A Day At The Races, Playboy Style.

One of the best times I had when I worked for Playboy was when a few of us were picked to go on a day trip to Chester races along with some of the punters. Four of us were on four different coaches and our job was to serve the champagne and nibbles to all the guys on our coach on the journey there but unluckily for me I had the manager of the club on my coach which meant no champagne for me, but the other girls had clearly taken advantage of it as I turned up sober and they were a bit, shall we say, giddy. Working for Playboy was all about image and we were under strict instructions that we weren’t allowed to have any alcohol or place a bet while we there there, which meant that we actually had a chaperone and we spent a lot of our time trying to persuade him to let us have a couple of drinks which was made even more difficult by the number of guys trying to buy us “anything we wanted”. The amount of attention was ridiculous and a lot of time was spent saying “no” to people wanting photos taken, unless it was someone our manager actually knew.

So at the end of the day I got back on the coach knowing I couldn’t have any of the champagne on offer but as soon as the coach set off back to Manchester nearly all of the guys came to me and gave me money saying “You won this love.” “But I didn’t place any bets?” They all said the same thing “No you didn’t but I put one on for you.” The manager seemed ok with it (think he’d had a really good day) as he said I could have some champagne so I accepted and as it was all notes I came off that coach with a small fortune, no doubt the other girls had the same thing happen to them, so what did we do when we got back to Manchester? We hit the clubs of course. Brambles was one of the popular nightclubs at the time and as soon as we walked in the DJ announced that there were “Bunnies in the house!” and after that none of us bought a drink all night. It’s a bit weird when people are only interested in you because of what they perceive you as, they don’t really want to know you as a person you’re just someone they’ve “met” as they push a piece of paper into your hand with their landline phone number on (no mobiles then) someone they can brag to their friends about. It doesn’t matter what you look like, sound like, think like, they’re not really interested in that, it’s all about the image, I met too many guys who only wanted me to tell them about my job hoping I’d tell them some “juicy bits”. They don’t want to hear about how your legs are aching after spending hours on your feet in heels, how your face aches through smiling all the time, trying to fend off the drunken idiot who persists in trying to touch you even though he knows the club rules, how you’ve bruises on your hips because of the costume you’re wearing, how you get daggers from the wives of the regulars at the tables because they think you’re the reason their husband comes in to the club and throws his money away. They don’t want to know the reality, just the fantasy.

So what did I do with all the money that I “won” at the races? Went on holiday of course which is probably a whole other story.

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Memoirs Of A Playboy Bunny Part Two.

Right, so where were we? Having been given three costumes to put in my locker it was time to learn the job, and as I was to be working on both reception and the restaurant I would be learning how to do the famous “bunny dip.” This would involve carrying a tray of drinks with one hand, above shoulder level, and once reaching the table leaning  backwards but facing away from the table to pick each drink up and somehow twist around to place it on the table without spilling it all over someone. This took time to learn but it’s not something you ever feel really comfortable with doing as you were always thinking that today would be the day it all went wrong. Another hazard of the job was the bunny tail. Held on with press studs I sometimes lost my tail when I was trying to squeeze between tables, I’d go one way and my tail would go another, but there was always someone willing to put it back on for me as you can imagine.

The restaurant I worked in attracted a lot of business men who were members of the club, they would bring clients there hoping to impress (and it never failed) as the food was great and would usually leave a generous tip when they paid for their meal but as it was going to be shared with every single person that worked there, as well as being taxed on, it was highly unlikely you would ever see much of it. The same thing happened in every bar and in the casino, so no matter if you were given a tip everyone had to hand them in.Wearing the costume I was wearing meant there was really no place to put them so it was a case of handing them in, and hoping that it was a good month so that everyone else working there had also done well with tips.

I always worked on reception on Saturday nights, the night when a lot of the members would bring their wives as there was always a good act on in the main entertainment room, then a lot of people would make their way downstairs to the casino for a flutter, a good night out apparently. The guys who were members of the club usually treated the girls with respect, some were professional gamblers so to be honest, you were just part of the furniture to them as they were there to try and make money, it was always the visitors/guests who were the problem who sometimes tried to over step the mark but a word in their ear by a manager would usually calm things down. The thing with Saturday nights though, it was the women who were brought in as guests who were the problem. As their husband/partner/boyfriend signed them in you could see them really eyeing you up, but you had to bite your tongue because it wasn’t your place to tell them that don’t worry, you’re really not interested in someone who spends all their money (and probably yours) gambling.

I rarely worked in the casino, I helped out a few times serving drinks but I find it weird that there’s never any windows or clocks, a foolproof way to make gamblers lose track of time so that they always try one more time to get their money back. But I did see a guy lose an awful lot of money once which resulted in him losing his restaurant in Chinatown. At the time I worked there it was the early 80’s, so the casino seemed to attract a lot of young  guys who had come over from the Arab states, who were here for an education but had more money than they knew what to do with.  They all had the flash cars but as none of were allowed to accept a lift home from anyone (instant dismissal) it was always the bus for me. The club was situated on Canal Street Manchester which is now the infamous gay village, but at that time there were only a couple of gay bars, which are still there, so it wasn’t too far from the bus station to get the bus home when I finished at 4am. The annoying bit was waiting for two hours before the first bus of the day arrived at 6am, you can imagine the drunks and undesirables hanging around at that time.

Another time, another place, another life.

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Memoirs Of A Playboy Bunny. Part One.

A long time ago I had an interview for Playboy. Just to be an average bunny girl and not one of the Playmates you understand as these are two entirely different things. So how did this come about? Well, I’ll tell you.

I’d just returned to England after having worked a year in Spain so I went along to the local job centre where back in the day, every job was displayed on a card. I picked one up that said “Receptionist wanted at club in Manchester.” and took it to one of the women who were sat behind various desks waiting to help. She dialled the number after looking me up and down and was obviously being asked questions about my appearance from the person on the other end of the phone. When she put the phone down she told me it was for Playboy in Manchester and that I was to take a swimsuit with me to wear at the interview. “Sorry I didn’t realise. Thanks for phoning I’ll go and have another look around”. I said as I got up to leave. The woman stopped me.”Go to the interview, you’ve nothing to lose.”…so I did.

Wearing a swimming costume while being interviewed is a bit surreal but the manager must have liked me as he sent me into the lion’s den, the dressing rooms where all the bunnies got ready to do their shift. Two “bunny mothers” were there weighing a few other girls who had also come for an interview but these “mothers” were brutal. One stunning looking girl was told to come back when she’d lost a stone so I was dreading stepping onto those scales as I knew they were going to whizz round at least three times. And I was right.This has always been a problem for me, in fact at one time I never used to have scales in the house as young girls become a slave to them and who’s to say that every 5ft 6″ girl should weigh the same? The women looked confused. I was a size 12, gorgeous, and obviously looked a lot slimmer than what the scales said.

“Try this costume on” said one as she helped me into it.”Does that feel comfortable?” I said it wasn’t too bad.”It’s too big then, try this.” My god. Those costumes gave you a figure that you would never have (unless you’re Barbie) it was so tight I could hardly breathe. It’s corseted with whale bone and the trick is to lean forward and sort of sit your boobs on top while stuffing a load of padding in the slits of the costume under your boobs. It was cut really high to the hip bone so there was no way you could wear any underwear but the effect was amazing. A tail was added on the back white collar with bow tie, white cuffs with cufflinks, and of course the bunny ears. You also had to wear two pairs of tights, one tan then a black pair over the top of those so that your legs looked toned, with court shoes. We were given three costumes and believe it or not none of mine were black. We were also given a new name which was on a rosette worn on the hip (that took some getting used to though, I think everyone thought I was deaf) and I had permanent bruises on my hips where the costume was digging in but I have to say I felt a million dollars.

Once I started the job I was to learn that it usually took an hour at least to get ready, and I also had to learn how to do the notorious “bunny dip” but that’s another story.

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