SURPRISE-SURPRISE

…will they ever make detection devices 
which can detect people’s intentions, and if 
would I really want to know…

“It is more common that you get a couple and they start arguing after eating a good part of their dinner. He leaves first after a loud argument. She waits, then helpless and crying, she asks for the powder-room to fix her face. That is when she makes her exit.”

SURPRISE – SURPRISE
These days I have one of those Counterfeit Money Detector Pens (CMDP) and I use it on all fifty and hundred dollar bills. It is the kind of marker which leaves a bright yellow line on real dollar bills and a nasty dark-brown mark on all fake money, so the instruction pamphlet says. Unfortunatelly, or should I say fortunatelly, I have not met any bad American dollar bill yet.
This evening I have a couple, whose reservation has the phone number of a nearby hotel behind the name John Ashley. The two are dressed to be seen. They are ready for an evening out on the town. He wears an expensive dark suit and a fashionable silk multicolor tie. She is in a low cut floor length, light blue, semi transparent, evening gown style chiffon outfit. An invisible fogbank of expensive perfume lingers heavy around her bare shoulders and neck. Pearl earrings, a pearl ring, eight or ten strings of pearls around her neck and a pearl bracelet add a touch of elegance to her most revealing outfit.
Every man in the house is checking this her body out and all who have seen her walking in and by them, say something to the effect of “She doesn’t wear a stitch of clothing underneath.” I don’t doubt it, still I say “She might be wearing a flesh colored bra and slip.”
When I stay next to her as I take their cocktail-order I realize, it is true, this woman she does not wear any of these breast-lifting devices. She sports a big chest, most likely the best implants I have seen in a while. For natural breasts, at this lady’s age, these twins are too firm and full, with big upwards pointing nipples. I catch myself taking her inventory and have to remind myself that my job is to wait on customers and not to gawk.
The couple is well mannered and obviously accustomed to fine dining. He orders the food for both. She makes the wine selection. She knows her wines, it is the best and only the best. Her manners are lady-like and she has no problem to pronounce the foreign sounding words of menu items and the tricky names on our wine-list. Aside that her dress reveals more than what it covers, and she knows it, she is also reveals being sophisticated in the way she talks about food and world events.
During their dinner, I give them the attention which they deserve. I try to behave my best and keep eye contact with him, instead of getting lost in browsing her curvatures. They enjoy their meal. When I clear the plates. He asks me about ongoing local events. I tell him about the Watsonville antique plane fly-in, the concert at Laguna Secca, the Monterey downtown arts and craft show, the tennis tournament in Pebble Beach and the Squid festival at the Monterey Fairgrounds. He asks for a piece of paper, makes notes and puts the same into his money-clip filled with big bills. I do not spot a single twenty they are all fifty and hundred dollar notes.

I think to myself “There’s a lot of paper, plenty of work for my CMDP!” I do not think that his money is fake. These two they do not look or act like con-artists. After clearing their plates, I crumb their table and sell them on a baked Alaska, which they share.

They do not care for coffee at the time as there is still some Champagne left in their bottle to be finished. I go about my business and attend to my other tables.
Like always at times a line forms in front of the bathroom. The lady in the long blue dress joins the line. Against the bright lights at the steps to the powder-room it becomes obvious that she indeed does not wear any undies. She does not shave her pubic hair either. Curls of hair are clearly outlining her triangle. She notices my looking at her and waves me over. She is dancing from one foot onto the other asking for the location of another bathroom nearby. Her facial expression tells me the urgency of her need to go.
I understand her desperation. So I show her the shortest way to another ladies-room without lines. This one happens to be in the lobby of the hotel across the garden promenade in front of us. My eyes follow her as she takes her sweet time setting one foot in front of the other while swinging her hips like a sample of sin.

She does walk like those women I remember from the waterkant in Hamburg. The sight takes me back twenty years to those ladies hoofing the docks to the delight of arriving sailors. I can not help it and get lost in my thoughts while “eye shopping” feasting my sense of sight on every one of her moves. And I know she knows what efect she has on me.

Believe me I am trying hard to concentrate on my job, taking care of my tables. Here I have a guest asking me “Who was this sparsely dressed woman?” And over there at the next table “Do you know her?” This woman did not go unnoticed.
I see her man looking around and at once attend to him, who wants to order coffee drinks. He knows exactly what he wants and I write it down: “One espresso, put a spoonful of Drambuie in it and a cappuccino for her with a hint of Frangelico, two drops of Galliano, a dash of Grand Marnier. Use steamed low fat milk for hers and waiter, let me have some steamed half & half, but bring it on the side!” I ask “Do you want me to wait for the lady?”
And he answers, “No go ahead, I know she will be right back!” I go and make the coffee drinks. The cooks who have not seen the woman in blue, want to know all about her. They too have heard about this woman in the “sparse dress.”

I answer some of those questions as to her figure and cleavage. I guess the heat has gotten to some of those line cooks who ask me to bring her back into the kitchen.

“What makes her so attractive?” “Does she have no guilty conscience?” “Is she into voyeurism?” “An exhibitionist?” “Just sent her back here…!”

“Come on guys cool it. So what’s the big deal? She just wants to be seen, that’s it!” I answer the cooks and I go and serve the two coffee drinks. There is nobody at the table. I ask the new manager, who is doubling as host. “Have you seen the woman in the long see-through dress?” The manager must have noticed her but he answers: “I’m not so sure.”
However he recalls in detail the elegant dressed gentleman with this lovely silk tie. The one, wearing Fahrenheit cologne, with the wavy full head of natural dark hair and the mood stone ring on his little finger. He saw him. “Yes, he stopped by here on his way to get his camera from the car.” Our manager has a glow on his face as he says, “John said, he wants to take some picture of the model he is dining with today.”

So I leave the coffee drinks on the table. Half an hour passes by. No, neither the woman nor the man is back. I tell the manager about my concerns. He is not worried at all. Somehow he had managed to get the phone number of the gentleman whom he calls “A hunk!” and he shows me a business card saying “STUDIO 6 – videos, photos, discrete service, your place any place – John Ashley and a phone number.” I call the number. It belongs to a local church. The friendly voice answering me has never heard of a John Ashley or Studio 6. I call the hotel whose phone number is written next to the reservation. They too, have no John Ashley staying with them. I give the frontdesk people a description of the two. They certainly would have noticed her. How could anybody have overlooked her? I give the ticket to the manager, who is scratching behind his ear, nervous about the whole thing. He takes it personally, for he feels he has allowed it to happen. He is all upset and bent out of shape, that a customer did walk out on him like this. I know despite his years of living experience our manager has very little time in restaurant management.
I try to calm him down, “It happens, this is the third walk out I have had in thirty years and the smoothest too!”
Our manager asks, “What do you mean?”
So I tell him. “It is more common that you get a couple and they start arguing after eating a good part of their dinner. He leaves first after a loud argument. She waits, then helpless and crying, she asks for the powder-room to fix her face. That is when she makes her exit.”

I have seen such happen to me as well as to other waiters, several times. Usually con artists try to blend perfectly into the surrounding. Nevertheless this couple today, they just didn’t look like people who would not pay their bills. They looked real! What am I saying, so do fake hundred-dollar bills?

by helmut schonwalder