* * *
Geez. I don’t want to be here, but my husband’s big client, Colton James, has picked out this sleezy little night club a few blocks away from his hotel in LA. A few drinks and hor d’oeuvres for old times sake and contract renewal. I’m surprised Colton can pronounce French. I’ll be even more surprised if we can get out of this place with just a few drinks. My husband, Charles, has brought me along as an insurance policy—insurance that he will have a convenient excuse to duck out early. Everybody knows what a surly bitch he’s married to. Charles is counting on that convenient truth to help him keep his client in line and stay out of trouble with me. He means to have his cake and eat it too. I hope Colton can crawl back to his hotel in the wee hours of the morning without our assistance. I don’t want to hang around to give him a lift, but I don’t want to break that news flash to Charlie just yet. Some subtle bitchiness is required.
I look around me. It’s a long room with the bar on one side and booths and tables on the other. A small stage is at the far end. The place has a strange reddish glow from the red-flocked wallpaper. Everything reeks of booze. Long-legged waitresses with oversized saline implants wiggle between the tables with trays of drinks held high. They elegantly set coasters on the table and bump their hip into the shoulder of the man most likely to pick up the tab. In this case, it’s my husband. He has a thirsty client to maintain. Colton is salivating over the cocktail waitress and is ordering up his first drink, a Black Dahlia, which the waitress has guaranteed will knock him on his ass. I'm for that. Charlie orders a Heineken, thinking that’s the safe course. I order Chivas Regal on the rocks. I’m betting I’ll need some form of scotch-induced clairvoyance to survive the evening.
At one end of the bar, I spy a group of LA ladies arrayed in orange Afro wigs, stiletto heels, and mini skirts. I figure they’re cranking up for the night’s act.
“Look at the muscular legs on that broad over there and the sweet ass,” Colton says to Charlie as if I’m invisible. "I think I'm in love."
Charlie smiles weakly and then looks at me. That wipes the smile right off his face. The lady has enormous boobs and the ass is okay, but she has no waist and her hips are narrow.
Later in the evening, the ladies are on stage singing and gyrating to something jazzy and sensual. Even I like it. Between songs they drop a dirty joke that makes Colton holler with delight. The lady he loves blows him a kiss and wiggles her hipless hips when he stands up to applaud.
Colton announces out of the clear blue that he’s set his cap for Lady No Hips by grabbing his imaginary cap turned compass and riveting his eyes on her. This is not just the drinks talking. It’s his penis. For the first time in the evening, I burst out laughing. A horrified look spreads across Charlie’s face. Colton looks ticked.
“I’m sorry. Scotch always makes me giggle uncontrollably,” I say, but I’m remembering that while I took a restroom break I watched Lady No Hips snatch off her wig and stride straight-hipped towards the men’s restroom. The scotch says she was no lady.