Not all stories in Nudist Group Hug are about naked bodies. I worked in a restaurant, and all of us were fully clothed. Our merry band of restaurant workers dwindled down to three right at the start of the season. Serving started Friday night for dinner, all three meals for Saturday, and all three meals for Sunday. Thursday was cleaning day and prep day for the kitchen for the weekend service. I was still learning the ropes of working in a kitchen and in a dining room, and I am grateful I had a memory like a steel trap because I wouldn’t have been able to care for twenty-nine tables on my own.
But I will never forget an incident with ice water.
Patrons to the restaurant were permitted to remain nude. They had rules to bring towels into the restaurant to put on the chairs while they ate, and when they left, the chairs were wiped down with cleaners. One couple came in for breakfast one day. They were a friendly couple, asking me about my school and what I was studying. Each weekend the resort hosted a theme. This weekend’s theme was Margaritaville, and the woman’s husband had used body paint and painted beautiful macaws on his wife’s chest and torso. We talked about art while I was serving their meal, and I complimented him on his skill. With a smile to his wife, he responded, “I had a beautiful canvas.” The next time I returned to them, I refilled their beverages, and just as I was putting the woman’s glass down, my tray tipped, and down came a pitcher filled with ice water (minus one glass) all over the woman. I.was.MORTIFIED. I grabbed some napkins, and I started scooping up ice cubes that had fallen off the woman and on the floor. here were ice cubes in places that my first instinct was to grab at them, but my brain kicked in and said, “that’s considered sexual battery in some places,” and I was at a loss of what else to do other than continue to apologize profusely. I was in a panic – surely this is how servers get fired, right? I am so Type A that I was falling over myself trying to help. That’s when the husband laughed. The wife smiled and laughed. And they both said, “it could have been worse. I could have been wearing clothes.” After proceeding to tell me how their son worked his way through college at an Italian restaurant and spilling a glass of red wine on a woman’s WHITE designer blouse, I didn’t feel nearly as bad. They shrugged it off, welcomed me to the resort, and left me a friendly note with my tip. To this day, when I see a pitcher of ice water, a woman’s naked body and painted macaws still flash to my mind.
This brings up another topic of discussion: food physics. I’m not talking about food chemistry like ice becomes water becomes vapor type of stuff or sugar heated caramelizes. I’m talking about how food MOVES.
I’m a klutz. That’s a given. I have worn many pieces of food. I also have large boobs: my shelf so when food falls, it stops and stains on my boobs. It happens. But something else that happens is the cloth of my clothing that covers my boobs acts as friction to stop food from moving. It plops, and it stops. Dry, wet, it doesn’t matter. It plops, and it stops.
Consider skin. Consider skin doused in tanning oil and/or sweat. We now have a lubricant on a soft surface free from cloth friction.
And this is where food physics happens.
When the nude guests came to dine in the restaurant, it was also a test for servers to learn how to pretend not to pay attention or see something that happened. The chef created a dish that was scallops and shrimp and pasta with a citrusy cream sauce. It was one of the most popular dishes at the resort. When we think of it in terms of food physics, we have two seafood items that have bounce, and we have a cream sauce that is a viscous liquid. Add those two items together with skin covered in lubricants of either tanning oil or sweat, and you’re asking for A LOT of movement if you drop food.
And then it happened.
Down went a scallop.
And, as true with physics, when something falls, it doesn’t stop until it hits something, and it usually stops when it has reached the lowest point of its fall. Please take some time to consider where that location is on a seated, naked body. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
The second part of food physics is the intricate moves that were also supposed to be discreet. (They weren’t.) The ever so sly dropping-of-the-napkin-hand-in-crotch-to-retrieve-scallop move was the most popular for this dish. Other famous moves were the make-a-joke-about-ranch-dressing-on-my-tit and it-also-needed-mustard-and-relish comments. My favorites were the oh-shit-I-dropped-food-oh-wait-I’m-naked–SCORE moments.
Being a klutz, I wondered if being naked was more appropriate for my meals.