Lucky Cheng’s -by Joe Oesterle

I’d like to preface this story by saying I have a girlfriend, a very pretty girlfriend. A girlfriend so pretty in fact that friends of mine are always surprised that someone as pretty as her would go out with a guy like me. (Naturally these so-called friends of mine always fail to factor in my immeasurable charm.)

Anyway, my girlfriend is also very feminine. She loves to wear high heels and skirts, gets her hair and nails done weekly, and extends her pinky finger when she drinks things. Of course so do many of the men who work at Lucky Cheng’s.

Lucky Cheng’s (3049 Las Vegas Blvd. located in the Gold Key Shops) is unlike any other restaurant on the Strip. Sure you can dine just about anywhere in Vegas and be served by young attractive waitresses who dress to impress, and go out of their way to flirt and make a man feel special, but the wait staff at Lucky Cheng’s are all divas… and these divas are dudes.

Inside, the ambience is dark and rich. Chinese lanterns, dragons, and statuettes of Buddha surround red sparkly lacquered tables and black upholstered chairs, but the bass line of the Bee Gees “Jive Talking” bumping through the sound system reminds me I am not in the mystic Orient, but rather a transgendered cabaret in Sin City. If I needed any further help reminding me of my surroundings, the visual of Naya Simone hammers the point home in no uncertain terms.

Standing roughly 6 ft 3 in white patent 70’s style platform shoes and a multi-colored, micro-mini polyester dress, Ms Simone is busty cross between Flip Wilson’s character, “Geraldine,” and a guy who could kick my ass. I have no reason to fear Naya though, she’s as gentle as can be, and hands me a drink list.

The libations menu is hot pink, with the slogan, “Remember, the more you drink, the prettier we look” emblazoned across the bottom. I peruse the selections, passing on Mona’s Mother Pucker, Slink’s Slinkee Dinkee Dogg, and even Maya’s own, Maya’s Pool Boy, and decide to give Heather’s Pink P*#@#^ (word I’m not allowed to use in this book) a try.

Naya takes my order, and quickly returns with the drink that dare not speak its name, and sits down and talks a little. I notice her whorish sweet perfume and inquire as to its title, “It’s called ‘Angel’” she demurs, “and it screams, ‘I’m available!’”

But as it turns out she’s not available for chit-chat for long, because the show is about to start. Naya energetically lip synchs to risqué burlesque tunes, swings on a stripper pole, and using her “feminine” charms, coaxes heterosexual men to be part of her performance.

There is a break in the action as the men don the wigs and feather boas Maya has provided them.  “How can you tell which guys are straight? I innocently ask as I order another pink drink,

“Oh, I can tell. I like to pick uncomfortable straight guys for my ‘Drag-Off.” She replies.

The four guys she did pick certainly seemed straight and uncomfortable, especially after the imposing hostess rechristened them with new names, like Bendover Becky, and Backdoor Barbie, but to their credit, each one got into the spirit of things and these former macho men were prancing, sashayed and shaking what the good Lord gave them in no time at all.

Naya is busy putting on the show, but that doesn’t interfere with the waitressing duties. She serves a 3 course Pan Asian, price fixe meal is served during her routine, and while it would be impossible to upstage the evening’s entertainment, the food was delicious.

During the entire performance, a gentleman who twisted balloons into very ungentlemanly positions went from table to table showing off his unique ability. At one point in the evening the number of patrons with phallic shaped inflatables on their head outweighed the customers whose head was not so garishly adorned.

After her dancing, singing and contests, Naya cozied up to me at my table and I told her how much I enjoyed the show. A tad bit confused as to why I wasn’t chosen as one of the “uncomfortable straight” guys, I asked Naya if I came off as straight or not.

“Oh honey,” Naya giggled as she playfully grazed my chin with her well-manicured index finger,” I knew you were straight the minute you walked in that door.”

My first thought was one of relief, and then I started questioning my wardrobe and haircut. Maybe I should have ironed my shirt a little more fastidiously; perhaps I should stop getting my hair cut at Bargain-Cuts on five-dollar day.

“So am I one of those straight guys with no sense of style?” I inquired.

“Not at all, baby… You are cute… and you’re all man.”

As I left there full, half-drunk, fully entertained, two balloon creatures sexually exploring each other on top of my head, I couldn’t help but ponder… I bet she says that to all the boys.

Check it out for yourself… if you’re man enough.


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