Conversation Starter

I am pleased to announce that Hanson's Grill & Tavern (1301 South Pearl Street) has been granted Most Favored Bar status by the Liaison for Redneck Relations. "This is my new favorite bar!" he pronounced, after showing up late with his designated-driver wife in tow and rejuvenating a crowd that had already had way too many drinks. He based his "new favorite" designation solely on the size of his tab, which was minuscule in light of how many Crown and Cokes he'd had. The basis for his snap judgment would be akin to giving George Tenet the Medal of Freedom for espionage, but even so, Hanson's deserves recognition.

The two-for-ones had been flowing for a while before the Redneck arrived, consumed by co-workers who may never be able to look each other in the eye again. Not that anything really embarrassing happened; it's just difficult to refrain from laughing at work when you recall someone's college nickname or his stance on several key social issues.

Our first topic was grade-school teachers, inspired by the presence of one representative's sister, an elementary-school teacher. All guys have a thing for teachers, probably because of that Van Halen video and the early hope that sometime during puberty (preferably high school), a guy might get asked to stay in from recess to clean the chalkboards, only to be thrown down on the teacher's desk for a little extra credit. Since I went to Catholic school, the few civilian teachers I had -- particularly Mrs. Balow and Ms. Salmon -- were especially exciting. To end this thread, someone asked me if I'd ever wondered what was under the other teachers' habits.

Remarkably, the women introduced the next conversational subject -- proving they're just as piggish as guys, only far better at disguising it with a mask of elegant restraint and a hefty dose of indignation at whatever we guys may say. In a desperate measure led by the Oriental Representative -- and likely prompted by all the guys staring at some young lady's bosom -- the women started talking about who notices an attractively endowed female. All guys notice, of course, but their reactions depend on their marital status. Single guys gawk and make inappropriate yet hilarious comments on what their future plans might be for said woman. A married or otherwise entangled guy notices, briefly considers what said bosom looks like naked, scrambles for a lie to cover his traveling gaze and, if caught, promptly tells his wife and/or girlfriend that he loves her. If not caught, he remains silent.

But women notice, too. And not only do they spot an interesting pair of breasts as quickly as guys do, but they can instantaneously offer constructive, often withering, criticism. Women always know if a bosom has been purchased, not grown. They will critique bra choice and the overall presentation of another woman's assets. Guys, on the other hand, don't really care how they're presented, as long as they're there.

Overall, our night at Hanson's provided great stress relief and increased our esprit de corps. It's just too bad that we'll never be able to look our work colleagues in the eye again. Guess we'll have to look at their chests instead.