Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sushi Plate

There are few pieces of advice that can actually stand the test of time.  Advice concerning the benefits of sunscreen may be the best one, but my advice about fine dining and sushi restaurants has to come in a close second: Bring a calculator, and use it before you order.

Nicole and I were two college girls stuck on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles with a full day’s worth of shopping behind us and hungry for a quick bite.  And when I say “shopping” I really just mean trespassing into the high price stores and wasting the salesladies’ valuable time.  Nicole only got to college on a couple of sports scholarships, and while my family can afford to send me with no expectations of having a job at the same time, we’re not the kind of rich that you read about in the tabloids.

Of course, Nicole and I can easily blend into that world.  She’s a short and sweet blond with a dynamite figure and I’m a sassy Japanese girl that somehow got the tall genes.  Between the two of us, we can easily put together a couple of outfits that tend to open lots of doors in this city.  Much of the access in Los Angeles is fueled on pure hype, however, when the bill comes due you better have the money to make any problems you created go away.

Looking back, putting down my credit card at the front desk was not the smartest decision I could have made, but the maître d’ was so cool and casual, and I just figured it was just the way things are done.  We got the menu, and of course, everything looked good, and they conveniently both gave us the menu with no prices.  

At the end of the meal, the bill came due, and Nicole and I gasped at the amount.  We both thought that there was certainly some mistake, the entire meal came to over nine hundred dollars!  Technically, of course, that amount could be placed on my card, but I also knew my parents would certainly see that item in the bill and visions of my death came running through my head.  “Oh my God, Nicole,” I pleaded.  “Fix this!”

Nicole was always better than me with confrontation, and she dutifully rose from her seat and went straight to the maître d’, holding our outrageous bill.  I looked on expectantly, trying to look as pathetic as possible, while Nicole tried to talk our way out of it.  They talked for a good three minutes, and Nicole smiled and nodded a lot, but I was hopeful when she looked my way and gave me a thumbs up with an uneasy smile.

“So, what’s the bad news,” I asked when she returned.  “Were you able to talk the price down?”

“Sort of,” she started.  “So, this restaurant doesn’t really have that many dishes to wash, but I was able to get you a job to kind of work the payment off.”

“Me?  What about you?  I remember you eating some of that unagi!”

“Don’t freak out, it’s just one night of waitressing for you, sort of.”

“What do you mean, sort of?  And why don’t you need to do it?”

“Well, they only need one, and I’m just not built for it,” she smiled.

“Ok, spill it.  How are we getting out of a nine hundred dollar bill?”

Nicole took a sip of water and explained.  “Well, have you ever heard of something called,” Nicole looked down at the piece of paper that she had returned with from her discussion.   “Ny-o-tay...”

My mouth dropped before she could finish.  I had a few terrible first dates at sushi restaurants, and so I knew the word she was trying to construct.  Nyotaimori is the practice of using an attractive woman, usually very naked, as a platter for sushi.  “What are you...”

“Keep it down,” Nicole said.  “They explained it, it’s nothing, it’s just...”

“It’s insane; I’m not doing it.  Would you want to have a room full of horny men picking food off your body?”

I looked down, at the bill, and back at Nicole.  “It would just be one time?”

“Yep, and it’s not like you haven’t done pictures before.  You have a nice body, most women wouldn’t be able to do this, they would just have to pay up.”

I sighed, knowing that those art pictures would come back to bite me one day.  “It’s just one night?”

“Not even a night, you’re here at noon tomorrow, they have their lunch in the private room, and you’re out of their by two-thirty.  You don’t even have to talk, just lie there and try not to flinch.”

That night was nerve-racking for me.  I must have stripped in front of the mirror a dozen times just looking at what a dozen strangers would be seated around.  They had told me to shave, and Nicole offered to help, but that was way too weird.  Whenever I got the butterflies in my stomach at the thought of what would happen, I just looked at the bill and got a shot of courage in my blood.

The owner greeted me with a warm hug when I did show up, right on time.  He was an old Japanese man, and he looked me up and down, giving his tacit approval with a faint smile.  I had a nightmare that he would insist on a “hands-on” approach with me, the new talent, but my fears were allayed when he introduced me to his daughter, a woman in her late thirties, who would show me to the dressing room.

We entered a small dining area in the back was a small closet, converted into a single use dressing stall.  There was barely enough room for me to stand comfortably, but I guess that was to be expected.  She wordlessly pointed at a robe, and left me alone in the room to make my decision.  I closed my eyes tight and started to undress, my subconscious going along with the delusion that if I could not see myself making this decision then it did not exist.  I quickly donned the robe and walked out, where a sushi chef was arranging food on a tray.  I did not see the woman who had shown me in, so I took a big swallow and started to open my robe.  Obviously, this chef would see all of me at some point, I figured, so it was best to just get it over with.  The chef was busy at work, but as I pulled the robe apart, his eyes caught on quickly as to what was happening and he stared dumbfounded.  

My robe was completely apart, and the rush of the warm air of the restaurant wafted over me, when suddenly, the owner’s daughter barged in, and raced over to me.  “No, no, no, not now!” she said in a thick Japanese accent.  She stifled what I assume was a hearty laugh, and showed me out of the room, and into the kitchen area.  “We first must purify.  No men.”

She took me into the kitchen in just my robe. I darted around the kitchen staff, who were working on cooking the dishes that needed cooking.  To my surprise, it was only a handful of people, but I knew that the next time I saw them, I would not be wearing my robe.  They exchanged knowing glances at each other and my way as I passed.

I got to the table in the back, and was instructed to drop the robe and lie face up on the lowered table before me.  All around me were kitchen utensils, and lying on this surface, which I knew was also used to cut fresh meat, was an exercise in will power.  The surface was bone dry of course, but I couldn’t help but imagine the owner’s daughter as a cannibal, preparing me to be devoured.  I must have looked absolutely terrified, lying there naked, desperately trying to cover up myself for as long as possible.  The owner’s daughter hushed me, and gave me a motherly kiss on the forehead.  It was a bit weird, but also comforting.  She had obviously had this kind of experience before and knew just how to comfort the “trays.”

Two other young women entered and started slathering my body with hand soap sanitizer.  I’m sure it was more than the recommended amount, but I guess they had to be thorough in getting me clean.  Salts and other various oils were then put on top of that surface, making me the ideal plate for whatever was on the menu.  Obviously, it didn’t do anything to really cover me up, but with the oil on, I could close my eyes, and at least make myself believe I wasn’t totally naked.  They  massaged me quite throughly, rubbing the oils deep into my skin.  It felt okay, but I was a bit worried it may make me break out a bit.  

They also took a large piece of what looked to be a dental dam, and secured it over my my pussy.  That made me very comfortable and good about what was about to transpire, however, it also made me more mortified than ever over the eyeful that the chef got.  I also was sure one of the girls hands lingered over me just a bit too long.

The two chefs then entered the room, and although I was burning from shame on the inside, I didn’t flinch, and kept my arms at my sides.  Fortunately, they didn’t leer as they lifted the platform I was laying on, and lifted me onto a cart.  I was wheeled through the kitchen and directly into the private dining area, where I had given the peep show just ten minutes prior.  Methodically, I was placed in the center of the table as the dining table’s centerpiece, and the owners daughter started laying out roll after roll of sushi across my body.  I smiled and put on a brave face, and she would smile back.  She quickly laid out all the rolls over me, and soon the front of my body was covered in sashimi, rice, and judging from my bill from the night before, three thousand dollars worth of sushi.

The majority of the rolls were on my stomach, and I tried to keep my breathing as calm as I could in order to cooperate.  I hoped they would eat those rolls first, just so I could breathe a bit easier.  Surprisingly, there were rolls that covered my pussy, but, of course, the dental dam kept everything separate.  I was glad they kept the wasabi off the plate.

The owner’s daughter then concentrated on my hair and started to arrange it, and gave my face a bit of makeup.   Before long, the first guests arrived each a bit shocked with what they found at the table.  Nicole was right, it was all women, and they all commented on how perfect the centerpiece, me, looked.  I beamed with pride, while staying as still and silent as possible.

The lunch wore on, and before long, the women were talking business.  The initial shock of the naked woman at the table had worn off, and now, I was just part of the decoration.  Carefully handled chopsticks, one by one, picked roll after roll off my body, and with each piece that came off, a little more of me was exposed.  I noticed that the women avoided the lower pieces completely, probably not aware that it was perfectly clean.  When everything was picked off, the discussion of what was left started.

“Oh,” one of the ladies said.  “It looks like it’s just a little bit left.”

“We shouldn’t,” another said with a devilish smile.  “I mean, it’s right on her...”

“Oh, it’s fine, we paid for it!”  The adventurous woman took a chopstick and picked off the piece of sashimi and laid it on her plate.  “See, there’s a piece of plastic protecting it.”

One by one, he group dispersed, and eventually just two ladies were left talking about their businesses, which they were in the process of merging.  It was a little interesting, but I was also fighting off the urge to fall asleep right there.  I was keeping as still as possible, but I also sneaked in a couple of shifts in position now and then, now that my services as a platter for sushi were done.  I was getting a bit anxious for these two last guests to leave, so I could finally leave the restaurant debt free.

“Angela, she’s quite good at being still,” one of the ladies remarked.  “You think she knows English?”

I fought the urge to answer, knowing that it would just lead to embarrassing discussion of me explaining how I got this job.  I stayed as motionless as possible, keeping in character as an inanimate object.

“I don’t know, maybe I’ll get a reaction from this,” Angela reached out and walked her fingers across my stomach.  I smiled but kept looking straight ahead, keeping my composure.  If they wanted to play a little game, I was up for it.

The other woman then upped the ante.  “Let’s see if she’s ready for this,” she reached down and grabbed the plastic that was covering my pussy.  It peeled off easily, but it was still a bit shocking to me.  I was there fully naked now in front of these two strange women that were using my body to experiment.

They looked up and realized the waitress was coming with the bill and to clean up, and they looked down on me disappointed.  “Saved by the bell, maybe next time hon.”

I quickly gathered my things, dressed, and walked out of the restaurant a normal person once again.  As I left, I felt a tap on my shoulder and came face to face with Angela.  From this perspective I could see she was in her mid-forties, but still strikingly beautiful.  She handed me a card.

“I know that’s just a job, but you are quite the knockout.  If you’re ever in Chicago, give me a ring.”

I took the card and smiled.  I didn’t want to shatter her hopes so I smiled and sauntered away, thinking of what might have happened if that private dining area locked from the inside.  I clutched the card tight, knowing it would be my memento of the most thrilling college job I would ever have.

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