19
Sep
09

The Broad’s Side of… Hooters

Cans

Cans

One thing about me that appears to get revisited time and time again is the fact that I used to be a Hooters Girl. At this point, I think I could travel to space or find a cure for cancer…and the focus would still be on this little tidbit. I’m not sure why people are so fixated on it, but I have absolutely no regrets when it comes to this part of my life. I was so bored with my retail management career at ‘Bed Bath and Beyond’ that I decided to make a drastic change. If I folded one more towel, I was afraid that I would resort to shooting up the Calphalon aisle just for entertainment value. As a kid I was subjected to taunts of ‘Jenny Jenny…flat as a penny’ and of course all the ultra-creative comments about the level of jealousy the walls were experiencing due to my flat physique. I took matters into my own hands and financed a top notch pair of cans. Yes, they allowed me to take out a loan to pay for my enhancement. Good luck with the repo man in the event there’s a default on that loan. Naturally, I was looking for a return on my investment which led me to Hooters in Cleveland’s ‘Flats’ district.

The Flats were by far the best place to go on any given night. The Hooters restaurant was situated right in the middle of a riverfront strip of bars. There was a great patio out back where we had jet ski rentals in the summer. Kenny, the jet ski guy was the brother of one of the managers and his sole responsibility was rentals. After he appeared on the news for the third time for discovering a dead body under the dock, we began to think there was a chance he was the one putting them there. He didn’t even crack the top ten on the creepy list. There were countless loners that would come in and stalk us from a distance. To be fair, this was WAY before Match.com so their options were pretty limited. You’d have your occasional boner guy who made no effort to hide his pop-up ad. Mix in a few homeless guys, some pro athletes and Drew Carey…that pretty much sums it up. You never knew what was in store for you day to day. Am I going to score World Series tickets today or witness a murder? It could easily go either way. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen an ESPN anchor piss out the second story window at the ‘Basement’ onto a police officer. That dude was stuck covering BMX racing on Saturday afternoons for the next four years.

My favorite part of my experience there was definitely the friends I made. You would think they would all be catty and jealous of each other, but that wasn’t the case. Sure, there were some assholes working there, but a dozen years later I still count many of them among my best friends in the world. In hindsight, even the one that slept with my boyfriend while I was on vacation in Vegas turned out to be ok. I don’t even think she waited for me to clear the security checkpoints before she bedded him. It turned out that she did me a HUGE favor. He ended up getting grotesquely fat and going to prison, although not necessarily in that order. The old ‘chicken or egg’ argument. He was a Basement bouncer and I have no idea why I thought that was cool.

One of my favorite games to play was to set people up for embarrassment. I’ve always been really into sports, so I’d instantly recognize athletes when they came in. I’d provide some great mis-information and veil it as a tip enhancing opportunity for my co-workers. I had them congratulating NBA players for their World Series MVP awards, or have them call David Cone ‘Mr. Maddux’ throughout his whole chicken wing dining experience. I’d pick out random customers and tell the waitress that it was someone famous so that she’d waste all of her time fawning all over him or ask for an autograph. That never got old. One of my favorite experiences came courtesy of Drew Carey. His entire cast and crew was in town filming the opening sequence for ‘The Drew Carey Show’. He sent two chubby women in to the restaurant as a test to see which Hooters Girl would even acknowledge the fact they were alive. I brought them to a table and chatted with them while everyone else suddenly pretended to have pressing issues to attend to. Nobody liked waiting on women, but I didn’t mind. Drew’s entourage pulled up to the back dock and one hour of my time resulted in a $350 tip. I felt like one of Heidi Fleiss’ girls…except I wasn’t required to bang a disgusting Hollywood producer with back hair resembling a really ugly sweater. Drew arranged for me to leave work early and go to the ‘Have A Nice Day Café’ with the group. I was drinking booze from a straw out of a smiley face fishbowl with Oswald while my friends were slinging wings and listening to drunk assholes ask, “Do you have any milk?” over and over again. You would be surprised at how many guys thought that was a wildly creative and hilarious thing to say.

It’s sad that there are no longer any Hooters in the Cleveland area. All three locations have long been closed. I make a point of eating there any time I visit a city that has one. I also make sure someone I’m with asks the waitress if they have any milk, and I laugh like the person should take his act on the road. “OMG! You should totally tour with Dane Cook. You’re by far the funniest guy alive!” I used to be borderline embarrassed by my stint as a Hooters Girl, but I’ve realized that it was probably one of the best things that have ever happened to me. I’ve met at least three friends that would bail me out of jail or give me a kidney if one of mine turns out to be a dud. I’ll definitely tell my daughter all about the experiences I had with those broads she calls ‘Aunts’, Michelle, Shelley and Melanie. I’m far removed from my bikini contest days, but at least I can say that I pulled it off!

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5 Responses to “The Broad’s Side of… Hooters”


  1. 1 Jenny
    September 20, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    you always crack me up so much Jen love it!! Feel free to visit me in Orlando there are number of Hooters restraunts to visit haha!
    I remember the time we went to the closing day for the one in the Flats…I had a blast with you!! You had me crying on the floor with laughter that day!
    Miss ya!

  2. 2 Aunt Michelle
    September 21, 2009 at 11:02 am

    great snip-it!! ahhhh, there are not enough days in the year to recall all those stories….

  3. 3 torq132
    September 28, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Recently paid a visit to the Hooters in Myrtle Beach S.C. while attending our annual golf/beerfest/we have to go to Hooters event. Brittany was this years waitress dujour who promptly pulled out 2 dozen glossy photos of herself in various bikinis and autographed quite a few for the horny, married, way better paid than me members of the group. It worked, her tip surpassed my weekly salary and we all received copies of Hooters Girl Magazine. I guess if her long range goal is to be in a future issue, in my opinion, she needs to lose another 20. Pretty, but to much caboose. Can’t wait till next year.

  4. 4 Jim L
    October 2, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Jen, this is a great article because of the simple fact that we recently stopped into a Hooters in downtown Washington D.C. before the Nationals/Dodgers game on our way to VA Beach. The reason this was so timely is because there was a group of, I believe, real estate agents that were drinking quite heavily that afternoon. Of course, they suffer from diarrhea of the mouth and start in on the waitresses coming in for their shift. Low and behold, what line do they bust out? Got Milk?!? Then they all bust out laughing as if they just heard the best one liner of all time…So I glance over and this one guy looks at me and is like “OMG, hilarious!” I was like yeah and original too….douche. I wonder if the men that say this have come to terms that they aren’t getting laid so they just go straight to jackass mode? I can’t figure it out.

  5. 5 Jen D
    October 24, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Yep, I was Jenny, Jenny, flat as a penny too – guess we showed them…all I had to do was gain 40 lbs – 20 are the hooters of course. My favorite Hooters (that wasn’t) story: bus full of hockey kids in the 8th grade and their dads all want to go to Hooters…except one or two “devout Catholics for the day” decided that was an experience our boys didn’t need…pretty sure they helped the priest corner and feel up the little boys back in the day since they didn’t seem all too concerned about their own behavior the rest of the year. I don’t think you should ever be embarrassed about the “good ole days” – how would we have become so great with people, great at problem solving, and frankly, so entertaining without all of those treasured (and humiliating) experiences 🙂


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About the Broad

A humorous look at dating in your mid-thirties and the other hilarious things that happen around us on a daily basis.

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