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[whitespace] Ready for reform: NAMI members say Sheriff Jim Piccinini is receptive to talking about possible changes.

Photograph by Michael Amsler


Shaky Start

Philly sex clubs lure GOP conventioneers

By Jennifer Bleyer

IF, LIKE ME, you don't frequent executive boardrooms, cattle ranches, Catholic churches, or the Upper East Side of Manhattan, you may never have seen a registered Republican. Indeed, they are elusive figures. In television specials presenting them in their natural habitats, one notices how deftly they camouflage themselves against the surface of a yacht or an oil field, how delicately they prey on a mutinous shareholder. They are fascinating creatures, and it was impossible to resist going on safari to observe their fleshly presence in the wilds of Philadelphia.

They were spotted devouring sandwiches under the "Wawa Hoagie Day" tent, demonstrating that the words "free food" elicit a ravenous primal response regardless of income level. They were later seen pouring drunk out of a Young Republican party, displaying their particular brand of humor to the stone-faced hipsters on trendy South Street ("You must be a conservative, am I right?" they guffawed, with no response).

After so much frolicking around town, the Republican-at-play was finally traced to Delilah's, Philadelphia's premier gentleman's club. Delilah's is, as they say in the business, a really classy joint. Large tuxedoed men hold open the door and escort guests through a metal detector.

The main room is a cavernous space that seats 200 comfortably, with a 60-foot runway decorated in patriotic red, white, and blue streamers and a banner reading "Welcome GOP Delegates!"

Three or four nude girls at a time writhe onstage as others extend their hospitality to men around the room.

Our subject Republicans were spotted in their requisite khakis and polo shirts, swilling Budweisers and taking in the scenery.

On my first night observing Republicans at Delilah's, a flock came in with some of their woman Republican friends. The ladies sipped cocktails, their blonde hair in headbands and legs crossed at the ankles. They cooed politely when the dancers climbed the brass pole and slid down it suggestively.

The men sat at the side of the stage, simultaneously talking on their cellphones and tucking dollars into G-strings, demonstrating the multitasking aptitude of the 21st-century Republican.

One of them was overheard saying, "Look who just came in over on your right, the former White House . . ."

The end of his sentence was drowned out by the infectious beat of the "Thong Song," and the lanky, bespectacled man to whom he referred disappeared into a private room with a lithe black dancer with small, perky breasts.

A black dancer!

Surely a demonstration of Gen. Colin Powell's promise that the Republicans will "earn the mantle of Lincoln" and "help bridge our racial divides."

The dancer reappeared after an hour without her customer, and I asked where he went. "Well, he asked me if I would go home with him. I was like, no, I don't do that. Then he asked me if any of the girls here do that, and I was like, no, so he left."

She told me his name, and indeed, he was a former Reagan White House staffer, now skulking back into the surrounding city.

ON NIGHT 2 at Delilah's, three young Republicans were drooling over a size-DD blonde in 6-inch spike heels when an image of George W. Bush was projected on the giant TV screen behind the stage. "I feel like I'm back at the convention!" they shouted, cheering and clapping. The girls onstage, confused, responded with extra-ferocious jiggles.

A cluster of Republicans in the corner took a particular liking to a beautiful short-haired brunette, who looked vaguely like Rick Lazio with a boob job. One of them went off with her for a private dance, and she came out seeming exasperated, gesticulating wildly to a bouncer. True to the rigors of scientific inquiry, I asked what had happened.

"Oh, he just kept trying to put his hands on me, and I kept having to push him back. We don't allow touching at Delilah's, and he just didn't get it. But he tipped me well, that's for sure."

Ah, Republicans are good tippers! And people call them greedy bastards who hoard the nation's wealth. Rubbish!

I spent one last evening at Delilah's. A small herd of Republicans sat transfixed by a curvy Hawaiian dancer. Her breasts were like huge effervescent balloons; it seemed that at any moment, she would float toward the sky, lifted by their amazing buoyancy. I asked one of them how the convention was going so far. "Oh, it's just great. I only managed to get in because I'm an elected official, and it's just such an honor to be there. So, do you work here?"

A blonde dancer came and sat on his lap, and he grinned broadly into her cleavage. But he didn't have inappropriate relations or do anything funny with a cigar, somehow confirming Dick Cheney's vow that the Republican Party will restore "decency and integrity to the Oval Office."

Indeed, three days of watching the mysterious Republicans at Delilah's revealed them as racially sensitive, financially generous, and morally upstanding creatures. Onward to Washington in November!

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From the August 10-16, 2000 issue of the Sonoma County Independent.

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