No need for any citations, this is just an article review from a classmate. Please make comments and any questions you may have.
Story: Live Bait
Welcome to Live Bait. My name is Jade, like the prosperity Buddha that sits
on my bathroom sink. Mostly because all the other color names were taken, Ruby,
Sapphire, Emerald, Topaz and Rose. I have been a beverage server here for the
last year. First rule, nobody uses their real name except for management,
bouncers, and the ones lucky enough to be named Bambi. Second rule, customers
At the bar, Trent serves non-alcoholic drinks. Take off those big black
glasses, tussle his hair the right way, and he goes from geek to chic. Sometimes on
busy nights, the boss lets me barback, and Trent shows me the trick behind
keeping the head off the O’Douls. I prefer to mix the orange-cranberry juice
Ladies Drinks in their long, slim glasses.
On Stage One is Sapphire dancing to “Tonight’s the Night.” Only one slow
song per hour allowed. The dancer picks the song on this stage, while the girl on
Stage Two gyrates to one she probably hates. Sapphire’s from Seattle and lives
with Sammy, the night D.J. Just before shift change, she talks with Marc, the
afternoon D.J. She leans in close, whispering in his ear until Sammy clocks in.
On Stage Two is Marilynn, who rode a tornado in from Kansas. She boasts
about being born in a cornfield during harvest season. Marc plays with her
strawberry hair when she requests her favorite song, the techno mix of “Mamas,
Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys.” The snakeskin boot-wearing clients
like her country twang.
Lap dancing over in that corner is Dandylion, the only true blonde in this
place. She touches areas restricted by law. If the police ever raid on her shift, get
far away from her. And that’s Henry, the owner, whose lap she’s grinding on. He
pretends he’s a customer in his Levi’s and flannels while getting free lap dances all
day. Gary manages the club in his Armani but says he isn’t in the mob.
Over at the bar is Ginger. Tomorrow she stops waiting tables in hopes to
“make some real cash.” Her shelf life has expired. Every waitress turns dancer
within a year or gets let go. Ginger’s divorced with a six-year-old son who thinks
she sells Avon. She really wants to leave Sacramento and find a rich husband in
Rome or Paris— or “somewhere classy.”
At the middle table sits S.B., a beached Merchant Marine. He tells me
stories about how you can do anything in Amsterdam, legal drugs and sex, blah,
blah. He doesn’t watch the dancers and won’t buy them drinks. He says he prefers
to drink his coffee, light cream and heavy sugar, while talking to me. S.B. tips very
generously if you tell him you’ll never be a dancer and that you are working your
way through college as an English major.
Twice a night, all waitresses have to clean the stages. I won’t touch the poles
because of the funk that gets smeared on them. Mandy always gets stuck with the
slimy brass poles. Now that she isn’t the new girl anymore, she’ll move up to wiping
glitter and baby oil off the plexi-glass floor.
That’s Matthew at the front door. Too thin to be a bouncer, but under that
tuxedo shirt and black slacks, his muscles are sculpted like Brandon Lee’s. We are
secretly dating and plan to elope next week. Marilynn hangs around by the door
before the club opens in the afternoon, staring into his stormy hazel eyes.
Here’s my lucky tray with the first crumpled dollar bill I ever made. Wear
skimpy clothes and use an accent if you can. Upsell Ladies Drinks and the dancers
will favor you because they make five dollars off each one. Tip the bouncers well,
and they’ll escort you to your car at night. Don’t get involved with the wallets,
maybe an amusing story from S.B. on slow nights. Show your teeth when you smile,
and never tell anyone your real name. If you need an alias, you can have mine.
Copyright © 2003 American River Review
Peer Review: In the story Live Bait, what is the narrator telling the reader? What do you think S.B.’s motivation is when dealing with the waitresses?
When I read the story Live bait, I felt that the narrator was telling us as the readers what it was like to work inside of a strip club. I feel that the narrator was the bartender and she was looking for a way out of the business and by her planning to elope with the bouncer this was her way out. She stated at the end of the story that you could take her name as she wont be needing it anymore. I think that S.B went there to have conversation with someone and enjoy the company of others as in the story it says that one slow nights you can be entertained by a story from S.B , he understand that you are working as a bartender to make ends meat and pay the bills but he frowns upon the ones who are selling their body to do so and refuses to give them money or buy them drinks.