“Judge not lest ye be judged,” a famous Healer once said, then a few years later “Va-va-va-voom,” was stated with equal profundity (Art Carney’s Ed Norton on The Honeymooners)… so with both of those quotes in mind let us proceed.
I had four or five at the bar on this night, a week ago Wednesday to be exact, and the mood of the place to say the least was somber. The kitchen had already shut down, two or three lingering tables were alive to keep the waiter from dozing, and your friendly bartender was working the remote to see if a better game could make the time pass. But then all of a sudden time stood still and clearly not just for him but the whole damn room.
For as this woman made her way from the door to the bar not only did thirteen heads do a near Linda Blair deal, swiveling to follow each step as she crossed the room, but even I feared I would have to alert my chiropractor. Simply and without equivocation, “Va-va-va-voom!”
Now I realize I sound like an ogling fool or the hard hat who whistles at every short skirt near his job site, but contrary to popular belief, dear reader, I am, after all, only human, and what this woman was wearing confirmed that fact. It was downright unfair.
She had on heels, snow white, skin tight, jersey slacks that in truth seemed more like leotards (they ended I think at mid-calf), an extremely low-cut, matching top which struggled for all its might to house its constituents, and just as a flirty bonus above to round out this fresh ensemble, a white felt hat that was cocked at a rakish angle. This was show girl, show stopper, and just what this dull night needed to bring it alive.
Now of the two guys who had come in with this woman (whom I barely noticed at all), one I knew and one I’d never seen before. So Mike, the one I did know, a recent acquaintance whom I’d met at our bar who’s an excellent online boxing journalist, took the lead and introduced me to his friend Andrew. And then Andrew did the same for his friend Snow White.
“Say hello to Kristin Davis,” he said, “she’s running for governor of New York. And I’m the guy who’s running her whole campaign.”
“Oh yeah?” I said, quite shocked. “Well she certainly has my vote,” I added, taking her hand and bowing ever so slightly. (I’m quick like that, dear reader, quick with a line I mean, I once responded to “How ya’ doin’?” with “Just fine!”)
But then soon thereafter everything got kind of clumsy.
“She’s also the Manhattan Madam,” said Mike, “for that famous escort service, the one where Elliot Spitzer got in all kinds of trouble.”
(Gulp!) “Oh yeah?” I said again (I told you I was quick), but then where to go from there I hadn’t a clue. On the one hand I wanted to act tres cool as though what she’d done was as benign as selling Mary Kay products, but on the other I wanted to act like a Yenta and ask who the fuck was tucked in her little black book. But stammering now as to which way to go I settled on neither approach, I asked instead what the three of them wanted to drink.
Mike ordered Jack on the rocks as I recall (like any good journalist should!), Andrew went Captain and Coke, while the star of the show ordered Malibu rum with pineapple juice. Then I served the drinks and walked to the other end. But looking back at this brand new trio, especially Kristin and Andrew, I couldn’t help thinking, My, how the times have changed. Here’s a former Madam at the bar who is running for governor of New York, and next to her sits this very young gun whose job it will be to advise her enroute to that end. And I mean young. Wearing jeans and a tight black t-shirt, sporting a soul patch under his lip and a Popeye Doyle perched on his head tilted forward, Andrew looked less like a political strategist and more like maybe a boxer Mike should be writing about. But looks as we know can deceive (for him and his comely politician), for as the night wore on and we talked a lot more I found this Andrew to be sharp, he knew his politics inside and out no doubt.
So when I returned to the trio in waiting (and a bit more prepared as to what the hell was going on now), Ms. Davis and I got into a discussion about prostitutes. But not the ones who work in hotels but the ones who abound in Albany, and every other capitol and state in the whole damn union. We talked about how they prostitute themselves, sell out to the highest bidder, and all the bullshit and hypocrisy afoot which is propagated by all the moralists… particularly the ones who shout the loudest… the very ones whom she said headed up her client list. It was a fascinating discussion but, alas, it was all too brief.
Because Kristin Davis didn’t stay very long, I don’t think she finished her drink, and just like that my time with the Madam was up. She apparently had to meet a friend at this time so she bid us all adieu, turned and created a relapse of Linda Blair syndrome. But since I did have a lot more questions to ask, to find out more about her, I decided after she’d gone to weigh in with Andrew. I poured him and Mike a fresh drink then began my inquiry.
“Okay, Andrew, what’s up, man? What’s really going on here? She knows she can’t win the governorship so isn’t this just a fifteen minutes of fame thing?”
“Absolutely not!” Andrew replied, vehemently. “She’s serious… very serious. She’s running on a freedom platform, an anti status-quo kind of thing exposing all the hypocrisy, and from a fiscal and moral standpoint, she wants to legalize and tax prostitution and marijuana. This isn’t a joke or a stunt, she wants to be heard. And if we at least get her on the ballot she will be heard.”
Well later that night I did more probing but this time on mighty Google, which more than confirmed Andrew’s take on what she’s about. And I was impressed. She was valedictorian of her high school class, worked for ten years in finance (vice president of a successful hedge fund), she started from scratch her escort service from which she became quite wealthy (and for which she did time on Riker’s Island while Eliot Spitzer did nothing but land a talk show), and now she’s decided to turn her life around. Act Three, if you will, in the play that is her life.
Now I’m not going to give my opinion, dear reader, as to what Ms. Davis wants to legalize (bartenders like to stay neutral, play it down the middle), or whether this is really folly and all about publicity, but I will give my honest opinion of the woman I met. She was confident, articulate, unassuming in spite of her look, she knew whereof she spoke on the issues and she’s definitely one to be reckoned with wherever life takes her. Now of course she won’t win the governorship but there’s certainly no crime in that, she’s already done her crime and paid a good price. And as far as her past is concerned in the present.. how New York should perceive her … all I can say is “Judge not lest ye’ be judged!” Oh, and “Va-va-va-voom!”
Mike and Andrew stayed til the end, we covered all kinds of topics, Tony regaled us with stories from the past and a night that was destined for Dulls-ville ended up worth it. As of course it should’ve. And it proved once again that you can’t judge a book simply by how it is covered, even if it is covered in “skin tight white”!
Over and out from Bar-land… see you guys soon!
By the way, I’m taking next week off, my friends, so two weeks from now this Happy Hour starts anew. Enjoy the holiday!