Drenovis was working on a way to fire Eleanor. Unfortunately, he had not been able to actually catch her doing anything wrong. He knew she and Bill were fooling around. He knew they’d used the storeroom, the staff bathrooms downstairs and the party room. He knew she was bringing Bill beers from Bebe and Bill was feeding her steaks to eat. But no one in the kitchen would give them up and none of the waitresses would either because they respected Eleanor for adamantly shunning Drenovis.
Plan B: Norma.
Drenovis mostly kept his waitress games quiet but Norma was different. He called her an “anywhere” girl and at least for a while he was pacified by her. The back seat of his Buick Riviera had been host to many waitresses. Norma made many guest visits. It was like a big old love boat, one of those gargantuan automobiles of the seventies. In comparison, Bill’s tiny Toyota fastback was like a toy, even a miniature car. He and Mary used it once, but the back was too small so they used the passenger seat fully reclined.
The plan was to have Norma sit by Bill at the staff meeting. She would flirt with him, piss Eleanor off enough to cause a rift between her and Bill and start a fight between her and Eleanor. Drenovis swore he would support Norma and get rid of Eleanor.
Suburban held a staff meeting every Tuesday out east, every Wednesday out west. They started promptly after the lunch and lasted for half an hour or so.
Bill and Henry Lee were high. So what else was new? Bill would spend the bulk of his twenty-some-odd years in the kitchens high. They’d been drinking bourbon. When Bill came out the side dining room door he sat in the booth where Mary was, opposite her. Henry Lee was already next to her and Bea next to him.
Quickly, Norma grabbed the seat next to Bill, hurrying before Eleanor could get it. But Eleanor never sat by Bill at the meetings or went near him in public except to do business. So Bebe, who had come in early for the meeting, sat next to Norma.
It appeared innocent at first. Norma’s leg brushed Bill’s. Then Norma reached down to scratch her knee, spreading her legs and lifting her skirt, accidentally of course. Not. Accidentally, of course, her hand brushed Bill’s lap on the way up. Bill, not shy and having learned his worth versus that of a waitress, took her hand and settled it in his lap, forcing her to touch him. He also reached into her lap, under her uniform dress and up to there.
Norma was just supposed to make Eleanor angry. She wasn’t supposed to like it. But she did. Bill was a good fifteen years younger than Drenovis, a good fifty pounds lighter, skinny and lanky and young and horny. And, as Bill would learn, she was an anywhere girl.
Drenovis could sense his plan going south. Eleanor didn’t seem to care, or at least she wasn’t putting out any vibes. Norma seemed to be quite content, and Bill too, especially since, as per the plan, Norma had removed her underwear and Bill’s path was wholly unfettered.
And so it went.
Bill had to throw away his soaked underwear and change his uniform pants. Bea gave him a hard time about it, but finally she relented, only she insisted upon accompanying him downstairs rather than giving him the key to the linen room. Stubbornly, she refused to leave when he stripped to change, despite him asking her to. Bea had her own agenda and she wasn’t about to let Bill get away with what she, Mary, Henry Lee and Bebe knew had happened at the staff meeting.
Bill and Norma might have gotten away with it completely if Bill hadn’t needed new pants and Norma hadn’t shivered and shuttered at Bill’s touch. Norma had almost gasped aloud but she managed to hold that in check. Bebe, however, one tough barmaid, had felt Norma’s quivers and was destined to give her hell.