I grew up in Rhode Island, near Woonsocket, but when I was a kid I never heard of Rhode Island Dolls. When I graduated from high school, I moved out of state and went to college and then got a job, got married and lived happily ever after.
Well, maybe not so happily. My wife and I got divorced a couple months ago and just before that happened the business that I worked for closed down and filed for bankruptcy. I started applying for jobs immediately and it took awhile but when I got a job offer in Rhode Island, I grabbed it. I think that was the straw that broke the camel’s back – or in this case, my wife’s. She told me there was no way that she was coming with me and she wanted a divorce. I was shocked. I mean, things weren’t perfect but I wasn’t expecting that.
Anyway, 3 months later and I’m moving into my bachelor’s apartment until I can find a house to buy. My dad phones me and says he’s downstairs and he’s taking me out to celebrate my new freedom and my new life. I’m not in the mood but it’s my dad and I figured he wanted to go out for burgers or something.
So, I tell him I’ll be right down. I go downstairs and get in his mid-life-crisis-mobile and he squeals out of the parking lot like he’s 18 years old. I ask where we are going and he tells me for a bite to eat. I was right. It’s a burger joint.
But I’m not right. He pulls up to this place called Rhode Island Dolls in Woonsocket. I’m pretty sure it’s a strip joint. I ask him if he’s lost. He tells me no, we’re going to get a bit to eat.
I follow him in and the place is definitely a strip joint. There’s a half naked girl on the stage and she’s pretty hot. My dad hardly even glances at her. He waves a couple guys and grabs a table. The girl brings us menus. And there’s actually real food on it. I’m kind of surprised. I mean, I’ve been to gentlemen’s clubs before, but I never thought about eating at one.
My dad asks what I want and I have no clue. I ask what’s good and he says he’ll order something great for me. It comes to the table and it’s this massive burger and the best looking homemade fries I’ve ever seen. I take another swig out of my beer and chow down.
While we eat, my dad starts to talk. He gives me this pep talk, telling me I’m still young and I have to move on. My wife was not who I was supposed to be with all my life. And darned if I’m feeling pretty decent by the time he’s done.
He tells me it’s time to have some fun now, as he pushes his plate away and gets up. He beckons for me to follow him and pretty soon we’re beside the stage watching this beautiful girl with long dark hair, deep brown eyes, and a smoking hot body, work some magic on the pole. My dad gives me a handful of bills and says I should have fun.
When finishes her act on the stage, she goes out the back but pretty soon she’s on the floor. My dad raises his hand at her and waves. She gives him a big smile and comes over and he introduces me. He tells her whatever I want tonight is on him. So she asks if I want a private dance. Silly question.
By the end of the night I’m thinking that moving back to Rhode Island was the best thing I could have done. I’ve completely forgotten about the impending divorce and I’m convinced that life is only going to get better now that I’ve moved here.
My dad drives me home and tells me not to be a stranger. He says that RI Dolls is a great place to hang out and whenever I want to go again to let him know.
You know, I haven’t spent a lot of time with my dad since I graduated from high school, but I think he and I are going to be buddies now. I wish I had known how cool my dad was when I was growing up. Not that I didn’t like him or anything but damn, who would have though my old man was hanging out with strippers all this time? I wonder what my mom thinks of him and his favorite meal place?