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July 18, 2006

In Memory of Robert H. Brooks: Man with a Vision

(Editor's Note: Robert H. Brooks, founder of The Hooters restaurant chain, died this weekend of undetermined causes. We at TLC managed to sneak a peek at the draft of his eulogy written by Mandi Lykemen, his first waitress and, not coincidentally, Miss Citrus County, 1982. We hope you'll be as deeply moved as we were.)

Friends, family, loved ones, we gather on this most somber of days to honor a man I consider a mentor, a guide, a visionary. A man who possessed the rare talent to not only remain erect in all ways upon encountering a pair of youthful double D's, but to see dollar signs - as well as owl's eyes - in that most glorious of glands, the mammaries.Hoot

Yes, whether on a chicken or a cheerleader, Robert H. Brooks knew the value of a meaty breast. Oh, I know what you're thinking. What man doesn't? But let me ask you this  - how many men knew to put them together? Deep fried and dabbed with hot sauce and ranch dressing or squeezed (perhaps padded) in Spandex, no breast was ever treated with such reverence as those displayed under the 456 Hooters roofs across the globe.

More_hooters Though Robert H. Brooks - Bob - traveled the world, he was firmly American. Who can forget Monday "Cammo" nights when we Hooters' girls - as Bob so creatively insisted we be called - stripped off our trademark white Spandex and orange shorts for heart-stirring cammouflage duds. Surely the boys oversees knew that we girls back at home were with them on the front line, bending real, real low for that big, big tip. Why, I had more than one customer who saluted, nay, fired his own gun, in patriotic fervor. God bless America and we'll take Freedom Fries with that, not baked potato.

Now, I don't mean to be critical. Robert wouldn't have liked that. He wanted all "his" girls to be upbeat, entertaining caterers to the male whim. But I must pick a bone, ha, ha, with those who've implied that perhaps Hooters was not a classy chain. If "class" means male waiters of questionable sexual orientation suggesting Mousse a l'Avocat with a Balsamic reduction, well then, guilty as charged. So what that the men were better-paid cooks and that the only wine choices at Hooters were simplified to fizzy versus fizzy? We still had Friday formal nights when Bob demanded we dress in black. I challenge anyone to claim that the tradition of Black Fridays was anything but classy.

Then, of course, there was the ongoing controversy about exploitation of women. Oh, please. Bob didn't exploit women. He LOVED women. He loved all parts of them. Well, at least the parts you could see, and for that I say, thank God! Because it was pretty grim before Hooters back in the early 1980's, what with women in string ties and navy business suits storming the work force, bumping their heads against the glass ceiling. As Bob used to say, the only glass his girls should be worried about was the one they forgot to refill.

So as we say goodbye to Bob today, let's not forget the many charities Bob founded in an attempt to salvage his tarnished name. And let us be grateful that when he died he was 69.Hooters_logo  We should all be so lucky.


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WOW - First comment honors!

Husband SWEARS by the buffalo wings! Yeah, sure. I'll never know!

Personally, I think it's the "buffalo breasts" that call to him

Would have been hard for me to keep a straight face at that funeral with a eulogy like that.:o) Still, you have to admit, the man knew the marketplace...after all, Hef had a good run with his bunnies. Hooters is the common man's Playboy Club (aka Boobs and Brew) with sports thrown in. The one time I was there I couldn't hear the server for the seven TV's competing for attention. Of course,I could have leaned in closer like my husband did :o)

In honor of Bob, I'm going to Jury Duty on Friday in Formal Black. And, perhaps . . . topless.

Perhaps in memory of Bob---or because of this heat wave---we should all work topless today.

I speak as someone who has been called "a walking sexual harrassment suit" or maybe it was "walking employment discrimination suit." Whatever. It is a badge I wear with pride.

This seems like too easy a target. It is unfortunate that women have to work in places like this, and it speaks to the hypocrisy endemnic in American society that these places even exist with their sterile non-sex sex. At least with a strip joint, if the ads are to be believed, there's often a free lunch buffet.

On a side note, I have to point out that Sunday's episode of Entourage featured the Hustler Store in a plot line that is unfortunately not likely to go well for E.

Is working topless with no one to see kind of like that old tree in the forest and the proverbial sound???

Josh what state are you in? I thought I was the only one that was "sexual harassment suit waiting to happen".... At least i am not the only one in this world.

I may have just bruised a rib laughing. Oh yeah, it can happen. I nearly went for an MRI after the Daytona trip just to be sure.

Sarah - this is brilliant!

When the news hit the e-mail lists yesterday, the comments came fast and furious. Here are a couple of my favorites:

"Thanks for keeping me abreast of this news."

"I guess this'll be the top story on the boob tube tonight."

"Did you hear that all Hooters cleavage has been deflated to half mast until the funeral is over?"

and my personal favorite:

"He was 69. Was that his age or did he suffocate?"

We're here all week, folks.

I really needed a good laugh today - it is like a pizza oven around here. Everybody is pissed off, too. It's the heat, I think.

Hooters - what an institution. When historians write about the '90s, Hooters will be a real highlight.

Thanks for the big laughs!

Maybe they will say the same thing about me when I go to the great beyond...I know I left some Hooters gals some decent tips in my time...

...or did he suffocate?!?!?!?

That is one of the funniest things I have ever heard. I had to pretend I was choking so I wouldn't get caught laughing at my desk. There is no laughing here.

I couldn't agree with you more! And thanks for the blog award! I'm just thrilled to receive this award from you. I'll be sure to keep this blog an interesting place for my awesome readers, such as yourself, to keep coming back to!

Surely the boys oversees knew that we girls back at home were with them on the front line, bending real, real low for that big, big tip.

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