Sat down last night with a big, good-looking guy with an unplaceable accent that turned out to be Swedish. He was in town for some computer thing, like everybody was last night, with a colleague from Atlanta who was buying dance after dance from everybody, including me. The Swede sniffed at his friend. "These women, you are only interested in him for his wallet," he said.
"That's true," I said. "See, that's how it works."
He sniffs again. "In Sveden we don't have places like this, because in Sveden we are more liberated about our sexuality."
"Well, that's terrific. Now you're in an American strip club and you can see what you've been missing all these years."
"Are you going to sleep with me afterwards?"
"So why wake up the little man if you are not going to put him to sleep?"
Gee. OK, you get some points for quaint phraseology, but what really rocks me is that you come from a culture so highly evolved that doesn't use fire-arms but solves its interpersonal conflicts through hauteur alone, and yet here you are using the same line of argument as every dustbin cowboy from Hutto County blowing into the city on his big night out. Some things truly are universal.
"Well, it's been nice talking to you," I say.
"Yes, I enjoy your company," he says.
"You want to tip me then?"
"Ah. I see. You just want money."
"That's true. I would really, really like some money."
I hold out my garter enticingly. He puts in $10. "I still don't understand this place," he says. "What is the point? It's all bullshit."
"You're right," I say. "It's bullshit, and Texas bullshit is the best bullshit in the world.It comes from the same place art and poetry come from and it's the province of evolved cultures."
(Come to think of it I can't think of a single Swedish author off the top of my head. Hamsun and Ibsen are Norwegian. Even Tove Jansson was Finnish.)
"Come on, sit down," the Swede says. "Don't be mad. Have a drink with me."
But I'm gone.