What’s crackalackin’ interwebs? Today, we here at a Brontosaurus in a Brothel would like to deploy our 2nd installment of Brontography. If you remember, Brontography (proper) is: “…in essence, the study of what in the blue hell (”heck” for the kiddies) our name means.” Our blog has been graced today by another literoscientist from the South. Her name is Nikki Gordy. Her blog is here. A full bio is at the bottom.
So without further adieu, “Ugly Cindy and the Dinosaur Den,” part 1 of 2. Check back on Friday for part deux! Enjoi!
Ugly Cindy and the Dinosaur Den
The Dinosaur Den. People say it’s a funny name for a whorehouse. Those people didn’t know Ugly Cindy, and definitely don’t know the story behind how the Dinosaur Den got its name. If you knew Cindy, then you’re about twice as likely to believe the story. It goes like this:
Ugly Cindy had just about the worst luck of any madam who ever lived. Not that she didn’t have bad luck in her personal life, too. I mean, the name alone says volumes. Ugly Cindy was a fat peroxide blonde with gap teeth and wide-set eyes. It was like her whole face was trying to fly apart at the seams. Smiling only made her look worse, which she did the first time I stopped at her house on my new milk delivery route.
“What’s you name, young fella?” she asked. Her purple silk robe was bunched up under one armpit, and her red lipstick was smudged in both corners.
“Charlie, ma’am,” I replied.
“Well Charlie, how’d you like a go with one of my girls? We’ve got a lunchtime special running this week.”
Ugly Cindy was desperate. The grand opening of her house had coincided with the grand opening of a revival tent on the outskirts of town. The preacher was a particularly good one, with a particularly apt way of describing the burning fires of damnation in a particularly commanding voice. Ugly Cindy had barely seen a single customer for a solid week, and she was getting nervous. The rent needed to be paid and some of the more uppity girls were threatening to leave for Memphis—to make it to the big time in the world of whoring, you might say.
A couple days later, when I stopped by again, Cindy confided in me that she was about to launch a campaign. “A marketing campaign,” she clarified.
What Cindy’s marketing campaign amounted to was a string of outlandish tricks and gimmicks designed to distract men to the point where they could forget about the preacher’s particularly commanding voice and start paying attention to the velvety whisper in their ears. First, she tried opium. She made a deal with the head of one of the Chinese railroad gangs—drugs for discounts—and had her handyman fashion an elaborate smoking device out of a few wine decanters and some corncob pipes.
Ugly Cindy saw quickly that the opium wasn’t working. It brought in young farmer’s sons and old men, mostly, and they weren’t the big spenders. They were attracted to the exotic, the one having never seen much of anything and the other having seen it all. They were content to sit in the parlor and smoke huge quantities of the stuff through the corncobs pipes, and pretty soon they were too high and loose for the girls to do much of anything with them. When one of the farm boys vaulted straight through the bay window because he thought a seven-headed rattlesnake was after him, Ugly Cindy decided to scrap the drug trade and went back to the drawing board.
Nikki Gordy is an MFA student at the University of New Orleans, learning to write fiction and nonfiction that doesn’t suck quite so much as it used to. She also moonlights as the graduate assistant extraordinaire for the Tennesse Williams Literary Festival and is a part-time intern for Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship. Things Nikki enjoys include pet rats, zombie movies, Bruce Willis, and the smell of screen doors. She realizes the amount of historical anachronisms that appear in this story, and would like you to know that they are actually intentional, as is common in a sub-genre of steampunk called “lazy fact-checker.”