I used to take my clothes off for money. There, I feel better. They say confession is good for the soul, but before I’m forbidden from leading a Sunday School class again, let me explain. It was 1994 and a friend of mine was having a thirtieth birthday party. After some thought on what I could do to embarrass my friend and make her birthday memorable, I decided that I would put on my Speedo underneath my clothes and take them off doing a little dance for her in front of all of her friends. At this point you may be wondering why a thirty-something year old natural-born citizen even owned a Speedo. Back in the day when I first started doing triathlons, that was standard fare. Anyway the party went off as planned with the desired effect on the little dance. A few people were laughing and started throwing dollar bills at me.
So sometime later I ran into a friend on the sidewalk and she asked me what I had been doing lately. So I told her. She started laughing, said she was going to be my agent and grabbed a random lady that was walking by and said “Hey, do you need a Stripper this guy is a professional stripper?” As fate would have it, she said “Well, actually I do. I have a friend who is turning fifty and to get one of the LaBare people to come up from Dallas it’s $125. I just laughed and tried to blow the whole thing off, but the woman was insistent and wanted to know who much I charged. I finally stammered out twenty dollars.
So, I had gotten a gig and being as I was getting paid for it, and being the ham that I am, figured I might as well give them their money’s worth. So it evolved and sort of snowballed from there. All of the people in this town, at least the ones that called me, didn’t want a muscled up piece of man candy. All they wanted to do was to embarrass their friend on their birthday. I thing I had three different characters that I did: a nerd, a hick and sort of an Elvis-type character. There was a local radio personality at the time that did singing telegrams and embarrassing things, that had a lot more talent and outfits than I did, but I don’t think he owned a Speedo. Or maybe he just wasn’t as desperate for money as I was.
Small town rumors can run rampant. I had an acquaintance of mine ask another old friend if he knew what I was doing now. The friend said very curt and indignantly “YES, HE’S A STRIPPER DOWN IN DALLAS.” Even if I had of wanted to do that kind of entertainment, I couldn’t or wouldn’t have. It was all done in fun. I considered that maybe I shouldn’t be doing that, even though it was done in fun. So I had pretty much hung up the old Speedo in retirement when someone that I had known for years pleaded with me to do a dance for her mom’s seventieth birthday. So, after telling her it would be $70 for my little dance, she said okay. I thought, “Okay, how bad can it be to dance around in front of a dozen people for three minutes?” When I arrived at the big house in a prestigious part of town, valets were parking the cars. That should have been my first clue to run. I walked inside and I saw a prestigious attorney in town along with about forty other people of elevated social status, but it was too late to back out then. I did my performance got my money and left. I know there are some videos of me floating around out there and if anyone ever mentions them, I will tell them the same thing I told a clerk one time that was looking at me with a big grin on her face and after asking why the grin she recalled one of my earlier wild escapades. I simply said “Oh no! That is my twin brother. He is the black sheep in the family. Please don’t mistake me for him”.