A novel by Karen Lockhart
Copyright© 2018 Karen Lockhart
My friends had followed me to the downstairs bar! I broke out in a big smile and asked if it would be alright to treat them to the first round.
Logan nodded and said, “ For Hiram and my favorite ballplayer, absolutely. Hiram, how long have you been coming here?”
Hiram chuckled, “I don't know, how long have you been my son?”
Now I'm gob smacked, as they say. “Are you two really father and son? Or is Hiram yanking on my leg, as usual?”
“Yes Ginny, my name is Hiram Logan, and you're now working with my favorite granddaughter Roberta. Oh, by the way, I own the Cane; I pay a European consortium to use their name. Kind of like owning a McDonald's franchise.”
That caught Cathy by surprise too.
“You old phony, you never said a word, I just thought you liked looking at new tranny bartenders. You never bought me a round either.”
Hiram looked at Cathy, “How many millions a year do the Red Sox pay you?”
She grinned and shut up. Logan suggested giving us a loan just from her interest. Then he kissed Bobbi on the cheek and went upstairs to his office.
I excused myself and started to fill orders for the dozen waitresses working the floor. The three of us were constantly busy for two hours.
I kept hearing “Satisfaction” played every 45 minutes, finally my break came. I grabbed a diet coke and walked backstage to watch Jean do 'Terri the Tiger', finally.
I never ceased to be amazed when she slithered out onto the stage. She had even added a bowl of milk and a glass milk bottle!
When I met her at her dressing room, the first thing she asked was “What should I change?”
I just smiled, “Honey, don't change a thing, and when did you add the bowl of milk? It's great!”
Jean gave me a smile of relief. “The bouncer that guards the dressing rooms said all I needed was a bowl of cream to top off my act. Hey, are you hungry? I can get a couple of burgers sent from the kitchen.”
Wait a minute, kitchen, what kitchen I wondered.
“Jean, we have a kitchen here? Are the cooks like the rest of the employees?”
“The rest of the employees Ginny, I'm not sure what you mean.”
“Jean, everyone who works here other than the bouncers are transitioning, or had the surgery like you and I did. Do the cooks go by the same employment requirements as us.”
“Now that you mention it, no. They are short order cooks hired off the street, like at a diner.”
I looked at my watch, “Oh shoot, time to get back. I'll talk to you later, bye.”
I got back in time, Chris was heading to take her break. Imagine, I was so interested, I never slipped my heels off to give my soon to be bunions a rest.
Hiram waved from the end of the bar, so I made a fresh Cosmopolitan and a Pabst draft for Cathy.
“Hiram, have you and Cathy caught 'Terri the Tiger's' act yet? You two are on the ground floor now, The strippers are just around the the other end of the bar. She goes on when “Satisfaction” plays. You must see her act, it's great.”
Cathy spoke up, “Ginny, we really don't get off on seeing girls take their clothes off you know.”
“You think I do? Her act is so athletic any one would enjoy it.”
The opening bars of Satisfaction came over the PA, Hiram nudged Cathy, and said “Come on, let's humor her. Once we check the act out, Ginny will stop nagging like my third wife.”
It was funny, when Jean was on stage the bar orders stopped dead. Wow she must cut into the waitress' tips.
One young waitress with DD boobs seemed to okay though. I'd noticed she's the busiest one doing lap dances. I guess those back-breakers are worth the money, at least for her.
Mr Logan was right, a lot of stuff goes on down here that's adult rated. I can't even describe some of the things I see, but a lot of moaning goes on in the private rooms, I'll say that much.
Soon, the last call went in and the girls and I started to straighten out the bar for tomorrow. Heck, I didn't even know what day this was!
“Hey,” I heard, “Did you send those two guys to watch me, one a drag queen and the other one kinda old?”
It was Jean, “Yes, Hiram and Cathy, why?”
“The old guy stuck a hundred dollar bill in my thong, and the queen gave me a fifty.”
I chuckled, “That cheapo, Cathy made six million last season.”
As we got in my car, Jean asked “Six million? Is she an athlete? Oh crap, she plays for the Red Sox, doesn't she? I knew under all that make-up she looked familiar.”
“Jean, can you imagine the field day the newspapers would have if they found that out? A zipped lip on this hon.”
“About the kitchen staff, they just answer an ad for a cook and they're regular guys right?”
Jean turned and looked at me, “I was talking to one of them yesterday when he brought me lunch, why?”
I smiled and shrugged.
“NO! You think Vinny is flipping burgers, not prancing around in six inch heels delivering drinks, don't you?”
“Yep, when I get up tomorrow, Pete's getting a call. I'll bet he doesn't know about the kitchen.”
I left Nahant and headed for Swampscott and bed. Wow, my feet hurt, my arches were on fire. Those five inch heels were murder!
After washing off my make up and slipping into silk PJs, I was ready for bed.
The alarm woke me at 10 AM, another solid 6 hours of sleep. Thank the Lord for coffee!
After showering and tossing on some sweats, I went into the kitchen for coffee and a scrambled eggs and toast breakfast. While reading the morning news paper, I grabbed my cell and called Pete.
His phone went right away to voice mail, so, I left a short message about a new idea of mine on Morales, and hung up. I figured he'd call me back right a way.
I finished most of the Globe before my caller ID showed a pic of Pete.
“Morning handsome,” I answered, “What's shaking?”
Pete laughed, “I think it's you that's shaking Ginny, what's going on?”
“How carefully did you check the employees at the Candy Cane the other day?”
“My guys checked every single record that Mr Logan of yours gave me, why?”
“Pete”, I said, “Did you check the kitchen staff as well?”
“Kitchen staff? They have a kitchen? Christ no! We didn't check them! Hold on while I make a few calls.”
In the background I could hear him yelling to get cruisers down there and to wait for him before they did anything.
“Ginny, you still there? Okay I sent some troopers there now, and after ending this call, I'm on my way too. If this works out, maybe I should marry you, or deputize you or something. Thanks.”
I hung up with a smile. Imagine, I think I caught the elusive Vincent Morales. Something the State police couldn't do. Maybe I should be a detective after all.
After grabbing a blue pencil skirt and a pale lavender blouse from the closet. I drew on smokey heavy denier hose and put a four inch pair of shoes in my shoulder bag. Ten minutes later, after doing my make-up I was ready for Jean to pick me up.
Jean tooted her horn around 1:30, nice and early. As soon as we started down the road, I told her about the phone call with Pete.
“Maybe we should hang around the kitchen door before going in,” Jean suggested, “We might see Morales caught.”
“I'd rather read about it than see it Jean.”
We looked around but didn't see any police cruisers, everything looked normal, boring and quiet.
Time to go to work. I waved at Chris and Bobbi and tied my apron around my waist.
“Did you hear, the State Police arrested one of the cooks,” said Bobbi excitedly. “A sergeant said he was wanted for murder. Can you imagine that? A murderer making my cheeseburger and fries?”
I couldn't stay quiet, I filled them in on Vinny's history. I kept the Pete Smith connection quiet though. But I did tell them about being friendly with his daughter Tina and how she killed that young mother with her driving.
They were all ears, or should I say eyes, theirs were big and round. Bobbi kept asking questions about why he was here.
Ariana! I forgot about her!
I explained I needed to talk with someone upstairs, and I'd be back as fast as I could.
Waving to Jan and Joy as I headed for the singer's lounge, I found Ariana just finishing her makeup. This was going to be unpleasant.
“Hi Ginny, what's wrong, you look pale, do you feel okay?”
To be continued.
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