THIS IS an uneasy time to be an American. As a nation, we might not be able
to build a decent car or teach our kids to read, but it's a comfort to know
we are still winning the culture race.
Consider female oil wrestling. This emerging performance art genre is a
prime example of how far the rest of the world is going to have to come
before they catch old Uncle Sam. You simply cannot get G-string clad
vixens-of-the-ring in Riyadh. It is not possible to apply petroleum
byproducts to living, breathing Malibu Barbies in Moscow. And you certainly
can't get a $5 dry-hump -- performed right at your table, sir -- in Tokyo.
It's an American thing.
Mark (my designated ogler) and I were eager to take in some performance art
-- and we found it on a recent Tuesday night at Zapp's.
The California Hardbodies Team is a traveling show featuring six lithe,
doe-like young women. Three nights each week the team spends several hours
harvesting garbage bags full of cash from the outstretched hands of eager
men. By 9 p.m. a good-sized crowd of 75 T-shirt-and-baseball-cap- type guys
in their 20s and 30s had filled virtually every seat in the rowdy,
At 9:30, the vintage boxing videos ceased and the canned rap music
started. A garrulous young master of ceremonies armed with a wireless
microphone strode onstage and laid down the ground rules: "This is
your chance to get to know the girls up close and personal, at your table.
They're gonna take off as much as they're allowed by law. That's right. You
can go one- on-one, face-to-face, eye-to-eye, with one of these gorgeous
young women right at your table." I had envisioned -- you know, some
sort of Greco-Roman girls-only grudge-match kind of scene, and now it
sounded like they were going to go from table to table mauling these
hapless men and leaving a trail of crushed egos and ruptured testicles in
their wake like an enraged pack of premenstrual Amazons. But pretty soon it
became apparent this exercise didn't have anything to do with figure- fours
Kayla, who my designated ogler assured me was the most attractive woman
on the fight card, strode onstage, quickly shed the quasi-military uniform
that covered her very brief thong bikini, and performed a little dance that
had not much to do with the tyranny of the military/industrial complex.
Before long, she waded out into the audience, trailed by a muscular bag-man
armed with a huge Maglite high-powered flashlight and a white plastic sack.
She worked the room like a bee servicing a shrub.
The exercise was always the same: She'd straddle a man's lap and ride
him as if he were one of those coin-operated mechanical ponies. She'd peel
away the tip, hand it to the bag- man, give the tipper a hug and a couple
kisses and move on to service the next customer.
My designated ogler decided to try the $5 dry-hump service -- purely for
the sake of journalistic research. The result: three kisses and a 20-second
rub from Kayla. He pronounced it "worth about $3.75 to $4." This
is consumer research you won't find in the Bay Area Consumer's Checkbook.
The beach bunny parade went on for hours. At 11 p.m., the scratchy
"Wide World of Sports" theme blared from the speakers and the
emcee began auctioning off chances to "oil a girl down." This
entailed standing at the edge of the stage and using a pressurized garden
sprayer to apply oil to a woman's intimate parts while she writhes around a
plastic mat. One man felt the need to oil down two for $50, earning a round
of high fives from his buddies.
Finally, at 11:20, almost two-and-a-half hours after the posted start of
the show, the first match began. It consisted of four fast one-minute
rounds. The women emerged from the ring looking like cats who had just been
run through a dishwasher. For the record, Lacey from Santa Rosa lost to her
little sister, Neriah, in three falls out of five in the main event.
When the designated ogler and I took off at midnight, we were pretty
sure we knew who the real losers were.
307 Orchard City Drive
Details: Oil wrestling monthly;