Featured, Theory & Essay

Saginawesome in Saginaw, Part I

I recently got back from Saginaw, Michigan, where I participated in (a brotha’s name and signature is even on the marriage license) the nuptials of one of my best friends and his newly minted wife. And let me tell you, I had myself a good ole time. Which, let’s be real, isn’t exactly what you think of when you think of Saginaw, Michigan.

Let’s back up. Nobody generally thinks of Saginaw. In fact, an entire half of my family lives in the state of Michigan (a state in which I’ve also lived) and I’ve never been north of Pontiac. The cities that my family lives in are “bad” enough, no need to visit the rest of the state suffering under similar circumstances. Be that as it may, the wedding was in the SagNasty, so to the SagNasty we went. I used to write about these trips (weddings, vacations, holiday gatherings) on my old site but stopped for some reason. Well it’s the return because it’s been a long time. So in the interest of shenanigans, let’s talk about how to be Saginawesome in Saginaw. And as my reference points, we shall use the wedding as the backdrop since its the reason I was there. Basically, we finna recap.

Thursday, July 30

It’s been quite some time since I’ve gone on a truly long-drive road trip. I’ve reached the point in my life where if something is longer than a 4-hour drive, I’m flying. I just don’t enjoy sitting in the car for extended periods of time any longer. I’ve driven to Pittsburgh and New York City, and even down to Fayetteville, NC (like a five hour drive), but it’s been at least 8 years since I’ve driven to Michigan, even longer since I’ve driven to Atlanta (though I do think I drove back from ATL to DC in 2011 with my boy who got married…in fact, that is a fact). Point is, while I looked forward to getting to Saginaw (said no one ever), I was truly not looking forward to this drive. For a few reasons: 1) with all of the police stuff in the news and knowing my propensity for speed, I was a bit nervous that somewhere between DC and Saginaw, a brother was going to be interacting with the fuzz; 2) I hate long drives because they almost ALWAYS feature traffic and there’s literally nothing you can do about it; and 3) I was driving by myself because I was going to be visiting family, etc.

Needless to say, I was not amped to make this drive. But let me tell you something. I left DC at about 915am and didn’t hit traffic (and barely saw any police) until I got to Detroit around 430pm. Now, one doesn’t need to drive through Detroit to get to Saginaw. In fact, it actually is taking you out of the way off of I-75. But it’s been FOREVER since I’ve laid eyes on the Motor City so I decided to drive through downtown, during rush hour and let me tell you, that felt good. I made it to the SagNasty around 645ish (not a terrible trip), checked into my room, went to pick up my tuxedo, hit a liquor store (because liquor is very necessary), then got back to the room and yelled out, “where ‘dem dollaz at?” Little did I know that my questions would be answered in a few hours.

Look, I’m in Saginaw, Michigan, so to be real, I wasn’t expecting much in the way of entertainment options. Plus our hotels were all on what looks to be a newer strip of the city where the mall is located and hotels and a Target and all of the restaurants are located. My impression of Saginaw was that it would look like a smaller version of Detroit (it does in many places). But our area was okay. So I found some of the homeys at Buffalo Wild Wings. I get there at like 850pm. Do you know what they had happening at 9pm #doe?

LATE NIGHT HAPPY HOUR.

Fam.

They had $3 drinks of real liquor: Jameson, Jack, Ketel, Crown, Sauza, etc. I ordered three drinks within like 8 15 minutes. The party had begun. Now, these folks had been there since like 6pm and had been drinking already. I salute my friends. From there the text messages from friends letting us know that they were in town began trickling in as we were trying to find our late night shenanigans. It turns out that would be a spot called Retro Rocks which I guess was “downtown”.

Now, I’m in a new city and I don’t know shit about nathan about their entertainment options. So I make the wise choice to call about dress codes. Here is what I’m told (this is only important because of a stupid rule that arose once we get there):

-No sweat pants or gym shorts

-No long chains

-No jerseys

-No white tees

(See where I’m going with this?)

Basically, they have the No “Black” dress code (there are other things they rattled off but by that point I hung up because I already knew what was happening). We get there and meet up with family of the bride, including the Matron of Honor, and folks start to trickle in. Now, I have on jeans, Chucks, a button up, a fedora, and a black bead necklace over my button up. I was asked to tuck it in under their “no long chains” rule. Really.

But the Stupid-Shit Of The Night Rule Enforcement went to my boy, Maverick, who had on a Yankees fitted hat and he was told he could wear it in the club. Cool. But he could only wear it forward…or backwards….not cocked to the side at all. We had a slight debate about this days later, but I think we both can agree the rule is stupid. Which was like me going to the Applebee’s in Bed-Stuy and them telling me I couldn’t wear a hat inside (to me anyway). At Applebee’s. For safety.

Bruh.

Remember those $3 drinks at BWW? Well, this spot ALSO had $2 Fireball shots. I love Fireball shots. And their regular drinks, with good liquor, was like $6. Needless to say, I thought I was going to spend all of my money. We even did this wooden-board-shot thing where seven people take a shot at once off of what looked like a ski. If you’ve ever been out with me, I’m super generous with the drinks. I will buy drinks for and take shots with everybody. I will easily blow $100 on drinks for everybody. So I was nervous when I asked for my tab. Dude said, “oh, for you…hmmmm….$35.”

Bruh. I tipped dude so well that when I saw him again two nights later he remembered me and made me take shots with him.

It’s probably about 145am in the Sagnasty at this point and a large contingent of us are still hype because we live in real cities and aren’t ready to turn down. But it’s Saginaw, what are we to do?

Two words.

Strip club. What’s a wedding weekend without strippers anyway? Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiign me up.

So we go to this spot called Deja Vu. It’s a strip club…that doesn’t serve liquor. No problem, we have BYOB spots in DC. No Biggie.

You can’t bring liquor in either.

Le sigh. See, a stripper’s ability to depart me from money is usually dependent on how much liquor I’ve had. While I was drunk at the bar, I’d managed to sober up on the way to the strip club – my tolerance is an evil person at times. The good thing about being sober at a strip club is that you can actually analyze. For instance, it was quite easy to tell why none of these strippers made it out of Saginaw. My thought is that if you’re truly about that life, you put your all into it, and move on up. Say from Saginaw to Detroit to Atlanta, Houston, or Miami. These women, Black and white, were cute enough, but all pretty terrible strippers. They had no real moves. They just got up on stage and did what they saw in movies that strippers seemed to do, except without any of the panache. They weren’t the worst strippers I’ve seen – that distinction belongs to the strippers who “performed” at another of my boy’s bachelor’s party, truly terrible – but I didn’t feel like making it rain either. And I like rain.

One stripper befriended some folks at our table and showed us how little money she’d made that night. She should probably quit stripping. She’s cute, nice body, but she also sucks at stripping. And she was Black. Apparently the white strippers in Saginaw get all the duckets. Which sucks, but it’s also like 315am and I’m not here for socio-political stances and revolutions. Plus, there’s a really good chance she wasn’t here for it either.

At this point, we’ve decided we’d had enough of the Saginaw Stripper Brigade and hit the streets with a “that’ll do.” Then it was back to the hotel because tomorrow was when the work started.

Bedtime. 4am.

 

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at panamadjackson@gmail.com.

  • Funny thing, when I read the title, I thought it has something to do with the Indian guy from American Idol:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAZOeUkCqHA

  • NomadaNare

    I’m in Michigan (not Detroit) right now because of a conference. Non-Detroit Michigan has a certain charm and a certain breed of (white) people that you must experience in order for you to understand.

    • panamajackson

      It does. I actually enjoyed myself. As you’ll see in upcoming installments. Which there will be at least 2 more.

      • YeaSoh

        PJ where don’t you enjoy yourself?

        • Lea Thrace

          that place does not exist.

          • YeaSoh

            I know lol

        • panamajackson

          Um…lol. Fair enough.

    • SuperStrings

      Just stay out of Jackson and Howell

      • ChiChi

        and any super little town just off the highways with “happy sounding names” like Joy or something…final resting place towns IJS

      • panamajackson

        My mother lives in Jackson, now. Definitely not a great place.

  • ChiChi

    I feel like when you find out what the drink prices in MI is always the “Faaaaaam”/”you ain’t said nuttin but a word”/”awww shizznit!” moment for people from areas with larger cities lol

    • Brass Tacks

      ^^^I definitely had this thought in my head.

  • miss t-lee

    A strip club with no liquor, and you can’t BYOB?
    Bizarre.

    • strip-club = sketchy
      BYOB strip club = Ultra sketchy

      My boy in Rock Hill told me Clowney’s pops “incident” happened at a BYOB club.

      • miss t-lee

        True.
        The ones here that are BYOB are super sketch. Pretty much any club that can’t secure, or keep a liquor license is iffy.
        I was gonna ask if you knew anything about Clowney’s Pops wilding out…lol

        • I asked my guy if he thought this would distract Clowney or “Do Do” and he said nah. They aren’t close and was in prison until Clowney’s junior year of high school

          • miss t-lee

            Ahhhhhh! Good insider info.

            • From what I’ve heard of him he’s a good kid. He’s just proof that ESPN is not your friend.

              • brothaskeeper

                The sports pundits are watching his every move here in H-town. Initial reports state that he’s 100%, but we’ll see. The focus this week has been on Arian Foster, though.

                • rlgreen91

                  Oh Arian. :(

                  • brothaskeeper

                    Yeah. He’s turning into a real Terrell Davis minus the SB rings. Word on the street is that he hid his injury until he aggravated it. He might be back week 9.

                • Why did they cut DJ Swearinger? Too hood?

                  • brothaskeeper

                    They used the code “character concerns”, which is the term they’re using to sidestep signing Ray Rice…

              • miss t-lee

                Nope.

      • brothaskeeper

        The Crazy Horse. I know it well..uhhhhh, I mean, I’ve heard other people mention it in casual conversation, and I’ve passed by it occasionally on my way to bible study. Yeah.

        • I’ve seen pictures of it on the news. Looked like a giant truck stop sh***er.

          • brothaskeeper

            You would not be wrong. My crew and I ventured into that establishment one evening after taking a purposefully wrong turn on Independence Blvd. (#poorlifedecisions). I felt like I needed a tetanus shot and a lye bath after I walked out.

      • kimest3e

        I didn’t know there was such a thing, as a B.Y.O.B strip club. Are these places in the back of the car repair shop? Or on the river (any big city with a river) in one of those old warehouses?

        • Aye Bee

          Nope, all of the shake junts in Nashville are BYOB.

        • panamajackson

          IN DC, they all seem to be in warehouse districts.

    • TheOtherJerome

      “Déjà Vu” is a chain that is known for this. Basically it’s so they can be an “ages 18+” place.

      • miss t-lee

        18+?
        Nahhhhhhh.

      • YeaSoh

        That’s gross

    • Kema

      In VA strip clubs aren’t allowed to sell liquor. Well then again the strippers cant get naked either. Gotta have g-string and pasties.

      • miss t-lee

        Word?
        I don’t even go to strip clubs, but I don’t see how that could possibly be fun.

      • brothaskeeper

        The laureate Juicy J also mused that, quote, “it ain’t a strip club if….” (You know the rest)

      • Navy_Jordan

        Yeah va strip clubs are godawful!

  • I spent a summer at U Michigan in high school. My standout memories mainly involve seeing squirrels walking calmly as opposed to scampering around. By far the most gangsta thing about Michigan. And of course, the obligatory arguments over how ridiculous grownups sound calling any drink “pop.”

    I’m fascinated by strip clubs. You need a male escort to get into some of the more popular ones here, which is totally unfair. The one I went to was pretty much like the one described above. Even with liquor it was pretty uneventful.

    • Val

      Male escort? That can’t be legal.

    • That’s odd. Never heard of that before with the male escorts.

    • mssporadic

      We don’t sound ridic saying “pop.” Why use 2 syllables when 1 will do.

      • Melinda

        Agreed! Pop is pop. Thas’ it.

      • Chris Steward

        Word!! lol Besides, it says it right on the can “Soda Pop” Sounds like you’re giving me options. lol

    • SuperStrings

      Speaking of squirrels, I had never seen a black squirrel until I moved to The D.

    • ChiChi

      The squirrels in Ann Arbor are walking with the itis half the time, not just calmly. Fattest squirrels I’ve ever seen. Everyone feeds them out there so now they’re co-dependent. They aren’t above runnin up on you to get some of whatever (and I mean what-ever) you eatin

      • SuperStrings

        A Squared. Lots of memories there

      • I don’t understand people who feed park animals. Like let’s just pretend they have no survival skills and you’re not gonna get rabies.

  • Aye Bee

    The drink specials though!!! Man, my family reunion was in Lansing a few years ago and the club right next to our hotel had $2 you call its. I’m talking patron shots, LIT, Crown and whatever, n the VSB/S nectar Honey Jack ALL OF THAT… an amazing night was had by all and we didn’t have to risk DUIs bc all we had to do was walk across the parking lot #winning

    • kimest3e

      I don’t eem know what to say about this. LOL There are so many things wrong with this.

      • Aye Bee

        Lol…man…you had to have been there in person. There were so many things that had us going WTF it was a train wreck you couldn’t look away from so we just had to stay and watch the Tom Foolery. It was like the longer we stayed, the more we saw. The icing on the cake was the flip flop wearing twerker (and of course all of the dancers were 2520s). Most def goes in my book for an unforgettable interesting night.

        • Navy_Jordan

          I really just had to google 2520s. I will be appropriating that one

          • Aye Bee

            Yep, found that term on this here VSB. Love it.

    • That girl MEL!

      They was dancing in their fruit-of-the-looms? Wow!!! ?

      • Aye Bee

        Girl yassss! Faded ones at that.

        • brothaskeeper

          They sound like they accepted WIC vouchers for tips…

          • Aye Bee

            I’m sure they would have. Heck, they prob would have accepted quarters so they could do their laundry.

            • brothaskeeper

              Nothing sadder than a sckrippa with a change dispenser belt.

              • Aye Bee

                lol. Maybe her other job was at Sonic as a carhop…

                • brothaskeeper

                  Just roll from one job to the next.

                  • Aye Bee

                    Skates could be part of the act…lol

                    • brothaskeeper

                      *strokes beard pensively and ruminates on the possibilities*

    • JanuaryBabe

      LAWD!!!!

    • LMNOP

      I know a few people that stripped in a strip club that I imagine to be just like that (a cinder block building with no windows and “live girls” painted on the side). I heard that one of them worked for several hours and made $2.

      • Aye Bee

        But why? You could work a minimum wage job making more…things I will never understand…

    • Chris Steward

      This is easily one of the best stories I’ve read in a minute.

      • Aye Bee

        Glad you were entertained Chris:) I was most def entertained at that club.lol.

  • Lauron Thomas

    Worse strippers I ever saw was February 5, 2013 at Norma Jeans on Sneaker Head night. We couldn’t make it to Stadium because it was snowing and I live in Towson. There was a midget stripper, a rich guy in a wheelchair, and a petite girl who had been stripping long enough to get the “large” butt implants but not enough friends to tell her that the size of her thighs should match. Her bottom half looked like 2 Tootsie Pops. Never again, Baltimore.

    • kimest3e

      I thought the ones I saw were bad. LOL!

    • Sahel

      Damn,this beats all my bad stripper exp points

    • anichole

      AHHHH Norma Jeans is the worst. Never again lord never again. The majority of the butts in that place are disgusting.

    • Kelly Kell

      From Baltimore– Norma Jeans is the worst. All the strippers look like they have bullet wounds in their thighs and bellies.

  • kimest3e

    I have been to quite a few major cities in the US and abroad, and I will say the drink prices here in Metro Detroit are the bestest. My husband and I have been to two strip clubs here and they were underwhelming. I was asking him how come these chicks not dancing and flying around the pole? I was thinking I would see some tricks, he says we have to go to ATL for that. LOL

    • DBoySlim

      Go to Magic City in Atlanta. It really is magical.

      • Aye Bee

        I’ve found that MC is best on Monday nights. Other than that Diamonds of Atlanta, or Onyx…or so I have heard… Don’t know where you are located @kimest3e:disqus but in Houston you could also see the female acrobats as well. Onyx there has $2 Tuesdays.

        • kimest3e

          I’m from the D, but if I’m ever in Houston we will hit up Onyx. I’m used to those cheap drank prices!

        • brothaskeeper

          I think literally every city with a large Negroid population has an Onyx club. They’re like ABC stores. You see the three red dots, and you just know. You see a marquee with blue upper case letters on a black background, you just know…

      • kimest3e

        Oh I see. Just watched some You Tube videos. Thanks for the tip!

  • LadyIbaka

    Juicy J said no rachet poosayyyyyyt!!!! P, in his yet to be released remix, he says say no to no name brand cities and strippers that can’t strip!!

    • panamajackson

      Actually, Juicy J said that he can’t say no to ratchet p*ssy. #wellactually

      • LadyIbaka

        Oh really!!!! My bad.

      • DBoySlim

        I share his struggle

        • brothaskeeper

          Just say nooooooooo

          • DBoySlim

            But they love me! They love me because I’m cultured and intelligent. In addition, heauxs love bow ties. #sophistaratchet

            • brothaskeeper

              I’m never one to step on another man’s garden hose, but *places brotherly arm on shoulder* do consider this plethora of brewdifurr VSSs up in here…jussayin….#betterlifechoices #nonecktatts

              • DBoySlim

                Yeah I can’t get with the jailhouse tats. There are some lovelies here though.

  • DBoySlim

    I’m from Detroit and went to Saginaw for the first time last year. There isn’t much to do but sometimes a change of pace can be refreshing.

More Like This