It‘s not hard to imagine why a restaurant that celebrates the mammary glands with a little wink-wink, sugar & spice attitude for its clientele of frat boy types would set women off. I don‘t think I‘d care to dine at a joint called Dickie‘s where the waiters wore codpieces, after all.
Although Hooter‘s is no longer considering the site of the former Pepper‘s Grill at the doorstep of downtown TC, it is reportedly questing around for another location.
So get ready for another controversy fraught with all the fluff & feathers of the giant power poles near downtown. The last time Hooter‘s came sniffing around a couple of years ago, folks hereabouts got their underpants in quite a bunch over it, and theres nothing tighter than the knot in a Northern Michiganders outraged briefs.
Fortunately, my own underwear will remain unbunched because I‘ve been to a couple of Hooters restaurants, and failed to discover what the big deal is all about.
At least, I think I went to two of them. The first, in Baltimore, made such a slight impression that it‘s possible I just walked by the place. There were some college girl waitresses in orange hot pants and tight white tee-shirts, but they didn‘t look all that lascivious. If anything, they had that ho-hum, well-scrubbed, Britney Spears-in-a-Pepsi-commercial look. And the young male customers in the place weren‘t leering at their “hooters“ in the over-the-top manner that some females imagine; although they did cast furtive glances in the waitresses‘ direction when they thought the ladies weren‘t looking -- the same as in any restaurant or bar you can imagine from Manistee to Mackinaw City.
My second run-in with Hooter‘s was in Anchorage, Alaska, which is a wilderness of chain stores and parking lots. After driving around for an eternity looking for a place to eat other than McDonald‘s, I reluctantly dined at a Hooter‘s in a shopping mall.
Maybe it was an off day, but the food was as so-so as the scenery. It was your typical deep-fried chain restaurant fare, and my chicken sandwich tasted like the owl on Hooter‘s logo (though I‘ve heard their quesadilla is quite good). And although I would never disparage a lady‘s looks (considering my own unfortunate appearance), I must confess in the spirit of investigative journalism that the waitresses apparently weren‘t selected for their you-know-what‘s. They were just regular people of the female persuasion.
What ticks many women off, however, is the idea of sexual objectification. That would certainly make me mad if it ever happened to me -- but fortunately, no such luck there. Newspaper editors don‘t get objectified like rock stars: the popular image of an editor is that of a Clark Kent, only geekier and scrawnier and nerdier -- we don‘t suffer the pain of being objectified, except as a pair of floating specs, perhaps.
Still, I think there are probably worse things in the world than fantasizing about someone‘s breasts while eating a french dip sandwich and fries (Saddam Hussein, perhaps), but am willing to agree that there should be an element of tit-for-tat in our glandular restaurant choices.
For instance, I have noticed that certain ladies of my acquaintance (who shall remain nameless) have admired George Clooney‘s buns in the new film, “Solaris“ (Clooney‘s are way too round in my opinion -- like the foothills of the Rockies). And Mel Gibson‘s buns, and Ben Affleck‘s sad sack ass and even Kevin Costner‘s flat flanks, ad nauseum. Nothing makes me angrier than the thought of these exploited males having their buns objectified, or the idea that some crass female is enjoying a giggle and tiny moment of sexy fun.
But fair‘s fair. So why not a restaurant called Buns where the male waiters walk around in cowboy chaps with their posteriors displayed au naturale? Just don‘t make me eat there, because I‘m already losing my lunch just thinking about it.
The worst thing I‘ve heard about Hooter‘s is that it exploits young women who bombed out of high school and are forced to rely on what they‘ve got at a chest level instead of what‘s between their ears. If it weren‘t for the exploitive influence of Hooter‘s, these gals could be doing work with dignity, like scrubbing floors or squirting ketchup on burgers. Or they could make a dramatic turnaround in their lives, undoing years of scholastic laziness and dumb moves to become oceanographers or neurosurgeons.
What? You say there are some waitresses at Hooter‘s who attend college, get good grades, have high self-esteem, think the job is kind of fun, and have no shame about exploiting shmucks to get bigger tips by flaunting their appearance? That sort of talk smacks of empowerment and self-determination, and has no place in a column blasting Hooter‘s, so keep it to yourself.
Bottom line, Hooter‘s is like a lot of controversial things with an ick factor: Madonna‘s latest film, a cold bath in lumpy gravy, US 131 during rush hour, and Michael Jackson‘s choice of nose jobs: If you don‘t like it, just don‘t go there.