A novel by Karen Lockhart
Copyright© 2018 Karen Lockhart
Jean arrived right on time, bearing two bottles of Riesling .
“I just felt I had to contribute something,” she said as she air-kissed Wendy and Ellen; I got a hug!
I ran back to the kitchen checking on supper. While there, I heard Wendy ask to see the tiger tattoo. Before I could say anything, Jean agreed and removed her denim blouse.
Wendy gasped, “OMG, you do look like a Bengal tiger, just like Aunt Ginny said! Did it hurt?”
Jean laughed, “Like you wouldn't believe, especially my nipples. Why, are you thinking of getting a full body tattoo?”
“Over my dead body!” Ellen and I said in unison.
“Good!” Jean said, “Imagine how I'll look when I'm eighty and in a nursing home!”
“Everything will be ready in thirty minutes,” I said, “Does anyone want a glass of wine now before we sit down to eat?”
Wendy immediately said she did, and hopped into the kitchen, waving a corkscrew and asking who else wanted a glass, “White or Red?”
Jean looked at me asking if she was always like this. I nodded 'yes', but looked daggers at the kid as I did it.
Soon everyone had full plates; fresh Waldorf briskets, and a glass of wine. We discussed the Patriots, costumes for Halloween, and brushed on the upcoming Presidential election, not wanting to upset anyone's political positions.
Jean mentioned that the Naked City held a family rated party each year, and suggested the three of us go in costume.
Wendy got excited, saying she knew who she wanted to be, 'Catwoman'!
“All I really need is a cat-mask and shiny knee high boots with a three inch heel. Aunt Ellen, you could go as a motorcycle cop, and Auntie Ginny could go as a cowboy, you already have your horse show clothes!”
Ellen laughed at that saying, “I guess Ginny and I don't need to think up costumes. How about you Jean, any idea for your costume?”
Jean said she did, she would go as 'Sailor Moon', a Japanese cartoon character. But first she would need a beige cat suit to cover her tattoos.
“Hey!” Wendy shouted, “Can I get a tiger catsuit? I could go as 'Terri the Tiger', wouldn't that be neat? I could wear a black two-piece bathing suit over it.”
Jean and Ellen thought that was uproarious. I was the only one not too sure about it.
After putting away the leftovers, and washing and drying the dishes, we retired to the living room to discuss the upcoming plans for my working at the Candy Cane Club.
I suggested picking Jean up around 12:30 and that way she could see how the Honda CR/V handled at highway speeds.
We bid each other good night, and after Jean left, Ellen looked at me and asked if I liked tending bar and if so, would I then do it permanently?
“The money is hard to give up and what was I really suited to do, other than drive a gravel truck?” I asked. We spoke of the extra money I would make, allowing us to buy a larger condo, maybe right on the water, And how great would that be?
“Tending bar at a restaurant pays well too, but not as good as at an adult lounge.”
We went to bed knowing tomorrow would be interesting.
I left at lunch to pick Jean up at her place across the harbor in Nahant a little early, planning to stop at Kelly's on Revere beach for roast beef sandwiches. Even in September the line was long, but worth the wait.
We made good time to Quincy early enough to have just the late lunch traffic on Route 93.
Soon we parked behind the Club. I must have shown how nervous I was because Jean gave me a quick hug saying, the worst that could happen was I wouldn't get the job.
The eighth wonder of the modern world allowed us entry and directed us to take the stairs to the second floor.
We were warmly greeted by a statuesque redhead who must have been 6'3” in her five inch heels, saying, “Mr Logan will be here in a minute ladies, would you like coffee or tea?”
My mouth was dry from nerves, so I asked if she had spring water. Before I was able to take more than a sip, Mr logan came down the stairs from his office.
“I'm happy to see both of you made it today. Jean, all we have to do is sign your contract and you can start tomorrow. Ginny, you said you had little experience the last time we spoke, but I see you have been working for the last week behind the bar.
“I must say the head bartenders at the Naked City gave you a glowing recommendation, but I want to see for myself if you can keep up with drink orders. So, why don't we go over to this bar and find out?”
As soon as I had tied on my black apron, he called over the waitresses saying he wanted to order drinks on the house, and to make them complex.
Soon I was having drinks shouted to me two and three at a time. Thank goodness for working on Saturday nights at the “City”. I got a few I had never heard of and weren't in the computer, so I faked it, figuring the waitresses didn't know what was in them either.
All the time I was working under the close scrutiny of Logan, who finally asked for a mai-tai. I grabbed two dark rums, a white rum, whiskey sour mix, and wet and sugared the glass's rim.
As soon as I did that, he smiled and said I was hired. “Most folks forget to sugar the glass's rim and only use one dark rum. Would you two like to work the same shift? That way you can carpool.
“Ginny, you will work here on the second floor bar until I see how you do. The tips are good, but the main bar is better.”
Jean and I hugged, and thanked Mr Logan.
“All we have to do now is sign some paperwork in my office upstairs, and we're done. Oh, by the way Ginny, I expect you to wear clothes that show off your assets, and this means at least four inch heels.
Once we had signed our contracts and promised to be here at 3:30 in the afternoon next day, we hopped in the Honda and headed north. I invited Jean for supper again, but she suggested all of us eat at the Tides restaurant in Nahant, her treat. We headed for the Swampscott condo figuring Ellen and Wendy were already home and hungry.
By the grin on my face, Ellen and Wendy knew I got the job, and peppered me with questions. Wendy was a riot when she asked if I had to work naked like the other entertainers.
Jean quickly corrected her saying she was an entertainer, and I was hired help. I held my breath, afraid she would say if I wanted to, I could give lap dances for even more money a week.
Of course I didn't and never would. Now to show Jean sketches of Morales, just in case.
If Vinny Morales went to the Candy Cane as entertainment, he would appear as a woman. He would be recognizable only if he became a member.
Jean insisted we all get lobster dinners, with a big side of steamed clams, and corn on the cob. It must have cost her a small fortune!
Over after-dinner coffee, Jean suggested I ride with her tomorrow. Thinking of the traffic at 3pm, Ellen thought leaving at 2 o'clock would be wise, at least until we had a feel for the traffic. Coming home at 2am shouldn't be a problem.
This meant we worked ten hour days, but we had three days off each week; occasionally two days in a row. Sundays the club was closed.
Jean had only a five minute ride home, and mine was only a little longer.
Over cups of tea, I answered more questions about my new job, reminding them I would still work two half days a week filing for Steve Brady, at least for now. I might find the extra hours too much and just tend bar.
The following day would be my first day, so I headed to bed early, figuring I would need all the sleep I could get.
Friday was crazy. I had packed my sexy bartending outfit, including red strappy heels. Man, my feet were going to kill me after ten hours in 5” sandals. I wondered if the other bartenders would tell me to wear closed toe shoes.
We left Lynn by 2 o'clock and even with Friday southbound traffic arrived in plenty of time. The tall red-head, whom I later found out was Mrs Logan, introduced me to the waitresses and the other two girls behind the bar.
“Ginny, for a little while, you'll work with Joy and Janice. When you are comfortable, it'll be just you and Joy. Have fun.”
With that, I started my career at the fanciest strip joint in North America!
To be continued
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