2003 was a good year, and an especially good summer. In the spring of ’03 I got my first full-time job. And with my first big boy paychecks rolling in each month, I made two expenditures that would help set the stage for one of the best years of my life: (1.) Along with several friends, I reserved a condo in Ocean City, Maryland for a week in August; and (2.) I bought a camera phone.
The technology was cutting edge at the time. My odd-looking Nokia 3650—and its now-primitive .3 megapixel camera—was downright space age in '03. The clunky cell phone with a dial pad designed to mimic that of a rotary phone was an instant conversation piece. And since MySpace, Twitter, and Facebook had yet to be created, the paranoia that enters the mind of anyone today who sees a cell phone raised in his or her direction was unknown to society. As a result, friends and complete strangers alike were all-too-eager to pose for pictures. I now own a portfolio of photographs that many future politicians and captains of industry are going to be paying me a pretty dollar to keep under wraps.
In July my family had a small reunion at my sister’s house, just outside of Washington, D.C. I would be staying in Baltimore over the weekend with my cousin, Mrs. Blue Moon, and alcohol would be our copilot (this was the same reunion where her father, Uncle Red, displayed his Dos Equis generosity). I hit the road after work on a Friday, and before I was a quarter of the way to Bmore my cousin was hitting me up to get an ETA. She wanted to hit the town, and was itching to start boozing. When I finally arrived at her place, I had barely dropped my bags in the guest room before she was dragging me—albeit willingly—to the Baja Beach Club.
I haven’t really been club hopping in Bmore since that night, so I can only guess as to whether or not Baja is still a preferred destination in town. The odds are against it, considering the typical nightspot only has but so much time in the limelight before another takes its place. But, if you were to tell me that it is still thriving today, I wouldn’t be all that shocked. That’s because they had a simple—yet genius—business model in place: Take a big, sprawling nightclub in the heart of the Inner Harbor district; serve reasonably-priced alcohol, and throw in a dollar-drink special on Fridays; play top-40 dance music; and hire only the most beautiful young women Baltimore has to offer to be waitresses, bartenders, shot girls, and beer tub vendors. Granted, this fits the basic description of just about any moderately successful big city bar or club. But Baja’s secret weapon was this last detail: all of those waitresses, bartenders, shot girls, and beer tub vendors were dressed in the sluttiest role-playing costumes you can find. Bikinis, naughty cop outfits, dirty nurses, you name it. It was like being surrounded by the greatest collection of beautiful women in skanky Halloween costumes I had ever seen—and it was only July. [Note: Later that year, the benchmark that the Baja Club had set for a night of girls in slutty costumes would be obliterated by the Ohio University Halloween Party. But, on that balmy Friday night in July, I thought there would never be anything better. Never. You just couldn’t tell me otherwise.]
We fired back shots and went through a quick succession of dollar drinks, and I felt that warm, fuzzy feeling of my copilot taking the reins. MBM and her girl, Nina, hit the dance floor, but I decided to do some exploration. And I soon found my Northwest Passage. Standing at a large metal tub filled with various brands of beer bottles and ice that was perched on a platform near the center of the club, Lanie was 5’2” of long, curly brown hair, twinkling eyes, and bikini-accentuated oh-my-damn. She smiled at me, and then fate stepped into the DJ booth.
*intro to “Shake Ya Tailfeather” comes screaming over the speakers*
Moments later, the now-infamous beat began thumping, and every female in the building cheerfully obeyed Diddy & Nelly’s command. Lanie gyrated and wiggled like a pro, and I reached for my phone. She saw me snap a picture, and leaned over in curiosity to check it out. Shouting, “Cool!” she returned to her body motion serenade. When I raised my phone for another picture, though, she grinned. She spun around and—just as the song’s chorus chimed in—flipped up the back of her cover up skirt to bare her thong-creased tailfeather for the camera. Click.
The next morning I showed my father my prized picture from the night before. Between his amusement and my stepmother’s disgust, I totaled it as a win.
All of two weeks later, I was in the sun-soaked sands of OCMD with my knuckleheaded friends. For seven days we unleashed ourselves upon a small city built specifically for people in their early 20s to unleash themselves upon it. I’ve spoken of this trip before; in fact, three different posts have each been entirely about respective stories from that week. And other On the Rocks posts have included quotes and mini tales birthed in the trip’s pool bars, Rum Runners, and ocean air. And I’ve really only scratched the surface. I mentioned before that I did a write-up of the event when we got home, and then later gave copies to those who lived it with me. At different times I’ve toyed with the idea of posting that write here on the blog, but have always balked at the idea due to the sheer size of it. And because it would probably cost me money (see future blackmail plans mentioned above). It was just an incredible series of escapades the likes of which you only experience once in a lifetime.
The trip culminated in a Friday night at Seacrets. Odds are, if you’ve been to Ocean City for a vacation, you’ve been to Seacrets. It’s a huge, open-air bar that attracts people during the day with its beach activities (like floating on an inner tube in the bay), and during the night with its raucous live music. To get there, some friends and I decided hopping into a taxi van would be faster than the city buses that we’d used all week to get to our drinking destinations. Four of us (the rest were either already at Seacrets or moving a little slower—like our friend Amazon, who had drank herself into a Rocket Fuel coma earlier in the day) squeezed into a van with some strangers all headed towards the same alcohol-fueled madness that had us revved with anticipation. Seated near a cute blonde girl, I struck up a conversation.
Me: “Are you in Ocean City on vacation, too?”
Blonde: “Yeah. I’m from Baltimore.”
Me: “Oh yeah? I have all kinds of family there. I was just there a couple of weeks ago, actually. Ever been to Baja Club?”
Blonde: “Yeah, I used to work there!”
Me: *grin* “Do you know Lanie?”
Blonde: “Yeah! *I show her the picture* Yeah, that’s Lanie’s ass!”
She then dropped a bombshell on me: Lanie was 35. Now, at my current age of thsmmhhfffsha, a gorgeous 35 year old club worker doesn’t sound all that mythical. But when I was 24, telling me this goddess in a lycra thong was 35 was like telling me that the Pope is Buddhist. It was simply inconceivable.
My 3650 had one last beach memory in store for me that night. A couple of hours later my friends and I stood in the overflowing crowd at Seacrets, watching the in-house reggae band. After one of my boys pointed out an attractive brunette dancing down in front of us, I snapped an up-close-and-personal picture of her well-defined booty. It was kind of like with Lanie, only this girl was fully clothed…and unaware of me and my camera [hmm, I don’t remember it seeming quite so creepy back then]. Standing to my left was a middle-aged guy and an attractive woman in her late 30s that appeared to be together. The guy had watched my stealth photography session with curious interest.
Guy: “Did you just take a picture of her ass?”
Me: “Yeah.” *I show him the picture*
Guy: “That’s AWESOME!! *pointing at the woman with him* Take a picture of hers! She’s got the best ass ever!”