February 29th, 2004


Rien ne va plus

Well, I wore the dress in the end, on the grounds that while the tux looked good and felt more "me", it would have been hellishly hot behind the bar. Also, it would have cost me a lot more to get the tux dry-cleaned than to handwash the dress; and believe me, anything I wear to the pub has to go straight in the wash when I get home, because it reeks of smoke.

On the other hand, I felt pretty under-dressed when I got there, as Claire (Terri's daughter, also working behind the bar) was wearing a bright pink dress with a neckline down to her waist -- literally; you could see her belly-button piercing! -- and a backline almost as low, with diamante edging on the plungey bits and a slit up the back nearly all the way to her bottom. Not to mention sparkly bits in her hair, long silver gloves, etc. etc. My first reaction was along the lines of "wow!" only a bit more speechless... However, her boyfriend was not impressed, and started telling her that he didn't want her wearing anything that revealing in public, and she could either stop working now or else he was moving out that night. For the rest of the night she kept taking long breaks to try to sort things out with Bastard Boyfriend, while I tried to resist the urge to give said Bastard Boyfriend a good kick in the privates -- not only on Claire's behalf but on my behalf as I was left covering two people's bar work every time she had to take time out. And then when Claire was working he was leaning over the bar, either staring sullenly at her or giving me Evil Looks, which really just gets tiring after a while.

As if all that wasn't enough to make it awkward, there were about fifteen times as many people behind the bar as usual -- me, Claire, Jethro and Terri, plus Dill (? -- another member of the Terri-and-Jethro clan) who was collecting glasses, plus Hazel-who-was-selling-raffle-tickets, plus somebody's mother -- Hazel's mother? -- who kept doddering in and out for no apparent reason, plus all the people who were running the Casino Nite stuff who seemed to think it was just fine for them to use the bar as a short-cut from one side to the other while smoking. So by about halfway through I was more or less ready to kill someone, and while Claire's Bastard Boyfriend was still top of the list, a fair few others weren't far behind.

On the plus side, however: I didn't make any real cockups; several people told me I was doing a wonderful job; a few people bought me drinks; one of the regulars told me that there was nothing better than a beautiful woman in a little black dress; one guy offered me sex on the beach (ho ho, very funny, nobody's ever made that joke before to bar staff in a pub where cocktails are served); a drunken Irishman told me I was an angel; and one guy asked me to take him home (though given his state of drunkenness he may have just meant that somebody would have to carry him since he wasn't going to be able to walk home). And for once nobody asked me "Hey, I'm not being funny, but what the fuck happened to your arms?"

And on the other plus side, which was after all part of the point, we made over £500 for Cancer Care.

Anyway, very busy night, and I'm not used to bar-wenching in high heels, and now my feet are dead. And I have to be back on the bar again at 12 tomorrow...
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