by Matt Potter


“It's about basic working conditions!” she says, rubbing ice cubes on her nipples.

I hand her her plate and she clicks it into place in her mouth. It's her signature look, buck teeth. Heaven knows what the punters would think if they knew even her teeth were fake.

I hand her the vermillion-sequinned g-string. Stepping into it, her flashing platform shoe snags on the crotch. I grab her elbow.

“Fuck those cockies,” she says, steadying to snap the g-string into place. “It's them or me.”

“So you're a match for a million-year throwback?”

She bends over in front of me. “Am I straight?”

Fingering the waistband, I shift the t-bar a centimetre to the right.

“I hate the bastards in this business.”

I pick the plastic raincoat from its hanger. Holding it out, I slide the sleeves over her arms then button up the front. “When you're on-stage, don't let the cockroaches in this dressing room get you down.”

She grimaces, checking her teeth in the mirror, then picks up her umbrella. ‘Singin' in the Rain' is her biggest strip.

She stands in the doorway. “The Hungry Doughnut has offered me twice as much money and a cockroach-free clause: for every cockie I see I get an extra $100.”

“Oh,” I say. “So … you want me to collect as many cockies as I can so we can take them with us?”

“Yeah.” Her cheeks rub the raincoat as she turns around. “A little bit of pre-history never hurt anyone.”