Pro Forma Vision Statement
by Randolph O. Mann
The Maître d' all but genuflected as he announced , “Right this way Mr. Winston. We have your usual table waiting.”
Thurgood Winston replied, “Thank you, Maurice. I suggest we seat Ms. Browne nearest to the window as the view can be quite breathtaking from that spot. My Winifred will be sitting to my left.”
Taking his queue from the chivalrous gesture Mr. Thurgood Winston III was extending towards his lovely spouse, Maurice stylishly mirrored Mr. Winston’s gentlemanly deed by directing Linda to her assigned position. Thurgood gallantly helped Linda to her seat by gripping the high backed oak chair, which Maurice slid away from the table to allow her better access. Then, flying contrary to convention, as can be her practice, Mrs. Winston placed a tender and very public kiss upon the cheek of her surprised and self-conscious husband, graciously acknowledging Thurgood’s excellent comportment.
Maurice then acknowledged two servants standing at the ready with a very grand back-handed arm extension. He introduced the two vibrant women, attired in French collared and dorsally fastened billowing white blouses and enhanced with thin black satin hand-tied bows, plus taut black midi-length skirts that were accented with formal black silk seamed stockings and harmonizing stiletto heels. “May I present, Yvonne and Annette?”
Maurice used a hurried double click of heels and a smart open-handed slap upon the lips of his open mouth, affording a loud popping gesture, to beckon the young ‘ladies’ tableside. He announced, “These capable and attractive members of my serving staff have been assigned to you this afternoon and will be attending to your every need.”
Each of the girls in turn furnished effervescent smiles as they grasped a fistful of skirt material and presented demure curtsies towards their distinguished clientele.
“Now, Mr. and Mrs. Winston, if everything meets with your approval I shall retire to my post at the foyer-podium, leaving both of you and Ms. Browne in the capable hands of Annette and Yvonne."
Thurgood asked,“Winnie, is this seating arrangement acceptable?”
“Oh yes, tell Maurice everything is fabulous as usual, thank you.”
“Maurice, you have preserved the customary high standard of excellence that we have come to expect from your banquet-emporium and you have our sincere compliments.”
“Thank you, Sir. While lovely Yvonne distributes today’s luncheon menus pretty Annette is standing by to accept your requests from our bar.”
Thurgood asked. “Will either of you ladies be enjoying cocktails?”
Winifred replied, “Why of course, Thurgood! I have a craving for Scotch this afternoon. What will you have, Linda?”
“Oh yes, Scotch sounds good to me too, a tall scotch and soda would taste first-rate before lunch.”
Thurgood exclaimed, “Then Laphroaig it is, Annette! Linda has stated her fondness of a Tall-Scotch-And-Soda, my wife would like her usual, a Rob-Roy-Over and for myself I always take ‘My Scotch’ at room temperature and decanted into a cognac snifter.
“Very good, Sir! It shall be as you wish.”
Both attendants withdrew into the recesses of the ‘smoke-free’ cocktail lounge with Annette traveling to collect the various alcoholic libations from the Service Bar and Yvonne trailing her with intentions of garnering a large ice filled pitcher of lime-flavored mineral water. The Winston’s and their luncheon guest attentively considered each of the offerings exposed between the covers of the leather bound menus. Their deliberations were interrupted by the return of Yvonne and Annette with the carafe of seasoned-water and the assorted adult beverages. Both servants had benefited from a quick yet subtle improvised costume adjustment as the young ‘ladies’ were now sporting radical attention-grabbing slits along the seam of their black skirts. They casually continued plying their trade while coyly flaunting attractive glimpses of shapely leg that successfully acquired the scrutiny of both Linda Browne and her hosts
Yvonne asked, “May I inquire if an appetizer will be part of the luncheon plans for this afternoon?”
Thurgood replied, “I believe so. Winifred and Linda, may I suggest we begin with the baked oyster stuffed with mushrooms and some white sturgeon caviar?”
Winifred said, “Linda, I suggest, but only if you are in full agreement, that we leave the meal strategy for Thurgood to administer while you initiate a full accounting of the sequence of business that you are presenting for us today."
“Gladly, Mrs. Winston”
Winifred smiled, “Dearest Thurgood, would you be an angel and order for the three of us this afternoon.”
“I am more than happy to, Winnie. Yvonne, we will start with the baked oysters and caviar as an appetizer. I believe we can try both a salad and the soup this afternoon. Yes, the Belgian endive, Asian pears with black truffles and hazelnuts followed with a sampling of the salmon bisque. As our main course, all three of us will be enjoying roast quail with Braeburn apples and pecans coupled with your butternut squash 'Tortellini' smothered with the brown butter emulsion containing pomegranate kernels.
“Very good, Mr. Winston!”
“Annette?” Thurgood said.
“With our noon meal I believe opening some Chardonnay is in order. If you could please check the cellar I believe I have a couple of bottles of Domaine Bernard Moreau et Fils Premier Cro Les Grandes Ruchuttes 2005 in the rack that your wine steward could uncork for us this afternoon.
“Excellent, Mr. Winston.”
Both women scampered off upon their diverse itineraries, as their assorted tasks required such a separation, and the dining conversation refocused upon Linda and her presentation. Mr. and Mrs. Winston held hands as she stirred the ice in her ‘Scotch Manhattan’ with the gilded stir stick and he toyed with his snifter endeavoring to influence the tepid single malt beverage. Linda cleared her throat with a sip from her cocktail prior to beginning her testimony.
Linda said, “Before us today is the subject of corporate sexual improprieties instigated between an assortment of departmental staff in support of nefarious gaming objectives that potentially will place T. Winston INC at odds with the federal gambling authorities.”
Thurgood interrupted, "This sounds serious. Have ‘we’ involved Lorenzo Garcia at Independent Security Systems?"
“Not at present, as my investigation is still at a preliminary juncture.”
“And what would validate such a deviation from our Corporate Protocol and trigger a clandestine inquiry by yourself?”
“Mr. Lorenzo Garcia and other employees at Independent Security Systems have been implicated as a party to these criminal transgressions, thus compromising their autonomous status in this sordid matter and thereby forcing me to bring this sensitive issue to your attention before involving Anita Morris and her law firm.”
Consecutively Yvonne and then Annette returned with both women sporting yet another matching fashion transformation, as these spirited females now present a stylish facade in form-fitting men’s long sleeved white shirts accented with skinny black silk retro ties. Their shirttails were tucked into the diminutive waistbands of knee length black skirts in such away as to draw the maximum attention toward the buxom beauties’ ample torsos. That, under the concentrated noonday sunbeams, placed into evidence the faint silhouettes of the girls’ pallid foundation garments as Yvonne delivered the oysters and caviar to the table and Annette offered a sampling of the Chardonnay to Thurgood for his endorsement.
Thurgood sipped the wine. “That will be fine Annette, you may serve the ladies, if you please. Now Linda, I encourage you to furnish us with a few specifics to establish the basis for your very serious allegations.
“Gladly Mr. Winston. The earliest occasion I have identified as a component of this unfortunate affair was last year's Shirt off Our Backs Holiday Charity Auction, but there was also the aluminum ladder issue i brought to administration’s attention, the helium balloons-slash- lab coat erosion – slash – goat stampede incidents, and the very disturbing hostage exchange involving poor Courtney."
Winifred said, “Excuse me Linda, I don’t mean to interrupt you but, according to our nephew, I have been remiss in extending my gratitude to you for the magnanimous gesture you performed, by ignoring your personal modesty to serve as an ad hoc surrogate fashion model at the Charity Action. Our nephew explained that you stepped in after learning how our whole benevolent event was in jeopardy of collapse due to Travesty’s ill-timed exodus. All of us associated with Shirt Off Our Back Foundation cannot thank you enough for saving our premier fund raising event and personally I would like for you to understand that I hold you in very high regard owing to that unselfish sacrifice. Thank you Linda!”
“Aw, aw, you’re welcome Mrs. Winston.”
“No, no, dear, please call me Winnie. All of my very close friends do that and I would be honored to place your friendship into that company.”
“Ok. Winnie, and thank you!”
Both Annette and Yvonne revisit the dinner’s table carrying the trio of salads but only after loosening the Windsor Knots of their silk ties so they now dangled in risqué fashion above the ample cleavages the two girls made public by unhooking the top three buttons of their trivially opaque white shirts. For all those in attendance a correlation between Linda’s declining sobriety and the waitress’ increasing blatancy was becoming apparent. As one glass of wine became two and then three a pattern developed, and Linda quickly drained the first bottle of Chardonnay. Linda was oblivious to her drunken vulnerability while Mr. and Mrs. Winston were using Linda’s slurred communications to gauge this occasion for functional opportunity. Yvonne and Annette just smiled. Once the empty cocktail glassware was collected these well-developed young women returned to the kitchen area after replenishing everyone’s wine glasses.
Thurgood said, “Winnie, if you two ladies have successfully managed to correct any social faux pas, I believe Linda should be allowed to complete her Impropriety Statement and detail for us the incidentals associated with her allegation.
Linda slurred, “Sure Mr. ‘Winsss-ton’, a better example of the calamitous activities confronting our company would entail the departmental wagering that I have linked with the ‘awe-forementioned’ aluminum ladder issue AND the progressive state of undress of a exceptionally ‘n-eye-eve’ seasonal office temp.”
Winifred “Excuse me Linda, I don’t mean to interrupt you, but as hostess to this luncheon, I could not help but notice your wine glass is empty. If I may be so bold as to have my Thurgood summon sweet Annette and striking Yvonne to remedy this oversight?”
A discreet head tilt by Mr. Thurgood Winston was more than enough to alert Maurice, who promptly applied an open-handed slap to his waiting lips producing his signature ‘pop’ that had Yvonne and Annette promptly returning tableside with bowls of salmon bisque and their matching embarrassed flushes indicated they were very determined to correct their oversight by hastily replenishing Linda’s empty wine goblet. Annette and Yvonne were doubly gifted, supplying both the savory consommé for the tongue and a stimulating feast for the eyes, as the trio of empty salad plates were exchanged by modest portions of pink soup. The servants were displayed in identical overtly revealing outfits, featuring chemises of a sheer pale fabric permitting a hazy inspection of their recently liberated chests and the bare-nipple prizes to be found there. The advancing nudity of both servant girls corresponded proportionately with Linda’s progressive intoxicated condition as evidenced by the freshly emptied Chardonnay wine bottle in Annette’s custody.
Linda continued, “I want ‘bow-th’ of you, to ‘under-stan-da’, I have nothing against a little nudity! After all everyone is born nude. For that matter, everyone in this restaurant is ‘nakkked’, under their clothes. Even me! So ‘it’ssss’ natural, just not in a corporate ‘ven-you’. This soup is really ‘good-da’! Boy am I ‘hot-ta’! ‘Isss’ it getting warm in here?”
Without missing a slurp of her bisque, Linda attempted to remove her pin-stripped charcoal jacket, only to find her left elbow ensnared by the satin lining in the sleeve. Her awkward struggles brought Maurice quickly skipping across the dinning hall and to her rescue. Together Maurice and Linda extracted her incarcerated appendage by completely removing the offending garment which the resourceful Maître d' shrewdly draped across his forearm as he replenished Linda’s wine.
The Maître d' asked,“May I check Ms. Browne’s garment?”
Thurgood replied “Thank you Maurice. We will collect her ensemble later.”
“Very good, Sir.”
By the time the ‘Tortellini’ and roast quail had arrived the potage of salmon was happily exchanged for healthy portions of pasta and fowl. Both of the serving ‘wenches’ arrived with matching hemlines two and a half inches higher, approaching a realm of the daring that exposed four crimson garters as the girls stretched across the table for the empty chowder bowls and to refill Linda’s wine glass.
“ ‘Win-Knee’, I want you and your ‘husssband’ to understand that I only have the ‘Come-pany’s’ best interest in mind when I ‘Brrrr-Oh-ch’,this ‘sub-ject’?” Linda leaned foreword to achieve a better vantage point from which to inspect Mrs. Winston’s sparkling pendant. However, this caused her spaghetti-strapped satin chemise to fall away from Linda’s upper body, exposing her own pair of treasures, this ‘unfortunate’ fashion design flaw creating opportunity for both women to examine the other’s ornaments.
“…THAT is a breath taking ‘peee-ace’ of jewelry, Winnie! It must have cost you guys a ‘fourrr-tune’. May I?
Yvonne and Annette arrived tableside providing a rival source for sweet eye-candy as they went about collecting the empty luncheon plates in tiny Bandeau tops and daring eleven inch, micro-mini Brazilian-style Lycra skirts that reveal scandalous amounts of feminine flesh between their hemlines and the erotic thigh high stocking that currently adorned the young women’s legs. This brace of vivacious young women presenting barbed feline smirks in the direction of Linda at the same time as they were serving complimentary pistachio ice cream with whipped mascarpone, warmed snifters of Grand Marnier, (courtesy of Maurice’s benevolence), and a haughty suggestion of their own invention.
Yvonne asked, “Scissors?”
“ ‘Ex-que-sssse’ me, Yvonne, did you say ‘sssisters’?”
“I said, Sordid Scissors.”
“No they are not store bought ‘Ssssister’s. As God ‘isss’s my witness, these ‘babiessss’ are all natural.”
“Oh no, no Ms. Browne, I would never questioned the organic status of your breasts. I was simply challenging you to a game of Sordid Scissors. There is no need for such mammary speculation as everyone here today will witness the authenticity of your boobs after you lose.”
“Yvonne, leave it alone, Ms. Browne is obviously intimidated by this very public venue AND the two of us. It is ok Linda, we understand how our attractive appearance and our strength of character will cow most women and Yvonne wrongly assumed you had been cut from a better cloth.”
“What? You didn’t just say that? Burrring it, ‘Sisssters’!”
“Bring what, Ms. Browne?”
“Bring on your naughty ‘Scissssssors’! I’m in!”
As anticipated, the intoxicating powers of the citrus flavored cordial had undermined Miss. Browne’s sobriety while healthy rations of the saccharine dessert had embolden Linda’s feminine bravado until any appearance of convention was abandoned on her part. Linda was throwing caution to the wind and was prepared to let much more than her hair down when she accepted the challenge from Annette and Yvonne.
“Oh yes! I’m defiantly in!”
Winifred interjected, “Linda, are you sure about this, dear? These women seem very practiced and knowledgeable with respect to such competitions. Linda, you might be over matched and I would hate for you to be taken advantage of by such very beautiful women.”
Thurgood warned, “Ms. Browne, do you understand, the terms of this drinking game? It has yet to even be explained.”
“Sure they have, It’sss going to be like a three party game of Twisted-Sister-‘Sssspin’-The-Bottle only ‘inssstead’ of an empty bottle were going to use a pair of very naughty scissors. The two winners drink glasses of Bubbly and the loser’s clothes get ‘shshsh-red-did-ed’. Seems fairly straight forward to me. I’m in!”
“Ok? Let the game begin!” Thurgood realized that whoever lost, he would win.
Yvonne and Annette exited and then revisited the dinning table, now sporting precariously elevated side openings to their flimsy dance-skin skirts that placed the very existence of Annette and Yvonne’s knickers into question. Annette delivered a couple Rusty Nails, fresh from the service bar, to Mr. And Mrs. Winston. Yvonne arrived, carrying three crystalline Champaign flutes and a large sterling silver three-legged ice bucket. Maurice followed her loaded down with a full jeroboam of Champagne Salon Blanc de Blances Le Mesnil Brut 1997 and of course an outsized pair of shiny scissors. Then a whole drove of muscle-bound bus boys arrived to replace the dinning table with three cocktail tables, one for Mr. and Mrs. Winston to share, one that would accept a large waiter’s tray upon which the shredded garments would be deposited, and one to hold the champagne glasses and where the shears could be spun.
All of this frantic commotion attracted the attention of the other lunch time dining room clientele and also assembled the terrace customers at the window behind Linda Browne’s suddenly elevated and very exposed high backed chair. With the three women evenly stationed around the third cocktail table Maurice gave the clippers a vigorous twirl.“Good luck ‘ladies’.”
Round and around the metallic cutters went, spinning and spinning until they slowly came to rest with the tips pointing directly at...Yvonne.
Linda cackled, “Yes!”
A wicked smile crossed Yvonne’s lips as Annette and Linda both toasted their good fortune prior to Annette using the shears to snip away her partner’s red garter.
Maurice announced, “Round Two!”
Round and around the clippers whirled until they came to rest again with Yvonne placed squarely in the cross hairs.
Linda giggled, “Oh Yessss-a!”
With a fading smile still visible upon Yvonne’s face, Annette removed the remaining scarlet garter but only after both victors downed another glass of bubbly.
The spiraling shears of fate found Annette as its victim for this rotation. So the roles reversed with Yvonne and Linda sharing the sparkling wine before Annette’s first garter was pruned away.
Linda chortled, “That can work too!”
Again Annette was found a loser in round four as her second garter was severed.
Round and around the naughty scissors were sent and when they stopped, a gasp rang out.
Linda gasped, “Oh my God!”
Spontaneous applause erupted from the gallery of voyeurs as a new victim would go under the knife. Yvonne and Annette exchanged high fives and gulped down their portions of bubbly. Then handing Yvonne the weapon of the moment Annette blinked an all knowing wink as Yvonne approached her obedient prey and administered two strategically perfect cuts that left Linda agonizingly exposed while seated upon the tattered remnants to her Charcoal pin-stripped skirt. Linda was forced to tightly fuse her shapely lower appendages in a desperate effort to reinstate her modesty.
The revolving blades of doom leisurely came to a stop, identifying Yvonne as the first three time loser.
Yvonne errantly watched as Linda and then Annette threw back obligatory portions of Champagne before Annette blatantly approached with carving tool in hand. It was only after seeing how Annette assumed her iniquitous kneeling pose as she reached beneath Yvonne’s insignificant kilt and winked at Linda that poor Linda came to recognize the cunning of their strip-off crusade. Then with only one expertly administered snip by Annette at the whale-tail of Yvonne’s silky thong her intimate apparel fell away uncovering Linda’s titanic initial strategic blunder of surrendering her principal fashion item far too early to the mercies of their shears. Linda’s frantic wardrobe inventory then established her at a considerable disadvantage. Attired in only a skimpy azure chemise, a strapless under wire brassiere and matching ivory petty-pants Linda found herself desperately out gunned when compared with the copious fashions still adorning her opponent’s frames. Numerically Linda understood her position was dire and she would need intervention by Lady Luck her self to level this playing field and prevent a naked disaster.
Maurice set the tailor’s tool into motion with a healthy spin and an evil smile. Round and round the sharp edge went and ever so slowly this ‘Wheel of Misfortune’ came to rest and Linda was again the casualty.
Linda’s top was next to fall as Annette made quick work of slicing through the tiny spaghetti straps and down the satin back of Linda’s Periwinkle chemise.
Round eight provided Linda but a short respite as Annette’s thong was exotically forfeited in repeated penitent fashion to Yvonne’s swordsmanship and joined the other scraps of severed textiles.
The spinning scissors again selected Linda as their mark and as Yvonne came to claim her breast-vest Linda truly regretted surrendering her jacket earlier in the day. A clip aimed at the mammary midpoint of Linda’s lacy brassiere did the trick and the pale piece was quickly replaced with Linda’s sweaty palms as it fell away.
The twirling metal seemed only to postpone a fate that Linda knew was coming. Rotating ever so slowly into a stationary position, pigeonholing Linda as the chosen one. With only one item of clothing at her disposal, both Annette and Yvonne understood that their conquest was but a slice away and they made a victory toast to all assembled and into Linda’s face.
The waitresses chorused,“To the winners”
Flushed with anger at the public insult and distraught by the totality of her defeat, Linda sedately provided access to the shears and snip by snip her petty pants experienced their providence and excepting for a taunting reference Annette whispered into Linda’s ear that stimulated Linda’s fiery temper this contest was at end.
The waitresses shouted, “Here goes everything!”
Instead a frenzied push-me-pull-you developed between Linda’s clenching tanned-thighs and the persistent probing of Annette and Yvonne’s fingers, with Linda’s tattered panties the object of a fierce custody battle. A vicious tug-of-war ensued with Linda again doubly outsourced. Eventually the larger numbers won out and tactile affirmation confirmed the slow erosion of the status quo as the remits of Linda’s knickers slipped beyond the confines of her lap.
Linda begged, “Please no, oh please, girls stop that. ‘Ladies’ can we please talk about this, Oh no you don’t, please girls we need to talkkkk---“
The flight attendant shook Linda's shoulder. “---aaalkinng in you sleep. Ms. Browne, please wake up! I repeat, you have been talking in your sleep and garnering the iniquitous attention of the other business travelers in this section. I must ask you to please lower your voice and place your seat back into the up-right position. The Captain has announced we have entered our final approach and he is requesting all passengers to return to their assigned seats and fasten your seatbelts during the descent and touchdown! Excuse me, ‘gentlemen’ can all of you PLEASE return to your assigned seats and secure your ‘buckles’ as we will be landing soon!”
With a disapproving frown towards the cackle of businessmen encircling Linda’s upgraded first-class aisle-seat the flight attendant forcefully elbowed her way to Linda’s side. The attendant’s judgmental head-tilt registered with Linda as the she reached into Linda’s lap to straighten the hemline of Linda’s business suit that had inadvertently climbed up her thighs during Linda’s ‘nightmare.’
Tom said, “Ms. Linda Browne, may I introduce myself, Thomas Jacobson and here is my business card, if I maybe so bold and offer to buy you lunch?”
“This afternoon my calendar is full, but I can have ‘my people’ give ‘your people’ a call later in the week to arrange something.”
Dick said, “Ms. Browne, here is my card, too. Richard Burlington is my name and I happened to have made dinner reservations for this evening, so if your schedule will allow I would like to have you as my guest.”
“I will check, Mr. Burlington, and give you a call.”
Harry said, “Linda, my card. I'm Harold Fowler, and may I enjoy your company for brunch tomorrow morning.”
“I’m not sure about that, Harold, I don’t mean to interrupt you but I need to speak with the stewardess. Excuse me, excuse me, dear, we have to talk.”