Once upon a time, I was enticed to make a pilgrimage to Atlanta. I had not been to any large city since I was a child and here I was, a good old boy, 28 years old, innocent and dumb as a post and in the company of two worldly scoundrels.
I will never forget how I felt as we came into view of that city with its towering buildings that could be seen from miles away. It seems silly, but when you come from the woods and can rarely see any farther that the end of the row in a twenty acre field and nothing taller than a mature pine tree, to see these looming structures was quite a sight.
It was 1977 and I was feeling no pain as I held my head out the window and yelled “Yahoooo!!!” at the top of my lungs just to let those city slickers know a country boy was in town. I was high on excitement for I had not seen such a sight in a long time. I was feeling fine, indeed!
Everything was going great and one of my companions suggested we pull off and stop at some kind of establishment with a funny name in large letters, Cheetah III. I asked what this was and one of them, knowing of my innocence and inexperience with worldly affairs, said, “It’s like a way station in the old days where you just relax a little.” It sounded fine to me and we parked and went in. Little did I know!
It was dark inside Cheetah III and took a while for my eyes to focus as I sat quietly and tried to adjust. There were a few other men sitting at tables but there were no ladies with them. Suddenly, at the far side of this joint, I saw a lady and I did a double take. She was nekkid from the waist up and I do not mean naked, I mean nekkid! I grabbed Mug and said, “Mug, look! There’s a nekkid woman yonder. What in the world is she doing like that? Has she been robbed? You reckon she needs help? Theodore, the chief scoundrel amongst my companions, said’ “Stay here while I go see if she needs us. If I holler, ya’ll come running.”
I watched as Theodore fearlessly sauntered over and struck up a conversation with the young lady. Then they both came back to our table, her still nekkid. I stood, as a gentleman is supposed to do when a lady enters your presence, and tried to look her in the eye and be a gentleman but I must admit it took all the moral fortitude I could muster. She jumped up on our table and started twirling around, always looking at me and smiling. Mug and Theodore watched her but I looked away, embarrassed, and just stared at the wall. Try as she might she could not make me look and finally, she got down, put on a shirt and sat right next to me.
Now I could look at her as she asked, “What’s wrong, Big Boy? Aren’t I pretty enough for you?”
I may have been country dumb but I had figured out what was going on and I said, “Yes Ma’am, you sure enough a pretty lady.” I leaned close to her and asked sincerely and in a hushed voice, “Does your Momma know what you doing?”
The lady informed me her name was Janet and she was a student at Georgia Tech and she paid for her education doing “table dances.”
A world I had never even heard of was opened up to me on that trip. I vowed if I ever went back to Atlanta, I was going to stop in at Cheetah III again and see if any thing had changed; see if Janet was still there.