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  • Writer's pictureCindy Marabito

Welcome to the Dollhouse ... from The Legend of Sky Diamond

Everybody went by stage names at the Dollhouse. There were three sisters who worked there. Garland was the oldest. When she started showing pregnant, they let her keep dancing, but only during lunch shifts. The three came from the Dallas suburb of Garland and how the eldest came by her stage name. She was so homely that behind her back, everybody called her Mr. Roper. Even her two sisters. The middle one went by Holly and the youngest was Bambi. Bambi was the cutest and had come this close to making the Dashing Debs high school drill team before she dropped out of Garland High School. Her dancing at the Dollhouse reflected that of a halftime performance. Bambi had worked a summer at the Garland Caboodles, a precursor to the Hooters restaurant chain. Caboodles waitresses served up greasy bar food like Buffalo wings and fried pizza to hungry, horny wage workers outfitted in skimpy short shorts modeled after the Dallas Cowboy cheerleader uniforms. Bambi wore everybody out always going on about how they did things at Caboodles, but nobody cared. She was dumb as a sack of rocks. Puddin’ came from England. She was very petite, maybe 5‘3”. She had history with Mike, the manager who was also British. They didn’t talk much about it, so I suspected it wasn’t on the up and up, but everybody knew. Mike had a mouth full of bad teeth. You couldn’t tell if they were rotten or just plain dirty and stained. Plus, they grew all kinds of which ways. Other than that, he wasn’t bad looking and he was perfect at running a strip joint. He got along fine with all us girls, especially considering he was screwing half of them. The most interesting person of all was the owner and she was a chick. She was right out of a Joan Crawford movie. Dixie Costa was a real character. She was pretty in a Dynasty way. In fact, she dressed and wore her hair a lot like Alexis. She’d been a stripper herself back during the Jack Ruby days and didn’t mind if you knew it. She wasn’t like some women who married money. A lot of mystery swirled around Dixie, but she didn't let on. When her husband, Nick Costa died, she'd inherited his string of topless clubs. The murder wasn’t covered by the media and the investigation was shut down almost before it got started. Nobody, including Dixie, seemed to care about the unusual circumstances surrounding Nick Costa’s homicide. You’d overhear an occasional whisper about the dancer who disappeared soon after, but even Puddin’ and Mike were tight-lipped about the incident and those two weren’t afraid of anything.

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