Get behind the wheel and go for a sex drive

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The Independent Online

Getting behind the wheel of a machine that is capable of killing people is not for the likes of dreamy, wool-gathering airheads like me. I made this decision quite early on in life. I was aged about 16 or 17, pedalling along on my pushbike, lost in a reverie, when I realised that not only was I cycling the wrong way down a one-way street, but a juggernaut was inches from my face. Pausing only to register the more than expressive body language of the lorry driver, I swerved, fell into a ditch and resolved never to learn how to drive.

Getting behind the wheel of a machine that is capable of killing people is not for the likes of dreamy, wool-gathering airheads like me. I made this decision quite early on in life. I was aged about 16 or 17, pedalling along on my pushbike, lost in a reverie, when I realised that not only was I cycling the wrong way down a one-way street, but a juggernaut was inches from my face. Pausing only to register the more than expressive body language of the lorry driver, I swerved, fell into a ditch and resolved never to learn how to drive.

How foolish of me. If I had motoring skills I could now be heading as fast as humanly possible to Salem, Pennsylvania, home of the world's very first drive-through strip club. Yes, you read that a-right, ladies and gentlemen. A strip club that you can drive through. One of those brilliant ideas that has entrepreneurs the world over slapping their foreheads and moaning, "Now why didn't I think of that?" Forget clockwork radios or Third World water purifying systems - here is true progress. You get behind the wheel of your Morris Minor, perhaps with a thermos and sandwiches, and for only $5 per minute you can motor past a scantily-clad woman who will remove some, if not all, of the scanties in which she is clad. Now that's what I call progress.

The owner of this brave new establishment is one Nick Fratangelo, and far be it from me to make snap judgements on the strength of someone's name and occupation, but what is it about Mr Fratangelo and his drive-through strip joint, subtly called The Climax Gentleman's Club, that makes me think "low-life hood making easy money out of gullible jerks"?

Oh, to have been in that cosy little downtown pasta joint run by that lovely old Italian momma who murdered six husbands, while names for the club were being bandied about. "We want something that says class," says the extortionist.

"Yeah," agrees the axe-murderer. "We gotta keep out the low-life." "How about Gentlemen's Club?" asks the British cannibal, tucking into a steaming bowl of linguine and liver (don't ask). "Great," snaps Nick Fratangelo, an avid PG Wodehouse fan. "The Come and Look At Bouncy Bits Gentleman's Club. I like it."

God knows what other suggestions they came up with before they hit on "climax". Either way, it will have worked, I promise you: the freeways of Salem will be clogged because this is what men are like. If there's a choice between dignity and self-respect, or viewing the private parts of total strangers, we will be heading for the strip club before you can say "no depths of degradation to which we will not sink".

What a sex we are. We will buy the seediest magazines imaginable. We will haunt dimly lit video shops in Soho and dither for ages, torn between an evocative yarn involving some housewives from Denmark or another to do with a donkey.

And now look. A lap-dancing club in Hove has applied for permission for their girls to be touched by blind people. It's nice to know there's someone out there who cares for the differently-abled members of the community. Pity those poor people, who up until now had to sit (literally) in the dark, while a friend provided a commentary. "She's taking off her top now. I can see a nipple."

And I promise you this. If the lap-dancing club has its way, some man somewhere will seriously consider having his eyes put out. So there we are . Our mothers were right. It does make you go blind.

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