Niagara Gazette

Niagara Living

August 4, 2008

NIAGARA WRITERS: The exotic dancer and the rowdy red hats

By Doug Smith

Ring, ring … “Hi, this is Midnight Mel, how can I help you?”

“I’d like you to come out to my house Saturday afternoon and show off for my wife.”

“What time?”

“About 2 p.m.”

“Yeah, I can handle that.” Click.

I never thought it would be that easy. And it wasn’t.

The occasion was Polly’s splash party for her ladies’ club. It’s something new in her life, the sorority she never had as a girl. They go to museums and tea rooms and theaters. They carouse and gossip. Now she was designated hostess for “Princess Polly’s Wet & Wild Pool Party.” I was specifically disinvited. No men allowed. “Go find a ballgame,” she said.

In 1995, the year of our 60th birthdays, Polly hired me a ’40s swing band; six months later I retaliated with a theater and an actress. We then vowed, “No more surprises.”

Still, 20 rowdy women in crimson hats and bathing suits, this demanded action, say like a visit from a handsome exotic dancer with easy-off wardrobe, unannounced. But to guard the secret, I needed a “go-between” to handle return calls.

I recruited our daughter, our own flesh and blood, to help procure a “hunk” for the woman who gave her birth. “I’ll do it, Dad,” she said, “but I’m not saying it’s a good idea.”

I probed the personals in that Alice’s Restaurant weekly where you can get anything you want. “Exotic Male Dancer, Low Rates.” I got a generic recording and left a message.

Minutes later our daughter called.

“Did you call a dancer?”

“Yeah, just now.”

“He called here. Guy named Ogden. Mostly, he giggled.”

Scratch Ogden. Next stop, the Internet.

A search for “Exotic Male Dancers Buffalo New York” turned up grinders far and wide, but Midnight Mel had a local number. He offered not only “clean, classy entertainment” for bridal showers and bachelorette parties, but also had a gorilla suit for children’s birthdays. Forget Thomas More, THIS was a man for all seasons.

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