Give Me a "V"

Mi Rumba's Raymond Galindo does his best to entertain the Party on the Plaza crowd.

Please pay attention, because I only want to say this one time: Ladies, when you wear tight jeans, your crotch area should resemble the letter V. For those of you walking around with a W, you are wearing your pants too damn tight. The W means that your jeans are so tight that your labia have been spread apart by the jeans' center seam and your clit is now being rubbed raw. Not only is this painful for you, it ain't pretty for us.

The number of Ws walking around tonight's Party on the Plaza (Jones Plaza, 600 Louisiana, is alarming. And apparently all of those raw clits have put everyone in a bad mood, because this is one of the most hostile crowds I've seen in a long time. It's seven o'clock on a Wednesday night -- not one of the most happening hours for Houston's nightlife, so you would think people would be happy about having some free live music. But nope, these folks are decidedly unhappy. Un, un, unhappy.

I'm sitting at one of the tables that ring the plaza's dance floor; there's a beer booth just in front of me. Four super-skinny girls with painted-on black pants and tiny white tops are marching around, handing out bead necklaces with beer logos hanging from them. Dozens of men watch the girls as they march around.



Just behind them are four not-skinny-at-all girls, also wearing painted-on pants and tiny tops. I hear snippets of their conversation as they walk by, "I told him fuck you, I ain't gonna be your goddamned maid," and "Fuck him if he thinks I'm sitting around at home." Nobody's watching these girls. Hence the "fuck him, fuck you" attitudes, I think.

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At the side of the stage, DJ Chamu is doing his best to entertain the crowd, but I think it's going to take more than music to make these people happy. They need to get laid. Bad. It's a brutal business trying to get laid. I remember wearing my share of Ws on my crotch. My thinking was that if I wore really tight pants, my ass would look smaller (it never did). Thankfully, I'm now happily married, and if I want to get laid, all I have to do is go home.

I hear a few bars from C+C Music Factory's "Everybody Dance Now" snuck onto a banda tune that's been laid over a dirty disco beat and I smile. Big mistake. A woman walking by actually spits an "Ugh" at me, her face twisted into a sneer for daring to smile at her. Well, damn.

Behind me there's a tie-dye blonde doing a sharp, shriek whistle, trying to get her friend's attention. I want to tell her to shut up, that her friend is almost a whole city block away and there are two 18-foot towers of blasting speakers between them, so she can't hear the whistling, but I stop myself. I just got ughed at for smiling; I'm pretty sure saying "Don't whistle" would get the shit kicked out of me.

I usually don't have any trouble talking to people, not because I'm so friendly or anything, but because I don't have the requisite shame gene that makes other people timid. I don't care what people think about me -- ever -- so it's usually no problem walking up to folks and saying "Hey, why are you here? What are you wearing? How do you dance like that?" and other "it ain't my business but I'm bored" kinds of questions. Tonight I'm keeping my mouth shut. I'm not even going to ask anybody why they're wearing a W on their crotch and how much their clit hurts. Nope, I'm gonna shut the hell up and try to remember not to accidentally smile.

My self-imposed no-smiling policy gets harder once Mi Rumba hits the stage. Made up mostly of guys from the Dominican Republic, the group plays salsa and cumbias, happy dance numbers. And they're good. I catch myself dancing in my chair and stop a grin from sneaking up on me.

A homeless guy has wandered onto the plaza. He puts down his backpack and starts dancing right in front of the stage. He has a funny little chicken-step dance. It ain't graceful, but at least he's on beat. One of Mi Rumba's singers smiles and gives him a thumbs-up sign, and the homeless guy goes into overdrive, dancing twice as fast as before. I want to laugh out loud, but I go to the bathroom and splash some cold water on my face instead. I've got to get hold of myself or I might inadvertently giggle and get beat up.

I'm at the sink when a woman with a W on her crotch walks in. A serious W. Her clit must be rubbed down to a nub, I'm sure. I'm trying not to stare at her crotch when I notice she has three cell phones clipped to her belt. "Why do you have three phones?" I blurt.

She's not fazed. "One for my husband, one for my boyfriend and one for my mother," she says, a low growl in her voice.

"You know you can get separate ring tones for them, right?" Another W, who's fixing her makeup a few feet away, has chimed in. "I have one for each boyfriend, that way I can tell who's calling without looking."

Oh, no. I've started them talking to each other. This is bad.

"I know, but I don't want them to even have the same number. Besides, my boss pays for them."

I'm about to ask how she got her boss to do that when one of her phones rings. "Hola mi amor," she says. Hello my love. I'm trying to figure out which love she's talking to when the other W says, "That's probably her boyfriend."

"Don't worry about it, bitch!" the woman on the phone snaps. "No, not you, mommy," she says back into the phone. "I'm talking to some nosey bitch in the bathroom."

"Your momma's the only bitch here."

Oh lord. I slide out the door. I don't want to have to fill out any witness statements for HPD. I don't want to get my ass kicked. I don't want to be here with these angry, ugly people.

Duh! I don't have to. I head toward the exit and take my V-shaped crotch home. I'm almost a block away before I remember to smile again.

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