Sunday, August 1, 2010

Bear or Bare

I almost had to work in a bear costume one time. The girl who dressed up as Village Inn's mascot, Bucky Bear for special promotions had to go visit a dying relative or some damn thing so management was looking for a replacement. Basically, the lower you ranked on the schedule, the more vulnerable you were to being chosen. The only thing that eventually saved me was I was too tall for the costume, so honors went to Brittany. She was the right size and was already scheduled that Sunday. She told me about it afterwards and about how hot it was inside Bucky and how bad it smelled and the way the kids pulled her fur. She had to stand in front of the restaurant and hand out coupons and coloring books and talk to the kids in whatever she could come up with for a bear voice. At the time, it was something I dreaded, but looking back I kinda wish I had it on my resume - even for one day.

A few years later, I wound up in a completely different kind of costume, serving coffee, sodas, sandwiches and other light food to a group of nudists in a gay coffee house in Denver's Broadway Terrace neighborhood. The coffee house closed on the first Monday of each month for this event, and one night while I was playing cards there with my friends, the owner asked me if I would consider waiting on them for the next get-together. My uniform this time was a purple and black leopard print G-string and a pair of sandals.

At first, I was reluctant because I'm pretty self-conscious, but then I started to think about all the times that self-consciousness had held me back from participating in life. I told my oldest niece about being asked to work the party, and that it was on January 8th. She said, "Elvis' birthday? Oh, I think that's a sign you should do it." And I did. For three or four months, I was the waiter for the nudist group. It's fun to say these many years later that I worked in a G-string, and the experience was not without its lessons: If you're putting dollars in someone's underpants, bikini, G-string or T-bar, always crumple them up a little bit first. Crisp bills hurt.


  1. Kudos to you for having the nerve to wear a G-string...omg... Surprise those bills didn't make your G-string come undone a bit...

  2. I kept it tuned to an F# just in case.