It was a Sarah Palin bizarre-o world Thursday night. Strippers wore hair buns, eyeglasses and not much else to take their shot in a Palin lookalike contest at Club Paradise. Palins to the left. Palins to the right. Here a Palin, there a Palin, everywhere a Palin-Palin.
Before the contest started, 13 Palin strippers drank up and dressed down backstage in a mass of clear heels and undies — one pair of bottoms beckoning, "Insert Here." Several strippers pretended to fire fake rifles, like killer moose hunters in wait.
Diana Chapin wore black go-go boots to complement her exposed buttocks and the toy pistol strapped to her garter belt. Chapin is pro-Barack Obama. She sort of met him during a campaign rally here.
At that Obama rally, Chapin tried but failed to get him to hold her 15-month-old daughter, Naia. (Naia is "Hawaiian for ‘dolphin’ … I like what (dolphins) represent, you know, freedom, peace.") Anyway, Obama, who was born in Hawaii but is not a dolphin, spotted her child.
"He said she was adorable," Chapin said. "I wanted to hand her over all these people. He was like, ‘No.’ At first, I was pissed. But he was looking out for my child."
As Chapin chatted with me, a guy in an Obama mask walked in. She purred, "Obama — do you want to make out?" Later, she offered to do a lap dance for me and some others, but none of us took her up on it.
"What else is new?" she said, dejected, a sad reflection not of her lap-dance-able body but of the reality that business at Vegas strip clubs has gone down, so to speak.
I asked five strippers about politics. Chapin and another stripper vowed to vote for Obama. One endorsed John McCain. Two pro-Hillary Clinton strippers still don’t know who to vote for.
"I’m tired of choosing between people I don’t like" in elections, said Darien Ross, who was holding a plastic baby doll the way Palin holds her newborn, the inexplicably named Trig.
Ross caucused for Hillary. The other mostly naked-naked-naked undecided Hillary-ite was Daria Scriven, who "fired" her own fake rifle in the air.
Scriven’s beef with Obama and McCain? To her, their proposals seem similar; Obama is a "marionette"; and neither "supports gay rights" as much as she wants.
The pro-McCain-Palin stripper in the room was Kimberly Jones, the singer in a local rock-and-blues band, Joanzy.
"I like listening to her," Jones said of Palin in a native Southern drawl. "I can relate to her on every level. She’s able to communicate to persons at every level."
I told Jones the real Palin, if she’s a social conservative, probably wouldn’t endorse Jones’ career.
"That’s OK. We can agree to disagree," Jones said. "If she was opposed to it, it wouldn’t offend me."
She likes McCain for his stances on troops and taxes. I asked if she worries about taxes because, as I’ve heard, some strippers scoop up $3,000 a night. No, she said, that’s a misconception.
"I might make $3,000 one night, and I made $50 last night," she said. "This year’s been a tough year."
Once the contest got going, American flags were everywhere. Plastic flags. Napkin flags. Glow-stick flags stuck in cleavage. Balloon flags. Host Jeff Beacher announced "Barack Obama" was in the house, which turned out to be a waving midget.
There was no pole dancing. Beacher asked five finalists one question each, like: What do you say when people "question your background," prompting some excited guy to yell out, "We want to see your background!"
The packed crowd, voting for the winner by secret ballot, hooted most for Jones, the Palin-loving Palin-stripper, as she stripped, although all the contestants left on their tops, because the club wanted the media to be able to run photos around the world.
And the winner was … Jones. She picked up $5,000 and a free trip to January’s inauguration. Afterward, I asked her if she would go to Washington, D.C., even if Obama wins.
"Whoever is the leader of your country, you have to support him," she said. "It doesn’t mean I agree with everything he does, but I will support him."
Then she and a friend/stripper/Obama supporter talked about all the guns they keep at home.
"I sleep with a 12-gauge next to my bed," Jones said, although earlier, when the topic of weaponry had come up, she had simply hand-cupped each of her large and symmetrical bosoms, then proclaimed, "I got my own guns."
Doug Elfman’s column appears on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Contact him at 702-383-0391 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.ON THE WEB View the slideshow Watch the video