I was at my post, dutifully doing the job for which I am paid. In this case that just happened to be chatting up the stunning brunette realtor sitting at the bar. I thought of the adage, “It’s a tough job but someone has got to do it.” I must have smiled, because she smiled back.

Bartending is much more than mixing drinks and juggling bottles. It is really about building relationships, some are purely business, and some are a little more personal in nature.

Mid smile a couple intruded on our little service interlude. I looked at the new couple, a well dressed man in his late fifties and a redhead about a decade younger. More striking than the age difference was the fact that she wore a large and very expensive fur coat.

A fur coat in the summer in California?

She ordered the “wild” salmon appetizer and made special pains to pick out an organic lettuce salad. I noted the seeming contradiction between her ordering and her attire.

More surprises soon followed.

“Liz?” said the redhead to the realtor I had been talking to.

“I haven’t seen you in forever,” was soon followed by an updating of events from that previous encounter up until the current one, ending with an introduction.

“Liz, this is my friend, Doctor…” followed by his full name and an area of expertise; plastic surgery.

She took off her coat. “He did these for me,” she said revealing two barely concealed specimens of perfect globular symmetry.

I picked up a cocktail napkin and readied my pen. I had a feeling that I might want to start taking some notes.

Ms. Redhead looked at me more closely.

“Jeff?” she said.

I looked up from the cocktail napkin/notepad.

“Didn’t you used to work at that bar over by the harbor?” she said.

“About twenty years ago?”

I remembered her. Back then I had just started bartending, and as many aspiring bartenders soon find out, work was a fleeting thing. Until you build up some bartending experience, it is hard to find good jobs. I took any work I could get, at anywhere that I could get it. Soon I found myself working Ladies Oil Wrestling Night at a little club by the water. A night of debauchery highlighted by ladies in tiny bikinis wrestling around in vegetable oil.

One of these nights I found myself in the storage room (which doubled as a dressing room). While carrying several bottles of cheap booze I ran into a much younger and much less top-heavy Ms. Redhead in a tiny bikini.

“Can you check me out?” she said.

Like any young man confronted by a question like that from a nearly naked girl, I nodded silently.

She stepped up on a chair raising her rear end up to my face and bent over.

I stood there dumbfounded.

She looked back at me through her legs.

“See anything?”

I stood there holding two bottles of tequila and thought carefully about my answer. She was wearing about two square inches of fabric so I saw a lot of things.

Then and there I learned something. According to California Alcohol Beverage Law it is unlawful for any licensed premise to allow a “person [who] is unclothed or in such attire, costume or clothing as to expose…any portion of the pubic hair, anus, cleft of the buttocks, vulva or genitals.”

Literally, she was absolutely clear of any possibility of the first part of that violation. The second part remained to be seen once the wrestling started.

Back in the here and now, Ms. Redhead had moved on from recognition to a cigarette break outside with her newly reacquainted realtor friend.

Later the couple retired to the dining room and the brunette and I continued our dialogue.

“She pulled down her drawers outside,” said the brunette unsolicited.

“To show me the liposuction he did on her ass.”

I thought of a back room and a chair twenty years ago.

There was a brief pause.

“She could have at least waxed.”

I thought then of three things.

  1. Fur is back, apparently in more ways than one.
  2. Some people change physically, but behaviorally they stay exactly the same.
  3. Good thing she shared outside or legally I would have had to ask her to leave.