Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hooters Uncovered

Originally Published in 2007

To say I anticipated buxom waitresses on my first visit to Hooters would be an understatement. As far as I’m concerned, the first three letters of the alphabet have no place on any cup there. I envisioned bazookas barely contained by cotton and clasp, maybe an errant chest to accidentally spill my drink. I expected a sound like gallon jugs sloshing when she giggled and bounced over to the table with my hot wings, as every shirt seam fought to hold, headlights the size of tea saucers showing through in silent defiance. No server should have to put the ink pen behind her ear at Hooters, is all I’m saying.

A local female bookstore owner believes the restaurant chain unintentionally misleads the public with false promises.

“Hardly any of the waitresses have hooters!” she exclaimed.

The chain acknowledges that many consider “Hooters” a slang term for a portion of the female anatomy. According to the chain, “Hooters does have an owl inside its logo and uses an owl theme sufficiently to allow debate to occur over the meaning’s intent. The chain enjoys and benefits from this debate. In the end, we hope Hooters means a great place to eat.”

Right. A source close to the Harbison Dr. Hooters detailed the many deceptions waitresses will perpetrate on male customers.

“Many waitresses will pretend they have boyfriends or are engaged in order to deceive male customers so that they won’t bother them outside of providing a great meal,” the source revealed.

Others accuse the waitresses of taking measures as extreme as wearing fake engagement rings—called “Man Be Gone Rings” in the industry—to intentionally deceive undesirable males. As a reporter with uncompromising standards and ethics, it was important that I witness some on these allegations first hand.

When I arrived at Hooters, several beautiful young Hooters Girls greeted me.  Many may not live up to the name but it turned out that our waitress Hanna indeed puts the “H” in Hooters.

I ordered the quesadilla and was tempted by the famous wings, but was hesitant to make a mess of myself in front of the blond haired, blued eyed beauty. Hanna was sweet and intelligent and sat down with us to tell stories about growing up riding horses. She said some other stuff too, but I wasn’t really paying attention after the image of her in slo-mo on a wild stallion in her orange Hooters shorts floated softly through my head. I stared off into the distance and chewed absently as she talked, strings of cheese probably hanging from my mouth.

God, she was incredible. I had to know more about her.

Hanna then proceeded to tell me that she was engaged to be married. But the way she had asked for my drink order... there was definite chemistry. I thought I might still have a chance. She told us that her fiancé had proposed to her on the beach and I noticed a dinky ring on her finger. She deserves so much better and I imagined the rock I would have picked out for her.

We talked and laughed every time she refilled my drink or brought me more napkins. It was odd she didn’t have any of the wedding details finalized and it gave me further hope that maybe it wouldn’t work out with her fiancé. After she cleared my quesadilla basket, I excused myself to the men’s room to drop a quick deuce and work out my strategy before she took our desert order.

While I was in the bathroom, my dining companion played the classic restaurant gag and told our waitress that it was my 16th birthday. I guess maybe he also told them I had a degenerative disease to explain away the 14-year age discrepancy. All the waitresses came over to the table and forced me to a lone chair in the center of the room.  Not knowing what to do I first sat down expecting a dance of some kind, but little did I know I was to be the performer.  One waitress loudly demanded that I get up on the chair, dance and air-spell “Susan” with my gyrating behind.

I was mortified that my Hanna saw me in such a situation and could tell that she was laughing in order to help me feel better. We had a connection like that. When Hanna came back to the table with our check, she offered me a “Heart for a Dollar” with the proceeds going to the Ronald McDonald charity.  She also personally invited me to a Super Bowl party at Hooters that would feature a raffle for a big screen T.V.

She wasn’t sure if she would be on staff that night or not.

And then she did something truly special; she offered her favorite pen for me to sign my check. It was shiny, pink and covered with black spots.  On top bounced a perky ladybug nestled in a pink feather bed.  This pen, I felt, was the essence of Hanna and our brief time together.  It was more incredible than any other pen in its class.  It wrote beautifully, and the ladybug danced while the feathers tickled my wrist.

I brought the top up to my nose, and it smelled of my dear Hanna, a mix of perfume and potato skins.  Oh, what a glorious fragrance while those feathers caressed my face.  She didn’t say it, but I knew she wanted me to have this.  I slipped the pen into my pocket when her back was turned, knowing that neither of us would speak of it again.  That was the way my Hanna would want it.

It was then I realized that Hanna and the Hooters Girls give so much and ask for so little besides a 15 percent gratuity on tables of six or more.  So what if they lie to a few guys? They make them feel better while making the world a better place.

Though I guarded my pen like a wolverine around the City Paper office, I secretly debated if I should keep it. Maybe the pen was a test for me and Hanna. Perhaps she will forget that bum fiancé if I show my willingness to give back to the community like she does.

No comments:

Post a Comment