Hooters Tetes And Assets
I have these two male friends. We'll call them Drew and Tony since that's their names, and a few years back they started meeting for lunch on occasion during the summer. Tony is married and teaches in the D.C. public school system and is off work during the summer. Drew is a bachelor and works in a law firm out in Bethesda, so when they get together for these meetings (which I dubbed early on "Boys Lunches") it's usually Tony going out of the city to meet Drew in Bethesda. Sometimes Tony rides the Metro. Sometimes he rides his bike. Because Tony shifted out of Adams Morgan this Spring and over to Capitol Hill, the lunches didn't occur with the same frequency as in the past, as Tony had to deal with the responsibilities and repairs of being a new home owner. Yesterday was the last boy lunch of the season as Tony returns to school next week, and it's been a standing rule for a few years now that the last lunch takes place at Hooters.
When they do get together for lunch it's never at some chi chi little bistro or restaurant du jour, but usually at "guy" type places like Mongolian barbeque, or an Irish pub, or...Hooters. When I told Drew I might be writing about this summer lunch ritual, he said "Remember that despite our surroundings, our discussions remain elevated and intellectual. It's the contrast and disparity we relish and can't explain to those who don't understand." Okay, Drew. So you like to go to Hooters. One time he explained his passion for Hooters by talking up their Cuban sandwiches, and it reminded me so much of the Playboy reader who "only reads it for the articles." By the way, Hooters managers. According to Drew, you are slicing the pickles wrong on your Cuban sandwiches. They are supposed to be sliced long, not round. Fix it.
Last year, during a heat wave, Drew had me laughing when he thought he might start tipping the waitresses with frozen silver dollars. He said that he and Tony were amused that the waitresses are tipped with dollar bills tucked in various parts of their work costume, and it was at a time when the Treasury Department was making noise about replacing paper bills with silver coins. He wondered if they slid silver that had been chilled into a garter, would the bouncers then throw them out for tipping? Would the waitresses be grateful? Or "would the face of society be forever changed by our lecherous but timely observation of things to come in the monetary standard?" This is what happens when you drink during your lunch hour, guys.
These friendships formed solely from being in a Washington, D.C. chat room, and even though the chat room has more or less dissolved over time, most of the friendships have remained, and the members of that informal group still see each other in real life and socialize. The sad part is that a very stable group of about 40 has been diminished for a variety of reasons, none of them contentious, but the people have moved on, as people will do. I have noticed the same trend in like-minded connection since I started blogging. Especially in Washington, there is a noticeable community of bloggers who gather and meet and bond. Hopefully those friendships formed will withstand the strain of geography and time, as the chat room group has. Each seems to stem from a technological novelty. When chat rooms were new and intriguing, people made time to use that method to expand their social circles. Now it seems to be all about text messaging and blogging in terms of communication.
Yesterday, Drew sent me an instant message saying they had met for lunch. I said, "I was wondering where Tony was today when I didn't see him online." Drew said, "He was at Hooters." I typed "Jesus," and Drew said, "No...but there were quite a few Mary Magdalenes."