Rhode Island, More than just Understaffed Strip Clubs

March 24, 2009

If you managed to avoid reading or hearing about the job fair at Rhode Island’s Foxy Lady gentleman’s club in Providence this past weekend,  you must’ve been hiding in a champagne room somewhere. Aside from local saturation, news outlets including Yahoo, the Boston Herald, and even CNN  decided the human interest angle of strippers at a job fair was too much to ignore, thus “making it rain” with millions of dollars in free promotion for the strip joint.

The overused joke, “No need to buy a new wardrobe.” Guffaw!

Don’t get me wrong, Rhode Island needs the Foxy Lady. Legs and Eggs (every Friday starting at 6 a.m.) is an Ocean State institution on par with political corruption, quahogs and complaining about tourists who support our economy. Myself and nearly every one of my friends has patronized “The Foxy” for a bachelor party or just to whittle away the doldrums of winter one lapdance at a time. Truth be told, I appreciate the moxie of the Foxy co-owner, Thomas Tsoumas, I think he has a little P.T. Barnum in him.  

As “proud” as we are of our lascivious landmark, I feel as though Rhode Island gets pigeon-holed with some of the mainstream stories the national media presents. Forget the fact that we’re the smallest state in the country battling with Michigan for the highest unemployment rate while besieged by some the highest taxes in the nation. Considering our whole state is the size of Houston, Texas, I don’t expect sympathy for our economic plight, but how about some love for our diverse regional foibles and various pop culture contributions?

Included below are a mishmash of Rhody-related morsels to masticate on and broaden your view of the state officially known as Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. If you have visited or live in the state, we welcome your additions in the Comments section.

The Incomplete Guide to why Rhode Island is Wicked Awesome:

1.) Our lexicon embraces “wicked” as an adjective.

2.) My hometown, Portsmouth, laid claim to “Birthplace of American Democracy” and even erected a welcome sign to assert it. Too bad Williamsburg, I guess Virginia is just for lovers in denial.   

3.) Convicted ex-capital city mayors are not only embraced when they get out of jail, they are given a public forum to call out the injustices of others.

4.) Two drinks: Del’s Frozen Lemonade and an Awful Awful from Newport Creamery. Go with Oreo and a choclate base and you might need a change of underclothes.

5.) Ever heard of a little band called Smashmouth? Yeah, my friend’s sister dated the driver of their tour bus.

6.) The first ever Black Regiment, a group of slaves-turned-soldiers from R.I. joined the Continental Army in battling the lecherous redcoats. Battle of Rhode Island, 1778, that’s right.

7.) We have a Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Galilee, Little Compton, and a Wyoming all within our borders. 

8.) One of the funniest shows on TV, Fox’s Family Guy, is set in a made-up town called Quahog, RI. Yes, all of our children speak eloquently with British accents and our dogs talk, drink martinis and smoke cigarettes. 

9.) The Tennis Hall of Fame is located in Newport. We get at least one Martina Navratilova sighting a year.

10.) New England Pest Control’s Big Blue Bug.

11.) Newport’s White Horse Tavern was built in 1673 and is the oldest operating tavern in the United States.

12.) Bristol, RI has the longest running 4th of July Parade in the history of the world, we’ve been flipping the bird to the Brits with fireworks and binge drinking since 1785.  

13.) In Scituate, Rhode Island it is illegal to keep a flock of chickens in your motorhome if you live in a trailer park. No link, but it’s in the town charter, ask Cletus at the town administration shed.

14.) The Cheeky Monkey restaurant in Narragansett, where the cuisine, service and ambiance are so ambrosial that sometimes I question whether chewing the food is doing it an injustice. They’re on Facebook you know.

15.) Waterfire in Providence. It’s summer, visual art, music, food, nightime and a swell date or romance destination. Go when they have a contingency of Brazilian samba dancers, musicians and chuhascaria and you will not be dissapointed.

16.) The Great Chowder Cook-off and St. Patty’s Day in Newport.

 17.) Autocrat – maker of Coffee Syrup. Since 1920, our state has loyally supported the Lincoln, RI based company by drinking coffee milk made with a dark amber-hued, satiny syrup mixed with 2% or whole. The state legislature even named it the Official State Drink of Rhode Island in 1997.  All this despite the fact that virtually no consumers outside our state drink it and we chug to the tune of 31 million glasses a year.

Thanks Rhode Island!

Posted by: Nick