Hooters on the Prairie

Type of Post: 
What's on my Mind?

Once upon a time under the grassy plain of Alberta, Canada, hundreds of prairie dogs built and maintained a network of burrows and tunnels. If they were happy, they didn’t know it. This was simply life as it had always been, but not as it would always be. Nearby, strangers built the cow town of Calgary, which grew into a city. Eventually the prairie dog community was replaced by an airport surrounded by motels, restaurants and all manner of retail businesses and small manufacturing. The prairie dogs were gone with the exception of one, who lived in a hole in the foundation of the local Hooters.

Mr. and Mrs. Talbot were not in the habit of dining at Hooters. They were a couple in their sixties who lived in a faraway place called Massachusetts and were staying at the Day’s Inn. They choose Hooters for its propinquity and thought they might find adequate sustenance before an early bedtime and an even earlier departure the next morning.

They asked for a table on the outdoor terrace to get away from the loud music that filled the interior of the restaurant. The table was right beside the hole. The prairie dog felt no need of a name, but when he emerged, Mr. Talbot began to think of him as Gus. Pretty soon Gus squeezed under the glass windscreen that protected the patio and began running around. Mr. Talbot took a liking to him, but Mrs. Talbot considered him a rodent and objected when he ran over her feet. He wasn’t the only wild animal about. Nibbling on the lawn was a lanky jackrabbit Mr. Talbot thought of as Jack.

Diners at Hooters are served by young women who differ from the employees of the surrounding commercial wasteland primarily by the scantiness of their attire. They are known as Hooters girls. The one assigned to the patio shall be known as Tanya. She had never learned the technique of keeping her back straight and bending from the knees the way more experienced waitresses do, and when she leaned over to put down the food, she afforded Mr. Talbot an excellent view of her pretty bosom. Mrs. Talbot saw things from the opposite perspective. She found herself in close proximity to Tanya’s only-partially-covered behind. Mrs. Talbot found it objectionable.

When Mr. Talbot mentioned the presence of Gus to Tanya, she said, “Oh, the gopher. ” She wasn’t afraid, but she regarded him with boredom, which seemed to be her reaction to just about everything in the world.

Being by nature a storyteller, Mr. Talbot began imagining a tale about Gus and Jack. In real life they were pretty indifferent to one another, but in the story they were pals. Jack was a western character. He dodged semis, Winnebagos, and Subarus with casual agility and, of course, was a smooth operator with the opposite sex. Gus was a master of the quick scamper and didn’t like to get too far from his hole.

In his ramblings Jack would discover a prairie dog town on a distant patch of land. He’d return to tell Gus, and together they’d set off on a trek. Gus would be brave and terrified, but would be welcomed by hundreds of new friends. He’d live happily ever after, or at least for the normal prairie dog lifespan. Mr. Talbot knew nothing like this would really happen.

He didn’t predict a happy future for Tanya either. The beauty of Hooters girls is touted. On the menu, there was a picture of one who had been judged the loveliest in all Canada. If you wished, you could purchase a calendar that featured a glamorous waitress for every month. In this atmosphere Mr. Talbot felt justified in sizing Tanya up.

Due to her bend-from-the-waist serving technique, he could see that her breasts were everything a young woman’s ought to be, and her objectionable buttocks were tanned and firm, but she had a plainness about her eyes that shadow and mascara couldn’t hide. Perhaps she was merely bored. Mr. and Mrs. Talbot were not the type of customers she probably envisioned when first she donned the daring uniform, but Mr. Talbot feared she wasn’t very bright.

She filled the orders correctly, but he suspected the emptiness behind her eyes was in fact an alarming void where her brain ought to be. Someday her flesh would wrinkle and sag and her provocative tattoo would become absurd. She’d have little to sustain her in the later phases of life, and this fact was apparent to any man who could manage to lift his eyes to meet hers.

But Mr. Talbot was only an amateur at the judgment of feminine pulchritude. He was a semi-retired food critic. He ordered Hooters signature chicken wings and a Molson Canadian beer. Mrs. Talbot got a quesadilla. She didn’t like any of the food, but he found the skin of the wings crisp and the flesh succulent. The quesadilla was crunchy and the side of guacamole tasty. None of this was the best he ever had, but for a meal near a Day’s Inn, he considered it OK.

He found the cutest creature at the Calgary Hooters to be Gus. He thought of offering the prairie dog a bite of celery from his plate of wings, but Mrs. Talbot was maintaining a cheerful disposition that he didn’t want to strain.

I think you need to continue

I think you need to continue writing about the eating adventures of Mr. and Mrs. Talbot - thanks for the chuckles!

Hooters on the Prairie

No less than the greatest story involving Hootergirls and jack rabbits ever written.  The funniest thing I've read in a (prairie) dog's age.  Keep posting Richmond ! I may pay for a subscription.