I Hate Hooters
Before you read any further, let me clarify that I’m talking about the chain restaurant. I have nothing against…owls.
I didn’t grow up around fast food chain restaurants. I grew up in the San Juan Islands, which is a tiny archipelago about a 2 hour ferry ride away from Washington State. The Island I grew up on was called Orcas, 50 miles long, population of 2,000.
So yeah we didn’t have a Hooters.
My parents didn’t want us growing up in a city where there was drugs and alcohol. So we moved to a tiny island where the only thing to do was drugs and alcohol. Don’t get me wrong, I love where I grew up and am super grateful for my upbringing, but there are times as a child that I wished I lived closer to a city. Mostly because city kids had better weed.
Growing up in a small town taught me a lot of things like sense of community and respect for nature. The entire student body of my high school consisted of 150 people and even though I was a terrible student, I always felt heard by teachers and had someone on my side. We had an amazing community theatre which is where I found my love for performing that has followed me throughout my life.
When I first moved out on my own for college, I was scared shitless. Sure I’d spent time in cities, but I had never been left on my own. I moved into my small one bedroom apartment that I shared with another theatre major who miraculously is still one of my best friends today, even though we would both want to murder one another at numerous points over the next four years.
I moved into the apartment a month before my roommate did so I could experience city life on my own. And by experience I mean I sat in the apartment for a month and played Grand Theft
Auto because I was too afraid to go outside. Eventually I started to wander out into the wild streets of downtown Seattle and explore the fine cuisines that I had been deprived of growing up in a removed society. I would indulge in fine delicacies such as McDonalds, Taco Bell, Taco Time, Jack In The Box, and any and all pizza places. Up to that point the only fast food I’d had was McDonalds, but eating there had been a special once a year treat when we would venture off island to go school shopping or have doctors visits. Never in my life did I think that such phenomenal foods could accessed for all three meals.
Unrelated this is also the time in my life that I developed Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
After destroying my stomach lining and gaining fifty pounds, I decided to lay off the chain restaurants for a while.
Flash forward to me at twenty seven, 50 pounds lighter, living in Los Angeles, and taking standup gigs anywhere I could. One of those places being a Hooters.
At the time I had never been booked on a comedy showcase. I hosted my own showcase and was a regular at open mics. After 2 years of begging anyone and everyone to put me on a show, a buddy finally got me in touch with their booker who let me do 5 minutes at a Hooters.
The venue was right on the Hollywood strip and when I walked, the place was packed. A waitress came up to me and flirtatiously asked me where I’d like to sit. When I told her I was a comedian she instantly dropped the amorous act and told me the showcase was upstairs. And in case you were wondering, the answer is no. The upstairs was not packed.
Since I was up first, I ordered a whiskey soda that was mostly soda, slugged it back, and performed the worst five minutes of my life. The type of performance that after my set the host didn’t repeat my name, they just said “well that was that. Moving on!”
When I sat down, defeated and depressingly sober, the waitress came over with my closed out tab. “Oh, actually, I was going to hang out, have a couple more, and watch the show” I inquired sheepishly.
“Oh I’m sorry,” she replied. “I just assumed after that set you’d want to leave.” She then threw my check down and left.
Crushed, rejected, and having spent $10 for half a shot of whiskey I decided to call it a night.
That was the first time I was cut off at a Hooters.
Miraculously I was booked on that showcase again. I went back determined to redeem myself, and had my best set since starting Stand Up. The same waitress was there and was a lot more friendly after seeing me do well, and even had another drink waiting for me when I got back. So I decided to hang out with my friends until we were too drunk and when the bill came I didn’t tip. Maybe not the coolest move, but I was still bitter from the time before. Goes without saying I was asked to leave after that. I’ve never felt so proud of myself.
That was the second time I was cut off at a Hooters. Here’s the third time:
This incident occurred last year, during football season of course. We went to Hooters at the suggestion of my friend to watch the Seahawks game. He was an hour late so I watched the first half of the game by myself and consumed three whiskey sodas. Now before you judge me, like I said before, Hooters pours the weakest drinks I’ve ever had in my life. So three whiskey soda there equals about one shot. When my friend arrived, I had three more over the course of the game. Not to count more food than I would like to admit. I was nowhere near intoxicated when the waitress came over with my closed out card and said “six is enough.” Like the rest of my experiences at that establishment, I left sober and disappointed.
Yes, I’m well aware that this blog post became one big yelp review of Hooters/my life story. But I think it’s important for you my readers to know my roots and how I haven’t matured in the slightest in 10 years.
Now if you’ll excuse me I suddenly having a hankering for hot wings, cheap whiskey, and terrible service.