If All Else Fails, I Can't Work at Hooters Either
September 21, 2004
1983 was a good year. We cried over the final episode of M.A.S.H., Madonna released her self-titled debut album and we
welcomed the arrival of the first Hooters in Clearwater, Florida.
They've got "nearly world famous" wings. They've got franchises all over the globe. They've even got their own magazine
and airline. Yet, the piece de resistance at Hooters is, well, the hooters. Did I really have to tell you that?
There was no better place than Florida for Hooters to get its start. I don't think it's a coincidence that millions of
impotent old men in wrap-around shades flock to a state shaped like a flaccid penis. Before Hooters, the only thing they had
to live for was that glimpse of Doris' ankles at the Rotary Club's Wednesday bingo night. Hooters put a gleam back in an old
What is it about Florida that produces the most miscreants per capita? The Sunshine State also boasts the most serial killers, brothers of
presidents who fix ballots and the best white trash tales. Did you hear the recent one about the
who was so morbidly obese that her skin grafted to the sofa? Yep, that's Florida. She died at the hospital still attached to the couch.
Anyway, back to Hooters.
Are hooters "tig ole bitties" as my friend Megan would say, or are they merely innocent, wide-eyed
owls? The management isn't talking except to cutely curtail the debate with, "In the end, we hope Hooters means a great place to eat."
That last is a whole other debate in itself.
There is always the possibility that the Hooters founding fathers were inspired by the owl decor that was all the rage in
the late '70s and early '80s. One of my aunts was particularly taken with this trend. She had a number of those owl-shaped hook
rugs hung on her walls, as well as wooden owls, owl soap pumps, macramé owls and ceramic owl flour jars. I've puzzled
over why she never became a Hooters Girl. I guess she just didn't want it bad enough.
That brings up another point. What if your dream is to flaunt the proud orange of a Hooters Girl and you just don't have what it
takes; do they come right out and tell you that you're too fat and/or horse-faced to serve trays of Cajun-style wings
to drunk guys with mullets? I should have marched down there and applied for a job -- just to see
how it all goes down behind closed doors. However, I happen to HAVE a job and my employer probably would not have been too keen to give
me time off to explore alternate career opportunities at Hooters. Plus, I tend to enjoy using my "sick" time for more constructive
activities like sleeping and reading Star magazine. I'm also a pussy. The thought of some meathead sizing up my "rack" was anything
but appealing. Rack of lamb? More like rack of Cornish game hen. What I'm saying here, people, is that I was not and am not Hooters
material. I'd need some major surgery, a big boost from Victoria and her secret den of lacy, push-up treasures and a lobotomy to pull
For me, visiting the San Francisco Hooters was a lose-lose situation. First, I submitted to the consumption of trans-fat poisons beyond
my wildest dreams and, second, I engaged in this self abuse at Fisherman's Wharf.
Until about a year ago, San Francisco did not have a "delightfully tacky, yet unrefined" place where friends could come together to
break bread and buffalo wings. Don't get me wrong, there are many tacky and unrefined establishments in this fair City (like The Gap
at the corner of Haight and Ashbury, for instance); however none could boast the selling power of nearly naked girls carrying
"nearly world famous" wings. Enter Hooters. As far as tacky goes, there was no better place for Hooters to set up shop than in the
The Wharf is the destination spot for 90% of San Francisco's tourists. It saddens me that most visitors leave San Francisco thinking
we're only about chowder-in-a-bread bowl, cable car key chains and Alcatraz. (Alcatraz is pretty cool though. The chowder's damn good
too -- but still.) Then again, I guess I don't want a herd of fanny pack-outfitted Wisconsinites crashing my favorite bar. I don't
imagine Trudy from Madison would be very inconspicuous at the one of the weekly drag shows; the Wharf does have its benefits in that
95% of the locals you'll see in the Wharf are those dutifully shepherding their out-of-town guests to Ghiradelli Square, one of the
800 crappy souvenir stores and/or to gawk at the same street performers who have taken up permanent residence. One such fellow, the
Bush Man, sits on the sidewalk and camouflages himself with leafy tree branches. When an unsuspecting tourist dazedly walks by, he
-- boo! -- frightens them by shaking his foliage. Everyone gets a good chuckle and people hand over their money. It's really
amusing the first thousand times you see it. All in a day's work for the Bush Man.
You can find the remaining five percent at Hooters, drinking beer and watching titties.
According to the Hooters website, there are currently over 15,000 Hooters Girls. The standard issue uniform includes orange booty
shorts, Hooters-logo tank top, uber-thick panty hose and, of course, a SMILE. Some of the girls wear scrunch socks, but that appears
to be optional; I'm pleased Hooters leaves a little room for self expression. By the way, you can't purchase the orange shorts at the
merchandise counter. I asked. We lowly customers aren't worthy (undignified?) enough to experience the silky chafe of iridescent
polyester riding up the cleft of our derrieres. We must be content with Hooters T-shirts with modest necklines or the Hooters bowling
shirt available for $39.95. Tank tops are available for both women and men. I do love me a man in a Hooters wife beater.
Despite the camel toe shorts and boob bursting top, the most disturbing part of the Hooter Girl's get-up has got to be those panty
hose they wear. The role of the panty hose is twofold: they keep the girls warm and they prevent their labias from flopping out.
These panty hose come in that same diarrhea shade that reminds me of the support stockings my 75-year-old Sunday school
teacher wore to control the ferocity of her varicose veins. (Did you pick up on the fact that I just really like saying panty?
PANTY PANTY PANTY! Nah nah nah.)
My trip to the San Francisco Hooters was the first time I'd visited any of their grand restaurants. Since then, I've made an additional
pilgrimage so that my opinion would not be based soley on one experience. I aim to deliver the most objective point of view to
you, oh gentle readers. (But do you really care about fair reporting in this case? It's fuckin' Hooters, yo!)
That initial visit was a planned affair with my bitches...and for once I'm not talking about my gay boyfriends. As a group, we
had an even representation of straight and lesbian. (Is this getting you hetero boys hot? Yeah, I thought so.) We went shortly
after it opened and our timing was both a blessing and a curse; we had to wait FORever and a day to get in, but once escorted into
its florescent embrace, a true Hooter-nanny of an evening began.
The first brush with Hooters glory went down when we attempted to order a pitcher of beer. The waitress couldn't remember the extensive
list of FIVE choices and had to go check. Tempers were a little short after the hour and a half wait (dedication, man, I'm telling
you), and the fact that there were seven of us crammed into a space meant for four wasn't helping either. Thankfully, the helpful
Hooters staff managed to move us to a more comfortable and roomy spot at the back of the restaurant. This also afforded us the
advantage of ogling the surroundings and "attractions" without feeling quite as lecherous.
Per the website: "Managers hire women who best fit the All-American cheerleader image." Our new waitress, we'll call her Nikki,
was the embodiment of the Hooters ideal. In addition to having implants the size of small beach balls, she was blond and bouncy
and brought us our beer lickety split. She is still the only person I've ever heard utter the words "Hooter-iffic." I'm pretty
sure she meant it too.
We also saw a Hooters Girl wearing a very obvious pair of
Butt & Hip Enhancer Padded Panties.
If you're a Hooters Girl cursed by lack of grabbable ass, this will fix you up it in a jiffy. The Panty, also available
in beige, is "designed for the transgender community but increasingly popular with [our] women customers." No visible lumps even under
the tightest spandex. Only $39.95! Get your perfect shape today!
Incidentally, the Butt & Hip Enhancer Padded Panty is a hot item in Florida.
As for the second visit, I can literally still taste the chicken strips I consumed. Sorry, no wings for this girl. There are limits.
I convinced Dan and a couple other friends to brave the Wharf at the last minute. We were treated to the Hooter's Monday Night
Football festivities which included oversize man-boys shoveling wings into their faces at top speeds in order that they might win a
Hooters frisbee. Hooters Girls cheered them on lustily, vying for bigger and better tips and tricks. We were offered raffle tickets
from a Hooters Girl who looked twelve but had on enough make-up to give a 45-year-old transvestite hooker a run for his money.
No one can say that Hooters isn't a classy joint. If you feel like wooing your lady friend (or your men friends too), you
can always splurge on 20 wings and a bottle of Dom Perignon. After that it's straight to the strip joint for a lap dance. I am pretty
confident that not a few of the Hooter Girls find their way over to the Hustler Club or such after their shifts...not necessarily as patrons.
As goes the Hooters business motto: "You can sell the sizzle, but you have to deliver the steak."
When the last of the wing jizz is licked from your fingers, the raffle prizes have been claimed and you've had your fill
of beer and ass, all that's left to do is wipe yourself down with the patented Hooters brand wet naps and call it a night. I felt
clean and fresh all over and, yet, still ready for more. Why, by golly, I felt Hooter-iffic!