strip club,” is that more people were paying attention to the karaoke then they were the dancers.
The place was dingy, dirty, my eyes hurt when we left just from the level of cigarette smoke. I think I even found a joint roach in my ashtray. I’m all about dive bars, they are my favorite type of bars to frequent. This place however was beyond a dive. I spent way more money then I would have at any of my local dives and I didn’t even get drunk. The whole time I was on edge waiting for something to happen. It looked like ninety percent of the people in there were on a smorgasbord of drugs.
One of my buddies, Scott, had a girl come up and start talking to him, they went over to a corner and proceeded to continue talking. She said she was a stripper at the “Pink Pony,” to which my reply was bullshit, the women at the Pony are above average, this girl wasn’t. When she originally started talking to him one of her friends, an attractive girl with a sleeve and an ample amount of cleavage came up and looked at me, smiled, and said hello. I said hello back then turned to continue my beer and cigarette. Later I looked at my friend Frank and said, “I’ve been out of the dating scene for awhile now, should I have talked to her?” To which we both died laughing. Later our other friend Steven would tell Scott how he had slept with that girl before to the extent of “you didn’t even need to talk to her,” and, “I asked her if I needed to get tested afterwards.” Most assuredly not the type of bar you would pick anyone up in, what with dodging crack heads, fifty year old drunks, and guys that look like Chester the good ole Child Molester.
I also felt out of place. I had the piercings and tattoos down, but not the attire. All of my friends (with the exception of Frank) looked like 80’s punk band rejects and so did a large number of the rest of the crowd. With the exceptions of the 50’s crowd, the biker groups, and the Molesters.
One of the worst parts about it was sitting at the bar you were naturally in front of the strippers and they would eyeball you. I almost gave them money because I felt guilty. One of the dancers, who I found out goes by Blondie, actually looked at the guy in front of me and said, “Hey, you got some money to help a poor negro out?” Jesus. To see the lovely Blondie, http://blogs.creativeloafing.com/freshloaf/files/2008/04/web-blondie-0091.jpg
Jenn eventually bought Steven a lap dance from one from one of them which kind of made the whole night worth it, it was one of the most disgusting/funny things I have ever seen.
So what can I say? Go to it once, just to experience it.