A whoosh of perfume and sweat zooms past me, stirring up that youthful snack-bar aroma of buttery popcorn and bad pizza. But there's something foreign inside my middle school flashback — by the lifeless skee-ball machines two shorties in tight clothes are disinfecting a portable stripper pole.
It's a school night and I'm on the Westside on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, underneath the bright cursive bulbs of Cascade roller rink. In conjunction with the weeklong birthday celebration of Atlanta's DJ Nabs, the lovely and spellbinding female denizens of Magic City are lacing them up, as opposed to their usual unlacing, to christen the release of their 2011 calendar.
It's a familiar setting of hot neon and booming hip-hop in a spacious room, but these magical shake dancers are in slightly more conservative civilian clothes.
Among other skills, the ladies have terrific penmanship. Girls with such tempting stage names as Passion and Serenity are signing the risqué glossy stock with pink swirls of the pen, taking care to dot their I's with hearts and misspell "come" when inviting fellas to visit them at the club.
"Ain't no way my wife gonna let me have one of these calendars," a gentleman says to one of the ladies. I ask if his wife allows him on the Internet? "Yeah, I learned how to do that quick toggle if I hear her coming, though."
After carefully examining what January through December have to offer, one guy jokes: "Yeah, I'd get one, but there's just no room to write any activities."
Birthday boy Nabs glides by on eight wheels while texting. He's probably wondering if his Capricorn stars might complicate things with the dancer named Virgo.
The shoe models aren't the only ones with moves; four brothers are doing laps to Ludacris with well-rehearsed dance moves and a daring four-man jump for their grand finale. The strippers with edible names, Frosti Flakes and Salt Shaker, are impressed with their teamwork.
But it's nearing midnight and past curfew for kids' games. It's time to set out for those Magic City limits to lubricate the party. Leaving the big bright bulbs of Cascade behind, the girls roll out of the gravel lot in a caravan of shiny late-model Kompressors and Beamers tearing eastbound down I-20.
If there is in fact a heaven for a gangsta, it's inside the hallowed walls of this revered downtown butt-naked club, where the skating rink's buttery popcorn smells are usurped by the scent of money, sex and cocoa-buttered ass claps.
Two talented young ladies are working the pole upside down and right side up. Like a backward couple skate, this demonstration is not for beginners. "Can I get some love for my two gold ninjas on stage in the P*ssy Olympics?!" pleads the DJ. "We got some synchronized strippin' goin on in this mutha*****!"
Greenbacks flutter to the already-covered carpet as the club shakes to Roscoe Dash's "Sexy Girl" strip club anthem: "Tattoo on yo booty that say, 'Fuck you pay me.'"
Here's hoping that the go-go girls on the portable poles back at the roller rink got tipped with enough skee-ball tickets to get all the Laffy Taffy their hearts desired.