Innie or Outie madam?
"Ladies I wont tell you again, get out of the male toilets!"
"I'm no lady!" came the slurred response followed by the filthiest laugh that did indeed confirm this woman's application to the lady's club had been denied. Think Sid James and you've got it. Her friends laughed hard along with her as they filed past me out of the gentlemen's convinces. They were sniggering like naughty schoolgirls. They all made their way to the back of the very long queue for the ladies loos.
Gay Pride was held on Saturday in Belfast and there was a carnival atmosphere all over the city centre. Well probably not in Paisley the Younger' house. He was the focus for all sorts of unwanted attention as a result of his homophobic remarks a few months ago. That'll teach him.
The parade was winding it's way through town as I dragged my fat ass to work. I was about an hour early so I stopped to have a smoke or 2 and watch the parade go by. But I knew the kids at work were getting hammered so I had another smoke and then went in to give them a hand. There were what seemed like thousands of people in the area so we were gonna get it hard.
I don't do bar, ever. Charlie don't surf and Manuel don't (do) bar. I cannot stand it. But I couldn't walk past them and go straight to the restaurant. This goes against my normally selfish nature. So I jumped behind the bar. There was surprise to say the least. But truth be told I was pulling pints before half of them were born. I'm that old. There weren't even pints glasses when I started, you just poured it into the punters cupped hands.
With most customers pouring out onto the streets with their drinks the management took the decision to switch to plastic glasses. That's why they get paid the big bucks. But if you were staying in you could opt for a proper glass. I couldn't resist asking "Out?" after every drink order. "Ooh your soooo cheeky" replied one chap. But it was all taken in good spirits and the hour I spent on the bar was a good laugh. Any more than that and I would have lost the will to live. And anyway I'm like candy to the Gay Community, I had to ration the good stuff. Eh, well if you happen to like over weight, bald, and by this point sweaty candy that is.
As the afternoon got busier and the bladders got fuller the toilets became a scene reminiscent of a battle field. And it came as no surprise when the ladies decided not to wait anymore and started piling into the male toilets. Now, there was confusion at first amongst the management as to what to do. Personally I think they were scared of the lesbians. There was a weak attempt to clear the toilets which was treated with little more than derision. But the restaurant was due to open and the genteel types that were booked for the first sitting may not have welcomed their toilets becoming unisex, if even just for a while.
So that's how I found myself in the male toilets shouting at the ladies to get out. There were a few attempts to appeal to my better nature, but to no avail. It appears I have no "better nature" when it comes to ladies in the male toilets. Most took it all as a bit of a laugh, they knew they were pushing their luck. But then it turned into a game. Nightmare. And for half an hour or so I played a peculiar game of cat and mouse with some fairly drunk ladies with full bladders and short hair.
I was now positioned at the door to the male toilets checking for innies and outies. This is where I made my big mistake and subsequent demotion from toilet monitor.
"Sorry madam, no women allowed in the male toilets."
"Women? Sure I'm a man. You wanna see "it"?" replied the man in the lovely white trousers, open toed white shoes sporting an orange blouse, blonde flowing hair, hands like shovels and the voice of a JCB digger. The queue thought this was brilliant and erupted with cheering and laughter.
I stood there for a moment completely lost for words, I mean I had no idea how to respond. After what seemed like an eternity I eventually responded with
Sure, sure go ahead? I was all a fluster and the lesbians knew it. They can smell fear you know.
He offered to show me "it" again which was nice but I declined his offer. And by now I was focused on his stubbly chin and obvious Adams apple. I gave up at this point and deserted my post in favour of a cigarette break. I also was burning with embarrassment and had to get away. The toilets descended into anarchy at this point. But my tour of toilet duty was over.
The next few hours were a blur. Our first sitting was rammed with people going to the George Michael concert. In retrospect they may not have minded unisex toilets. They were a good crowd and tipped like champions. But the decision to load the music system with George Michael and Wham songs was one that I later regretted as it was buckling my brain after the third song. But at times like that you gotta have Faith, (see what I did there?).
I rarely say nice things about the kitchen monkeys but they were magnificent on Saturday. We were full from 6 until we closed and they didn't make one mistake. The food arrived on time, it looked beautiful, it must have tasted good as there was nothing sent back and the tips were as I said tremendous. There is nothing like going home with a nice thick wedge in your pocket.
Like I have said before when Saturday night goes well it is the best buzz you can get (outside of waking up beside Jessica Alba, sorry I mean Little Miss Manuel, honest darling). When the adrenaline is pumping, and when you are in full flow and the restaurant is bursting at the seams and you are doing ten things at once and your customers are having a blast and your pockets are filling up with hard earned cash and you are really laughing and not fake laughing that's when you remind yourself why you do it. Seriously you haven't lived until you have spent your Saturday night chasing women out of the male toilets.
Sundays are still shite at work though, very very shite.