The eve of the 9-11 anniversary, and I’d never felt worse. Nothing for it but to descend to 96 Greenwich Street, through a throng of ground zero pilgrims, to the Pussycat Lounge, where the Bindlestiff Family Circus’s ever-changing Lucky-stiff cabaret has set up Wednesday residence. On the night in question, Stiffies Keith and Tyler assayed the usual unusualness (sword swallowing, fire eating), peppered with smutty chatter; Porno Jimmy analyzed skin-flick absurdities; and three ecdysiasts inventively shed their togs. Lady Ace did a campy-creepy military turn, to U2’s “Seconds”; more fun was a routine in which she baited invisible paparazzi, self-Polaroided, and disdainfully tossed aside subpar glam-mags before triumphantly voguing with her jaw-dropping, nipple-tweaking Voice cover from earlier this year. The grand finale took the ship-in-a-bottle concept and replaced “ship” with “girl” and “bottle” with “balloon”: Creamy Stephens mysteriously entered into a watch-it-inflate latex bubble, where she go-go’d endlessly. (As I headed to the subway, a grinning codger winked and said, I swear: ” ‘At girl inna balloon—she was sumpin’ else!”) Lucky-stiff buoyed my spirits, though after consultation with my wife I have decided to withdraw my bid for the Democratic nomination, as there now exist several photographs of me onstage trying to blow up a balloon and twist it into a phallus.

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