Naked Lunch

You want hot sex, and you want hot food. You can plead with the escort service to send over a pizza, or you can go out in search of a naked lunch. Of course, it won't be completely naked—thanks to the prudes at the health inspector's office, bare, sweaty flesh is kept far away from the dining table—but you can still indulge in a little good-natured objectification during your lunch hour and swagger back to the office semisatisfied. To whet our appetites—all of them—we started at Newport Beach's Hooters, the Wal-Mart of T&A.

Hooters exists solely to cater to jowly middle-manager types who are too timid or too snobby to just waddle into a regular ol' strip bar; it's where Promise Keepers go to ogle boobies. Now, I'm not a picky man (I've been known to eat food I've found, you know, on the ground or something), but if someone tries to pull that gutless but-I-come-for-the-food thing on you about Hooters, smack them in the mouth. Hard. The famous Hooters chicken-wings appetizers are unappetizing in every conceivable way—it's like crunching down on venereal disease. The Hooters burger (with lettuce, tomato, pickle and a tiny cupful of watery baked beans) is like a baseball bat to the stomach. And the grilled cheese? Well, it was sort of okay; it's hard to kill a piece of American cheese on toast, but God willing, one day they'll find a way. And the boobies, you ask? The waitresses nailed us as too-cheap-to-tip types the second we walked in, whooshing past our table without so much as accidental eye contact to coo over a huddle of guys with stringy mullets, potbellies and too-tight polo shirts—it's a desperate, erotic hell in there.

Our appetites grievously maimed but still kicking, we headed up the 55 freeway to Mr. J's, which, after Hooters, was fairly dripping with class, with "Smart casual" dress only, lots of wood paneling and track lighting, even complimentary peppermints. It's got that decadent, '80s, Miami-Vice-coke-mirror-turquoise-suit-and-tie vibe humming quite nicely, plus there's none of this sexually autistic, tight-T-shirt crap—the girls (and guys on Friday and Saturday nights) actually take their tops off. My male companions begged off—apparently, men just do not want to look at naked women anymore—but luckily, I found a strong, dynamic, independent woman who not only took me there during her lunch hour but also bought my meal and tipped the strippers like crazy. Again, what class! The menu is understandably limited, but all the dishes—tried-and-true sandwiches, soups and salad—complement nude boobs very well. We sampled a fish sandwich and fries ($4.95) and a chef salad ($5.95) as one lithe young girl shimmied the hell out of the pole onstage. The salad was firm, moist and a lot bigger than we expected (and quite palatable, too), and the fish sandwich was a small but significant evolutionary step forward from the Filet-o-Fish, with some quality cod or something lurking between those greasy buns. For dinner and a show, it beats the panties off musical theater—better food and more intellectual, too.

And now dessert: on the way home, we stopped at Condom Revolution for some edible men's underwear ($5.99, available in cherry, passion fruit, and strawberry/ chocolate). I opted for the passion fruit after carefully examining the package: "Sensuous with taste," it proclaimed, and then, in smaller print, "Use of this product may be hazardous to your health." But hey, who knows how many pairs of edible undies those lab rats had to eat before they got cancer? "When worn, normal body moisture and heat will make them more pliable and flavorful," the package read. "The more you lick Edible Undies, the better they taste—so lick well before eating." So, I went home, dug out a damp sponge from under the sink, shook the undies out of their package and draped them limply over a plate. They looked very small and sad. And I got to thinking: here I am, alone in this dark apartment, about to tuck into a pair of edible men's underpants. I'm sorry, Dad, I thought as I peeled off a hefty chunk of crotch. I'm sorry, Mom. And I took an experimental bite: sweet . . . a little dry . . . could use a little normal body moisture . . . I swallowed and tore off another piece, heartened. It was as edible as I'd dreamed and more! It wasn't like eating a Fruit Roll-Up, as I'd been led to believe—more like eating a balloon—and apart from the cloying, bitter aftertaste that I burned out with repeated Listerine bombings, it wasn't half-bad. And it was definitely better than Hooters.

HOOTERS, located at 2406 Newport Blvd., Newport Beach, is open daily, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. (949) 723-5800. Beer and wine. Lunch for two, $10-$15, food only. All major credit cards accepted; MR. J'S, located at 2101 E. Edinger, Santa Ana, is open daily, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. (714) 667-5000. Beer and wine. Lunch for two, $15, food only. All major credit cards accepted; Edible undies are available from CONDOM REVOLUTION, 17855 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach, (714) 843-6911; also in costa Mesa. One pair men's briefs, $5.99. All major credit cards accepted.


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