Stateline Showgirls falls, technically, on the Idaho side of the border with Washington, in a town that's actually called Stateline. As Idaho law does not permit nude dancing in establishments serving alcohol, half of Stateline Showgirls is a strip club, where you can buy a Coke and watch a topless girl gyrate to U2's "With or Without You." The bar is next door. It also has a stripper pole, and occasionally a fully clothed server wearing, say, jeans and a tight red sweater will perform a perfunctory pole dance.
Buffy (her stripper name; she was born Katrina Stewart) works several nights a week at Stateline Showgirls. She's off tonight, drinking in the bar and wearing a low-cut blouse that could pass for a negligee. The top shows off her rather impressive cleavage, the surgical enhancement of which is a favorite topic of conversation with Buffy. She's cute and blond, and began dating Nate Norman almost four years ago, when he was nineteen and she was twenty-six. "I met Nathan next door, down by the stage," she says. "I remember he saw me and said 'Fabulous.' That's my word! I always say that. I couldn't believe a guy would say it to me. We did some dances after that, and became best friends. He had a great smile." Buffy smiles herself. "That first time he walked in here, he looked, literally, like he was twelve."
They soon became a couple. Buffy liked dating a younger guy with no baggage. Nate also lavished her with gifts. They took trips to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Buffy insists she had no idea of Nate's true profession – "He told me he owned a snowplow business" – but she admits to being a longtime pothead. She once considered submitting a topless photograph of her-self with a huge bud between her breasts to High Times. She used to refer to Spokane, where she lives, as "Spokompton" on bad days and "Spoke Vegas" on good ones. Now she simply refers to it as "Spokannabis."
With a stripper girlfriend, weapons and gratuitous bling, Nate's transformation was nearly complete. "Oh, man, you wouldn't believe it," says Scuzz. "He started buying these stupid homey clothes, when he's a white dude from Coeur D'Alene. And he got this crazy idea in his head that he was going to be a rapper. He got this little accent when he talked, and he'd always be freestyling in the car. That's why you couldn't help but like him. He'd do such stupid shit."
They all would. One night, during an especially crazy party at Tim Hunt's – the place was completely packed out, at least 150 people, and everyone's wasted – a fight broke out over a girl. One of the kids left and came back with a group of friends. They bum-rushed the house, knocking down the door and starting a full-on brawl. People were getting thrown over furniture and down the stairs. "If you saw someone you didn't know," says Scuzz, "you took a swing." Tim ended up running outside with his .45 and shooting it in the air. But it was soloud in the house, with the music and the fighting, nobody heard him. So Nate, who was piss-drunk, grabbed another Magnum, only he shot it off in the house. "Have you ever shot a .45 Magnum in a house?" Scuzz asks. "It's deafening. It was like a fucking bomb went off." All the girls started screaming and everyone ran outside.
Scuzz and his girlfriend made it to their Lexus and took off, but they were immediately pulled over by five cops, who yanked Scuzz out of the car and put him on the hood, guns drawn. Just then, his friend Rhett drove by – on the wrong side of the road – and took out a fence right in front of the cops. They were so busy with Scuzz, they didn't even notice. Eventually, they figured out that Scuzz didn't have a gun and let him go. Later, when he got home, he realized that he had twenty grand in his pocket. He had no idea how it got there. "Someone at the party," he says, "must have owed me money or something."
They Gave Each Other Code Names: Nate was Joe Blow, Topher was The Space Cowboy.
The next night, they had another party at the same house.
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