I’ve just returned from a lovely family vacation. I have not been to the good ole USA in many years, mainly because the man in my life was involved in a drunken brawl at an Aerosmith concert during their “Permanent Vacation Tour” in 1987. Although pardoned years ago of his charge and of any record, with the events of 9/11 and the induction of the Homeland Security Act, his adolescent altercation has at times caused us entry difficulties, so we have elected to explore other countries in our travels for the past decade.
It wasn’t hubby’s fault, at least that’s what he tells me. The guy in front of him was drunk and belligerent; harassing everyone in the immediate area while the energy in the building grew in anticipation of the opening act. Hub’s best friend was yelling “SIT DOWN ASSHOLE” and Hub probably shouldn’t have thrown what was left of his draft beer at drunk guy’s head, but hindsight is 20/20, and the metal chicks sitting behind them looked horny and were waiting to be impressed. Needless to say, my significant other never saw Aerosmith hit the stage that night, nor did he score with the big haired babes. He was hauled up the concrete stairs and out of Maple Leaf Gardens by security, as the laser lights slashed their way through the smoke filled stadium and the crowd erupted to Cheap Trick: “Surrender, Surrender, but don’t give yourself aaaawwaaaay”
But now with Hub’s hair metal days well behind him, three kids in tow and tickets to Disneyland, we crossed the border in our powder blue minivan with ease, and the people we encountered throughout our trip were warm, friendly and welcoming. For context, I live in a small town in the middle of nowhere without a whole lot of corporate chain influence. We do not have a McDonalds, we don’t even have a Tim Hortons. The town does have a handful of good restaurants, but whenever I visit a large city, the vast selection of eateries at ones fingertips is something I really look forward to.
On this trip I was accompanied by my husband, our two girls aged 10 & 12, our four year old son, and my elderly parents. Restaurant selection was often not based on my own choice, but taking into account something my kids would eat (pizza/fries) and something my parents could recognize on the menu and consume without too much confusion. Even fajitas (fa-jee-tahs) can be overwhelming for them. So instead of the hipster hole-in-the-wall hot spot that I imagined myself at, we generally opted for the safe all-American style chain, and there appeared to be no shortage of them.
In our typical eating adventure, after about 10 to 15 minutes on the wait list, a cheery hostess would lead us through the restaurant to our table, and shortly thereafter our perky waitress would arrive with a booster seat for the little guy. Before she could say “my name is Brittany,” I would order the largest margarita off the drink menu that I had been studying while waiting for our table, and (insert-waitress-name-here) would dutifully retrieve my MargZilla for me, carrying it high on the tray above her head, wowing the crowd of curious onlookers as she passed by. On this particular outing, as Tiffany gracefully placed the ten-pound goblet of frothy lime green goodness on the table, she smiled at me. I took my first sip, completely ignoring my mother’s disapproval at my beverage choice, and something occurred to me.
Brittany/Tiffany/Bethany was wearing a really really short skirt and knee high stockings. She was also squeezed into what looked like a children’s size 6x black tank top. Then I looked over at Mike/Matt/Mark, her male counter part, leaning on the service station, waiting for his order to come up. His outfit: half un-tucked black t-shirt. Baggy. Black pants, long and loose, with a large black apron covering his entire ensemble. Slobby Mike/Matt/Mark was surrounded by several bouncy mini skirted Brittany/Tiffany/Bethanys.
I mentioned the contrast in uniform to Hub, who shrugged with seeming indifference and continued to watch the game on the flatscreen overhead. Eventually we left the restaurant, bellies full. There was a Padres v Giants game that night and the streets were packed with people. I had my arms around my girls as we walked, soaking up the fun city atmosphere, when my eldest said “Granddad, listen: bagpipes!” Sure enough, the majestic sound of bagpipes was rolling through the crowd. Born and raised in Glasgow, my parents take every opportunity to connect their grand children with any form of Scottish cultural heritage. We followed the skirl of the pipes and the sound grew as we closed in on the source.
On full display were two women dressed in what appeared to be something akin to the naughty schoolgirl with a highland twist, bagpipes blasting from a speaker. As they stood there looking eager to please and enticing us into their establishment, I wondered, what the hell is this? Are they shooting a porno in there? Oh, no wait, it’s just another “family friendly” all-American chain restaurant. I glanced at my daughters. One looked confused, the other horrified, and a flood of conflicting emotions hit me.
First there was the disappointment that we were not going to get the Scottish history lesson I was expecting from my father – unless the Scots also invented sexism or the breast implant along with golf, Penicillin, and the television – it is possible there is some kind of six degrees of separation though, they did clone Dolly the sheep right? Cloning? Dolly? Parton? Fake Boobs? Fembot? Bingo!
Then there was the realization that my days of being able to pull this off are over. I sadly will never be paid to prance around with my female coworkers in a ridiculous outfit, “work it” for tips, or pose with patrons on their birthdays, like this guy
Or this guy
Or even this little fella
That sucks. We don’t have this kind of thing where I live, I am waaaay behind in the whole breastaurants going mainstream phenomenon, and I have to admit, although many of you readers probably see this all the time and think nothing of it, it was a little shocking at first. Seeing rammed up boobs, 9 inches of midriff and a little bit of ass cheek on a young woman oozing sexuality when she delivers their chicken strips may make my daughters feel awkward now, but the slutty/schoolgirl/servant role model is a timeless classic, and after enough encounters, they will understand it as a fundamental and defining aspect of their womanhood. In fact, some of their young friends have caught on already! But what about my sweet four year old son, where are his sexy role models? Where are his similar opportunities for exploitation? And by the way, where is my slutty servant?
Which gave me a wonderful idea: an old fashioned theme based restaurant that uses the male body to bring satisfaction, and food, to its customers. I am pretty sure our men would welcome young lads in tight short-shorts with enhanced bulges strategically protruding at eye level serving them food, right Ladies? I know Hub would love it.
I’ve started jotting down ideas but I have a long way to go. How about a British style pub? “Big Ben” or maybe really throw it out there with “The Cock and Balls Pub” that sounds British right? “House of Meatballs,” who doesn’t love Italian? Maybe something minimalist and modern, a sleek fusion restaurant simply called “Shaft” or how about a Bavarian lederhosen vibe, Schlonghaus? Penirschnitzel? The possibilities are endless, and I’m open to suggestions people!
Men, your dream job awaits.