The One Time I was People Watching at Hooters

Last year my husband and I and another couple went on a short weekend trip to Kansas City to see a Chiefs game. We got to KC on Saturday afternoon and were looking for a place to eat for dinner. The four of us live in Nebraska and, as any Nebraskan knows, residing in the great corn state automatically makes you a Husker fan. So, being the good Husker fans we are, we tried to find a restaurant or bar close to our hotel so we could watch the 6:00 game.

We found a sports bar just down the street from our hotel that had about 783 televisions inside. After we were seated, however, we found out that, unfortunately, none of the tv’s were showing the Husker game because the place didn’t carry the network it was on. We then began a desperate search to find another location that DID have the game. I, personally, was just desperate to find some food. I was starving.

We got on our phones and started looking for other nearby sports bars or restaurants that were playing the Husker game. After multiple phone calls we finally found one. Only one. The only restaurant that had the network was Hooters.

“Get ready, ladies, we’re goin’ to Hooters!” our husbands gleefully cried, with just a little too much glee. I had never actually been to a Hooters, but was imagining a place full of men ogling scantily-clad women. When we walked in, however, I saw that almost every table was filled with families, lots of small children, grandmas, and babies. There weren’t a lot of scantily clad women either. In fact, many of the Hooters servers were pregnant.

We ordered some drinks and appetizers and started watching the Husker game. Now, in Nebraska, when the game is on, the game is ON! It is played in grocery stores, shopping malls, Hobby Lobby. Cars are decked out in flags and streamers. The state is a sea of red. If you yell “Gooooo Biiiiiig Reeeeeed!” in a public place, no less than 30 people will yell back “Go! Big! Red!”

That is not the case in Kansas City, Missouri. There were two tables of Husker fans in the entire place. Ours was one. As we were enjoying our meals (and drinks) and watching the game, the husbands got a bit vocal in their cheering. They would have fit right in had they been at a Hooters in Omaha. But at a Hooters in KC, they stuck out like sore thumbs. As they were screaming their fool heads off, I was enjoying my fried pickles and looking around the dining room at the various, interesting individuals seated around us.

There was the dad and tween-age son duo who never once spoke to each other and ate buffalo wings with such gusto that I was afraid they would accidentally bite off a finger. There was the man in a white tank top, jean capris, and combat boots  with an ankle bracelet monitor who appeared to be taking his woman out for a night on the town. His woman had no teeth. I only noticed because I was curious to see what she would order to eat. I imagine your food choices are limited when you can’t chew. And there was a nice family of four with grandma and grandpa in tow. Well, I thought they were nice until I heard the four year old tell her grandpa to “f*** off.”

About halfway through the game, a man and his wife stopped by our table. He was also missing many teeth. “Ain’t ya ever been out in public before?” he growled at my husband and his buddy as his wife yanked on his arm to pull him away from our table. Apparently their boisterous cheering was disruptive to this poor man and his wife. “How dare you?” I asked the guys after they the man left. “Here he is, trying to have a nice, romantic dinner at Hooters with his lady friend, and you ruined it with your rude shenanigans!”

At the end of our meal, as we sat and watched the Nebraska team get slaughtered and our husbands crying in their beers, I looked up to see how the other table of Nebraska fans was faring. There was a woman at their table who had dug out some dental floss from her purse and was flossing her teeth. At the table. At first I was disgusted. There was a bathroom not 15 feet away. Go in there and take care of your personal hygiene! After some thoughtful consideration I decided that I was glad that at least someone was concerned with her dental health before she lost all her teeth as well. But then, when she finished, she handed her floss to her husband and HE FLOSSED HIS TEETH WITH IT, TOO!

You guys! Not only did they both floss their teeth at a restaurant table sitting across from their friends, but they SHARED a tiny piece of dental floss. I don’t care how close you are to your spouse, give him his own damn floss! There’s like 15 feet of it in that little container. That’s enough for you, your husband, your friends, the house arrest dude, the four year old who swears like a sailor, AND all the pregnant Hooter Girls. Where was growl-man after observing this travesty? Wasn’t he going to ask if these two had ever been out in public before? Or was he just jealous that they had enough teeth to floss?

Soon after, a large party of about twenty twenty-somethings came in. One of the girls was wearing a birthday sash and crown. A group of pregnant Hooter Girls went over to their table and sang a perky happy birthday song, which drew my attention to their table. As I looked over, I saw a girl in the group FLOSSING HER TEETH! During the song! At the table! Is table-flossing a thing at Hooters? When you order wings do they give you a wet wipe and a piece of dental floss along with your check? Is seeing someone floss contagious, like sneezing? Is it a Kansas City thing? It was all very baffling.

I can honestly say that I learned a lot from my first trip to Hooters. I learned that it is best to cheer loudly for the Huskers only when you are in the presence of other Husker fans. I learned that there actually is, in fact, quite a number of foods you can order off a Hooters menu if you have no teeth. And I learned that no one ever looks good in combat boots and capris, especially 350 lb men with house arrest ankle bracelets. I already knew that one should excuse oneself to floss one's teeth rather than doing it in public. That's because, if you must know,  I HAVE been out in public before, thank you very much Mr. Growly-Man. Oh, and also? Hooters makes some damn fine fried pickles.