We’re so accustomed to the Lusty Lady using basic rhyme-based wordplay that we’ve forgotten all about the other rhetorical devices she has in her arsenal. Asyndeton, anaphora, alliteration: she knows them all intimately. But like the dancers she employs, the Lady also knows the proper role of decoration in seduction (by dance or by pun). For instance, bronzer, when used appropriately, can accentuate a girl’s cleavage, but when used simply for its own sake, distracts. Likewise anastrophe can transform a common saying like ‘Pleasure Doing Business’ into a saucy turn of phrase, or can result in ‘Lear King’. The Lusty Lady lesson here: No need to show off. Now if only this writer could learn it.
If the measurement of a bawdy pun is the amount of adult topics it can pack into as few words as possible, then this marquee is among the elite. Let’s tally them up. There is the skewed allusion to Hemp Fest, Seattle’s annual gathering of illicit cannabis plants. There is the blunt reference to screwing (preferably of a nubile Lusty Lady miss by an idealized version of yourself). And there is the playful foreshadowing of the upcoming HUMP film festival, a cornucopia of pornographic delights. Altogether, that amounts to an unheard of 1.3 taboos per word. And this means that the busy passerby only needs to scan two words to get his daily allowance of indecency. Now that’s peek efficiency.
Say what you will about the Lusty Lady’s not-so-squeaky-clean floors, but you must concede that her marquee is always the epitome of perfectionism. Last year the Lusty Lady recognized Seafair, Seattle’s annual celebration of maritime debauchery, with a saucy shout-out to herself — SEAFAIR PIRATES LOVE BOOTY. This phrase incorporated both a timely reference to Seafair and a timeless reference to the female buttocks. This year the Lady, obviously unsatisfied with her previous effort, enhanced the pun to also imply that the actual Seafair pirates, an alcoholic group of ex-silicon valley pirates, have spent all of their bullion quarters leering at her treasure chests.
Occasionally the Lusty Lady writing team presents the passerby with a marquee that doesn’t have a tidy little ending. This one in particular has left the pedestrians of 1st Avenue scratching their heads and eying each other uneasily. Let’s examine. The first entendre, or the erotic foil, of this pun is fairly straight-forward. The Sounders are Seattle’s new soccer club and have been embraced by the city’s transcontinentals (people who identify as European even though they were born American). Hence, the homophone ‘kicks’. But here’s where things get murky: the substitute homophone – ‘kix’. What the hell?
You know that an event has established itself as a Seattle staple when its annual arrival is announced in a ribald pun on The Lusty Lady marquee. Yes, the Bite of Seattle has joined the likes of The Big Boat Show, STIFF and Thanksgiving as an event that is thoroughly discussed at the Lusty Lady’s brainstorming retreat in San Diego each year. And why not? What better than a celebration of epicurean delights, paired with a crisp double entendre, to lure the passerby into the Lusty Lady for a sensuous digestif. And for just a few quarters one can sample a selection of sweets, from the exotic (Jasmine) to the down-home (Cherry).
While the other side of the Lusty Lady marquee contains a simple homage to the King of Pop (JUST BEAT IT), this one is considerably more cryptic. Is it a simple reference to Boeing planes ‘taking off’ from SeaTac airport, or is it a grave reminder of the jobs that will ‘take off’ if the Machinist union doesn’t give in to Boeing’s ‘no strike’ ultimatum? And if it’s the latter, where does the Lusty Lady stand on the labor dispute? Her sister strip club in San Francisco made headlines as the first dancer-owned cooperative, but she herself is more traditionally run. And then of course there’s the nub of the pun, which is, ‘Will the runway match the hangar?’
The Lusty Lady has broken its record streak of consecutive sex puns in order to pay proper tribute to an american legend. This marquee contains no Yankovichian rhymes, or Gallagherian homophones; it’s just an untouched verse from one of Jackson’s bestselling singles. So slip on over to a Lusty Lady booth and pay your respects. But may we suggest that like the King of Pops, you also wear a single glove. It will protect you from any ‘blessings’ that may have been left by the booth’s previous mourner, and obviate the need to bleach your skin afterwards. Of course, if you plan to leave your own ‘offering’ to MJ, perhaps you should skip the rhinestones. Now just beat it.
This appears to be a continuation on the ‘BARE WELL MIMI’ theme (she must have been quite a lady). But rather than provide us with some answers about Mimi, this marquee just presents us with more questions. First there is the matter of the pun. As experienced Lusty Lady translators, we recognize the familiar ‘miss’ wordplay, ‘miss’ being Ladyese for a member of their dance staff. Still its use here is especially subtle. Next there is the implication that Mimi will be fondly remembered by the Seattle Art Museum (SAM). Why? Do SAM and the Lusty Ladies share some common bond because they are both trying to squeeze a quarter out of heavily touristed 1st Avenue? OR, did Mimi ‘cross over’?
In matters of personnel changes, the Lusty Lady always proceeds with gracious discretion. From this marquee, the passerby can infer that a miss named Mimi and the Lady have parted ways, but he can deduce no more. Mimi may have chosen to depart for greener pastures, or the Lady may have pruned one of its underperforming misses. The substantial but flat salary that comes with being a miss makes both scenarios equally likely. We are also left in the dark as to Mimi’s future. The ‘BARE WELL’ seems to wish her good luck in a continued career as a professional undresser. Then again it could just be a pun. Maybe she really was ‘working her way through college.’
I shall be telling this tale with a sigh/In the depths of the Lady, just last Fri/Two booths diverged ‘fore the ladies,/One with a window, one with a one-way window , and I/I took the one more beaten,/And that has made all the difference. — Robert Frost
Disguised inside this provocative pun is a quiet disclosure of the Lusty Lady’s rigid and somewhat scandalous hiring policies. Before any beauty gets to gyrate against those hallowed poles, she must first pass a rigorous background check that establishes that she was born and reared inside the boundaries of our fine state. This of course has prompted cries of discrimination. But defenders say that this rule is not motivated by protectionism, but by a cultivated taste for organic T and A. Not that some of these ladies don’t have artificial mammary enhancements or even skin art, but at least it’s been done under the careful supervision of Washington’s strict stripper board.
Here we see the versatility that has made ‘BARE’ the foundation of so many Lusty Lady pun constructions. Not only does it have a commonly occurring homophone (‘BEAR MARKET’, ‘GO BEARS’, ‘JUST GRIN AND BEAR IT’), and its share of handy rhymes (‘DARE TO BE GREAT’, ‘SCARE TACTICS’), it also can be substituted for alike sounding syllables for instant, fly-busting fun. Needless to say we anxiously await the inevitable adaptation of ‘BARYSHNIKOV’.
Sometimes the sex puns are secondary. In this case the marquee primarily serves as a warning beacon. It informs us that the ravenous bear roaming the back alleys of the Scandinavian District is still at large. So make sure to wear your bear suit. Unless of course you are one of the Ladies, in which case your bare suit should be more than sufficient.
To the untrained eye this marquee contains no pun at all. It is just a straightforward advertisement for a cheap peep show. But to the veteran voyeur it contains a secret message. Observe. First convert 25 to roman numerals and CENTS to the abbreviated C. You now have XXVC A PEEK. Next, reversing it gives you KEEP A CVXX. Now if you split CVXX into CV XX and convert CV to proper roman numerals (XCV) and reverse just that, you have KEEP A VCX XX. Or, KEEP A V(iagra) C XXX. Q.E.D. TITTAYS! That’s right, eat her edible shorts Will Shortz.
We were hesitant to put this up. After all it is just an old stopgap, and one which we have already reviewed. Yet in spite of the fact that it’s recycled, this marquee provides fresh comfort to the passerby. It tells him, ‘Even in these uncertain times when life becomes all topsy-turvy, you can still rely on the Lusty’s ladies to always all be topless and curvy.’ In other words, add vixens to your death and taxes. Or even more succinctly put, ‘TITTAYS 4 EVA!’ Note: You can see the original write-up by clicking back to November 15, or by visiting our lustyladymarquee wordpress blog.
Much like Lake Wobegon, ‘where every child is above average’, the Lusty Lady boasts that every one of its dancers is a hit. Now, to the statistically inclined, this claim seems dubious. How could ALL of these women be at the very top end of the popularity spectrum? Shouldn’t there be some under and over performers? The answer it would seem, is in the imprecision of the measurement. After all, any of these buxom beauties is more than capable of giving even the most libido-less patron his quarter’s worth. And hence their one way window is always ‘hit’.
Here we get a glimpse of Lusty Lady as Seattle malady. Imagine if you will, that Mrs. Passerby, after spending the entire weekend hunched over receipts and paychecks, has sent her dutiful spouse to the local tax collector, tax payment in tow. Unfortunately, along the way, Mr. Passerby succumbs to the suggestion of the city’s famous peep show marquee. Rather than deliver the cashier’s check to its intended destination, he swaps it for a sack of quarters and gets an extension. This outcome not only leaves Mrs. Passerby unsatisfied (on several levels), but it also burdens the state’s overworked extension handlers.
The Lusty Lady has always offered a good Friday service. Indeed, for years the passerby has skipped on the austere melodies of the cathedral and the hip rhythms of the Mars Hill chapel to play his organ at The Church of Our Lady. But this year, The Lady has apparently added an egg hunt as well. Of course, it promises to be a bit unorthodox. Instead of one giant rabbit, furtively hiding chocolate molds of itself for you to uncover, there will be a colony of ‘keister bunnies’, proudly displaying their uncovered bodies. So grab your shiniest quarter, put on your Easter finest, and see them in their Birthday best.
As Spring arrives, pedestrians emerge to discover a message of hope on the Lusty Lady. Soon, winter will strip away her shroud of loose fitting fleece, and the women of Seattle’s blouses will blossom. As the temperature increases, buttons will unhook and necklines will burst, revealing varying degrees of the miracles encapsulated within. Sure we heard a similar promise last year. But SHOW-HERS has a gender clarification that SHOW-ERS clearly lacked. And that my friends, will make all the difference.
Peep your dewy eyes above the rushes,/And rush the Greek Lodge of Hera Pi./Persephone has pegged you as the lushest,/And this dam for dames is hella dry.//Don’t fret that your tail is not so flat,/Your teeth not buck, and your pelt too bare,/We love your luscious hills and lack of rat,/And your Brazilian genus’s style of hair.//Now you must learn the secret handshake,/A nominal exchange of coin,/It will open windows and connections make,/The key beam of your lodge’s groin. –William Blake