THE GIRLS' NIGHT OUT:
They decided that it's what it would be: a girls' night out. They had their monthly meeting and everyone of them reported progress in their department. It left them glowing.
They were certainly a strange business but the boss, Judy Cousins had wanted to try it this way. She'd looked around, at her startup time and simply picked women to run every one of their departments. She picked, of course, women that she trusted and believed could do the jobs assigned. She had had a large group to choose from and did the choosing on a one on one basis. She was also very persuasive. Judy Cousins was that way.
It had been a family business, and not doing well under Gerald's half hearted management. That's when the trouble with Gerald had started, and Judy had taken over the business. Then with the new restructuring, Judy was determined to turn it around. She had money enough from her Momma and Poppa set aside to effect the restructuring and went ahead with it.
All of this came, after she'd shed Gerald, 'the buffoon', as she called him. He was that, sure enough. He was convinced that he knew 'the business' and 'the market' and would brook no backtalk from anyone, least of all from Judy.
That had all gone bad and soon enough 'the buffoon' simply lost interest. She'd seen it time after time during their 12 years together.
She'd told her friend Alicia that, when they were talking about the business and the future of the business. She'd told Alicia that she'd just 'wait out' Gerald, the buffoon, and when he was gone, as he was now, she'd do it her way.
That was the key to the future, as she saw it. She'd also decided, during those months of planning, that she wanted the company to be a model for the industry, and a show piece at that. That's why she went about the reorganization by hiring only women executives.
They were out and celebrating tonight because they'd proven that this experiment was right on. It was the second anniversary of the reorganization that they were celebrating, and the reports that they'd digested at today's meeting showed that they were increasing market share and simply establishing an unassailable position within the industry for themselves.
They were almost giddy about it. They sat, after getting their drinks at the favorite watering place: 'Kern's'.
"Here's to the 2nd birthday of CWays, Inc," Alicia Higgins said, raising her glass high.
The others, Judy, Cindy Lofton, and Marcia Wilsey raised their glasses and toasted themselves and the company.
They drank their toast and all were smiling, in fact grinning.
"Congratulations, Boss Lady," Cindy said, raising her glass for another toast.
Judy smiled and accepted the toast. Then she said: "But this is for all of us. Look at what we've done! It's been our work, on our terms, in our way."
"Yes, and we have kicked ass in the market," Marcia said, getting giggles from all of them.
"Know what I'm gonna do?" Alicia said.
"What?" they all wanted to know.
"I'm gonna go home and grab Alfred by the neck and have my way with him!"
They were all giggling then.
"What a great idea!" Marcia said, "Though I might just grab Jeffery by the dick and waltz him into the bedroom."
There were more giggles from all of them then.
"Yes," Cindy said, "I'm gonna make Mike my sex slave tonight; maybe do something to him that's fairly painful!"
There was open laughter then.
Cindy chimed in next with: "But poor Judy! Doesn't even have the Buffoon any more."
"Don't you poor Judy me!" Judy said. "I know what's gonna happen in each of your houses tonight. You'll each end up on the bottom with your husband on top making the moves!"
"But won't that be fun!" Alicia said. They all agreed that it would be.
"And don't mind about me," Judy went on. "It's enough for me to know that I don't have to worry about the Buffoon any more, let alone let him get into my pants!"
That caused another spate of laughing and giggling from them.
THE GUITAR GUY:
Just then an announcer told everyone that a musician was there that night to play and sing for them for a while.
"Okay," Judy said, "Quiet, you jerks. Let's listen to the man sing."
They stuck their tongues out at Judy but they did calm down and listen to the guitarist.
Rick Slocum, the guitarist, had in fact gone to the owner and offered to play and sing for nothing.
The manager was a bit skeptical but had heard Rick, in the back room, sing and was surprised at how good he was.
"How about," the manager said, "If I announce that there will be a tip jar there for you?"
"Great!" Rick said, and went on with tuning his guitar.
The manager went on with his announcement: "Tonight we have a new talent among us. It's Mr. Rick Slocum. If you like what you hear, then Rick's tip jar will be right here for you to show your appreciation."
They clapped for Rick and he went on.
His style was not quite country and not quite pop. He played very well and sang some old standards.
Almost as soon as he started to play and sing, the girls looked at one another and nodded. They were impressed.
They settled down to listen. This was, in fact, making their night out a startling success. They were enjoying it.
Rick played a long set for about a half hour and then took a break.
The girls designated Judy as the one to take their tips and put them in his jar.
He was standing there and just putting his guitar down, when she approached. Each of the girls had donated $20 for his jar.
He noticed and smiled, saying: "Thank you."
"You are spectacular!" Judy said.
"Kind of you to say so!" Rick answered.
"Can I ... and my friends buy you a drink?" she asked next.
"I'd enjoy that," Rick said, as Judy led him over to the table where the girls were.
She said to him, as soon as she'd got him to the table: "I'm Judy Cousins and these are my friends and partners in crime: Alicia Higgins, Cindy Lofton, and Marcia Wilsey."
Rick said 'hi' to each of them and then the waitress brought the glass of ale that Rick had ordered.
"Put it on mine!" Judy said, and then he thanked her.
"So, ladies," Rick said, smiling, "What's the occasion!"
"We're a success!" Alicia said, and then she talked about their company CWays. She told him about Judy's determination to not only reorganize the business but to do it using only women executives.
He was surprised and said so. He wanted to know then about the company. They talked about it then: Judy as CEO, Alicia as CFO, Cindy with inventory and Marcia in shipping.
He simply shook his head. "You ladies must be the buzz of your industry!"
"We are!" Alicia said.
She drank up then and said: "But we have plans tonight."
"At least three of us do," Cindy said and they giggled.
"May I ask?" Rick asked.
Alicia was the forthright one and said: "Yes, Cindy, Marcia and I are going to go home and grab our husbands and get laid in celebration of the company's success."
They all giggled at that and Rick grinned, and raised his glass to them. They drank in response to his toast.
He said then: "But what about you, Judy?" And hastened to apologize for asking. But the carnival mood prevailed.
"She's gonna go home and smile because the Buffoon isn't going to be there!" Alicia said, getting smiles and giggles from all the girls.
"The Buffoon?" Rick asked. Then he said quickly: "Don't tell me, if I'm being too nosey."
"No," Alicia said, "We're all friends and we don't mind telling. The Buffoon is Gerald, Judy's ex. He thought he could run the company and we watched him almost destroy it with his attitude and crap."
Judy stuck out a hand then and put it on Alicia's arm. "'Licia!" Judy said and Alicia nodded and was silent.
"Okay, children," Alicia said then, "I'm outta here."
Marcia and Cindy said the same thing.
Alicia looked at Judy and Judy said: "I'm going to listen to more music for just a bit and then go home."
They left, with Alicia kissing Judy on the cheek and telling her to call, if need be.
Judy nodded and Alicia said, with a grin, "But not when I'm in the saddle!"
That got a grin from both Judy and Rick, as Alicia wandered away.
"Quite a group," he said.
"Yes, but their attitude simply reflects how good they are at their jobs," Judy explained.
"You picked them?" he asked.
"Yes," she said, "Following a kind of dream of mine. It was Momma and Poppa's company and Gerald took it over for a while. He wasn't good at it. Really not good at anything. That's when he left and I took over. I had had so much good training from Poppa. Couldn't fail!"
"Hey," he said, "I need to get back up on the stand."
"Okay," she said.
He turned to her then and said: "Any requests?"
"Oh," she said, without much thought: "'The Second Time Around' can you? It's a favorite of mine."
"Ah," he replied, "A friend of Frank's. I can do any of Frank's stuff. It'll be for you"
That's what he sang first: Frank Sinatra's 'The Second Time Around'.
Judy was pleased.
.... There is more of this story ...