“There's another one in the public bar,” said the young bartender, pointing me towards a door.
“Oh, and I think I should warn you - it’s a topless bar.”
It was my first (accidental) visit to a topless bar and didn’t really know the protocol.
I pushed through the throng of predominantly male drinkers after successfully spotting the ATM machine at the far wall.
Damn! This one wasn’t working either. I returned to the bar where a fully clothed bartender directed me to the next available cash outlet.
“Go through that curtained doorway, past the outdoor seating area, across the lane and into the bottle shop.”
“The pub sent me,” I announced a few minutes later.
“ATMs on the blink again?”
I pocketed the cash and headed back to the nearby 20,000 Cows Vegetarian Restaurant, purposely avoiding the public bar area.
“What took you?” asked Supatra when I returned to our table.
On a business trip to Lismore in northern NSW two years ago, I caught up with Supatra, who highly recommended the tiny vegan/vegetarian restaurant in the town’s northern suburbs.
They had an enticing array of Middle Eastern and Indian delights and while scanning the menu, I noticed it was a “cash only” establishment.
“There’s an ATM at the pub across the road,” said the waitress.
“Thanks, I’ll be back in a minute.”
Sensible shoes and undies
Australian comedian Judith Lucy once compared wearing a g-string to walking around with a wedgy all day.
Now where’s the comfort in that?
I don’t adhere to any particular political or religious belief systems, but I’m a firm supporter of the Sensible Shoes and Undies School of Thought.
I gave up stilettos and high-heeled shoes years ago, due to:
- Constant travelling and preference for trekking boots
- Jobs where I was on my feet all day
- A wobbly sense of balance
- Aversion to heights
- Sheer pain and discomfort
Since living near the ocean and having a predominance of warm weather most of the year, my feet have splayed out as a result of:
1. Wearing thongs (of the foot variety)
2. Regular barefoot walks on the beach
I can no longer force them back into tight-fitting shoes or anything with a heel on them. My feet are happier for it.
Occupational health and safety hazards
Organisations are legally obliged to provide a safe working environment for their staff. Many implement stringent requirements relating to clothing, footwear and working conditions.
Besides the obvious hazards of baring all in front of male drinkers in a local pub, the following risk assessments must also be considered:
- Balancing a tray of alcoholic beverages while teetering on highly elevated shoes
- Providing warm room temperature to prevent hypothermia
- The irreversible effects of extended exposure to the forces of gravity without appropriate support of the chest
- Long-term leg and back pained caused by teetering on highly elevated shoes
- Low morale from inadequate tipping by customers
Is the pay worth it?
Stilettos change the way a woman walks and carries herself. It's no wonder that they were invented by a man.
Postscript: If you're ever in Lismore and want a great feed, I highly recommend the 20,000 Cows. Remember to take cash with you.