The Day My Friend Took Me To A (ahem) “Dance Bar”

My heart broke a little for all women that night.

It wasn’t a dance bar. It was a bar where men came to watch a skimpily dressed woman sing and then bid on who gets to go home with her.

A friend of mine was drinking at a pub near my place and he asked me to join him. When I reached, he was well over his tottering limit already. Since I don’t drink (yes, you heard me), I sat there, demurely sipping away at some insipid lime concoction while he kept guzzling beers like your friendly town drunkard.

One drunk always finds another, I say. Soon, this other guy tottered over; turned out he was a drinking buddy. This guy suggested that we accompany him to this new “dance bar” that had opened doors recently.

“It’s a nice place, with lots of drinking and dancing,” he said.

“Oo dancing”, I thought, “I don’t mind dancing.” (In the country I belong to, this means it’s a nightclub)

So, I bundled the near catatonic buddy under my arm and went along, ignoring that whiny conscientious monologue in my head. “Don’t”, it whined, tugging on my metaphorical sleeve. “Don’t”.

We stopped in front of the bar where I threatened my friend with dire consequences unless he stopped zigzagging across the pavement, as if he was evading sniper fire or something. I could see flashy neon lights and loud singing from within. Seedy, shady songs, not EDM, ifyouplease.

“Tring!” went an alarmbell. “Tring-tring”, it went.

We walked into a flashy rhinestone-studded room full of men in the depth of a mid-life crisis. They wielded wads of notes in their hands and waved them purposefully from time to time. A scruffy attendant would quickly sneak up to them, take the money and walk towards the stage.

“Well well, what do we have here?”

I turned towards the stage. Immediately I wish I hadn’t. A woman stood there, loudly belting out a sappy, romantic song. (Oh, the irony) Her face was caked in make-up obviously designed to solicit. Occasionally, she would stop and accept the money, nodding at the direction whence it came. She was ageing, in that dark phase of desperation where one struggles to remain relevant. The light was thankfully too murky for me to make out anything else. I had seen enough, I think. She just stood there, under a cheap spotlight.

Desperately I looked around, for the comfort of another female face. There were none to be found, not surprisingly. I sat on the edge of a chair, cringing. Every nerve and every pore felt violated. The scene was jarring enough to knock some sense into my friend, whose alcohol vapours deserted him in a trice.

“Let’s go,” he said. “I am sorry, we shouldn’t have been here.” Feeling out of place would be an understatement.

We couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

Some more confused:

  1. The Christians Thought I Was A Heathen, But Jesus Thought I Was A Hoot | The Jittery Goat
  2. Lipstick and LithiumBipolar-Forced Residency in the Land of Confusion
  3. Of Course I’m Confused… | Just Visiting This Planet
  4. Bizarre | Mara Eastern’s Personal Blog
  5. Path to Nowhere | Broken Light: A Photography Collective
  6. Land of Confusion | Finale to an Entrance
  7. Through a Telescope | Badkarmosity
  8. Kafkaesque | The Magic Black Book
  9. Land of the Creepers | sayanything


  1. Were you describing hell with this line: ” a flashy rhinestone-studded room full of men in the depth of a mid-life crisis”? This sounds just awful, but you recounted it so well.

  2. Sounds pretty awful. I have been in that situation and pretending to enjoy it can be even worse. I felt certain this was going to have a different ending, maybe the girl would have been a drag queen and your friends might have ended up with the prize, so to speak. :)

  3. This was an (ahem) interesting read. Although – this line stuck me, oddly: “Her face was caked in make-up obviously designed to solicit.” I’m curious as to what that means?

  4. That sounds perfectly awful. I’m sorry you had to put up with such a display of degradation, of both the woman on display and the desperate men who don’t know well enough to perceive the degradation. It’s a sad thing to bear witness to the descent into desperation of the heart of a woman or a man.

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