Pole Position


On a Tuesday night at the Roxy, the Night Ranger got pulled onto the dance floor by a gregarious woman in a pink sweater who was celebrating her 32nd birthday. As Shakira warbled “Hips Don’t Lie,” a guy dressed in goth garb zeroed in on the NR. But the woman skillfully blocked him by turning around and rubbing against him. Foiled, he started dancing with his friend, a guy with longish brown hair, black pants with chains clanking down the front, and inch-long silver fingernails that fit onto a couple of his fingertips.

Our new pink-sweatered friend leaned in and confided, “They’ve got the worst BO. But they’re the nicest guys, as long as they don’t put an armpit on your shoulder.”

Just then, the two guys gave her a look and kissed each other, open-mouthed. Their mingled BO wafted over, and we edged away a little bit. The guy with the fingernails then turned to Pink Sweater for a kiss, and for a couple of seconds, it looked like she was going to do it. Their lips were millimeters apart, but then, at the last minute, she pulled away, giggling madly. She just couldn’t go through with it, she said.

Ah, Roxy — you never let us down. That Tuesday trip was our fourth visit to this JoCo watering hole, and we’ve become fans of the cheap drinks, the busty waitresses in tube tops and, best of all, the movable stripper pole (captured in the video below). Situated on a 3-foot-square base, the pole goes up about 6 feet but isn’t fixed to the ceiling. On one memorable occasion, when it stood in front of the bar’s stage, we witnessed three highly inebriated women monopolizing it for most of the night. They were clad in too-tight clothing, with one of the women in a tie-dyed, backless halter that, sadly, wasn’t very flattering. The trio writhed around and, at one point, fell atop one another in a drunken heap. Later, another member of that group pulled down her pants and mooned the audience.

On our most recent visit, the pole was wedged between the jukebox and a mirrored pillar on the side of the dance floor. We had gone for some midweek karaoke action with Research Assistants Robert, Matt, Andrew, Cecelia and Erik, and it seemed wholly appropriate that, upon our arrival, a group of women was singing Rocky Horror‘s “Time Warp” onstage. Located at 75th Street and Metcalf in Overland Park, the Roxy is a smoky, divey place that reminds us of a pizza parlor in Metcalf South Mall, circa 1979. The walls in this L-shaped room are dark, the booths are orangey-red, and the floor is lined with a flat carpet with a swirly pattern. The very back poolroom has a low ceiling and wood-paneled walls — very suburban basement.

For a Tuesday night, the Roxy drew a sizable and somewhat eclectic crowd. A group of preppy types sat in the corner, poring over the thick karaoke binder. Kevin Smith look-alikes with long brown hair, backward-turned baseball caps and goatees sat at a front table, and in between mingled a motley assortment of patrons. We spotted a guy in jorts (jean shorts), a cowboy with a cane and an inordinate number of make-out sessions. The dance floor attracted a conga line-slash-gropefest.

We settled down at a long table, ordered the special (buckets of domestic beer for $10) and flipped through the song list, which was extensive. RA Robert pointed out one potential songbook hazard: “Boom Boom, Ain’t It Great to Be Crazy,” which is apparently a children’s song, was listed next to “Boom Boom (Let’s Go Back to My Room).” Sadly, no one in attendance chose either song. The performances consisted of stuff in the manly-man genre — Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” as well as power ballads such as Creed’s “Arms Wide Open” and the Who’s “Behind Blue Eyes.” These last two songs included commentary from the singers: “You can suck my left nut, bitch” during the former and “If you don’t like it, get the fuck out” in the latter. According to RA Andrew, a Roxy karaoke regular, the “get the fuck out” line was used by the same guy the previous week. We were saddened by his bit of unoriginality.


However, the pole dancing took our minds off all of that. Between performances, DJ Julie — the sexy, bubbly karaoke host on Tuesdays and Wednesdays — played T-Pain’s “I’m in Love with a Stripper.” Sure enough, a cute blonde in jeans, white tennis shoes and a midriff-baring gray shirt took to the pole. She definitely knew her shit. She not only cast a smoldering gaze at herself in a mirrored pillar as she danced but also gripped the pole, jumped up, wrapped her legs around it, turned herself upside down and slid down slowly. “That’s bee-you-tiful, baby!” DJ Julie cried at the end of the song.

Later in the night, 21-year-old Christina — our upside-down private dancer — was joined by her friend, Nori, also 21, a beautiful brunette wearing a brown, spaghetti-strap tank top and jeans. Both ladies danced intimately with each other throughout the night, twined around the pole, arching their backs and interlocking their denim-clad legs. They resembled a caduceus, the medical symbol of two snakes curled around a staff. Christina pulled her legs up high and rested them gently on Nori’s shoulders. A third woman, in a maroon T-shirt that read “98% Naughty, 2% Angel” squatted at the base of the pole, watching them intently. “Wow,” she mouthed in admiration. At the end of the night, Christina ventured up there one last time as someone sang Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb.” She did a great crotch pat lying on her back, legs spread apart.

Our RAs were equally entranced. “I can’t believe we don’t have to pay for this,” Robert said. It was indeed a free show, and we later found out that Christina’s a stripper. (“No, really?” our RAs sarcastically said, as we relayed this fact back to them.) She has worked at Bonita Flats, Tango’s, Temptations and the Outhouse.

“I’m from a family of strippers,” Nori said. She isn’t one, but her grandmother worked at Studio 64 in California, and her mom worked at the infamous Bunny Ranch in Nevada.

Christina explained that she and Nori are best friends who like to dance with each other. We asked about the effect their dancing has had on guys. “I’ve had guys follow me,” Nori said.

“These are natural!” Christina interjected, touching Nori’s breasts. “We like girls!”

Later in the night, we met 29-year-old Allen, who was sitting at the table of Kevin Smith wanna-bes. He told us that he met the other guys through the live role-playing game Vampire: The Requiem. He also works at Renaissance festivals as a street performer and a barbarian.

So, Allen, with all the pole dancing, is this better than being at a strip club?

“I don’t go to strip clubs,” he said. “I’ve got too many friends who are dancers, and I’m afraid I’ll run into them.”


We finally met the friendly birthday girl. Cassandra, whose friends were periodically handing her shots all night, was outgoing and sweet. She made the rounds and adopted our table, complimenting all of us and flirting with our male RAs. She shared that she has four kids, which was surprising — she did not look as though she could have popped out four at all — and also told us that her ex-husband, the father of her two youngest, is in Iraq. But he still sent her a beautiful bouquet of orchids. She proposed a toast before doing a shot: “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Here’s to men who lick women’s stuff.”

When she wasn’t talking with us and others, she’d go shake her ass at her friends. At one point, she put one foot in a booth and one on our table, leaning over and wriggling in the face of one male friend, who just laughed. In the meantime, off in the back, two guys — apparently, one of the BO brothers — were making out on the pool table in the wood-paneled area. Talk about a rumpus room.

In fact, if there’s ever a place that gives new meaning to pole position, that’d be the Roxy. Thongs and pole cleaners are optional.

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