March 11, 2019
A few years ago, this caller took a job working at her dad’s strip club. There were duffel bags full of cash and other shady stuff. She thought showing tolerance for her father’s demons might help him understand her own, but things didn’t turn out as expected.
This episode is brought to you by Drop (https://b.ewd.io/Beautiful).
154 — My Dad Owns A Strip Club
[00:00:05] CHRIS: Hello to all my 4.0 students. It’s Beautiful Anonymous. One hour. One phone call. No names. No holds barred.
[00:00:15] THEME MUSIC: I’d rather go one-on-one. I think it’ll be more fun and I’ll get to know you and you’ll get to know me.
[00:00:28] CHRIS: Hi, everybody. It’s Chris Gethard. Welcome to another episode of Beautiful Anonymous. I feel very lucky to be here with you today. Love doing this show. I love all the listeners. I got to meet a bunch of you guys, I just did a swing through the southeast of America, I did Durham, Charleston, Wilmington, all in the Carolinas. Six shows, we sold out six of ’em, it was mostly you guys. It means the world. You’re all so nice. People come up to me and the listeners of this show are nice. People ask me if I really met the 39-year-old grandma, and the answer is yes. Twice! Insider info, someone – I’m not asking for people to do this on the road, I just want to let you know the types of people that listen to Beautiful Anonymous – a listener knit a blanket for my, my baby who’s on the way. So nice. That’s just kind. And I don’t, I don’t need everybody barraging me with gifts, I’m not trying to beg for it. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m just saying, how nice are you guys? It’s awesome. And speaking of road dates, just to get the plugs out of the way, I’m coming up March, I think it’s March 27th. Huntsville, Alabama. The 28th I’m in Nashville, Tennessee, that one’s almost sold out. And Atlanta, Georgia the 29th through the 31st. Be doing stand-up comedy. It’d be so nice to meet more of you guys. No pressure though. All those tickets are at chrisgeth.com. A lot of people liked the car crash episode, the Facebook group. One thing that I thought was so cool to see was a lot of people who had, you know, been in similar circumstances said that the caller sort of reflected some things they felt in a way that was encouraging. Other people offering up encouragement to the caller. It’s nice to see a community come together and help each other out. That’s pretty cool stuff. This week’s call, pretty interesting one. I’m really fascinated. I am fascinated to see if you guys are gonna like it or not. Some people are, some people might disagree with the nature of the world this caller lives in. I’m not sure how this one is going to go. I do applaud the caller, though. She and I laugh a lot about some stuff that gets pretty dark. I think we kind of say that I think we both share a little bit of a philosophy of “you have to laugh at the dark stuff in life or else it really drives you nuts.” The caller and I managed to laugh even though she talks about having a neglectful parent, which is something that makes me furious, even though she has lived in a world that can be notoriously shady, which makes me furious. And yet throughout it all, she keeps fighting. She’s a fighter in a way that I applaud and that I’m very impressed by. Super interested to see what you guys think of this call, let’s check it out.
[00:03:06] PHONE ROBOT: Thank you for calling Beautiful Anonymous. A beeping noise will indicate when you are on the show with the host. [Beep]
[00:03:14] CHRIS: Hello?
[00:03:15] CALLER: Hi there.
[00:03:16] CHRIS: Hi.
[00:03:17] CALLER: It’s so great to talk to you.
[00:03:19] CHRIS: Likewise. I can already tell you have a very positive energy that I enjoy.
[00:03:26] CALLER: Sometimes.
[00:03:29] CHRIS: I’m happy to catch you on a good day then. Although we’ll see how you feel at the end of the hour. That’s how the show goes sometimes.
[00:03:35] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:03:36] CHRIS: Well, what are we, what are we talking about?
[00:03:39] CALLER: Oh, hmm. So my dad owns a strip club.
[00:03:45] CHRIS: Okay.
[00:03:47] CALLER: That I worked at for about four months.
[00:03:50] CHRIS: You worked there?
[00:03:50] CALLER: Not stripping, bartending.
[00:03:53] CHRIS: Okay. Okay. That’s interesting right out of the gate. I’m sure that brings up some stories and some feelings and some questions you get asked a lot.
[00:04:03] CALLER: Oh, definitely.
[00:04:06] CHRIS: How is that?
[00:04:07] CALLER: Especially from … oh, it’s, it’s an interesting environment, to say the least. It’ll will definitely open your mind to some weirdness.
[00:04:18] CHRIS: How so? What’s that mean?
[00:04:21] CALLER: Oh, okay. So I don’t know if you’ve ever … I’m sure you’ve been to a strip club before.
[00:04:27] CHRIS: I’ve been a couple times in my day, sure.
[00:04:30] CALLER: So where I’m from, the strip clubs tend to be a little bit more … I’m trying to find a way to put this sensitively. They tend to be a little bit more party-esque than, like I know a strip club in general tends to be like a party scene, but this one in particular is really over the top.
[00:04:53] CHRIS: Okay. We’re dancing around something. I know … Let me ask you this, because I also hear your accent.
[00:05:03] CALLER: Okay.
[00:05:04] CHRIS: And my understanding is that in some southern cities, strip clubs are like, a huge, that’s like a big scene, is it that type of thing you mean? Like the, like the, I feel like Atlanta has a stereotype.
[00:05:16] CALLER: Yes. I’m trying not to be specific.
[00:05:18] CHRIS: I’m not trying to out you either.
[00:05:19] CALLER: I’m trying not to be specific about location, but like, yes, exactly. Exactly.
[00:05:21] CHRIS: I’m sorry about that. And I don’t know if you’re, I don’t know if you’re in Atlanta, but I just know that that’s the city that everybody says, like, oh, that’s like real parties. And if hip hop artists can get their music played at strip clubs, that’s part of how some artists actually break because they’re like very influential and a lot of money gets thrown around and like real ballers hang out there. It’s that kind of vibe?
[00:05:43] CALLER: Yes, exactly. Like, the most money I’ve ever handled in my life was like the second night I worked there and this guy came in with like two hundred thousand dollars. Like, cash this out and give me one, two thousand at a time and also give these people one, two thousand at a time, like-
[00:06:00] CHRIS: Did you say two hundred thousand? Did you say somebody had-
[00:06:01] CALLER: It’s, it’s out of control. Two hundred thousand dollars.
[00:06:04] CHRIS: In cash?
[00:06:06] CALLER: Yes. He walked in with, like, a duffel bag with a bunch of banded hundreds and it went into the back office. Then every time he walked up, I gave him two thousand dollars. So that’s how it works in this location.
[00:06:21] CHRIS: Woah. Wow. Because I know, like, I know I’m a big fan of the NBA. And I remember back in the day, like a bunch of players who were married got like embarrassed. There were stories that they, like the, I think the press or the paparazzi caught them at like a strip club and said there were shenanigans going on. But then it was like high roller stuff. So you’re seeing that type of stuff.
[00:06:46] CALLER: Yes. But honestly, the most famous person I ever met was a famous stripper. Like, there weren’t really many celebrities that came into this location.
[00:06:54] CHRIS: Right. No, I’m not – The last thing I would want is like celebrity gossip. I’m, I, I really have an aversion to that. But just setting the tone, like for the type of club this is, this is where people shop with a duffel? Okay. Wow. I got-
[00:07:09] CALLER: This is where people show up with a duffel bag with two hundred thousand dollars in cash and you don’t check their pockets.
[00:07:17] CHRIS: Is it? You must be wondering what that person does for a living.
[00:07:21] CALLER: I have a pretty good idea, but I don’t like to make assumptions out loud.
[00:07:25] CHRIS: Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. I think we can all read between the lines. This might be-
[00:07:31] CALLER: Exactly.
[00:07:32] CHRIS: This might be some illicit activity that we’d rather not explore in a public, even an anonymous public setting.
[00:07:38] CALLER: Correct.
[00:07:39] CHRIS: Wow. That’s crazy.
[00:07:44] CALLER: So I’m not sure how we explore this situation further. Like I feel like that’s a, it’s a, it’s a good topic to start on, but I feel like the lead up to it is a bit more important.
[00:07:55] CHRIS: Mmkay. Well, you tell me what you think is important and I’ll ask all the sensationalistic questions that’ll keep getting those sweet, sweet downloads. How’s that sound?
[00:08:04] CALLER: Okay, sounds good. So I guess I’ll start from the beginning when he first purchased it. So this is like five years ago and at the time my dad was a finance manager. And if you’re thinking this sounds strangely familiar to Ozark’s storyline, you would be correct. So basically, basically he decided that he wanted to branch out. He’d been doing finance for quite some time and pretty successfully for the most part. So he went into business with a friend of his to open up this strip club. And at first he was kind of like, not really involved, it was kind of like an off-hands kind of thing. So about two years ago, that situation changed when the man he went into business with decided to pull out. He decided he wanted his money elsewhere. And he pulled all of his bartenders with him. So naturally, me looking for a job and being in school and having limited time, it was easy for me to do. I could get off on a Friday and basically spend the whole weekend in the city and just bartend and stay up until 5:00, 6:00 o’clock in the morning and go back to work at 3:00, 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon. And it worked out that way. So he actually sold the finance company to do this exclusively, like, just the strip club. It was pulling in enough attention that like this pretty much just made sense to him in a money way to just like completely put everything into this. The only thing he didn’t realize is that the partner who said he backed out was the only one on the paperwork, so he technically doesn’t own the strip club on paper.
[00:09:58] CHRIS: Oh.
[00:09:59] CALLER: And basically it means that he’s running a strip club and making the money from it on the outside surface, but … you know, legally, he isn’t actually like, named on it anywhere. And I found out why. So this will segue into the other topic of the conversation: My dad had a child. Let’s see, I’m in my 20s and he had a child two years ago. So he decided to not actually sign any of the paperwork so that the mother of this child wouldn’t have any stake on this claim, basically. Which is super shitty, I definitely don’t agree with it. It’s very strange to have a half sibling in your 20s. I feel like this is when I should be having kids and instead my dad is.
[00:10:55] CHRIS: Wow. Your dad’s tangled up in some stuff.
[00:11:01] CALLER: Oh, yes.
[00:11:03] CHRIS: I also want to say and I’m not trying-
[00:11:04] CALLER: More than we’ll go into.
[00:11:06] CHRIS: It sounds like it. We only have an hour. I can already sense that that’s not enough time for those conversations. I will just say, and I try to avoid being crass here on Beautiful Anonymous, I do. But I just have to point out how hard it is for me to not make jokes when you say things like “his business partner pulled out” and “it’s very easy for me to get off on a Friday” while we’re talking about strip clubs. I just want to put out there that I’m leaving those jokes on the table. I’m not going to make jokes at how there is some unintended sexual language in the strip club episode of the show. Continue.
[00:11:39] CALLER: Look, no offense, but nothing would make my life more than you making jokes based on my dad’s, like, work choice. Like, Chris Gethard making jokes about my dad’s work choice is probably the highlight of this situation right now.
[00:11:53] CHRIS: Well, there’s so much to unpack and there’s so much to talk about there, right? Like … I have a couple of basic questions, is that okay? Before we get into-
[00:12:03] CALLER: Oh yeah, go for it.
[00:12:04] CHRIS: Before we get into like the family drama stuff, which sounds super fascinating. I want to ask a couple questions about the strip club. So. In … you mentioned you’re in your 20s.
[00:12:18] CALLER: Yes.
[00:12:19] CHRIS: It’s 2019. I think that … There are, there’s clearly a wave of, of feminism right now, both feminist thought and activism. And with the recent congressional elections here in the states, even elected representatives that clearly represent more. Being that your dad owns a strip club and you worked at one. How does that reconcile with modern thought? This might be too big a question for you, but I do know that some, some people- I’m I’m.
[00:12:50] CALLER: No, no, not at all. I’m, I’m- Go ahead.
[00:12:53] CHRIS: I was going to say, I think some people say that this type of thing is exploitative. Some people have argued that this type of work for the women dancing is, can be empowering. And I wonder where you land on that spectrum of thought.
[00:13:08] CALLER: So, even though I was only there for a couple of months, I actually did make some really great friends there with some of the dancers. And a lot of them are just, they’re normal everyday people who are taking advantage of the amount of time that they have off, because their daytime schedules tend to be more about some kind of growth, whether it be school or kids or whatever. You see basically every single type of woman in strip clubs doing like stripping and the whole nine. Even bartending can be a little bit, I guess, overwhelming sometimes because you do, like, because of the environment, you end up in a situation where it is just oversexualized in general. And everyone kind of understands that walking in. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have your own boundaries. Like, there’s still rules even walking into a sexualized, sexual situation like this. You’re not allowed to touch anyone. You know, a dancer can come behind you and put her hands on you, but you are not allowed to touch her because then you break that trust between customer and dancer.
[00:14:14] CHRIS: Mm hmm.
[00:14:15] CALLER: So I think for some women, it can be really empowering because it will make you feel physically attractive. You have all these people who are so attracted by you, they’re throwing money at you, like … I feel like for a grandioso approach like, that’s as high up as it gets.
[00:14:35] CHRIS: Right.
[00:14:36] CALLER: Outside of like, being valued as an actual person.
[00:14:39] CHRIS: Right. There might be some people whose mentality is built towards this idea that you’re actually being almost like worshiped in a way, where that might be, that might be something-
[00:14:48] CALLER: To a degree.
[00:14:49] CHRIS: … that you enjoy. But I would imagine there’s also-
[00:14:51] CALLER: Oh yeah. And at the same time-
[00:14:53] CHRIS: Yes, at the same time what?
[00:14:56] CALLER: At the same time, like, these are still just women who have a job. Like, they’re just paying for things, like this is their preferred method of work. I mean, honestly, if I had the bravery and it wasn’t my dad’s strip club, like how amazing would it be to make three thousand dollars in a night and know that for the rest of the month you’re taken care of. From that one night.
[00:15:18] CHRIS: Three grand in a night, that ain’t bad.
[00:15:22] CALLER: And that’s like a normal night.
[00:15:23] CHRIS: Really?
[00:15:24] CALLER: Oh, yeah.
[00:15:25] CHRIS: That’s like a weekend, or a weeknight?
[00:15:28] CALLER: I never work there during the weeknights, I couldn’t tell you. I was only a weekend girl.
[00:15:32] CHRIS: Three th- You get a weekend slot dancing at a club, you’re walking out with three grand.
[00:15:39] CALLER:Oh, yeah.
[00:15:40] CHRIS: That’s tempting. Temptation there. I have heard, though, are, aren’t they structured in a way sometimes, I don’t know if this is true everywhere, aren’t strip-, like, don’t the strippers actually have to pay the club a fee to work there? Isn’t there, I know there’s been a lot of people saying that’s exploitative in particular.
[00:15:57] CALLER: Okay, so actually the way this club was structured was a bit different. It was only a $50 stage fee. And then you will, like you work with a bartender kind of personally. Like I had two or three different girls that whenever they worked, I was their bartender. They came up to the bar, I served them first. Because it means at the end of the night, you know, their tip-out is 1%. But they’ll probably tip me out more than that because I’ve given them such good service.
[00:16:27] CHRIS: Mm hmm, mm hmm.
[00:16:28] CALLER: So it kind of depends on the club structure, too, that can be really, like … I can understand how it can be very exploitative in some clubs. In this one in particular, I think the only thing anyone actually dealing with the club numbers was worried about was like alcohol sales. Their money wasn’t actually coming from the strippers themselves.
[00:16:46] CHRIS: Mm hmm, mm hmm. It’s all-
[00:16:48] CALLER: They’re just the entertainment.
[00:16:49] CHRIS: … an excuse to sell drinks. Just like comedy clubs. It’s funny ’cause in many ways, I mean, I don’t have to pay in for stage time. Some people do, when you’re starting out, you’ve got to avoid those pay-to-play shows. But it’s not a dissimilar business structure in some ways. I occupy the role of the stripper in the comedy club business scheme.
[00:17:08] CALLER: Oh my God.
[00:17:11] CHRIS: I get up there, they’re paying me a little bit, but they’re selling lots of drinks, and that’s the concern.
[00:17:16] CALLER: Exactly, you’re just the entertainment. You’re the people- you’re the person who keeps people going back to the bar.
[00:17:22] CHRIS: Yeah. I’m just, I’m just a conduit for them to sell mozzarella sticks. That’s why I exist. I’m a mozzarella stick salesman at the end of the day.
[00:17:33] CALLER: Great that that’s the food that you chose to go with.
[00:17:36] CHRIS: It’s true. Especially when you hit the road. It’s funny. There was a stretch where, I remember my friend Mike Birbiglia, he’s been like my mentor in the standup scene, I remember saying to him, man, like, I’m not selling out these shows on the road. And he was like, well, how much are they paying you up front? Like, what’s your guarantee? And I told him, he goes, no, see, you’re in the sweet spot for clubs because they’re not paying you a ton. And the amount they’re making on mozzarella sticks, they’re cleaning up that week even if they don’t sell out. If everybody buys two drinks and some mozzarella sticks and potato skins, they love you. They all-
[00:18:12] CALLER: Oh yeah.
[00:18:13] CHRIS: … they didn’t pay you enough that they’re going to lose money. You’re good.
[00:18:17] CALLER: Maybe you should base your comedy around food and make people hungrier.
[00:18:21] CHRIS: Oooh.
[00:18:22] CALLER: I feel like you’d have like job security then.
[00:18:24] CHRIS: Clubs would love me. “You should try the smokehouse BBQ burger tonight. Here’s this, here’s a joke about the smokehouse BBQ burger”. Now, when you’re bartending at your dad’s club, I would have to imagine … I have been, you know, I’m a 38-year-old male, I’ve been in a strip club a couple times in my life. The bartenders often get hit on, and the sense I get is in a way where sometimes they can almost be fetishized because they’re less attainable. And therefore, guys kind of go at them harder. True or false?
[00:18:56] CALLER: Oh, very true.
[00:18:57] CHRIS: You gotta beat these guys back, huh?
[00:19:00] CALLER: See, that’s the best part, is that guys in general who go to bars and strip clubs with that kind of mentality, for whatever reason I’ve noticed they like being treated like shit, like …
[00:19:13] CHRIS: Really.
[00:19:14] CALLER: At the end of the day, if I’m really mean to them and make myself even less attainable than just being a bartender, they’ll tip me even more. It turns into a competition almost.
[00:19:26] CHRIS: Wow. Like, they want the most-
[00:19:28] CALLER: It’s kind of … It’s mentally manipulative, but, you know.
[00:19:35] CHRIS: Taking that money, playing that game?
[00:19:37] CALLER: Oh yeah, definitely. But they know it’s happening. There’s no way they don’t. They know. They know the rules.
[00:19:43] CHRIS: And I, I know that, at least in some environments I’ve been in, the bartenders are also dressing pretty sexy.
[00:19:52] CALLER: You can dress sexy without being revealing. I’m a pro at that.
[00:19:58] CHRIS: What’s it like being in an environment where you are on some level, on some nights, being sexualized, being objectified, and your dad is the boss who’s paying you to do it? That’s a trippy thing.
[00:20:15] CALLER: So, it can be really exhausting and overwhelming. But most of the time, whenever you weigh the situation out, like, why am I there? I was there in particular to pay for school. So, I kind of started to, I guess, manipulate myself to a degree to like associate that people sexualizing me meant that I was making a lot of money. It meant that, you know, two weekends and I could pay for that semester of school that had been bothering me for months. How am I gonna do this?
[00:20:48] CHRIS: Wow.
[00:20:50] CALLER: So, yeah, you know, your living expenses can be really stressful. And like, if you can make yourself believe for a second that something that would normally be a really negative experience can like, kind of advantage you and put you in a better situation to survive, it makes it more tolerable.
[00:21:12] CHRIS: Yeah, it’s … How do you, how do you feel about … It’s a, it’s a lifestyle and an environment that is judged from the outside and has a lot of stereotypes. How do you feel, how do you feel? Do you feel like people on the outside sometimes have it right with their judgment? Or is it, is it a culture that they don’t understand?
[00:21:36] CALLER: I think a lot of it is that they don’t understand it. Like, we’re all animals to some degree of like, you can’t find a guy who doesn’t watch porn and, you know, check out girls on the street that are attractive to them. Maybe they don’t make any moves which, holla, like, I’m so appreciative of the dudes who don’t approach me that find me attractive. But at the same time, at the same time, like I think it really is misunderstood. Like you’re not, this isn’t like catcalling. It’s not like being sexually harassed on the street where it’s unexpected. Not like I went to Wal-Mart and somebody tried to grab my ass.
[00:22:16] CHRIS: [transition music] Who knew that Wal-Mart was such a notorious home of grab-ass? I had no idea. I just thought Wal-Mart was a huge commercial outlet in the United States. Oh, weird, commercialism, capitalism, right – we have ads. That’s what Wal-Mart makes me think of. Check out these ads, use the promo codes, helps the show when you do. We’ll be right back.
[00:22:37] [AD BREAK]
[00:24:18] CHRIS: [transition music] Thanks again to all our advertisers. Helping us bring this show to the world. Now let’s get back to the phone call.
[00:24:24] CALLER: Not like I went to Wal-Mart and somebody tried to grab my ass. I know where I am. And I’m also in a situation where I have a little bit more control, because again, the rules are already set in every strip club. You have some type of security in place. The second anyone steps out of line, you can kick them out if you so choose. Like, if you’re in a situation where you are uncomfortable, that can be very quickly remedied. And in a way, that’s kind of what the real world is lacking. Which is, it makes it funny to me that it’s so misunderstood to a degree because like, it’s a controlled environment. Like honestly, just like everything else, it can be really uncontrolled, go really south super fast. You know, where things can hit the fan and you could end up with a fight or, you know, there’s danger in any of those situations. But at the end of the day, on a normal night, it’s a controlled environment. It’s not somebody approaching you on the street who is just harassing you, with you with no protection. You have protection.
[00:25:30] CHRIS: Damn. Those security guys, they, they get into some, they get into some stuff, huh?
[00:25:37] CALLER: Oh, yeah. I actually was kind of unusual, it’s not required, but I used to tip out my security guard because at the end of the night, they’re the ones keeping me safe.
[00:25:47] CHRIS: Yeah, and I would have to imagine, too, if you’re dealing with like all these guys who walk up and they’re trying to throw money around and there’s like this alpha energy, who can outdo the other, and everybody’s getting drunk. There must be some times where the sidewalk, the sidewalk in front of a strip club must be like a boxing ring at times.
[00:26:07] CALLER: Oh, at this one it’s the parking lot. I don’t know why. Like, no one really approaches like the outside walls of the club, like if they’re gonna fight, they go all the way across the parking lot. And I’m like, that’s not going to prevent people from calling the cops. At the end of the day, the second a punch is thrown or anything, like, someone’s calling the cops, regardless of if you’re by the building or across the parking lot.
[00:26:30] CHRIS: Wow. Wow. And this guy, a guy walks in with two hundred grand. He gets there. What happens, does he get put behind some velvet ropes right away? Is this guy given the star treatment, he gets to … “Excuse me, sir-“
[00:26:45] CALLER: Oh yeah, he goes straight … And whenever-
[00:26:46] CHRIS: “… which, which of these fine ladies would you like to hang out with tonight? Is it that type of vibe?
[00:26:52] CALLER: Normally they’re fighting over like, whoever is dancing that night knows automatically, like, word travels in a club like that very fast. And people will be lining up like, I’d like to hang out with you tonight. I’ll sit on your lap. Whatever. I’ll bring you your drinks for the rest of the night.
[00:27:09] CHRIS: Really, they’re just trying to link up with the money guy at that point.
[00:27:13] CALLER: Oh yeah, that’s what they’re there for.
[00:27:13] CHRIS: And that’s why that guy brings that duffel bag, right? That’s why that guy shows up so he can feel that.
[00:27:18] CALLER: Exactly. Exactly. And like, it’s kind of like disguised to a degree. Like he walks in with a really unassuming duffel bag, but it’s like, you’re not at the gym. We know what’s in the bag.
[00:27:28] CHRIS: And is he by himself?
[00:27:29] CALLER: Like, it’s not like you have a change of clothes in there. No, no. He came with a whole crew. And in those situations, they’re put in VIP and they get the whole VIP section to themselves. There’s not even anyone else with half as much money in there with him.
[00:27:44] CHRIS: No one else could show up that night, dethrone this crew.
[00:27:47] CALLER: Basically, unless you showed up with more money. And in that case, we would probably tell you to make a reservation.
[00:27:55] CHRIS: Wow. And we’re talking bottle service at this point. We’re talking-
[00:27:59] CALLER: Oh, yeah.
[00:28:00] CHRIS: … less girls hitting the stage because more girls are allowed to just go hang out with those guys all night.
[00:28:06] CALLER: Well, again, it depends on what kind of club you’re working at. Like on an average night, there were probably 20 dancers there.
[00:28:14] CHRIS: Right. Right. Right.
[00:28:15] CALLER: So, I mean, I don’t know that even someone with two hundred thousand dollars and five people in a crew could entertain 20 girls at one time.
[00:28:23] CHRIS: Right. Yeah. I guess you start burning through that fast.
[00:28:26] CALLER: Oh yes.
[00:28:29] CHRIS: Wow. These ballers.
[00:28:31] CALLER: Especially whenever bottle service of Hennessy, which if you didn’t know is like, bottle service of choice in this area.
[00:28:39] CHRIS: You don’t have to tell me about Hennessy.
[00:28:40] CALLER: Eight hundred dollars!
[00:28:42] CHRIS: Don’t have to tell me about Hennessy. I’ve listened to Nas. Nas loves Hennessy.
[00:28:47] CALLER: There you go, yes. Perfect.
[00:28:49] CHRIS: If Nas’s albums are to be believed, that dude loves Hennessy. And I really like Illmatic, that’s one of the best albums of all time. I like Nas. Okay, let’s talk about your dad-
[00:28:58] CALLER: I can agree with that.
[00:28:59] CHRIS: Yeah, Nas is the best, right? Oh, you’re a hip-hop fan. Were you a hip-hop fan before you worked in the clubs or has it given you a new appreciation for hip-hop?
[00:29:06] CALLER: I was already a fan, but I really got exposed to like, some people that I’d never even heard of before, more on our local scene, that are really great. It’s kind of shocking that a lot more local musicians from this area aren’t more popular.
[00:29:21] CHRIS: And would they show up trying to get their music played at the club?
[00:29:24] CALLER: No, not at all. Surprisingly. But also, in an area with more than one strip club.
[00:29:30] CHRIS: Right.
[00:29:30] CALLER: So maybe they were going to a nicer one.
[00:29:34] CHRIS: Okay, you’ve laid out the scene. I have some sense of this environment, parking lot fights. We’re talking VIP section, two hundred grand in a duffel bag. We’re getting a sense of this environment. Let’s talk about your dad. You brought up your dad with all this kid stuff, some keeping his name off some paperwork stuff, which sounds a little shady to me, no judgment. What do we th-, what do we-
[00:30:01] CALLER: Oh, judge away, please.
[00:30:02] CHRIS: Tell me about this, what’s your relationship like?
[00:30:07] CALLER: So, he wasn’t really a present father figure. Like my mom kind of took on both roles in that regard. And when they got divorced, it was kind of like … like a childhood finalization, like, you know, even whenever you’re kids you pick up on a lot of stuff, especially whenever your parents are not happy with themselves. So … how to even digest this? You know what, it’s been a year since I’ve talked to him, and like I, I don’t think I ever actually sat down and fully processed my whole, like, lifelong relationship with him. It’s sort of been like an abyss I’d rather not look into. But also, I don’t mind either. I think I just haven’t had the opportunity.
[00:30:53] CHRIS: Okay. Well, I don’t want to drag you into the abyss. So you just let me know what you’re, where you want to take it.
[00:31:01] CALLER: So, he’s not a model father figure by any means. Like … And I feel like whenever I was a kid, I thought it was so, like, not normal. All of my friends had these perfect parents that like at least saved face in front of their kids, like dad was still present for family holidays and stuff. My dad was playing poker when my older sister was born. So, I mean, obviously, this has been some, some ongoing drama for a really long time. And I think part of it kind of stems from the older generation believing that if you live with someone or if you have a kid with them or anything, like even if you just like are in a roommate situation almost, if it’s a woman and a man, well, then you have to get married. Especially in like a more traditional setting, like how my family is. They’ve always been super traditional about everything on both sides. So it was seen as like inappropriate that my mom would have like, even a few months long relationship with this man and choose to move in with him and not already be talking about marriage. So segue into that part, nine months into them dating, they decide to get married. Which probably wasn’t a good idea – what do you really know about someone after nine months? Like, I have friends that I’ve known for like several years that I still don’t know really well.
[00:32:30] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:32:31] CALLER: And I think that played in a lot to his fathering skills as well. It’s kind of like … My mom never made him really work within the relationship. She was kind of always the one putting forth the effort to be romantic or make him feel special with no real return on the opposite end. You know, she’s the one who, by proxy, kind of got like sucked into staying home whenever she had dreams of her own. And I am super biased, like I know that my dad probably has some great qualities that I haven’t been able to see because, one, he wasn’t there enough for me to see them, and two, I had another parent that was actively in my life all the time that showed me what that was supposed to be like, what it was supposed to be like for a parent to be in a child’s life. It was hard for me to cut him any slack. Pretty much ever.
[00:33:27] CHRIS: Yeah, I can imagine.
[00:33:27] CALLER: Maybe that’s why … Maybe that’s why the relationship ended the way that it did.
[00:33:35] CHRIS: What exactly do you mean by that?
[00:33:38] CALLER: It wasn’t on good terms. So-
[00:33:40] CHRIS: And while, was this while you were working at the strip club?
[00:33:43] CALLER: No, I did that very temp-, like again, I was only there for a few months, and probably about nine months after I left the club is when I finally cut ties with him. I started going to therapy regularly and I can be a very like anxious and nervous person and I suffer with some depression. Obviously, like a crappy relationship with your dad isn’t going to help that any. And obviously, like with any kind of mental condition, you know, depression, anxiety, anything, it’s – there’s not just one problem. You can’t just link it back to one thing. But that’s kind of what I had been internalizing for so long was that I feel this way because I don’t have a relationship with you. Whenever there could have been a ton of other reasons and I could’ve still been depressed even if he wasn’t, even if he was there.
[00:34:37] CHRIS: Yeah. I have to wonder, too. This might be unfair and I might be reading too much into this. If, if you feel … Even with it being said, like, you talked about the culture of the club earlier in the call. You said that at least some of the women felt very empowered, at least some of them felt like this was a way to box out space to live the rest of their lives and find a way to sort of have firm footing, maybe get ahead in other areas. If you have a strained relationship with your dad, though, I can’t help but wonder. If there’s not some element of seeing him commodify sex and and female sexuality that tangles up your head as his daughter. I have to wonder.
[00:35:40] CALLER: Oh, yeah. But … I say but, but there’s really no but. Like, whenever he first purchased the club and talked about opening it, I was in a mindset at the time where it was just like, why? Like, you’re making decent money doing all these other things and why is it always about more? And especially with something like this that, you know, whenever you’re not exposed to it, you know, whenever he opened this, I was in my late teens. So honestly, I didn’t have like a whole scope of the world or anything that would have given me any kind of, I guess, understanding for other people outside of my dad in that environment. Like at that age, I was just like strip clubs are terrible, they completely objectify women, and anyone who makes money off of the women that they’re objectifying is just automatically horrible. So it definitely brought some contention to the relationship. And I think part of the reason I agreed to work for him in the first place was like a way to reconnect in a way, like, okay, maybe if I understand this like really bizarre business practice that you’ve taken on, like, maybe it’ll make us closer. Maybe if I show you that I can be understanding about your demons, you can be understanding about mine, and we’ll actually have a relationship for the first time in my life.
[00:37:06] CHRIS: Right. Right.
[00:37:08] CALLER: And that is not where it went at all. But I tried.
[00:37:12] CHRIS: You did. It sounds like you tried and it sounds like you’re very fair, I will say, very fair about the balance of your relationship with your dad and also the women you met in the club. And it sounds like you’re very fair. But I do have to just say, judgment free, the premise of “I really wanted to reconnect with my dad, so I started working in a strip club.” There’s some concerning, there’s some concerning aspects just to that sentence. There are.
[00:37:40] CALLER: I feel like there are a lot more people in similar situations, though. Like … So, I’m trying not to be too specific or drag things out too long. But this is not an unusual situation. Like obviously the strip club factor definitely is. But I’ve run into a lot of people my age, older, you know, in life, after, you know, having kind of crappy relationships with their parents where maybe their parents were alcoholics or they were drug addicts. And at some point in that kid’s life, to seek some kind of connection, they get to a point where they try to accept even that part of that person, which is not a bad thing. Like, at the end of the day, anyone who’s addicted to anything is still a person.
[00:38:32] CHRIS: Absolutely.
[00:38:32] CALLER: They still need some kind of understanding. You know, maybe the thing that drags them out of the hole that they put themselves in is like, seeing that somebody cares about them regardless of where they put themselves in life. I try not to focus too much on the fact that mine was a strip club situation as opposed to something a little bit more normal or reasonable.
[00:38:57] CHRIS: Yeah, yeah. I’m going to put this out here. Feel free … Feel free to just say I’d rather not speak to that or I don’t know or whatever, but I have to ask you: You’ve mentioned your dad’s in this world, that there’s some questionable reasons why he would leave his name off the paperwork. You mentioned that your dad was at a poker game while one of your siblings is born and like … I’ll just- And maybe it’s just me being from North Jersey where there’s a lot of organized crime. Is your dad, do you think he’s dabbled in that world?
[00:39:33] CALLER: Oh, I’m not going to say no, but I’m not going to answer either.
[00:39:37] CHRIS: Pleading the fifth. I think they call that.
[00:39:40] CALLER: Exactly. Exactly.
[00:39:42] CHRIS: Wow. What a complicated thing. And I’m certainly not going to dwell on that, ’cause that could be big trouble, but … What a complicated thing to have to even wonder about with your own da. Do you, so you’re disconnected from your dad. What’s your relationship like with your, your half sibling? Is that, is that severed as well? Just through, via that?
[00:40:04] CALLER: I still get pictures from her mom a lot. Like, me and her mom are very close in age, so it’s kind of easier for me to have a relationship with her.
[00:40:14] CHRIS: Is she-
[00:40:15] CALLER: To some regard.
[00:40:16] CHRIS: And is she still with your dad?
[00:40:18] CALLER: She’s not. My dad actually … Oh, man. I’m gonna like, literally dig the hole even deeper here. So, nine months after this sibling was born, my dad met this woman who is his own age, and they got married after knowing each other for three months.
[00:40:38] CHRIS: Wild.
[00:40:38] CALLER: And she is an international millionaire. I’m not going to say where or how or what, but she’s an international millionaire.
[00:40:45] CHRIS: What are you, every- what are you talking about? There’s such, there’s such a very odd, I don’t know if I’ve ever encountered this, where there’s such an odd balance between you being so clearly a nice person, and I will have to say that falling into the stereo- As a, someone who lives up in New York, I hear a southern accent from a nice person and that, that feels like very genteel to me. And then every step of the way, when you reveal a detail, I’m like, wow, this is like a sordid world of underground intrigue.
[00:41:16] CALLER: I think I opened the initial call with like, okay, my life with my dad is basically like a really dark comedy. So, you know, that’s just-
[00:41:24] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:41:25] CALLER: That’s the best way I can describe it. All of my friends think my family is insane.
[00:41:31] CHRIS: So your dad met someone your age. Are you the young, like, I mean outside of your half sibling, from your nuclear family, are you the youngest?
[00:41:41] CALLER: I am the middle child and I suffer from middle child syndrome. Very severely.
[00:41:45] CHRIS: You do. You do.
[00:41:46] CALLER: I’m either bad like the oldest or good like the youngest. It’s never any in between here.
[00:41:52] CHRIS: So your dad winds up having a kid with someone your age. Does that mean if you’re the middle child, is this person younger than your older sibling?
[00:42:04] CALLER: Yes.
[00:42:06] CHRIS: Oooh, so your dad has a kid with someone younger than one of his own kids?
[00:42:10] CALLER: Yes. Less than half his age.
[00:42:12] CHRIS: Wow. And-
[00:42:14] CALLER: Which like, shocks me. But she’s got issues of her own. It’s kind of understandable whenever you see her side of this story, too.
[00:42:23] CHRIS: Yeah. And then he skedaddles on her for a, for an int- What you’ve said, an international millionaire.
[00:42:30] CALLER: Yes.
[00:42:31] CHRIS: Wow.
[00:42:32] CALLER: Yep.
[00:42:34] CHRIS: Your dad, he leaves a little bit of a path of destruction in his wake, huh?
[00:42:40] CALLER: Oh, that would be like the most kind way of putting it.
[00:42:46] CHRIS: I’m trying to be kid gloves. ‘Cause I don’t want to offend you. But I get the sense that it’s not gonna happen.
[00:42:50] CALLER: No, again, like I’m not kidding. Again, not kidding whenever I say Chris Gethard insulting my dad is like, that’s way better than anything any of my friends have ever said about the situation.
[00:43:03] CHRIS: But hey, I also just want to go on record and say I’m not trying to insult anybody and there’s no need to send any of your associates to come talk to me. I live a very, I live a very public life, I publicize tour dates at my website, www.chrisgeth.com, and it’s very easy to figure out where I’m gonna be and when, and the last thing I’m trying to do is show any act of disrespect towards anyone, let alone any of their associates who might want to impress them or gain revenge in order to curry favor with them. End of rant.
[00:43:35] CALLER: I don’t think he’ll ever know about this, it’s okay.
[00:43:38] CHRIS: That’s probably for the best, is the sense that I’m getting.
[00:43:42] CALLER: Look, if this wasn’t anonymous I wouldn’t be doing this.
[00:43:46] CHRIS: Oh, yeah, I thi- Yes. Yeah I can imagine.
[00:43:49] CALLER: Yes. Exactly.
[00:43:50] CHRIS: So what else? What else do I need to know? We’ve got 20 minutes left. You’ve laid out such a, such an interesting life and such a … And let me ask you this, too. ‘Cause I made an assumption earlier, I even started the call by saying oh, you have such a you know, I can already tell that I really like your positive energy. Is that … Is that truthful deep down? Is it, I don’t know if there’s just a part of me that’s, that’s, that’s charmed by your accent and whatnot. Or is it, you’ve mentioned that you went to therapy and that you had to sort a lot out. And I feel like I might be not showing that the proper respect just because of the surface level that I’m taking away.
[00:44:27] CALLER: No, no, I- That’s a personal thing. That’s a, I respect it for myself, and that’s all that really matters. I think externally, you’re like right on the money. Internally, I’m probably a little bit more morose and fatalistic than I should be. Like outside of my bizarre fringe family situations my life is very normal and comfortable and nice. I get some kind of like weird sick humor, like amusement out of the situation, which is terrible. But like I’ve learned that the easiest way to deal with the hard shit in life is to just laugh. It just makes so much more sense. You can make a joke out of it, it’ll make you feel better, right?
[00:45:09] CHRIS: Hey, you’re preaching to the choir over here.
[00:45:12] CALLER: I know I am.
[00:45:13] CHRIS: There’s a reason I do comedy. I need to be around laughs, or else I’ll have to deal with my real feelings.
[00:45:18] CALLER: Exactly. Exactly. And sometimes it’s easier to process it with a joke. My therapist thought I was insane, also. Like, “I don’t understand how you can talk about your difficult relationship and somehow manage to turn it into a joke. ‘Cause it’s not. It’s your life. You know that your life is a joke, right?” My therapist did not tell me my life is a joke, I just wanna say that on the record. She was very supportive and helpful.
[00:45:45] CHRIS: That’s good, that’s good that your therapist would not look you in the eye and say your life is a joke. “I think that’s the whole problem, Doc.” Well, where, where else do we take this with 20 minutes left, what else do you need to get on record?
[00:46:01] CALLER: Oh, that’s a good question. I guess we can like juxtapose it with how normal and simple my life is, but that’s much less entertaining.
[00:46:13] CHRIS: Well, let’s give it a shot. I think people would like to hear. I think people, the fact that you had a tumultuous past, the fact that you had a family life that wasn’t ideal, the fact that you maybe delved into an environment that on it’s, even on its most above board day is like a hypersexual, charged up environment full of booze and probably drugs and all these things we’d assume. I think everybody’s got that. I think people would like to hear about your boring everyday life. Just to know that you’re keeping your head above water and doing okay.
[00:46:46] CALLER: Yes, there’s a light at the end of the road, always. You know, when your life is kinda crappy. So after I quit the strip club and cut ties with my dad, I went back to school. I put myself through school. I graduated with a 4.0.
[00:47:01] CHRIS: Congrats.
[00:47:02] CALLER: I’m very proud of that. I feel like I need to say it more.
[00:47:04] CHRIS: Yeah. That’s awesome.
[00:47:06] CALLER: Outside of that, I have two really cute dogs. They’re basically therapy dogs, but they’re not registered. But they know when I’m sad and they keep me happy.
[00:47:16] CHRIS: That’s awful nice. 4.0. I barely got a 3.0 and I had an American Studies degree. It shoulda been, I should have, I should have been able to get better than a 3.0.
[00:47:26] CALLER: If you do it as an adult, it’s so much easier. Like whenever I was in school as a kid, I was so terrible at things like math, and once I tried it as an adult, it was like, wow, if I apply myself this is easy.
[00:47:39] CHRIS: Maybe I should go back and try math now. ‘Cause I’ve avoided it for the better part of 30. But I think I’ve said this on the show before, I used to always say, “Why do I got to do this? We got calculators!” And they looked me right in the eye and said, “It’s not like you have a calculator in your pocket all the time.” Guess what?
[00:47:58] CALLER: But that’s not true!
[00:47:58] CHRIS: Yes, I do!
[00:47:59] CALLER: Yes!
[00:48:00] CHRIS: I do have a calculator in my pocket. And if I can’t figure it out with the calculator, the calculator is also a phone, so I’ll call somebody smarter than me. That’s how easy it is.
[00:48:09] CALLER: Your phone is also a computer. You can just google it.
[00:48:12] CHRIS: Yeah. And if I, and if I, if I’m getting really frustrated, I can open up a map that will help lead me elsewhere to someplace where I’m happier than being frustrated by math. These people, they didn’t see technology coming.
[00:48:26] CALLER: I feel like it’s bad advice to tell people to run away from their problems, even if they’re math problems.
[00:48:31] CHRIS: Go, get out! Here’s my advice, kids: Run away! If you don’t, if you’re not meeting with immediate success, give up and complain on Facebook. That’s the way we should handle our lives these days. Run away from your problems, take no personal responsibility and make sure everybody on social media hears about it. I feel the opposite. If, if no one could pick up on it, actually feel the opposite.
[00:48:55] CALLER: So, on the educational front, you’ll actually be shocked to know that math classes are much different now.
[00:49:00] CHRIS: Well, that’s good.
[00:49:02] CALLER: They actually allow you to use a calculator and it advanced to one for anything that you’re doing. You don’t have to do anything manually anymore. I feel like everyone’s come to terms with the fact that the internet is a thing.
[00:49:12] CHRIS: Good. You don’t have to just sit there.
[00:49:14] CALLER: Although why, it’s like, why would you offer an online math class?
[00:49:17] CHRIS: You don’t have to sit there and fold that weird, shitty low grade yellow paper into 16 squares and then scribble all over it with a pencil. If you make a mistake and try to erase it, it tears through the paper, then you ask for more paper and your teacher keeps asking why you’re making the mistakes. And you got to say, ’cause I’m bad at math and I don’t want to do this, let me focus on English and history, I love those. You’re making me hate school! Remember that weird paper? Yeesh.
[00:49:46] CALLER: I do. I do. That was still a thing whenever I was in, like, middle school.
[00:49:51] CHRIS: Yeah. I remember, I have such bad associations with math. It’s okay. You got dogs-
[00:49:58] CALLER: It’s-
[00:49:58] CHRIS: … you got a 4.0.
[00:49:59] CALLER: I do.
[00:50:00] CHRIS: How are we doing in the other areas of life? Personal life-
[00:50:03] CALLER: They’re good!
[00:50:04] CHRIS: … professional life. Where are we at?
[00:50:05] CALLER: Oh, so professionally, I just applied for a job that it looks like I’m going to get – through connection. If anyone ever asks you, the best way to get a job is through who you know, not what you know, unfortunately. Which is really crappy ’cause I should be able to get the best job, like, outside of my crappy family situation, I like pride myself on my intelligence, intelligence and my ability in my field. I feel like any job that I apply for, I should be able to get it, ’cause I definitely wouldn’t apply if I thought I couldn’t do it.
[00:50:37] CHRIS: Mm hmm, mm hmm, I love that.
[00:50:44] CALLER: Relationship-wise, I’m in a perfect relationship, and I was asked not to speak about him if I ever called in.
[00:50:49] CHRIS: Fair.
[00:50:50] CALLER: So, that’s the end of that one.
[00:50:51] CHRIS: Fair, we’ll let that one go. We’ll let that one go. We’ve somehow found a male figure in your life who’s chosen to be more mysterious and shady than your dad in the context of this phone call. But it’s-
[00:51:00] CALLER: He’s not shady at all, I promise!
[00:51:02] CHRIS: I’m just saying, just based on his relationship with this show, he is. But I get the sense that in real life, this is nothing but a positive, okay, okay.
[00:51:09] CALLER: Exactly. Yes.
[00:51:10] CHRIS: With the way he’s painted himself in this show, he lurks in the shadows on the periphery and we get to know nothing about him. Okay, that’s okay.
[00:51:16] CALLER: That’s actually kind of accurate.
[00:51:18] CHRIS: That’s how he rolls?
[00:51:22] CALLER: He’s a shut-in. So, yes.
[00:51:23] CHRIS: That’s fair, that’s fair. Tell him I said hi and no harm, no foul. That’s all good.
[00:51:28] CALLER: He’ll be flattered.
[00:51:30] CHRIS: Now, let me ask you this. You clearly have your head on straight. And you seem like a strong person. That’s the sense I’m getting. To fund, put yourself through school, get a 4.0 and be able to say something right now. Like, I’m so impressed to hear you say, “I think I can get any job I apply for ’cause I wouldn’t apply if I didn’t think I could nail it.” Like that’s, that’s a strong person. That’s a statement of a strong person. Do you think there’s any elements of, you know, you’ve said this, this not ideal childhood, this not ideal parental situation. Are there any elements of that that you would point to as things that helped make you into the strong person you are? Like, are there any positives you took away from it that I might not be seeing on the surface? ‘Cause I’ve been joking with you a lot, but I will say, few things… Few things make me angrier than hearing about, like, we were joking about it before, but your dad’s at a poker game while his kid’s being born. Fuck that. Like that’s, few things make me angrier than hearing about a parent who just sort of willingly knows that they’re doing stuff that’s gonna mess up a kid. It’s, it’s the least, it’s one of the least fair things I can think of is handing a kid a bad hand, which is weirdly a poker analogy.
[00:52:51] CALLER: It’s definitely selfish.
[00:52:52] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:52:53] CALLER: It’s definitely selfish. At the core of it all.
[00:52:54] CHRIS: I don’t … yeah. And I want, I want you to know I’ve been joking about that a lot. But it genuinely makes me mad. But I do want to know-
[00:53:02] CALLER: Hey, I do too. So you’re just following the lead.
[00:53:05] CHRIS: There you go. But what did you take away from it that was positive, anything?
[00:53:11] CALLER: I learned that I don’t need a man to show me how much I’m worth. Even my own dad. Like, it’s made me a really independent person. You process feelings of your dad not being there for literally 90% of your life and it will definitely show you that like, well, if I’ve made it this far, I can probably keep going without that validation from this person. And it definitely shows you not to like care when people don’t care about you. Like if you can say that about your own dad, you can definitely say that about anyone else in your life. Like, regardless of whatever parental situation anyone else has – at the end of the day, if your parent doesn’t value you, they are just like every other stranger on the street that doesn’t value you, and you don’t have to let that define you. You can still be a super great, awesome, amazing, happy person without somebody else’s validation. You can show yourself that you can appreciate yourself. At the end of the day, that’s really the only person you need to count on anyway is yourself.
[00:54:18] CHRIS: That’s really rad what you just said. And I’ll tell you, not everybody gets there. And it’s really cool that you did. And I hope there’s some other people who hear what you just said, ’cause I think that could help a lot of people.
[00:54:32] CALLER: I hope so, too. It took a long time to get there. I hope people don’t have to wait that long to get there like I did.
[00:54:39] CHRIS: Some people never get there. So I give you a lot of credit.
[00:54:44] CALLER: Hey, to them I say, please go to therapy. Talk to someone who’s not your friend. You go talk to a professional.
[00:54:51] CHRIS: Yeah, it’s nice to pay somebody and then they gotta listen. That’s what I always- People, there’s people who approach me sometimes about therapy because I’ve talked so much about it, like, “I just don’t want to like have to sit there and like pour out all my feelings” and this and that, it’s like … Well, how would you feel about someone who has to turn off their phone and just listen to you?
[00:55:10] CALLER: Yes.
[00:55:11] CHRIS: How do you feel about that?
[00:55:12] CALLER: You know, it’s actually the Chris Gethard show that convinced me to go to therapy in the first place.
[00:55:16] CHRIS: I love that. That’s awesome. Glad.
[00:55:20] CALLER: Yes. I was kind of like ultra nervous about it. All my friends were like, your first session is no big deal, it’s okay. And I’m like, after all the shit I’ve watched on this show, that’s bullshit. And I broke down crying my very first session. It was the best moment I’ve had with mental health in a long time.
[00:55:35] CHRIS: Good. Happy to help, happy to help. I also, here’s, here’s what I like about you. Here’s a thing I didn’t expect. I said to you, what’s a, what’s a thing, what’s a positive you’ve taken away? And you said “I don’t need a man to tell me my worth.” And about-
[00:55:54] CALLER: Well, I don’t need anyone really, but especially a man.
[00:55:56] CHRIS: I know! But I love it, and I love it, and I love that you said that. And I like threw my fist up in the air. But this is the same person who about 35 minutes ago is going “The reason I’m okay with strip clubs is ’cause women can literally have thrown, money thrown across the room at them and walk away with freedom.” It’s like within the course of one call we can have a discussion of an environment where women’s worth is literally defined by stacks of money that show up in duffel bags and you yelling “I do not need a man to define my worth.” I think, I guess that’s part of the thing with strip clubs, though, right, is that if it is a healthy environment, it is one where those women get the last laugh. And that has to be part of the deal.
[00:56:35] CALLER: Oh, definitely.
[00:56:37] CHRIS: Right? And I would imagine not all of the environments are that. And you hear stories that there’s people under real duress, people who don’t have much of an option, people who are addicts and places where, you know, where it’s like … There’s, there’s a whole underground sex economy that gets very, very dark and evil. But in a world where things are run above board, that is an environment where a lady walks out with a big chunk of that two hundred grand, and that guy doesn’t have it anymore, and she gets to leave with a smirk on her face, and that, I can see that side of it being pretty empowering if you got your head on straight and you’re, and you’re there of your own free will.
[00:57:20] CALLER: Oh yeah. I feel like a lot of them probably had the same issues with their dad and probably said, “I don’t need a man’s opinion either”. Like, so, okay, you think I’m hot? Give me money, bye.
[00:57:31] CHRIS: That’s what you saw. That’s what you, would you say that was the interaction you saw the most?
[00:57:37] CALLER: I don’t … Again, I didn’t really get to know them on too much of a personal level, like, yeah, “I’m going to school for nursing” is actually a really common thing, it’s like, don’t- Anytime you hear that story, don’t think that it’s just something people say to make strippers look better. I met three potential nur-, like people going to school for nursing that were dancing to make money to go to nursing school.
[00:57:59] CHRIS: Wow. You’ve seen a lot of stuff.
[00:58:03] CALLER: And maybe that’s just our club. Maybe we cater to the potential nurses who also want to strip on the side.
[00:58:10] CHRIS: Who knows? Maybe your dad, despite all his faults, is a big supporter of the medical field, who, who knows? Maybe he has a soft spot for that.
[00:58:20] CALLER: He’s getting older. I would hope he has some kind of care about the medical field.
[00:58:26] CHRIS: Yeah. What’s your, how you doing with your mom? How’s your relationship with your mom?
[00:58:31] CALLER: It’s great, actually.
[00:58:32] CHRIS: Good.
[00:58:33] CALLER: We kinda had a falling out at one point. Obviously, we’re not gonna go into that ’cause it was very short lived. But I mean, she’s basically my best friend outside of the mysterious in-the-dark-shadows-man, but-
[00:58:47] CHRIS: Mm hmm, mm hmm.
[00:58:49] CALLER: … She’s been there for me every step of the way and has literally given me all the tools necessary to see education as an important thing to have for what I wanted to do. She never discouraged me away from anything, and my mom was the one who initially gave me the base of “at the end of the day, as long as you love yourself, fuck everyone else.” In a non-narcissistic way, like obviously still care about people that care about you.
[00:59:21] CHRIS: Your mom sounds pretty great.
[00:59:24] CALLER: Yup, she’s fantastic.
[00:59:29] CHRIS: Hold on one second, just- hold on one second, ’cause I, I did a dumb thing. Hold on. Everybody is going to laugh at me. I fixed it, Jared. Jared had to come running in here.
[00:59:38] JARED: Oh, okay.
[00:59:39] CHRIS: I don’t, okay. So I, just so you know-
[00:59:42] JARED: You could, it’s ’cause-
[00:59:43] CHRIS: I got it. It, I sit here and I fiddle – here’s what happened, and I’m going to tell you honestly, because I like to be honest with the callers and listeners: I tend to sit here and fiddle with the mic cord and I managed to yank my headphone or the headphone co- I yanked the headphones out of their jack, just as you were saying some very tender stuff about your mom, and I want to apologize both to you and your mom for that.
[01:00:05] CALLER: That’s amazing.
[01:00:06] CHRIS: I think I s-
[01:00:07] CALLER: Honestly that’s just a really great-
[01:00:10] CHRIS: This, this, I’m a mess, I’m a neurotic mess, and I have to sit here and fiddle with stuff cause I’m OCD, and I yanked my headphone cord out and I’m sure Jared’s mad about, and I messed up the wire and we’ve never even talked about the fact that the wire has all these- ‘Cause it’s, I’m always looping it around my finger. Anyway.
[01:00:27] CALLER: Why aren’t you guys wireless anyway? This is like the 21st century, we’re in 2019. Wireless everything exists now.
[01:00:34] CHRIS: Great question. And maybe it wasn’t my fault, Jared. Maybe this was not my fault after all. Oh, Harry Nelson sitting there looking real smug that I messed up. He loves when I mess up. He’s trying to take the ho- he wants to host this show. He’s trying to take the throne. He’s trying to take the throne. But I got my eye on him.
[01:00:53] CALLER: Maybe he’s trying to get you to fiddle with wires less.
[01:00:55] CHRIS: Yes. Yes. He’s gonna go, he’s gonna go run off to Chris Bannon and tell him “He’s playing with the wires. If you ever want to put him on probation, I’ll step in.” I can see he’s got these machinations. He’s got these machinations, he’s plotting against me.
[01:01:12] CALLER: Hey, you’re talking about how you nervous fiddle with your hands. My mom actually has a friend-
[01:01:15] CHRIS: Oh, constantly.
[01:01:18] CALLER: My mom has a friend who like … okay. So if you’ve ever had an old towel or an old pair of jeans, you know how the fabric starts to come apart?
[01:01:26] CHRIS: Mm hmm.
[01:01:27] CALLER: So it’s actually really stress relieving to like, pull that fabric apart, as opposed to fiddling with electronics you shouldn’t be fiddling with.
[01:01:34] CHRIS: Good to know, good- Yes. I won’t electrocute myself and/or ruin my own show.
[01:01:39] CALLER: It’s called a worry rag, you should get one.
[01:01:43] CHRIS: Now, let me ask you, we got two and a half minutes left. We covered a lot of ground, I really am quite impressed by you. On a personal, selfish level: I am about to leave on Wednesday for my first ever tour of the American Southeast. I get the sense that you are from some general section of the Southeast, although we won’t define exactly where. What are the things I should-
[01:02:00] CALLER: You’re not coming here, I’m very upset.
[01:02:02] CHRIS: I’m not, I’m not coming to your city it sounds like, I’m so sorry, that’s a bummer. What are the things about the Southeast that I, as a city-dwelling North-Eastern resident, lifelong, need to know?
[01:02:16] CALLER: I’m gonna sound like a really terrible fan here. Once I realized that my city was not on the list, I did not look to see where else you were going. Where are you going? I’ve been everywhere here.
[01:02:25] CHRIS: I’m going to Durham; Charleston; Wilmington, North Carolina on the first leg of the tour, coming home for a week, and then I’m doing Huntsville, Alabama; Nashville, Tennessee; Atlanta, Georgia.
[01:02:34] CALLER: Okay. So. Hmm. I mean, are you driving from Atlanta to- or from Georgia to Alabama? ‘Cause that drive is really great. Like, everything about that drive- or don’t.
[01:02:44] CHRIS: We’re doing Alabama to Nashville, Nashville to Atlanta, all driving. I think it’s going to be so fun.
[01:02:50] CALLER: Perfect. Well, the drive alone is really the only thing I can recommend, sorry.
[01:02:54] CHRIS: Can we talk about that?
[01:02:55] CALLER: Outside of that- Well, you’re gonna hit the mountains, obviously, and I’m from – without being too specific – the south. So we don’t really see any of that here, or snow, or anything other than sweat and rain.
[01:03:09] CHRIS: Mm hmm.
[01:03:10] CALLER: So you’ll get some good driving time.
[01:03:13] CHRIS: I love driving.
[01:03:13] CALLER: There’s actually a great restaurant in Alabama called Grady’s Barbecue, but you’ll be lucky to find it if it still exists.
[01:03:21] CHRIS: Grady’s Barbecue, wha- So it’s a mystery restaurant, okay, I’ll keep my eyes peeled for that.
[01:03:25] CALLER: It is, it’s in a really small town, but it’s right off the highway, so you might pass it.
[01:03:29] CHRIS: Grady’s Barbecue. Okay. I just want to say, I love that you said the drives are nice, ’cause if you, I will say. Everybody, everybody should have to drive, if you are an American, you should have to drive cross-country, and if you’re an international listener, driving around America is one of the most peaceful, eye opening things in the world. ‘Cause, despite all our tensions and stresses and regional differences and the way that we’re manipulated into butting heads, it’s a beautiful country full of beautiful people and driving around reminds you of that.
[01:03:59] CALLER: It definitely does.
[01:04:00] CHRIS: You’re the best, I’m glad that you didn’t let your dad drag you down into the abyss.
[01:04:05] CALLER: Hell no.
[01:04:06] CHRIS: I’m glad that you are a strong person. I’m glad that you went and got that 4.0., you paid for it yourself, and I’m glad you told us all about it.
[01:04:12] CALLER: Awesome, thank you. I really appreciate all this positive energy. Also, congratulations on fatherhood, you’re gonna be a great dad, it’s okay.
[01:04:19] CHRIS: We’ll see. I mean, no offense, but I think from your perspective, I, I feel more confident.
[01:04:26] CALLER: You’ll be great, you’ll be great.
[01:04:28] CHRIS: The bar has not been set so high. And I thank, I thank you for-
[01:04:32] CALLER: Just be there, you’ll be fine.
[01:04:34] CHRIS: Thank you so much.
[01:04:37] CALLER: All right. [ring]
[01:04:43] CHRIS: Caller, thank you for calling. And I hope you, you continue to live a good life holding your head up high, not letting the past defeat you. Super cool to hear. Thank you to Jared O’Connell and Harry Nelson in the booth. Watching my back around this guy. Thank you to Justin Linville, thank you to Shellshag. Wanna know about me, when I’m going out on the road: chrisgeth.com, that’s where all my tour dates are. You like the show, go to apple podcasts, rate, review, subscribe, really helps when you do. I’ll see you next time. Thanks.
[01:05:12] OUTRO MUSIC: Kiss me, face to face.
[01:05:30] [AD BREAK]
[01:06:31] CHRIS: Next time on Beautiful Anonymous, we talk to a guy who’s getting high in his garage.
[NEXT EPISODE PREVIEW]
[01:06:39] CHRIS: What was that sound?
[01:06:40] CALLER: What’s that?
[01:06:41] CHRIS: Were you, were you toking up while I was talking?
[01:06:44] CALLER: No, no, no. I leaned back in my chair, I was leaning forward, no, I’m not-
[01:06:47] CHRIS: Oh. Oh, I was hoping. I was, I gotta admit, I was hoping. You’re just waiting for me to talk so-.
[01:06:52] CALLER: Oh, it’ll, it’ll happen, we got an hour, it’ll definitely happen.
[01:06:57] CHRIS: So, you been together with your wife over 20 years. Stay-at-home dad three years.
[01:07:02] CALLER: Yeah. Well, I had a full time job for years, and then my wife ended up being much more successful with, with her career path than I was, and about three years ago, she asked if I wanted to quit my day job. And I immediately was like, “Yes.”
[01:07:18] CHRIS: That’s next time on Beautiful Anonymous.