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.