I read Ron Jackson’s article Mother Proudly Operates Strip Club In Spite of Outcry in The 17 January 2010 state edition of the Sunday Oklahoman with mixed emotion. I work with so many people who are struggling to find work and many more who are content just to panhandle their way through life, that my first thought was “good for her.” That was closely followed by, “all the news that’s fit to print,” but recalled that slogan belonged to the New York Times.
As I read further into the article, Ron Jackson noted that Ms. Hurtgam had done extensive research into this business and that some of her girls made $300 a night, I had to wonder, really? In an economy where so many are out of work and so many with jobs are just barely making ends meet, do people really have that much disposable income to spend on beer and boobs? Yes those were Ms. Hurtgam’s research terms.
I decided to check this out using a reverse search engine. I entered the term “beer” and found that 785,161 people had searched the internet for beer over the past 12 months. Let me put that in context. Only 49,218 people in the past year had searched for Brett Favre. Add another 9,000 to that if you count the folks that spelled his name as he pronounces it. So at best, not even 60,000 folks are interested in Favre by any name. Jesus gets 885,123 hits in the last year—a little more than beer. This was Martin Luther king Jr. Weekend, but he only had 261,422 searches for him over the last year.
Then I entered boobs into the reserve search tool. Would you believe me if I told you that a million people had been searching for boobs online over the past year? You shouldn’t. The number was 4,039,955. Yes over 4 million people searching for boobs online. I entered the term breasts vice boobs and the number increased to 6,577,437. Using a couple other colloquial terms for the same part of the female anatomy added another 2 million collectively. That’s over a million unique searches a month for boobs by any name.
OK, I admit that she has a viable market, but this place is located just south of Canute. I drive by it once or twice a week on my way to civilization. This is a part of the state where there are more cattle than people. I have never seen more than a dozen cars there. Granted, I’m usually home well before midnight with the rarest of exceptions these days, but this club boasts a thousand members and more than 30 dancers.
Ron’s article also noted that there was some community outcry. Perhaps there was, but if he were to do a follow up piece, he might find that Canute probably ranks among the highest number of bars per household in the state. Maybe this year’s census will clarify that drive by observation.
Some days the best you can do is say, that’s Oklahoma.