Velvet van vandalized

Oh, what is the world coming to when a couple of pole dancers can’t go for an ice cream treat without drawing fire – or at the very least, poorly rendered graffiti slurs — from militant feminists?

Oh, what is the world coming to when a couple of pole dancers can’t go for an ice cream treat without drawing fire – or at the very least, poorly-rendered graffiti slurs — from militant feminists?

What started as an innocent trip to one of Richmond’s favorite lunch counters for an old-time frosty milkshake turned into something far less wholesome for Dan Shorkey and two Club Velvet exotic dancers earlier this week after an unidentified vandal defaced their car in broad daylight.

“I took the two dancers to The Village for lunch,” says Shorkey, who is known simply as “Dan” to the seemingly endless parade of statuesque beauties who emerge daily from his Fan Tan salon on West Broad Street in varying hues of bronze, brown and fluorescent orange. Many are dancers at Velvet, says Dan, who has been good friends with the notorious Shockoe strip club’s owner, Sam Moore, for about two years.

After dessert, the milkshake-loving trio trotted down Franklin Street to Cous Cous for lunch “because we really like their lamb,” says Dan, clean-cut and 40-somethingish with sandy hair and an even, golden skin tone that indicates he’s not just the owner of his tanning shop, but also a client.

On returning to the SUV, Dan and the dancers discovered the cost of those milkshakes turned out to be the last few threads of gauze-thin dignity worn by the larger-than-life, pout-lipped models painted mural-like on all three over-sized SUVs in the strip club’s iconic fleet.

While they’d munched lunch kebabs, someone in full view of other patrons of The Village Cafe had scrawled in large letters with white shoe polish “Feminism” and “Pig” across the laser-rendered murals of lingerie-clad dancers that adorn the infamous purple and white Range Rover.

“One of the girls we were with was really upset – it was obvious that the people inside [the restaurant], they knew who did it,” Dan says, chuckling. “I thought it was funny.”

The anonymous graffitist’s attempt at preaching Women’s Lib was equally lost on the truck’s owner, Moore.

Driving back to Dan’s tanning salon, “we saw Sam in the Fan and showed [the graffiti] to him and he said ‘Leave it on there, I think it’s funny’.”

And so it remained for two or three days, one of the city’s most conspicuous vehicles parked along one of the city’s most conspicuous stretches of roadway, slowly drying shoe polish baking into the truck’s paint under unseasonably hot April sunshine.

Finally on Tuesday morning, the time came to scrub it off, says Dan. But it was a decision made not because the scrawled protests had started to sink in.

“One of the girls was taking her mother to lunch, and taking that [truck],” says Dan. “She didn’t want that stuff all over there. She thought it was embarrassing.”

By afternoon, the only words other than the Velvet logo left on the truck were those that are on all of Moore’s SUVs: “Always Hiring.”

(Image courtesy of Dan Shorkey. Nelly is on the left, Anna is on the right. Shokey identified both ladies as dancers at Club Velvet.)

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Chris Dovi

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