My second guest blogger from Mountain of Death is Fifi O’Rourke, exotic dancer and entertainer, a resident of Kings Cross. She is a friend of Jack Hardy and something of a tough lady, I’ll let her get on with it.
There are a couple of things I’d like to get straight: one, my name really is Fifi, two, I’m not French. Although I’ve been known as someone who could teach French. I don’t mince my words, I’m not the girl you take home to meet your mother. I’m a stripper, a tart, a good time girl and boy don’t I know how to have a good time. I first met Jack when I came to the Cross in the mid sixties, he used to hang around with a dancer from Les Girls. Looked after ‘her.’ Her my arse, we all thought Jack was queer, until he showed me different behind the Pink Pussycat one night. My God let me tell you, no I have to keep it clean – almost.
A bit about me, I was born at Charleville in Queensland in nineteen, you don’t need to know the year. My mum was an exotic dancer in a traveling sideshow, used to have an Egyptian harem dancer routine. You know the type, metal bra, gauze pantaloons heaps of crap jewellry. She always set up next to the boxing tent, it guaranteed her a big audience of worked up men. The real show happened after hours in her caravan, that’s how I came along. She took a year off to have me and get into shape, then it was back on the road. I couldn’t really complain about the early years, I had some decent schooling, there were always other kids to play with on the circuit. The down side was when I had to sit down one end of the caravan while mum entertained in the bedroom.
Mum had a great body and I inherited her stage name, build and I reckon her liking for men. She turned me out to work in her big paying job at night, I was fourteen and looked older. By the time I turned eighteen the old cow had enough of me taking her clients. She abandoned me one night on the highway outside of Newcastle. Not being one to mope around I landed a job in the hospital there. Trained to be a nurse and thought my life was set. A patient chatted me up one night – he wasn’t that sick – and after seeing what I had to offer he suggested I could do well in the Cross. He was right.
I’m sat at my front window in the flat writing this, it’s above one of the strip clubs and I’m looking down onto the main drag. It’s my night off, a girl needs a break. The place is full on, it never stops, excitement plus. I share the rent with another dancer, Patsy the Snake girl. She’s okay, we get on – very well. I can’t stand her snake though, it creeps me out. Some people ask me why I do what I do, I haven’t given it too much thought in the past. I think besides the money, I want to punish men. Not in a bad way, maybe. But to let them know they can see me, as much of me as I want, on my terms. I guess I have the power now, I’m not going to let them use me like they used to. Is that wrong?
Do I like my job? You bet your arse I do. How long can I do it for? As long as they keep hiring me, besides as you get a little too old for the clubs there’s always the private shows and buck’s nights. There’s nobody in my life right now, I can’t count Jack he’s not the marrying kind. I wish he was, we’d make great babies together, come on ladies, it’s the sixties don’t we all want that? I’m going to call it quits for the night, Patsy’s here. Looks like she’s found a couple of friends and some booze, hope she’s brought the Southern Comfort. Oh, they’re Yanks. What lovely boys they are, horny, fit and too much money. There’s hundreds of them around now, if it keeps up I might have to go back to my old trade. Goodnight all, it’s party time.