Beware: Wild Animals

"Beware: Wild Animals" reads the sign out front. You must be at least eighteen to go inside. No younger. Younger folks can't handle what's inside. All the mist and steam, weird music, strobe lights in varying colors. Large stages with brass poles. Tables set up with wax candles and bamboo place mats. The whole building is huge. It's separated into two rooms, both of which are remotely alike.

They serve alcohol. So maybe you have to be twenty-one to go inside. Old enough to drink.

Oh, but who cares how old you are or if you can drink? The whole problem is why you came. Why? Are you a sex maniac? Here to pick up a chick? Or a dude? With a bachelor party? Or a bachelorette party? Did you just come for a good time? Or are you lost and thought this was someplace else?

Whatever your reason, you've stumbled upon Beware: Wild Animals a strip club in San Bernardino, California, owned and managed by Mr. Tony Venitelli, kept going by the myriad of costumed strippers, all dolled up in animal uniforms and face paint to match. All professionals and skilled in their "art". Willing to dance for your pleasure.


"You guys goin' to that convention?" asked a man. He was tall, probably around six feet, with a good tan and thick muscles. From behind a mesh of black hair, light brown eyes inspected a black and white uniform as he put it on.

"The one in Oregon?" answered a man sitting on a bench behind him. This one was a bit paler but just as muscular. He had dark green eyes and red hair. He was wearing an awkward pair of yellow pants that made his legs look like sticks; they also had claw-like feet. He too was inspecting the costume in his hands. This one was red, green and blue in different places.

"Already booked our flight," said a third man. This one was as tan as the first and just as muscular, only a bit taller. He had brown hair and light blue eyes. His costume was already halfway on. A pair of tan velvet-like pants with a long feline-esque tail protruding from the top of the butt and with equally feline-esque paw-like booties. He put on a tan shirt with a sand-colored stomach.

Behind him another man was nodding his head. He had black hair and dark blue eyes. He too, was tan and well built. His costume was already on, a pair of black and white zig-zaggedy striped pants and shirt, black shoes and black gloves. He also wore a hood that resembled a similarly striped horse.

"Flight?" repeated the first; "I'm takin' a boat."

"That's so old school," said the third "Air travel is the way of the future."

"Also the transportation of today," said the fourth, "I'm quite surprised you would travel by sea, Adam. I thought you had motion sickness."

"Nope," replied the first "Just vertigo."

"Har har."

"Boats aren't safe, Adam," spoke the second. "You oughta be careful."

"You're just paranoid, Damon," Adam replied as he pulled on his black and white costume. He was dressed as a panda. "I'll be fine."

"Are you going to the convention, Damon?" asked the zebra clad man.

"Nah," replied Damon, "Only girly guys go to conventions like that."

"Excuse me?" said the third, "I don't believe I heard you correctly, could you repeat that?"

"Oh, you heard me right, Reggie," said Damon as he pulled on what looked like a colorful Santa Claus top with wing-like sleeves. "You an' Jay an' Adam, you're all girly men on the inside."

"Oh, that's it!" exclaimed Reggie. He lunged at Damon.

"Ahh!" Damon immediately jumped up from his seat and out of the brunette's way.

"I'm gonna get you, ya slippery parrot!"

"Calm down, you nitwits!" exclaimed the zebra. "None of your arguments today. I have news."

Reggie and Damon froze, Reggie's hands holding Damon up by his collar. The three men turned their heads toward the zebra.

"Preach, Brother Jay, preach," said Adam.

Jay smirked lightly. "Hardly preaching. Just some news. Tony appears to have acquired some extra money."

"R&R," whispered Adam.


"Neato!" said Damon. "Raises and Renovations, that is good news, Jay."

Reggie dropped Damon flat on his bottom.

"You did not just say 'neato'" Reggie said, moving away from where Damon was rubbing his butt and slammed a locker closed. "Plus, this could be very bad."

"How so?" asked Adam, "I could sure use a raise and this place could use some changes."

"Last time Venitelli got some spare cash, the toilets in the girl's room flooded. We had to close down for, like, a month."

"Now look who's paranoid," whispered Damon.

"Whatever, guys, let's just do our jobs. We're on in a few minutes," said Adam.

"Agreed," said Jay giving a curt nod and turning to the locker room door.

One by one, they exited the locker room. Zebra, panda, lion and parrot walked to the back of the stage. The audience was full of women. There was a rather large bachelorette party that comprised the majority of it. There were also a few older ladies that looked like someone's grandmothers. And these someone's would probably not think his or her grandmothers would be seen here.

The guys walked out onto the stage one at a time, followed by a couple of other strippers, a monkey and a rooster. The monkey was dark skinned with black hair and brown eyes and was about six feet tall. The rooster was the shortest one on stage, about five feet tall, with dark brown eyes and orange hair. They each went to their own sections of the stage. Music started and the lights lit up.

All but one of them executed their routines perfectly. The rooster tripped a few times, his focus seemed on something else. Afterward, Adam, Reggie and Damon went back to the locker room. Jay and themonkey went out for a smoke.

The rooster, however, wandered over to the other room. Three female strippers, a lioness, a lizard and a dog, were talking at one of the tables. The lioness had short blonde hair and mahogany eyes. The dog had brown hair and warm honey-colored eyes. The lizard was dark with black hair and black eyes. The rooster slowly made his way over to them. The lioness was the first to see him.

"Duck," she whispered to the other two. "Duck!"

"Goose?" replied the lizard. The rooster was about a yard away from them. The three turned to look at him.

"I thought," the dog turned to the other two, "he was a hen."

"Rooster," said the rooster. "Ladies, how have you been tonight?"

"Get out, Carl," snapped the lioness, "before I get Reggie over here."

"Now, now, Marci," Carl replied, raising his hands in surrender, "I come in peace. Just heard the sad news."

"What sad news?" asked the dog.

"That one of the guys are being fired," replied Carl. "It'd be a pity if it were one of your boys."

"Who?" the dog asked worriedly.

"Oh, Raye. That I don't know. I just heard from Tony that he's getting rid of one of the boys. I don't know which. Probably the worst one."

"So go pack up, Carl," the lizard sneered, "Sounds like their getting' rid o' ya."

"Ha. Very funny, Tara. Remind me to laugh after your boyfriend's been kicked out."

"Damon's much better at this then you are," Tara retorted, "among other things."

"T.M.I, Tara," Marci said. "I don't even wanna know what you're comparing."

"Carl cooked me breakfast once," Tara replied, "I almost died. I think the eggs had salmonella."

"He gave you eggs?" Raye turned to Carl. "You sacrificed your young?"

"Some people get a little too into this," Carl said under his breath, "Reggie, Damon, Adam, Jay and Corky would all be nothing without me."

"Tell that to them," Marci pointed behind Carl. Jay, Adam, Reggie and Damon were all ganged up behind them.

"You talkin' shit, Carl?" said Reggie. When Carl shook his head, Reggie looked past him to Marci. She shrugged before nodding.

"Ya wanna start somethin', chicken boy?" said Damon.

"Rooster!" Carl exclaimed. "Sure, I'll start somethin' with ya. A strip off. Me versus Adam."

"Me?" asked Adam. "Why me?"

"What's wrong with that? Afraid I'll beatcha? What are ya, chicken?" Carl then perfectly imitated a chicken. He put his hands against his sides, flailed them a little and cawed, "Bawk bawk BUCKAW!"

"Wow, Carl" Damon smirked "You get a little too into character, ya know. Or maybe you really are a chicken. In a stripper's skin, in a chicken suit."


"If I win," Adam said uncertainly, "you do understand that Tony's gonna fire you."

"I trust he will fire the loser," Carl sniveled, "but I highly doubt that will be me."

"Uh huh," Damon smirked. "He's gonna fire you."

"Whatever. Let's get on with this."

They all went into the other room. Corky (the monkey) and a man in a black fur coat with stripped hemming, slicked black hair, and beady brown eyes were discussing something at one of the back tables.

"Why's Venitelli talkin' ta Corky?" Raye whispered to Jay. "Is he gettin' fired?"

"The only one getting fired is that-that bantam!" replied Jay, as though it was the king of insults.

Everyone besides Adam and Carl sat at one of the tables. Adam went to the backstage followed closely Carl. Adam did his routine first, as though this was nothing. He really didn't have to try too hard to win anyway. Adam walked off the stage and got dressed again before sitting with the others to watch Carl.

He started his routine fine. Then something happened. He walked right off the stage and hopped onto one of the tables. He added a little pizzazz to his routine. He didn't trip up or lose it. He did fine. Better then fine. He did good.

Reggie, Marci, Tara, and Raye turned to Adam. Adam turned to where Tony and Corky were sitting. They were watching Carl intently. Inspecting his every move. Waiting for him to make a mistake. He didn't, until—

"His aigrette is aflame!" shouted Jay.

"Huh?" Adam, Reggie, Marci, Tara and Raye turned their attention to Jay who was pointing to Carl.

"His fanny's on fire!" Damon guffawed. "Anyone for fried chicken?"

They turned their attention back to Carl. Sure enough, the plumes on his bottom were burning. Carl had forgotten about the wax candle set up on every table, and he'd gone and lit his costume of fire. He didn't even seem to notice.

Corky came up from behind them with a fire extinguisher. Carl stopped and stared at him. Corky approached him.

"Carl," he said, "you're on fire."

"Why thank you," Carl replied, "but you're interrupting me."

"No, I mean, you're seriously on fire."

"What?" Carl sniffed and turned slightly looking at his burning tail feathers. He screamed and fell off the table, "STOP, DROP AND ROLL! STOP, DROP AND ROLL!" He began rolling around on the floor. Corky sprayed him with the fire extinguisher. Nothing happened; the extinguisher was empty. Carl began to run around when he realized rolling wasn't doing anything. His tail lit two other tables on fire. The ladies in the audience screamed and left, knocking over the candles on their tables. It wasn't long before the room was ablaze.

Through it all, Adam and Damon were laughing hysterically, while the others tried to hold in their laughter, which they were quickly failing to do. Carl slipped out of his costume, his butt lightly smoking, and fell on his face. This was about the time the sprinkler system decided to turn on. They were all soaking when Tony approached them from behind. They immediately stopped laughing. Tony continued over to where Corky was helping Carl to his feet. Corky stepped away as Tony inspected the damage. The costume had some smoke stains and the tail was down to a nub. The place mats were nothing but smoldering embers and three of the tables would either need to be fixed or replaced.

"Well, Mr. Warden," Tony said after inspecting the area, "I'd to hate to have you fired twice in one day, but…"

"WHAT?!" Carl shouted in disbelief. "You're gonna fire me for a little performance glitch! One that will most certainly be avoided from here on."

"No. If anything, I'm gonna fire you for starting a fire."

"This is insane!"

"See me in my office, Mr. Warden."

Carl humphed and stomped off to the back.

"Oh, and leave the chicken suit in the locker room."

"Rooster! Dammit, why can't anyone tell the difference!?"

Tony sighed and turned to the other strippers.

"You're dismissed."

Marci, Tara, Raye and Corky wandered off. Reggie, Damon, Adam and Jay stuck around for a few minutes.

"Sir, if I may ask," Damon spoke up, "I thought you were giving someone a raise, not firing someone."



"Both," repeated Reggie, "he fired someone so he could give someone a raise."

"Ohhh… Who?"


"Yeah, I know that," Damon turned back to Tony. "Who gets the raise?"

"No one, now," Tony shrugged, "we need to spend it on repairs."

Alexia: The moral? Don't ever let a chicken dance on a table with a candle on it.


KC: This is a prequel to a story I might post soon. Be on the look out for The Confessions of Adam Muder. Review, please!