Things I Regret Not Saying to the Hostess at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Bar -The Toast

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…when she said my male friend had to leave because “gentlemen are required to wear long pants after eight pm,” and it was 97 degrees out and the bar was totally empty. Which she had every right to do, because it’s a private establishment and she did not set the policy.

1. “This place has a pretty offensive name and logo for a conglomerate owned by a Scottish business dynasty, when you think about it. Do you think Edward Said would drink here? Moreover, how much of your job involves binary gender policing?”

2. “Oh, he’s no gentleman.” (male friend mimes tying me to a railroad track) “See?”

3. “I am an eccentric Texan oil billionaire, and I was going to buy this hotel chain, but now I’m going to buy the Westin group instead.”

(Go away, come back with Rodeo Drive store bags filled with glasses of artisanal gin and tonic.)

4. “Big mistake. Big. Huge!”

5. “Do you provide long pants for gentlemen who have forgotten theirs, as some establishments do with jackets? Perhaps just velcro extensions in a dark grey or navy blue?”

6. “Over the next two and a half hours, I’m going to change your mind. Through song, and possibly through dance. (clears throat) WHO WEARS SHORT SHORTS / WE WEAR SHORT SHORTS / THEY’RE SUCH SHORT SHORTS / WE LIKE SHORT SHORTS / WHO WEARS SHORT SHORTS WE WEAR SHORT SHORTS” (intake of breath) “WHO WEARS SHORT SHORTS / WE WEAR SHORT SHORTS / THEY’RE SUCH SHORT SHORTS / WE LIKE SHORT SHORTS / WHO WEARS SHORT SHORTS WE WEAR SHORT SHORTS”

7. “He has sensory issues in his shins, even the lightest of touches is agony. Watch!” (touch shin with fingertip, friend shrieks)

8. “I do not wish to embarrass you, but the man I am with is the famous singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett, and he is contractually obligated to appear in shorts at all times. The only circumstance under which he is allowed to be garbed in full-length pants is if it is Australia Day, in remembrance of his January 26th, 2011 stage-falling accident. But this appears to be July, so.”

9. “What if we briefly threw up a curtain to shield him from sight until he is safely seated in a booth from which his legs cannot be seen? What if it were a human curtain, composed of you and I and people we would call into service from more popular bars that aren’t vacant due to clothing restrictions?”

10. “Can he and I just trade outfits? Because then I would be the one in conservative, knee-length khakis, and he would be wearing skinny jeans with a coffee stain on them.”

11. “You see a spectre of a man wearing shorts next to me?” (voice quavers in fear) “Does he…does he have dark hair?” (voice becomes solemn) “In life, I knew him as my husband, but in death, he follows me and menaces those who would seek to take his place or admit me to a bar that serves drinks.”

We just left, obviously, and went to a cheap place across the street that didn’t care.

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