First Impressions

10:38 p.m. Wednesday evening

“Ma’am,” I said. “Your cab is here.”

The ‘Ma’am’ in question shook her rumpled mane, which still had a barely connected hair clip dangling in the back.

“Where are your, um, friends,” asked the woman in a gold lamé minidress as she tucked her bright white thigh high boots up under her. She was an anonymous customer and she was helping me get the woman out of the booth.

Ms. Mane pointed towards the restrooms.

“Where are my car keys?” asked Ms. Mane.

“You can pick them up tomorrow,” I said. Knowing full well that technically you cannot deprive someone of their personal property – it’s against the law – but knowing that she probably wasn’t going to call the police, at least not tonight.

Ms. Lamé and I finally located the friend (and the friend’ newest friend) over by the bathroom. After allowing the friend to compose herself, which involved straightening out her hair and putting on some clothing that she had sort of misplaced, we then loaded the group into the cab and sent them on their way.

I then turned to the woman in the dress and boots.

“Thank-you so much,” I said. “That went a lot easier with your help.”

She picked up her Pellegrino water, “no problem”’ she said blinking a very black eyelash nonchalantly.

48 minutes earlier. (9:50 p.m.)

“Hey!” I yelled at the two men. Two heads popped up from two women’s midsections. Both women were lying on their backs on the bar booth table.

“You guys can’t do that in here,” I said.

“Why not?” said one of the men wiping a trail of drool from his face.

“Those ladies have had enough and we don’t allow body shots.”

A brief argument with the two women ensued that, which paraphrased, involved; “no you can’t”, “you aren’t getting anything else to drink”, and “yes, we have your car keys”.

If it wasn’t for the intervention of a woman in a gold lamé dress and white thigh high boots, the conversation could have gone round and round for ten minutes.

I looked at the clock, ten minutes to closing. Thank goodness.

20 minutes earlier. (9:30 p.m.)

I glanced again at the lady in the white boots and gold mini dress sitting at the bar. People don’t often dress like that unless they are looking for attention. And often times that attention can be bad.

Meanwhile the two ladies sitting in the adjacent booth were starting to squeal louder and louder. Gone were the eyeglasses and most of their inhibitions. The two gentlemen who had been sitting at the bar abandoned their barstools and now, armed with several shots of tequila, moseyed on over.

15 minutes earlier (9:15 p.m.)

“We are going to take that booth,” said the woman with her brown hair held up neatly by a leather hair clip.

“Yes,” said her eyeglass wearing blonde friend. “Please send our bottle of wine over.”

Well, I thought, so much for our conversation. A conversation that had encompassed the fact that both had advanced college degrees, both were in their forties, both unmarried and both were heavyweights in their respective fields.

Too bad, I thought, it had been articulate and intelligent, whether it was about the wine or about the weather.

25 minutes earlier.

The three women sat at the bar almost simultaneously, but definitely not together. One was wearing a skintight gold lamé dress and white thigh boots, and while her dark eye make-up made her appear slightly sinister; her attire produced a different feeling altogether.

The other two women wore expensive designer jeans, carried demure but expensive handbags and were accessorized tastefully but not heavily. No wedding rings, and their calmly self-confident demeanor, indicated to me that they were self made career types.

Subconsciously I made a choice. I helped the two women first, even though they all had sat down at the very same time. An expensive bottle of wine later and I turned to Ms Lamé. I made a mental note. I better keep an eye out.

Two things occurred to me as a result of this experience.

  1. There’s no such thing as “just another day” in the bar business.
  2. Over the years I have learned that the people who first look like they are going to be trouble usually aren’t, and the people who don’t, usually are.