As I mentioned in my last blog, the drinking habits of our guests in the early days were quite different from today’s guests. There was no Internet, cell phones, desktops, etc. Additionally, most of the planes were prop planes, and it took considerably longer to get here. Most of the guests arrived well lubricated from a long flight. The first night was generally a nightmare for me with at least one or two extremely inebriated people to contend with. Pop taught me to never argue with a drunk, but he did not tell me that I was forbidden to take corrective action. That was easy for Pop to say since he never stayed down here to deal with them on that first night. The following are just a few stories that I recall.
- We had a guest who was being very loud and profane. The group next to him was a couples group, so I politely asked him to watch his language, and to tone down his volume. The third time I warned him, he called me an “A.hole.” I looked at the host and said, “Do you want to take him back to the cottage? Or, would you prefer that I do so? And, I can promise you that I will not take your customer as gently as you will.” Well, the host took him back. The next morning my obnoxious guest walked in and gave me one of the strangest apologies that I have ever received when he said, “I am sorry, but I did not know who you were. Had I known, I would have at least called you Mr. A.hole.”
- We once had a group from Texas here that was sent by a host that I knew well, but the host was unable to join his group for the hunt. There was a tremendous man named Billy in the group. He was using some of the most vulgar language you would ever want to hear around our serving ladies. These ladies are hardworking, God-fearing people, and they deserved to be respected. I asked Billy three times to stop cussing when they were in the room, and I was completely ignored. Now, please know that this man was about 6’4’, weighed around 260, and it was all muscle. I could have handled the man in the first story, but Billy would have made mincemeat out of me. So, I walked back in there with my baseball bat, and told him that if he uttered another word that I was going to beat his brains out with my Louisville Slugger. He got mad and left. I promptly went to my office and called the host, Mr. Mac, in New Orleans, and told him what had transpired. He asked for Billy’s room extension number and assured me that Billy would cause no more problems. For the next two days Billy was here, he could have sung in our church choir or filled the pulpit. My curiosity finally got the best of me, and I just had to call Mr. Mac to ask him what he said to cause such an amazing transformation. I will never forget his words or a phrase he used that I had never heard before. Mr. Mac said, “Now son you don’t really need to know what I said to Billy. Why don’t we just leave it with I taught him how the cow ate the cabbage.” That must have been a Louisiana phrase, but whatever it meant, it sure worked.
- The next story involves a host named Dick who managed to over serve himself. Now, he was not nearly as obnoxious as the two gentleman in the stories above. As a matter of fact, he excused himself, and managed to stumble to his cottage. I watched him get there to make certain that he did not fall into the Lodge Lake. The next morning when I came in around 6:00 to unlock, Dick was sitting by the door. He told me, “Cader, you are probably unaware of the fact that I have an identical twin brother, Rick. I had a late business meeting, and sent Rick in my place. Some of my guests called me last night to tell me that Rick had gotten drunk. I hopped on a plane and flew down during the night, and put Rick on the plane back home. You will NOT see him at Riverview again.” I just had to admire his creativity. Heck, he almost convinced me.
- My last story for now is one of my favorites. Remember, that Pop had warned me never to argue with a drunk. One night as I was checking tables a young man grabbed me by the arm and slurred, “You probably don’t see many people here as rich as I am.” I responded that he was most likely correct. Now, it just so happened that my recent edition of the Forbes 400 richest billionaires had arrived the day before. Four of the men on that list happened to be hunting here at the time the young man made his comment to me. Really wealthy people do not like to call attention to their wealth. However, I knew these four gentlemen well, and asked them if they would be willing to help me teach a young man an object lesson. After hearing my story, they all reluctantly agreed. When “Big Money” came over for breakfast, I introduced him to each of these four men, and told him what Forbes had listed their net worth as. I then led him off to the side and said, “Now Warren, you told me that I probably never meet many people as rich as you are last night; so what I want to know is just how darn rich are you?” He sheepishly replied, “Not nearly as rich as I was last night when Jack Daniels was talking.”
I have more tales to tell, but that is enough to digest for right now. I want to close with a random thought. I have always wondered what the job application is like at Hooter’s. Do they just give you a bra and say, “Here, fill this out?”