When the going gets tough, ladies and gentlemen, the tough don black pants and starched white shirts.
May I take your plate, sir?
Once again, Mary and I have been called upon to stand up straight and make with the servitude.
And I cannot wait.
Friday’s gig? Nye’s Polonaise, an old-fashioned supper club, the only union-staffed restaurant in Minneapolis, and home of the World’s Most Dangerous Polka Band. Red carpeting, the curved piano bar, the gold-flecked upholstered booths: the décor hasn’t changed since 1960.
Just how we like it.
We didn’t get the call for Friday's gig until Monday morning. The text I received at work from Michelle made it clear that she may have, uh, messed up regarding banquet scheduling.
Would I be available Friday night?
For cash? Does she know who she’s talking to?
“Of course!” I texted. “Need more folk? Let me know.”
She did need more folk. “Who?” she wrote back. “Sell me.”
“Mary,” I wrote. “She’s smart, hustles during the rush, knows when to hold ‘em/when to fold ‘em.”
“Go on,” Michelle wrote.
“She has all her own teeth.”
“Mary can carry three times her body weight. She’s the only person I know who seems to get taller as the night wears on. She once rassled a bear out of her house with nothing but a firm demeanor and a lit cigarette.”
A series of happy faces appeared on my screen followed by the word “Sold!”
Mary and Pearl: workin’ the Friday-night crowd at Nye’s.
Holdin’ ‘em and foldin’ ‘em from 4:30 to 10:00.
* From the Esquire article on Nye’s, what, a couple years back now, wasn’t it?
That Summer: Part Four
25 minutes ago