What follows below is a guest post from Kurt Green, a friend and colleague who spent the time and money to see Octomom “perform” at a local strip joint here in South Florida. This guest post is the most detailed coverage of her performance available on the Internet. Suck it Miami Herald!
I saw Octomom naked and all I got was this lousy t-shirt
By Kurt Green
In mid-June, I heard Nadya Suleman, AKA Octomom, was going to get mostly naked at a strip club a little more than a month later in July. I try to make an effort to ignore pseudo-celebrities, but it’s hard to not pay attention to someone as deranged as Octomom, especially when you hear she’s going to take her clothes off. Octomom represents the kind of cultural phenomenon we struggle out of embarrassment to explain to future generations like big hair or the Army-McCarthy Hearings. We’ll tell the kids, “Yea that was something that existed back in my day. We knew it was messed up but I’m not sure why we let it go on for so long.”
In case you’re fortunate enough to be unaware, Suleman gained international notoriety when she gave birth to octuplets in January 2009. Eight more children on top of the 6 she already had, who she supported through public assistance since she was unemployed. She had the octuplets after requesting that the 6 remaining frozen embryos be implanted in her so they wouldn’t be destroyed, and a former fertility specialist named Michael Kamrava actually did it. Two of the embryos split into twins resulting in 8 embryos. When put like this, it sounds like some kind of pulp science fiction premise about a world out of control and a woman with too many kids, but I assure you, it’s a true story.
When I found out, I immediately sent the article to my friend, Denton. He laughed, and then asked as seriously as you can in an instant message, “So we’re going right?” Of course we were going because the folks I run around with like fucked up shit, we think it’s funny. Octomom represents one of the great “Fucked up Shit” wonders of our culture and modern age. A real life cartoon character taking a role in the terrible stories that play out on the pages of trashy tabloids in the checkout line at the grocery store, on garbage TV shows which imitate the news programs that probably confuse the less intelligent in our society about where they should be focusing their attention.
A few weeks later, the news changed, a bartender at the strip club had told a reporter that she thought Suleman was crazy, to which Octomom retorted by backing out of the deal. We were all pretty bummed out about it.
But then, a week before her previously scheduled appearance news came out that the original strip club was suing Octomom (which wasn’t a surprise) and that they were trying to get an emergency injunction to prevent her from stripping at a different club in Hollywood (Fl). It was that second tidbit, buried in the fifth or sixth graph that caught my attention. I told Denton that it was on again. And so we went.
This is where I tell you to fasten your seat belt, because it’s going to be a strange and gross ride.
There were 7 of us. It was past 11 when we arrived at the strip club in Hollywood. Jack had called a few days to find out when this thing would happen: 11pm and 1 am. The price to enter the strip club and participate in an event of this magnitude was $10.
We entered the club and I realized almost immediately that it may be the worst strip club I’d ever been to, and I strive to be an aficionado of dive bars and shitty strip clubs. It felt a little larger than a 2-car garage, and there were three stages crammed into this place: a main stage, an “owners’ box” a few feet behind, and a small “vip” side stage by a smaller bar in the back corner. Believe me, this place was a shit hole.
The strippers did smile, but not in the sexy/sultry way, rather in a 200,000 miles, broiled over hard, defeated kind of way. The place was thick with people, but I got the vibe many didn’t seem to be there to actually see Octomom. Maybe the real thoroughfare came through for the 11pm show, I heard the local news was there for that one, but the people who remained seemed like they just happened to go to a strip club where Octomom happened to be stripping.
And so we waited. We drank and gave one dollar bills to the strippers, we laughed and joked about our expectations in seeing Octomom mostly naked, but every once in a while, for just a brief moment, I’d catch eyes with one of my friends and there was a moment of sincerity like we both silently agree that this is going to be fucked up and awkward.
As with most DJs, the guy at this club would not shut the fuck up. “We got Octomom coming up in a little bit,” he said in that irritating tone they all speak with. “Once again gentlemen, no photos of Octomom, if we see you taking photos you will be escorted out, possibly nicely, possibly not.” He then announced that if you wanted a picture, you could get one with Octomom, “just go on back by the VIP stage.”
So I walked around the stage to the other side of the club, half expecting some exorbitant fee to get a picture with a mother of 14. There was no line, just a giant bald bouncer behind a velvet rope. I asked him how much it cost to get a picture and he said “$20.”
I pulled out my wallet and said, “Okay.” He said it would be a minute.
I smoked a cigarette while I waited, I thought about if I’d make a face for the picture, if I’d tell Suleman I think her head looks like a crescent moon, I wondered if I was seriously fucking doing this. It was kind of surreal, here’s this lady who has to garner some kind of attention because she’s on TMZ and in gossip magazines often, but for what? Having 14 kids or 8 at once? Not having the common sense or personal responsibility to figure out how to support the kids she’s going to have through in vitro fertilization? Being a fame whore? And soon I’d be in close quarters with this lady.
A few minutes later, a couple of blond girls come out from behind the curtain of a private dance room, “Ready?” the bouncer asked.
I put out my cigarette and said, “I guess.”
I was led into the small private dance room behind the rope. The room was crowded with all sorts of bags and cases, Octomom seemed to have taken it as her nest. I recognized her immediately, although she was a shorter than I imagined (adjusting for stripper heels). She was wearing a leather get-up, high boots, short skirt, and bra. I thought I’d wax on poetically about how I was Icarus flying too close to the sun, ironically. But the truth is, if you passed her on the street you couldn’t tell she’s made some real fucking poor life decisions seemingly without any kind of reason and put 14 kids in a real weird and not entirely safe position. I realized I had nothing to say to her, the same way I have nothing to say to a regular person on the street that I have no real interest in – I certainly would tell them their face looked like a crescent moon, even if it did.
“Hi, what’s your name?” she said.
“Kurt,” I responded.
“Hi Kurt, I’m Nadya.”
“Oh, I know.”
The photographer in the corner broke the silence following my statement, “OK, here’s the deal: 20 for a picture, 40 for topless, and 200 for a PRIVATE friction dance.”
I gagged at the thought of the last part, “20 is fine.”
He snapped a picture, and in the flash of the camera I realized there was no overarching moral to life, just sad people doing sad shit. Somehow a few people do monumentally stupid shit and a lot of people complain and say it’s all fucked up, but other people watch and get some sort of enjoyment out of it. I think these reactions are coping mechanisms for something everyone knows isn’t right, but no one really what (or even if) there’s anything they can really do about it. And it’s not just Octomom, it’s the Kardashians, it’s Paris Hilton, it’s a constant stream celebrity gossip in every form of media, about people no one should aspire to be or remotely respect – the worst role models imaginable. But for some reason people pay attention, take their advice on weight loss and how to maintain a healthy relationship. There is more going on here than morbid curiosity for this kind of shit to still exist in its ubiquitous quantities. It’s like the Blob: there’s no containing it, no escape (I don’t have cable and still somehow know who these people are). I think this kind of media will have serious societal and cultural consequences if enough people think the behavior of pseudo-celebrities on TMZ and in the National Enquirer is the kind of stuff you should pay attention to.
He handed me the picture and said, “If there’s any problems just let me know and we’ll retake it, just make sure to bring the picture with you.” And with that, I paid and left.
I passed the pictures to my friends, we had a good laugh. I told them what happened and explained we should all chip in and draw a straws, the “winner” (heavy emphasis on the quotes) would get the mother of 14 friction dance. Unfortunately (or fortunately), we never did that.
We drank more, and the strippers did their thing, and the DJ was annoying.
You know how prior to a disaster there are subtle occurrences, like pets freaking out before an earthquake or the ocean receding before a Tsunami? In much the same way there was a subtle indicator when a blond female photographer began setting up a camera on the other side of the stage. There she was – standing by her camera, not looking at the stage, and appearing very uncomfortable – a clear indicator of an impending disaster. Later, on the way out, I’d ask her what she thought about the situation and she’d say it was her first time at a strip club.
As 1am approached, the DJ made more frequent announcements about how taking pictures was strictly prohibited. And then it happened.
Octomom came out in a school girl outfit: red heels, white thigh-highs, a short red plaid skirt, and a buttoned blouse that was tied at the bottom under her breasts. Watching her flail around on stage gave me the distinct impression she had never stripped before, not even in private. She grabbed the pole and kind of walked around it, shaking her hips in a manner that might be considered dancing. She worked the audience, getting down on her hands and knees at the edge of the stage.
During the act she reached into her panties and pulled out a blow-pop. We laughed at the absurdity and grossness of the act, we laughed harder when the guy she handed tried to not take it and after he finally did he just put it on the table. We were hysterical when someone actually put one in their mouth. When she went to the other side of the stage and got low, her skirt flew up a little and you could see all the lollipop sticks poking out from her underwear. She must have had a dozen of them stuffed in her panties and bra.
She awkwardly removed her clothes; it was as if someone else had dressed her because she didn’t know how to get out of them, which caused her “dancing” to be even more out of rhythm with the music.
Octomom seems like the kind of woman who spends a lot of time obsessing over her body in front of a mirror, as she’s had a lot of work on the front, but the back is a different story. Her ass cheeks hung the way grandma boobs do, the small of her back was this weird gelatinous wasteland. My friends and I were confused trying to figure out if she had a bellybutton or not.
At one point, when Octomom was down to her panties, a hipster girl who she had given a lollipop to fed it back to the mother of 14 and then put it back in her mouth. I’d like to think that was the defining moment in that girl’s life, and that she’ll divide her life as ‘Before’ and ‘After’ she shared a blow-pop with Octomom in a shitty strip club in south Broward county.
As Octomom “danced” and got low and crawled around the stage, her white thigh-highs got progressively dirtier, midway through her set the knees were brown like they’d be left in a confined place with a chain smoker. It wasn’t sexy, it wasn’t even appealing. We wanted to write her kids names on our dollars, but they don’t give out pens at strip clubs. Instead we threw our money hoping that it might be going into a college fund.
Towards the end of her set, she started throwing t-shirts to the crowd; she danced around with them and flossed them between legs. She threw one to me since we being particularly vocal, it said, “I saw Octomom naked;” I thought, ‘and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.’ It turned out to be an extra-large, so I gave it to my friend Steve, who wanted one. The next day he told me, out of the dim light of the strip club, it was kind of dirty and some of the stuff on the shirt looked like shit.
About 12 minutes after it all started, it was suddenly over. People clapped and hollered. No more than 200 crumbled dollar bills where collected into a basket, Octomom was ushered back to her nest.
A while later, after doing the normal strip club thing we left, there weren’t any paparazzi outside, just the two photographers who worked for Octomom, that’s probably where most of the pictures of her in the gossip magazines come from, or maybe she wants some pictures to put in the family photo album. We had taken two cars, my friends in the other car told me she came out with a jacket over her head and her photographers took pictures while she got in the backseat of a car and left.
And that was it. I’m certainly not a better person for seeing what I’ve seen, there was no grand enlightenment moment, but it’s something I won’t forget. Fame-whoredom is a serious issue in our culture and I witnessed it firsthand. There were probably robberies, murders, and missing kids on that Friday night in South Florida, there were probably more important things to cover in the lead up to the event too, but local news agencies covered a mother of 14 taking her clothes off for money. Rome is burning and I don’t think there’s anything we can do about it, so sit back and enjoy the show.
[I’ll be poolside – Ed.]