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Huge in a good way 

Fake tits, rude doormen and real generosity

I'm not surprised Michael likes vintage porn, because he is nothing if not a man who appreciates authenticity. "Back in the '70s, all the porn stars had big bushes and real tits," he says, "and these days pornography is just so fake."

This is typical, seeing as how I've heard him blather before about how the downfall of humanity can be traced to fake tits.

"It's self-mutilation," he shouts from the bar at the Vortex, which he owns. "It's hideous! It distracts from their purpose as playthings!"

Once we spotted a girl from the patio of his restaurant in Little Five Points who had fake breasts big enough to be seen with the naked eye from outer space, yet she wore a T-shirt with "Stop staring at these" written across her chest. Michael and I decided she should have been wearing a sign that says, "I paid good money to become a physical freak, ogle all you want," and it would also have been fitting to force her to cap her nipples with little rotating plastic propellers that beep warnings like an approaching fork lift, because a rack like hers is a hazard.

"That's huge," he said. "Huge in a bad way." But in the end I think it's important to point out that Michael hates all fake breasts, whereas I just hated her.

Because, personally, knockers are not that important to me, which is too bad because fake tits are not even expensive anymore, especially when you get a load of some of the strippers around town. I swear, you'd think these girls got their boobs done by some guy in a van. Last week Michael tried to get me to meet him at the Cheetah by holding my gift certificates hostage inside. "If you want them, you'll have to come in here and get them," he said to me over my cell phone.

"Like hell I'm going into the damn Cheetah," I replied. First off, I'm still mad at the Cheetah from an incident about five years ago when I pulled up in a limo stuffed with drunk bachelorettes and the doorman wouldn't let us inside. I happen to know for a fact that we were all very good tippers, and we weren't even all female. Grant was there, playing his usual ringmaster to the whole psycho circus ("Honey," he'd called me from the limo before picking me up, "wear black and look slutty"), and so was Matt, the limo driver, who was prettier than any of us and probably most of the strippers inside as well. Even so he couldn't get the doorman to let a limo full of girlfriends into the Cheetah, and I'm still smarting from having been discriminated against.

Besides, all Michael and I would have done in there is commence our customary fake-boob assessment. I have a feeling that's the primary reason Michael goes to strip clubs, so he can complain about breast implants. And until Michael started his conspiracy theories on the Fake-Tit Militia, I always thought men couldn't care less about breast authenticity. "The bigger the better," I thought they were thinking, and who cares if the girl uses them to caulk up bathroom tile during her off-sex hours.

But I guess genuineness matters to some people. Once I spent five days sick in Vienna in a hotel room with a TV that offered only two English-speaking channels, one of which was a Pay-Per-View porno station. The plots were a little unclear because I could only watch three minutes at a time before the film was automatically charged to my room. So it was more of a porno peep show, really. But anyway, all the girls had gargantuan gazangas and all the men had penises the size of sewage pipes. They were huge in a bad way.

But aside from the fake dialogue and the fake augments and the fake "fuck-face" expressions, the men all looked like they were having a great time while the women all looked like they were getting clubbed to death, and I found this to be very genuine. Because the truth is, most women don't appreciate feeling like they're being trampled on by buffalo while having sex. A lot of us would just like be able to walk away from the experience with ... well, we'd just like to be able to still walk.

In the end, Michael didn't make me go to the Cheetah to get the gift certificates. He gave them to me later and even let me borrow his truck to haul beer to the benefit I was co-hosting for my friend, Pat Kelly, who had just been diagnosed with cancer. The benefit was boffo. People came out in droves to lend their support, even people neither of us knew, such as the lady who donated a collection of watercolors to be auctioned, making this one of the few occasions I can recall in which no amount of faking it was needed on any level to bring the goodness out in people. Even craggy Michael was impressed.

"That's huge," he said when I told him what we'd made. "Huge in a good way."

(Thanks to everyone who attended. Special thanks to Susan at Dish restaurant and Greg at Atlanta Brewing Co., and, oh yeah, Michael at the Vortex.)

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