You seem like a woman out of her element…

The latest Dancing Pony pickup line…

Ethan Grant's Slice of Life from the Dancing Pony

I would say this one was more of a joint effort rather than a pickup line but anyway…

It all started with a young woman who came in the Dancing Pony looking a little low. Our bartenders are damned good at spotting ladies in distress and helping them feel comfortable. Matter of fact, it’s a quality I look for when interviewing new employees. It’s a part of the job some people never master and it’s next to impossible to train someone to do it. They’re either hard-wired to connect emotionally with people, or they’re not.

The Dancing Pony has two fairly new bartenders,

Landon and Ivan (not to be confused with Cassie’s Ivan, the gastronomical artiste),  who are particularly good judges of character, so this talent comes naturally to them. They’re not related but at first glance they could easily pass for brothers.

Landon and Ivan both walked over as the young woman took a seat at the bar, looking distinctly uncomfortable. She cast her gaze slowly around the bar as if she was searching the place for someone and gave a slight start when Landon said, “What can we get for you, ma’am?”

She glanced back and forth between the two of them, a pretty pink blush came into her cheeks, and then she looked down at her hands which were clutching the bar. “I don’t drink much…and I don’t care for beer. What do you recommend?”

Landon replied, “That depends on your tastes. What’s your favorite non-alcoholic drink?”

She looked down at her hands for a few seconds and then said, “A mocha latte. I really like those. Do you have something that tastes like that?”

The men both smiled and Ivan said, “Divine White Russian.”

Her eyebrows rose and the beginning of a smile bowed her lips. “Oh, that sounds nice. I’ll try one. But what if I don’t like it?”

Landon waved a dismissive hand and said, “Don’t worry about that. We have a 100% money back guarantee on everything we serve.” Winking at her, he added, “Besides that, we also have a policy at The Dancing Pony that

All gorgeous women who have never been here before get their first drink free.”

She turned five shades of red and put her hands to her cheeks as if embarrassed by the fact she was blushing. Surprisingly, her eyes grew a little glossy before she said, “That’s very sweet of you. How did you know I’ve never been in here before?”

I have to add here that Ivan is the sort of man who can’t stand to see women upset for any reason, especially one who was so obviously out of her element. He put an elbow on the bar and leaned toward her a little. “You said you don’t drink much. Most people who frequent nightclubs usually have a favorite drink.”

Landon, who is good at diffusing tense situations, smiled and leaned in from her other side and said, “Plus, we have a knack for knowing such things. You seem like a woman out of her element.

We’re here to make your stay enjoyable and take care of you however we can.

What brings you in tonight? Just move in to town or visiting?”

She glanced between them but didn’t seem bothered that they were leaned toward her. “Oh no. I’ve lived just outside of Divine most of my life. I just don’t…get out much. I have 3 kids and I’m a single mom. A friend of mine surprised me with a baby sitter tonight and told me to go out.” Casting another gaze around the nightclub, she quickly added,

“She said she’d meet me here but I haven’t seen her yet.”

A half-drunk cowboy wandered up to the bar and leaned into the young woman’s personal space. He squinted at her and grinned, and with a slurring voice said, “Hey there, sexy lady, how ‘bout a dansh? I’m dyin’ to know what ya feel like rubbin’ up against me.”

Clearly not used to fending off drunks, she looked at him with big eyes and said, “Thank you, sir, but I don’t—“

Just then Ivan leaned a little closer, stroked her forearm which was resting on the bar, and said, “So are we still on for next Friday night?” He shot a steely-eyed look at the cowboy as he spoke.

The cowboy peered at Ivan and said,

“Aw hell, maybe nexsh time.”

As he wandered off in search of more receptive pastures, she turned to Ivan and said, “Thank you so much for that. I was afraid I’d offend him.”

Smiling, Ivan shook his head. “No problem, ma’am.” Gesturing at himself and Landon, he added, “That’s what we do.”

Landon nodded. “If we can tell a female patron is uncomfortable with a man’s attentions we try to intervene, at least to check in with them. If we ever overstep our boundaries you let us know.”

As the evening went on, Landon and Ivan got better acquainted with the young woman and had to re-direct several other admirers from her presence. She stayed right where she was at the bar the entire time, chatting with Landon and Ivan as their duties allowed.

Right about last call, another cowboy approached and invited her to go get something to eat with him. She looked surprised at the out-of-the-blue nature of his invitation and clearly didn’t understand the underlying question the player was asking her: It was last call and did she want to get lucky?

Landon stepped in and politely ran interference, but it was becoming obvious that both bartenders were about done watching her get hit on. As Landon was walking away this time he stopped, turned back to the young lady, and said, “Would you care to accompany me and Ivan to the local rodeo next week? No funny business, I promise. Just rodeo and supper.”

Ivan nodded with enthusiasm.

“You’d be safe with us.

We could pick y’all up or you can meet us there, if you’d prefer.”

The young lady stuttered at first and looked around in confusion—I think—because no one was hitting on her, warranting the necessity of them “saving” her, as they asked her out this time. “Uh…I’m confused. Are-Are you actually asking me out on a date?”

Landon and Ivan both nodded and Landon said, “It’d be our honor to escort you to the rodeo.”

Her cheeks turned a pretty pink, but her wistful tone hinted at her disappointment. “I’d love to, guys, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to. I’m on a very tight budget and hiring a babysitter for three kids is expensive.”

Landon grinned at Ivan, who nodded, and then he said, “The invitation was for all four of you. We’d expect them to come, too. I’ll bet they’d love the rodeo.”

Ivan said, “There’ll be rides and plenty for them to do. And besides, Landon always wants someone to ride the rollercoaster. He’s still a kid at heart but I won’t get on those things with him. And

I promise you’d all be safe with us. What do you say?”

She blinked and sniffled, but a beaming smile crossed her face. “I’d—we’d be delighted.”

We closed down The Pony that night and the guys offered to escort her to her car. Before she left, Ivan asked, “Your friend never showed up, did she?”

She shook her head and then giggled. “I forgot all about her. I hope she’s okay.”

Landon glanced over at me when I chuckled and then he said,

“Your friend’s name wouldn’t happen to be Grace Warner, would it?”

Surprised, she looked at them both and said, “Now, how did you know her name?”

I shoulda known all along. That Gracie…

©Heather Rainier 2018



City slicker, what brings you to the sticks now?

My dad taught me to never waste anything, not even a bad beer.

I only see one beautiful woman in here because I can’t take my eyes off you


  1. LOL Classic Grace move 😀 loved it
    I love White Russian and wondering if the Divine version is different than the original recipe.

  2. *fans self* Those bartenders just got themselves a new admirer! And I am glad they fended off all those men. This young woman should feel no pressure to go out and have fun and It made my heart melt when they invited her AND her kids. So sweet!

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