A novel by Karen Lockhart
Copyright© 2018 Karen Lockhart
I said 'Hi' to Bobbi and Chris, then grabbed an apron. Looking around, I was surprised to see people sitting at tables already. When I asked Chris about it, she shrugged and said every year, just before Halloween, it got busy like this.
I saw a cowboy sitting at the end of the bar, and realized it was Hiram, sans Cathy.
I walked down, and said hello, and where was Cathy today.
He laughed. “Believe it or not, she's shopping for a Halloween costume. I told her to dress as a Red Sox Ball player, she didn't think that was funny.”
I certainly did and we shared a chuckle at her expense.
“Hiram, feel like trying a new drink I saw in the Herald today?”
“I place myself in your capable hands, my dear,” Hiram said. “What's it called?”
“i actually have two Hiram, one is called a “Spit Shine”, the other is a “Cajun Comforter”.
I set to making the Cajun drink. I mixed ½ oz Bourbon, 1 ½ ozs of Southern Comfort in a glass with ice and a good dash of Tobasco sauce in a highball glass. After a quick stir I presented it in front of Hiram.
He had watched me like an eagle spotting a rabbit, so he knew what made it up. Raising his eyebrows, he took a cautious sip.
Beaming, he said, “Marvelous Ginny, this is great! Where's that son of mine, he must try this, we could make this our signature drink!”
I looked up and saw a line of waitresses at the bar, so I joined Chris and Bobbi filling their orders. We were catching up when I felt a tap on my shoulder. Looking around , I had a barb on the tip of my tongue for whom ever had touched me.
Good thing I held back, it was Mr Logan.
“Ginny, dad said you had a new drink I had to try, another one of your 'out there' concoctions?”
I smiled, “You tell me Boss.” I tossed a few bottles around, just for looks you know, and slid a CC in front of him.
Braver that his father, Logan took a good drink, a smile breaking out on his face.
“What do you call this? It's great!”
I explained the recipe came from the paper, and told him the name, 'Cajun Comfort'.
Bobbi had been watching and heard our conversation, “Dad”, she giggled. “We could call it the CC at the CCC.”
See, she shaves her legs too I think.
“I have another one if you want to try it.” I said. “It's called a “Spit Shine”, for all our servicemen I guess.”
“What's in that?” Bobbie asked.
“It's 3ozs of bar Scotch, ½ oz of lime juice, and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Shake these ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, and strain into a cocktail or Martini glass.”
Logan said he'll be back in a while, and he volunteered to be my Ginny pig then.
“In the meantime, try it on my old man. Tell him he's my designated food taster.”
We got busy again filling the waitresses' orders. That girl with the huge breasts fascinated me. I mean, how can she walk in those 6” cfm spikes, and still stand and walk with such perfect posture?
'Next time she comes to my station, I'll ask,' I thought.
In the meantime, I noticed Cathy had joined Hiram. I drew a Pabst and placed it in front of her.
“Hiram said you were costume shopping, any luck Cathy?” I asked.
“Well, if you and old blabber-mouth can keep a secret, I'll tell you.”
I did that heart crossing thing, and Hiram made a zipper motion across his mouth.
“OK, I'm dressing as a baseball catcher, what do you think?” she whispered.
I nodded, saying that's a great idea.
Hiram smirked, “Why not wear a red curly wig and a short skirt? You know, like Geena Davis in “A League of Their Own.”
I couldn't help myself. I snorted, and gave out a whoop of laughter. Realizing my mistake, I quickly apologized to Cathy.
She took the suggestion well though, saying, “If we had the party here, that's actually not a bad idea. The first party is at a club in Kenmore Square, but if the Candy Cane is having a Halloween party, I'll go as Geena Davis.
“How 'bout you Ginny, will you wear a costume?” Hiram asked.
“Yeah, I was thinking of coming as an Indian Chief, what do you guys think?”
Cathy laughed, “Now all we need is a cop, a construction worker, a firefighter, and a Navy officer.”
Hiram perked up, “I've got my old uniform at home, I know it fits, I wear it each year in a Memorial Day parade in Medford. I was a Lieutenant Commander in the Coast Guard, before I retired.”
Cathy looked at the other bar tenders, “ Now if the other two dress as a cop and a firefighter, all we'd need is a construction worker.”
A voice behind Cathy spoke up. “Done! All I need is a hard hat with union stickers.”
“Dad, Ginny has another drink for us to try, what do you say?”
I quickly got two Martini glasses and my trusty cocktail mixer, actually a Patriot's one liter water bottle with a pour cap, perfect for shaking with ice cubes.
“Two 'Spit Shines' coming up, Boss” After pouring two drinks, I looked at Cathy, “Feel brave kid? There's more in the shaker bottle.”
“Why not, I'll sound real Butch when I tell the guys I had a 'Spit Shine' cocktail. Most of them think I drink Cosmopolitans.”
That of course, got a rise out of Hiram.
Before I could hear his response, my cell rang. Looking at the caller ID, I saw it was Pete Smith. Excusing myself, I went into the supply room behind the bar.
“I love you sweetheart!” I heard, “We got him!”
“Thanks Pete, but does Ellen know how you feel?” I quipped, “Is the wedding still on?”
“Jesus, don't even kid like that,” Pete said. “Ellen would laugh, but someone else might think you are serious.”
“Sorry, I couldn't resist Pete. So it really was Morales working in the kitchen.”
“Yes”, Pete said, “If you hadn't told us about the kitchen help being normal guys..... I MEAN real men. No, that came out wrong Ginny, I mean a regular cook who could work in any restaurant.”
“So you're saying a trans-gendered girl or a lesbian or gay couldn't work like a 'regular' person?”
Now I had him studdering!
“Shit Ginny, you know what I mean. Logan doesn't require a physical exam to work in the kitchen. If it wasn't for you, we wouldn't have known the Club had a kitchen.”
“Pete, I've got to get back, can I call you back tomorrow at noon?”
Saying okay, he hung up.
“Who was that?” asked Hiram, “Your boyfriend?”
“No, my room-mate's fiancée, he's taken. So, what do you think of the 'Spit Shine'?”
“My kid and I agree, add it to the drink computer, so the other girls can make it. And we'll advertise the 'Cajun Cocktail' as our signature drink.”
Hiram thought for a moment, “I think all our bartenders should try these, starting with Bobby and Joy in the upstairs bar. Write down those cocktail recipes for me could you honey? I'll go and give them to the girls, and have Jan make me and Joy a CC cocktail.
“Wow, he must love it”, Cathy said, “Normally, he would have his son do that. I think you have a job here for life if you want it, kid.”
I mumbled something and got busy filling drink orders. Bobbi and I started tossing liquor bottles back and forth looking like Tom Cruise and Bryan Brown in the movie “Cocktail”.
As you can imagine, we drew a small crowd, receiving a nice applause from the customers and the waitresses.
One wise guy yelled out, “Try it with a draft beer honey and don't get your boobs in the way.”
Bobbi was quick,she yelled out, “Don't move, and the Boob will be out of the way,”
It looked like a scene from “Jurassic Park” as the patrons were parted for the bouncers to grab the heckler and while escorting him to the door grabbing his membership key card.
I turned to Bobbi, “That's severe for just yelling at us to keep our boobs dry, isn't it?”
“He's done stuff before Hun; don't worry though, Mom will mail it back to him next week. So it's like a week's suspension. We won't miss his business.”
“More, more!” The crowd shouted, “Which one is Tom and which is Bryan?”
Chris chided them, “Look at these ladies, are you saying one of them looks like Bryan Brown? If so their beauty salon stylist should be spanked. No I don't want any volunteers for the spanking job folks, but if you ask any our bevy of beautiful waitresses, one of them may accommodate you.”
I turned to her with a shocked look, before I could ask, Chris said, “We make money on those spankings in the private rooms, so do our waitresses. Their money comes from tips, and lap dances in those rooms. Remember, they pay the Club to work here.”
I had forgotten that, since it didn't apply to bartenders or the singers upstairs. Only Jean was paid to strip, being the head-liner. All the others worked for tips only.
With my cocktail menus, I was heading toward stardom myself.
This is not what I had intended, but how could I turn my back on the money I was making? Last night I received over $1000 in tips, and tonight was a lot busier, with Saturday bringing out the real big tippers.
Not just that, I was really enjoying myself, and making a few nice friends. Not just Hiram and Cathy, but several amateur cross-dressers who didn't pass, but enjoyed the feeling of the stockings and dresses. One of them tipped me $20 for each $8 drink I served him.
Last call finally! I could slip on my boat moccasins, and out of those 4” heels.
Jean was waiting for me in the employee's lounge. As we headed for her SUV, she started to tease me about sucking up to the owner and his granddaughter.
“Word is, you make special cocktails just for the brass, and draw beers for everyone else. I thought actually kissing bums was prohibited on the Club's property?”
Of course, my face turned beet red, (or is that maroon?) “You're a fine one to talk about posterior kissing Terri, I heard Logan watches every one of your acts. That's why the band plays 'Satisfaction'. That way he won't miss a twitch of yours on stage.”
Jean roared at that: “Okay you got me. 'Bang, bang, you shot me down. Bang bang.”
Now I laughed, “Okay which one are you? Sonny? Or Cher?”
A giggle party ensued. (Leg shaving again?)
To be continued.
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