Barring Any Injuries Ch. 01bychksng19©
Introductions and Chapter One
It seemed to me as though this town would be a good place to start a new bar. There was lots of money coming in from the planned new Spaceport being built on the old Strategic Air Command base, both construction workers and military. The city is growing pretty well in the westerly direction, but most of the established business is in the older, 72nd Street neighborhood. The 300 block seemed a good start; lots of restaurants and clubs around. We'd have a small kitchen for appetizers and pizza and such, but no fancy menu. The guys here before me had one of those, and died a prolonged death. It might have been at the hands of their investors; they lost a lot of cash trying to keep it afloat. I took over the shell of a building with a kitchen and little else.
The town was changing, so I felt it might be a place for something a little cutting-edge. The contractor who was remodeling for me looked at the architect, who looked at me, with the same "you've got to be kidding" glance. "Just follow the plans, gentlemen, and remember, the bonus is for beating the completion date. And the penalties start the next day." I've been dealing with contractors since I've been in short pants, it seems; the universal language of 'money' always talks louder than words.
Okay, I know. 'Where did the money come from for this kind of place?' Everyone asks me the same question. Some of it was from my former mother-in-law, a world traveler before she married the father-in-law who was a retailer and tighter than a horse's asshole in fly season. When she finally stopped bugging the wife and me, i.e. 'went to her reward', I decided to take what she left us and do something that would shock and disgust all the rest of the relatives. And at the same time fill a niche here that was untouched by anyone else in town. If the MIL was imitating a hamster wheel in her coffin, so much the better. The only sad thing was that she took my wife with her when she missed that curve.
The first problem came with the building inspector, of course. He noticed what the blueprints called "decorative fixtures" actually were working models of the various items required. I looked blankly at him and said, "Does it really matter? A little realism helps sell a place like this." He shook his head and we sat to discuss it. $15,000 later, we were approved. Similar transactions with the police and liquor folks, along with a sincere promise to have bouncers who really COULD, and an iron-clad guarantee against any growth in the local DUI problem solved the problems. None of them saw the extension to the basement behind the storage bins; after all, I DID want to open. And the mayor, who stated he would be a regular, told me that was the way to go. It didn't hurt that the local Don was an old friend of the family either.
Fire inspection was a bit of a hassle, but having gone through full consultation with a major company on it won him over. As did my barmaid, helping him explore the darker corners of the basement when I was 'too busy'. She, um, 'handled' matters well. The day before we opened, Hizzonor the mayor Jim Smith himself graced our premises with his presence. I took him through ALL the facility, and he was impressed. Astrid the barmaid assisted him in trying out some of the lighter-duty equipment, and before we knew it, she was down on her knees in rather an unusual way, 'worshiping' the slimy politico's manhood. Being party-head (you'll excuse the inadvertent pun) in a one-party town gave him the pull to assure the inspectors would not bother us as long as we kept the place running clean, and guarantees of regular contributions to the 'Widows and Orphans Fund" made sure I had a little control over the matter. That and the lovely video, in gorgeous HD living color stereo, of him getting his hummer that morning was the little extra insurance I wanted. (A while later, he tried to squeeze me for cumshaw above and beyond the agreement: a visit to his office with a DVD of several events where his face was awfully (and appropriately) red encouraged him to not get greedy. He got an annual increase on the amount, linked with inflation rates for goodness sake. But that's a much longer story, for another time.)
Opening day was interesting. All day we had folks wandering in to find out what kind of business "Barring Any Injuries" was. They saw the very classy, low-key exterior and plush landscaping; I believe they were under the impression it was a fine dining restaurant. Once they saw the "decorative fixtures", their minds were changed and most beat a hasty retreat. But some were more curious, and stayed for a drink at least. Some caught on right away, and decided that those private booths with curtains were a nice idea. We also had quite a few invited guests for that first night. As hard as it was to acquire a mailing list, I had managed to contact every member of all the local BDSM and D/s groups (within about 100 miles, anyway); folks with an avowed interest in my kind of place. There were lots of leather and rubber folks too, and they were informed of the large dressing rooms just inside the front doors, which would allow them to get into whatever kind of dress they wished. As it was a private business, they were told, they could dress however they wished. And with their areas of interest, I knew that an open dress policy, the auditorium, the playrooms, and most of all the privacy due to the soundproofing and sound deadening would be features that would draw them in. Business upstairs would just be the gravy on the mashed potatoes, so to speak.
I expected about a hundred guests the first day; it turned out to be a thousand plus. Most would never know about the specialty rooms downstairs, or the staff artists who worked upstairs, either. To assure our capability to stay in business, we had a 'private entry' for the VIP's like the Chief of Police, the Mayor, and the local Archbishop. We employed lots of pretty people up there to meet their needs and desires. Those personally delivered, free passes for local bigwigs really helped us stay heads-up in the business.
The one screw-up on opening day was one I should have expected, I suppose. There was so much activity on all three public and semi-public floors of the club that I didn't have enough security to watch the cameras. A couple careful hires later in the week made sure that clientele would be safe and anonymous, and that my staff had about 4-second response time if they cried 'Hey, Rube!"
Grand openings are a pain in the ass. I've done too many, and worked too damn hard on every one. This one was different, but not enough to make it easy. I had overstaffed to make sure we were covered (and a good thing, too, as I mentioned above). My job was making with the glad-hand with everyone walking in, and dealing with shocked little old ladies as well as folks in leather and lace.
There are lots of interesting people who patronize "B.A.I."; we'll introduce them as we tell our stories. These are our "house" characters. You'll see them participating in the tales to be told:
First there's me, of course. I'm Chuck Phillips, 50-ish, graying at the temples. I've got thirty years in business operations, but this is my first time in this town. I'm open for the occasional playtime, but with staff, mostly.
Next would be Chief Bartender Jim Schultz, 28, powerfully built, dark hair and eyes, with a mysterious air about him. He is interested in the ladies, and they in him.
Head Bouncer is Lance Fitz, who is well over 21. He is a man mountain, perhaps 6'8" or so, about 400 pounds. He is a former Olympic wrestler, and could be defined as "death on two feet."
He can be as gentle as needed, but won't take no for an answer. He is the stereotypical person of few words.
Dining Room Manager Grace Holbeck is next; she's barely on the sunny side of 40, but looks 25. She is professional at keeping the service fast and outstanding. The crop she carries helps a lot.
Astrid Murphy, barmaid extraordinaire. She makes drinks, washes dishes, waits tables, and works a room upstairs (as needed). Sometimes she participates in the occasional show downstairs. She is 23, blonde, blue-eyed, full-figured and sensuous as they come. And she does, frequently.
"Mom" no last name. She is head of security for the establishment. Looks like a grandma, knows four of the martial arts along with dockside and kill-quick fighting. Weight? Maybe 135 and can lift me over her head. She takes care of "our kids" with an eye on safety first, then customer satisfaction. It is amazing to many, but she can read the guests with an amazing degree of accuracy; none of our people have ever been hurt. A few soon-to-be-former customers were, though.
"Jake the Executioner" or so he was known. In charge of facilities downstairs, both obvious and hidden. He is the jack-of-all-trades, head of maintenance, chief stagehand, lighting expert, and equipment usage consultant. And he can rig a scene or wield a mean whip, too.
The Twins, Pat and Dale, run the dressing/costuming rooms. It is rather unclear which is which, or which gender either is. Experts in outfitting for any occasion; they keep a huge variety of costumery in perfect and sanitary state. They are tough as nails about people using safe practices, and are popular with customers, but they can be awfully spooky.
Well, that's the place. Hope you can find time to visit now and again; we're here to serve.