This site has nothing to do with cheese.
This site has nothing to do with bikinis.
This site’s title arose from a misunderstanding.
During the late 1990s I worked in San Jose, California. One night I joined a group of officemates for an after-work beer. After a few minutes of preliminary chit-chat we lapsed into our favorite after-work-beer conversation subject: the lack of cultural activity in Silicon Valley.
Although it’s overflowing with wealthy, intelligent young people, Silicon Valley is almost completely devoid of audiences who seek original music, art, and so on. During the 90s, Silicon Valley people just didn’t go out. Everyone seemed to spend 60-plus hours each week staring into computer screens at work. They spent their remaining time staring into computer screens at home. For the most part. (Once in a while they’d take in a Hollywood blockbuster at the local megaplex, which was considered a hedonistic dive into the dangerous fringes of the nightlife world.)
On this particular night I said, “I’m tired of driving to San Francisco every weekend. Can anyone name a single place in Silicon Valley where we can count on seeing original live music, on taking part in any form of culture that’s not mass-produced, imported and sterilized?”
Tara Murphy said, “There’s always Cheese Bikini Bar.”
Amazed, two of us repeated that name in unison. Tara quickly corrected us. She’d really said “T’s Bikini Bar,” but that’s not what it sounded like in the loud bar.
Tara explained that T’s Bikini Bar was essentially a strip club without the “strip,” where bikini-clad women pranced around and snatched dollar bills from desperate software engineers.
Tara’s joke: If they can’t even get strip clubs right, what can you expect in the way of art and music?
We were all horrified and amazed by this new term “cheese bikini.” Even the grizzled bartender was disturbed. The next day when we discussed the phrase at work, a few folks overheard and asked, “What’s cheesebikini?” Most of our officemates just shivered at thought of it as they hurried past. But nobody forgot it.
So I returned to my office cubicle and registered the domain name.
And that was that.