Welcome to Chicago. Don't mind the city's slug-slow evolution.

But they can't be blamed. Once, when Henry Ford was an icon, this town was an industry center, and there was probably at least five auto plants in each industrial park. But then, of course, the Sun Belt migration came along, and that belt, in turn, lent birth to the Rust Belt, in the Northeast. As a result, most factories in the Rust Belt are now shrines; places that only employ ghosts to work for them.

But despite this city's industrial regress, at least vaudeville has resurfaced in popularity. Naturally, it'll never be as hip as it was in the Roaring Twenties. (Last century's, not this one's; this one's are still as good as infantile.) Even so, who doesn't love a bunch of nubile women dressed in burlesque, and dancing to stimulating tunes?

(Single women and gay men, I know; but if you're still reading, try to work with me, here...)

Night falls. The stage lights light up. Music plays. The dancers make their entrance, and put on a performance of burlesque and sass.

Their legs are long. Their asses are huge. Some of them have feathers. Their lips are unmissable...

Even now, the Latinx infestation doesn't quit. Here, in Chicago, such a Latina takes the spotlight. Her name is Rosalita. Physically, she's small; but then, that's what men like about her.

As the spotlight shines on her, she sings. Her words are different, but her mind is like this:

This is burlesque

This is vaudeville

This is Chicago...

Not the one Catherine Zeta-Jones was taught us about

But good enough to pass inspection

We come out here to dance

And inspire men

And anyone else

Who gets shit from this

O, the balls we would have

If only we didn't have to do this for an audience...

But you know, men have more to gain from this,

So we MUST do it in public

Plus, it costs money to accommodate for all the special effects,

And what better way to get it

From the people who value it most?

The people who can afford it?

The MEN who can afford it?

A, the scourge of the white men in the NAU

When will it ever die?

The Latinx nation would be on a roll,

If only we ourselves weren't half-white

Via Spain

And Portugal

And Italy

And Romania, on rare occasion...

But still, the conservatives treat us like vermin

For threatening everything they love

Their men pretend to be indifferent to our hooters,

But only out of a so-called "duty to wedlock"

(My words, not theirs...

(They're so ballless, they can't even talk about this shit)

O, conservatives

Where are their balls when they need them?

Once, they were so ragged,

And yet, it seems they don't want to fight anymore

At least they still cheat on their wives

But somehow, they still don't talk about it at work

Can't imagine why

Capitalism knows few rules

Fewer than socialism would

If only socialism worked

Wish it did

O, how I long to have my ass poked

By a rich conservative men

Preferably married

Preferably whiter than half-native American

Probably doesn't matter anymore

All capitalist men dress the same

Even if they're Muslim immigrants

God-forbid if that actually works

No doubt, his wife will see me as a worm

But he, my new god, will see me as a diamond

Even prettier than the one he offered his wife,

Once upon one lowered knee

And a jewelry case

And an inspirational backdrop

That changes from person to person

On rare occasion, it's broadsided

By the wrath of situation comedy

But the good thing about me is,

I won't even come in a jewelry case

I won't even require him to propose

All he's gotta do is corner me and fuck me

And never tell his wife,

Assuming his wife is one of THOSE types...

(She usually is...

(I don't get it

(But it's just as well

(Only good people change, after all...)

In a darker room closer to the ground, surveillance footage shows off little Rosalita's performance. It's VERY inspirational. She's not even the tallest dancer in the ensemble. Even so, most men would have to be deluded to think her performance is low-rate.

Before it, a dark man watches. He hates the state...and the currency...and the rich. Even so, he's like a royal where he comes from. And in his world, that's as good as.

He dresses in white. Nearby, a muskellunge swims in a tank.

He gets out a telecom, and phones one of his pawns. He fixes his hair, while waiting for the line to become active.

"Get me her," he says, popping a mint into his mouth. "I want one."