Friday, December 16, 2016

That Time I Saw a Hooker at a Sports Bar

A Horror Story

Gather around, children, I want to tell you about the time I saw a hooker at Kegler's. It was after a WVU game and I'd finished having dinner with the fiancĂ©'s family at Los.  I remember it well, because Eric had just told me that there were people that wanted to meet me (and that is a pretty rare occasion, so I figured I'd go and see how things played out before I shat on someone's expectations) and we headed over to Kegler's Sports Bar and Lounge.

Now, Kegler's isn't a high class place, so I had no trouble getting in, but the place was packed post-game with already drunk people looking to get drunker and the staff was not having us crash a table when other people were waiting, so we had to take turns sitting in chairs in shifts so I could meet Eric's long-time friends, Jacob and Andy.

Usually it takes me three beers to slip into my charming mode, so I worked on that while anxiously noting how awkwardly quiet the table was and how the staff was not happy we'd skipped the wait line. But come on, it's a sports bar with shitty food and shitty beer, so I didn't really care that much that we were cheating considering Eric sees these guys so seldom.

Anyway, I'm sipping beer number three when I see her. She was wearing six inch stiletto heels, black pleather skinny jeans, and a broken-in cotton crop top that showed off her stomach's rose vine tattoo and silvery stretch marks. Her wig was the color of straw you'd find in a horse stall and just as matte and kempt. It cascaded down her shoulders like vomit dripping down a stairwell and blended in to the light, blond-colored faux fur coat she wore like a desperate hooker stereotype she was trying to fulfill. Her eyes were rimmed with black kohl liner that looked on at about hour 22 and her lipstick was a matte burgundy that leached out from her thin snarled lips.

Jacob broke the awkward silence by leaning over to me, "You think she's a stripper?"

"No way; strippers have more class. That's a hooker."

She was leaning against the doorway adjacent to our table, unable to make up her mind about her next move. Her face grimaced like some kind of forced Tourette's twitches as she licked her front teeth and scanned the room in a fog. She ambled over to the booth beside us.

Jacob watched her the whole time. "You sure?"

She reminded me of Jackie from Reno 911! with her messy, cheap wig and her disjointed, aggressive demeanor. She pulled a second purse out of her metallic tote purse and rummaged through it frantically.





I watched her while I worked on beer number four. She dug through her purses, one then the other, for at least half and hour before screaming at Eric's back, "GIVE ME YOUR PHONE!" I know he jumped a bit at her shrill caw. "I NEED TO CALL MY PHONE!" Jackie's voice was a verbal barbed bat colliding with baby seal skin. He mumbled something to her about having run out of minutes and she bought that excuse, but honestly, I wish one of us had loaned her our phone to see if she could even remember her own number. The things I could do with a hooker's phone number...but I digress.

Jackie rummaged in her purse some more. A member of the staff came over, and in hushed tones, asked if she was bothering us. A collective yes hissed out of our (now sprawled unapologetically to two) tables.

I sipped on my beer, trying to conceal my excitement of being in Jackie's presence. She was a sight to behold, like an accidental, yet perfectly timed shot to a stranger's balls or seeing a kid in crutches fall into a puddle. I felt a little guilty at the good time I was having voyeuristically watching this train wreck sizzle like damp poetry-in-motion before me. I couldn't take my gaze off of her as I tried to guess what influence she was under. Could be that she was just extremely drunk, but maybe it was meth, too. Goddamn I was so giddy.

I'm not sure how long it took for Jackie to realize she was surrounded by three employees wearing black tees that read "STAFF" on the back. "Ma'am, we're going to have to ask you to leave."

"I CAN'T FIND MY PHONE!" She'd turned her purses inside and out several times. Makeup, napkins, wadded receipts and unopened tampons littered the tabletop. Her hand snaked back and forth in her smaller purse. She never slowed her pace. She was a machine.

"Ma'am, you can't bother the other customers; we need you to pack it up and leave."

Our table sat transfixed on Jackie and the bouncers. It was a real-life soap opera.

Back and forth the hooker and the staff bickered. When Jackie finally stood up, she was huffy and clutching her purse inside her purse and shouting something unintelligible. She stomped off in her six inch heels, clunking down the tile walkway.

"Shit....MA'AM! MA'AM...YOU LEFT....AN ARTICLE HERE." The bouncers looked at one another in a "not it" expression. Jackie turned around and stomped back, her body unable to bounce, jerked up and down with each step with her cushionless joints. One of the staff members pointed to a pair of orange panties she'd left in the booth. She swirled back around and stomped in the other direction. Jackie had made her decision and she wasn't taking those panties with her.

You could almost hear a collective "sonofabitch" in the way the bouncers stood around Jackie's now vacant table. The guy behind the booth used a napkin to pick up the discarded underwear. It wasn't what I'd pictured a hooker to wear. Instead of holding a lacy thong, a pair of tagless Haynes bikini hipsters dangled from his grasp. He tossed them in the trash like they were Jackie's unwanted children.

Before the seat could even be sanitized, some neckbeard sat down quickly and pulled out his pink cellphone. I wondered if it was Jackie's and I sadly turned back to my table.