My first Sunday shift is shared with Super Bowl XLI. The roads are covered in 2 feet of snow. I don’t eat dinner before I arrive because on Sundays, I am told, pizza is served. When it’s delivered, I take two pieces on a plate back to my booth. After one bite, I spit it out. It tastes like Windex, and I go hungry except for the package of Sour Patch Kids I find in my coat. And as if there weren’t already enough Prince in this place, I watch his halftime show on one of the corner’s televisions. At 8:30, no girls have shown up yet. By 10 pm, 7 girls are on my list and no sign of the owner. I stumble several times on the microphone and, through some mis-clicking on the mouse, allow dead air to spill into the room more than once. Mia is about to take the stage. Her card lists her likes as metal and 80s hard rock, so I play Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” and AC/DC’s “T.N.T.” Mia is dyed blond and skinny as straw, a good formula for popularity, but I find nothing about her sexy and suspect the barlight is helping, not hurting, her appearance. While she’s dancing, she shoots me looks that tell me all is not right with my song selections. Then, she rushes to my nest and pounces, “I can’t dance to that shit!”
“I’m just playing the bands listed on your card,” I say, sane, sensible, and waving proof.
“Let me see my card.” She studies it, front and back. “Those bands aren’t on here. It doesn’t say Bon Jovi,” she says, pissed and fidgety.
“Yes it does. Right here,” and I point to the words. Then I point to another line on the card. “And this says AC/DC. A-C, D-C.” There is even the signature lightning bolt drawn between the two sets of letters.
And she says, “No it doesn’t.”
At this point, I start going a little mad as I unsuccessfully struggle to juggle this discussion with my announcer duties. Again, the air goes dead between songs while Sabrina is on the stage. I hurry to play a song by the Killers. Mia gives up with a huff and a puff, never acknowledging her mistake or offering an apology. Maybe someone else wrote the card for her. Maybe her tastes have changed. Maybe she’s illiterate. But three things are for sure: she’s an idiot, a brat, and I hate her. As she walks away, she caws about “something I can dance to” but she refuses to be any more specific and tells me to “scratch that other shit” off her card. Sabrina seems to understand. She’s attractive and has a nice smile, but she’s ultimately forgettable and seems too self-conscious for strutting topless, except when she spanks herself. With her hands on her ass, she looks assertive, comfortable with her position center stage. A week from now, I run into Sabrina at United Dairy Farmers, a convenience store walking distance from my apartment. She’s wearing nylon jogging pants and buying Diet Coke. She seems nervous to see me, says hi, and bolts, as if I’m going to tell the guy taking money for gasoline, “Hey man, wanna know where you can go see that chick’s tits?” Worlds collided.