A Super Bowl Shut Out

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This pickup line from the Dancing Pony was timed perfectly for Super Bowl weekend.

Several cowboys were sitting at the bar talking with the bartenders about great moments from past Super Bowls.tumblr_ma9pvuVPgB1qaobbko1_500

One of the cowboys, named Justice, impressed me with the way he could recall quotes from Vince Lombardi about winning and persistence and things like that, and I was reminded that they don’t call it the Lombardi Trophy for no reason. He was not only a great man and a great coach, but also a great motivator.

41kElgvZ0tL__SY300_ While all this discussion was going on,

there was a table of ladies sitting close by. None of the ladies seemed interested in what the men were talking about until Justice said, “My favorite all time quote is ‘Teamwork is what the Green Bay Packers were all about. They didn’t do it for the individual glory. They did it because they loved one another.’ That’s got to be the best.”

Justice seemed a little choked up

when he said it like it had a special significance to him. Then all the other cowboys gave him a hard time about being mushy and soft.

A pretty cowgirl named Julia, sitting at the table full of ladies must’ve overheard Justice and came over to him and said, “I recognized that quote you were just saying. That was my grand-daddy’s favorite Lombardi quote, too. He was a big, big Packers fan.

Have you ever read any books about Lombardi?”

Justice said, “Yes ma’am, I have. He’s one of my heroes.”

Then she smiled and said, “I’m Julia. Why don’t we move somewhere a little more private so we can share our favorite Lombardi quotes?”

Justice said “Sure, Julia, I’d like that.”b9a0e7a1bcf441d263d52d475a4214c5

Justice’s buddies took all this in with mouths gaping as he grinned and pushed back his chair.

They both started for a table in the corner but Justice stepped back up to the bar, grinned at his buddies, and said,

“I’m just gonna take my soft and mushy ass over there with that beautiful cowgirl. See you chumps later.”

One of the bartenders started laughing and said, “Gentlemen, I do believe we’ve just been schooled.”

I’ll leave you with my favorite Lombardi quote:

“Confidence is contagious; so is lack of confidence.”

Cheers, y’all!Lombardi-quote




From “Hang-dog” to “Howdy, ma’am!”

Ethan Grant's Slices of Life BannerSometimes it’s not what you say but what you do that says something about you and attracts people to you.

One of our semi-regular customers named Robert came in early on a Saturday night looking a little “hang-dog.” He slumped at the bar and ordered a beer.

The bartender, who knew where Robert had just come from said, “How did your team do in the playoffs?”

Robert shook his head and gave him a half-smile. “Well, the boys did great considering that seven of our starters had never played before the season started. If it was all about heart and gumption they deserved to win today. I feel bad for them because they’re such a great bunch of kids.”

Just then a man and his young son of about twelve years of age came in the front door and walked up to Robert. He spoke to Robert briefly, and he and his son shook hands with him, and then handed him something. Judging by his tense body language, Robert was moved by whatever they’d told him.

He thanked the two and then they left. Robert turned back to the bar, misty-eyed and trying to clear the frog from his throat, and set a small trophy on the bar that said “World’s Greatest Coach” on it.

He was still teary-eyed when a young woman named Ashley, who had seen the exchange, came over to him and said, “Are you a little league football coach?”

Robert nodded as he turned to face her, and his whole demeanor changed from “hang-dog” to “howdy-ma’am” in a split second. “Yes, well, I was. The season’s over now.”

bigstock-Glasses-And-Bottles-2744506Ashley smiled as she examined his trophy and became teary-eyed herself. “Wow, you must’ve made a positive impact on them.”

Robert offered her the seat next to him, which she took and he said, “Well, I don’t know about that but they sure had an impact on me.” They chatted for a while and then Robert asked her to dance.

While they were on the dance floor, the bartender looked at me and said, “Something tells me his losing streak has come to an abrupt halt.”

All Materials ©2015 Heather Rainier

What Beautiful Babies We Could Make!

Ethan Grant's Slices of Life BannerSometimes it’s not what you say, but what a third party says, that gets two people talking to each other. When what that third party says involves your mutual reproductive potential, the conversation gets a powerful jumpstart.

One of our regulars, a mature lady named Dot who is retired from the Postal Service and well-known and respected in the community, visited the Dancing Pony during Happy Hour.

Dot always sits at the bar and talks with us. She usually takes a couple of hours to finish one or two drinks and then leaves. She never stays late and seldom gets involved in other people’s affairs.

Last evening, a young cowboy named Kurt and a young woman named Katherine were both in the club alone. They were sitting at the bar, about three seats apart, and kept catching each other’s eyes, would smile, and then look away. Kurt gets a little tongue-tied around pretty women and Katherine is a bit shy herself. Neither seemed able to break the ice.

Shy woman and man. Guy sitting near attractive young woman on sofa and making hand gesture walking with finger to girl ** Note: Soft Focus at 100%, best at smaller sizes

After watching this for a time, Dot beckoned to me. “Ethan, are those two both single?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

After paying her tab, Dot rose from her chair. With mischief in her eyes, she walked over to where Kurt and Katherine were sitting and looking anywhere but at each other. In a voice loud enough for both of them to hear, she said, “Do you two have any idea how pretty your babies would be?” and then walked off.

Kurt’s face and ears turned bright red and his shoulders began to shake with laughter as he finally turned to Katherine, who was giggling, and raised his glass in a toast to her. “Well, beautiful lady, here’s to all the pretty babies we could make together.”

Dot’s well-meaning ploy did get Kurt and Katherine talking, and they left a little later on to go have supper together.

Gracie loves to hang out with Dot sometimes in the early evening. Between the two of them, they’ll probably wipe out the single population of the Dancing Pony.

Cheers, y’all!

All Materials Copyrighted ©2015 Heather Rainier

Mountain stream in a tropical rain forest.


A Hero’s Welcome Home

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Most of the time I enjoy this business but then there are rare times when I experience something that, for a few moments, goes beyond joy. Here’s what happened…

One of our own hometown heroes, Chris, a young man who grew up here recently returned to Divine from his tour of duty in Afghanistan, where he’d seen action and earned a purple heart while pulling several of his fellow soldiers to safety.

For a time, he’d worked as a bar-back at the Pony and I came to know him as a humble, well-brought up young man. I wasn’t a bit surprise to hear he’d enlisted in the Army, nor was I surprised to hear he was a hero.

Some of his buddies had decided to take him out to the Dancing Pony for, according to them, a ‘relaxing evening.’ Chris was in uniform which I found out later was his buddies’ idea. When they walked in, all heads–meaning men and women–turned to look.

10525714_10152951004782729_3497719901367609341_nWithout prompting, everyone in the club came up and thanked him, one-by-one. The men all offered to pay his tab for the evening, and all the single ladies–and I do mean ALL–came up and asked him to dance. It was a beautiful thing.

A waitress overheard one young woman say, “Chris, you don’t need that uniform to make me melt.” He did seem to dance with that particular young lady more than the others, but they all kept him busy that night.

All of us behind the bar, the bouncers, waitresses, everyone in the club had a tear in their eye or a lump in their throat every time they caught a glimpse of him in his uniform, humble but proud to serve, and glad to be home for a while.

We salute all men and women who have served, no matter the year, or the conflict. Thank You.

Cheers y’all!

All material copyright © Heather Rainier 2015




A Jack Of All Trades

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A rather gray-haired gentleman named John sat alone at the bar one night. He’s known around here as a Jack-of-all-trades. People who are acquainted with him say he can fix anything.

As happy hour was ending two people came in together. A young man named Jacob, who was walking with bit of a limp, and his mom Nora. Jacob had lost his leg over in Iraq a few years before and Nora was sort of forcing him to get out and have some fun. He hadn’t been anywhere besides home and hospitals for quite a while and was nervous about going out in public because of his prosthetic leg.

Jacob helped his mom into one of the tall chairs at the bar, and then pulled out one for himself. He stumbled a little as he angled into it and seemed like he was embarrassed by the misstep, which to me seemed understandable for someone adjusting to a prosthesis. Once Jacob had his leg situated they ordered a couple of beers. The poor guy looked like he wanted to crawl under a rock for having drawn attention to himself.

John had been observing unobtrusively the whole time and once they were settled he offered to buy their drinks and said, “Hey there, young man. You doing okay? Looks like you’re having some trouble with that leg.”

Jacob nodded but didn’t say much else and Nora smiled and said, “Thank you for the drinks, sir. My son lost his leg in Iraq and he’s been having trouble with his prosthetic for a while, but doesn’t want to go back to the doctor. He said he’s through with going back and forth to doctors after all this time. He’s a bit stubborn but I can’t say I blame him. I just wanted him to get out and have fun for a change.”

The three talked for a while, and eventually Jacob opened up and explained how he’d lost the leg. It was clear he didn’t like being the center of attention.

John said, “Son, it’d be an honor for me if you’d let me check out your prosthetic leg. I might be able to help with adjusting it, since I have some experience with them.” As he said this, John pulled up his right pant leg and revealed his own prosthetic leg. “Motorcycle accident when I was twenty-five years old.”

Jacob blinked at John’s leg for a few seconds and then a slight smile formed on his face. “You’ve lived with a prosthesis all these years? I kept telling the people at the clinic and the therapists that I was having a hard time balancing and they insisted that was due to my head injury, that I’d just have to adjust. My head feels fine but balancing is still a problem. I’m just really frustrated.”

John frowned as he reached out and lifted Jacob’s pant leg a notch higher and peered at how the leg was attached. Then he nodded at Jacob and gestured with a thumb to the front door. “I think I know what you’re talking about, with the balance problem. I’ve got tools out in my truck. Seems like anything is better than you hobbling around when you don’t need to.”

Jacob followed John outside to his truck. When they came back about thirty minutes later the Jacob’s limp had all but disappeared. He was smiling from ear to ear when he answered his mother’s inquiries. “He fiddled with it and made me walk up and down the sidewalk to test it out and then fiddled with it some more. I’m a little sore from all the exercise, but I can handle a little pain if it means getting around without you having to hover over me and worry so much…” He chuckled and shook his head. “This is the most solid and stable I’ve felt on my own two feet since I was back in Iraq.”

Nora’s eyes grew misty as she looked him up and down, standing tall and straight without something to hold on to for balance. “Son, I never minded being there for you.” She looked up at John as if he was a hero. “Sir, I don’t know how to thank you. This is incredible. How did you do that so quickly?”

John chuckled and blushed a little, and said, “Well, little lady, I used to fix typewriters and there’s not many mechanical devices I haven’t repaired in my life. Just have a knack, I guess, and the right tools of course. You don’t have to thank me, but I’d love to take you to dinner tonight.”

She blushed beet red and said, “Oh my, that would be lovely…but…”

She looked up at Jacob and he said, “For goodness sake, Mom, quit worrying about me. You’re the one who needs to have some fun. You haven’t left my side in three years. Please go have fun.”

One of our bartenders, who knows Jacob, leaned in and said, “Hey, y’all go have a nice dinner and I’ll make sure Jacob gets home, okay?”

They left after a half-hearted protest from Nora who was still blushing and smiling.

Jacob returned to his seat at the bar and gave a huge sigh of relief as he signaled for another beer. “Thank God. I thought my mom was never going to date again. She’s been great and stuck by me through everything but she needed this. Thanks, man.”

The bartender tipped his head and said, “Hey, it’s the least I could do after all you did for us. Thank you. Looks like someone wants to meet you,” he added, pointing over Jacob’s shoulder.

I grinned as Jacob turned to look in the direction the bartender had pointed and his jaw dropped when he saw the cute redhead standing there.

“Is this seat taken?”

Ranch Windmill Reflected in Farm Pond, Silhouetted Against Dramatic Sunset

His mouth opened and closed a couple of times and then he smiled. Patting the seat he said, “It sure is. By you.”

“Smooth,” my bartender said with a grin as he turned to stock the cooler.

Looked to me like Jacob’s wasn’t the only balance that was restored that night. I’ve heard recently that Nora and John are engaged and planning a beach wedding on some pretty Caribbean shore. And Jacob and that cute little redhead have been seen in here on Saturday nights, mostly two-stepping on the dance floor.

Cheers y’all!

All Material ©Heather Rainier 2015

The Wingman Wins

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As a bartender, I’ve served as a wingman on numerous occasions, usually because I could tell the woman, or in some rare cases a man, didn’t want the attention.

I want patrons to feel comfortable in the Dancing Pony. Part of that means doing what I can to make sure it doesn’t become known as a meat market, or someplace a woman couldn’t expect to go to enjoy a drink, relax, and be left in peace if that’s what she wants.

Anyway, one night in the Dancing Pony, a guy was hitting on a pretty young woman named Jenny who was sitting at the bar. At first Jenny was polite and tried to be nice to him without encouraging him, but she was a little too shy to be blunt and tell him to get lost. Problem is, if you get enough drink in a guy like this one, all subtlety goes right over his head.

He kept leaning toward her, talking a little too loudly, and nearly spilled his beer on her, and she frowned as she leaned away from him. That was the cue we were waiting for.

Right as one of my bartenders was about to step in and act as her boyfriend, a cowboy who’d evidently been observing her predicament walked up. He met her gaze and smiled as he laid his forearm around the back of her chair in an obviously territorial gesture and stared at the man who was bothering her, “Hey, pal, are you hitting on my lady?”

She blinked and was about to speak up when the light bulb went on and she gazed up in awe at her good-looking cowboy savior and gave him a big smile…and relaxed against his arm.

The difference in size between the two men was considerable, and the annoying one left.

The young lady thanked the cowboy, who introduced himself as Paul, and he tipped his hat to her and said, “You’re more than welcome, pretty lady. I’m glad I could help. If he bothers you again just look my way. I’ll be right over there…admiring you.” He held her gaze and smiled,  I think, to let her know he was serious about admiring her but respectful of her boundaries if she’d rather be left alone. 

Jenny looked ready to swoon and stared up at him. I think she was trying to formulate a coherent response and not having much luck. Right as he turned to walk away she grasped his coat sleeve. “Don’t go.” She patted the empty chair beside her. “You could do that from this chair…if you wanted to, that is. If your friends don’t mind. I wouldn’t mind.”

He smiled kindly at her and nodded.  “They won’t mind a bit.  And I’d be honored to sit with you.”

He sat down and they talked and danced the rest of the night together. 

As I said before, we’ll help someone who is being bothered, from behind the bar, but I enjoy the occasions where these situations sort themselves out. And I’m pleased to report…since that particular evening,  I’ve seen them come in together several more times. This one might just last beyond the wing-man stage.

Cheers,  y’all!

Majestic alone beech tree on a hill slope with sunny beams at mountain valley. Dramatic colorful morning scene. Red and yellow autumn leaves. Carpathians, Ukraine, Europe. Beauty world.


It Pays To Have a Sense of Humor

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604137_102082776625452_34904134_nConfidence may be the key to getting a lady’s attention, but if a woman likes a man’s sense of humor, he’s well on his way to winning her affection.

A big cowboy was at the Dancing Pony one evening. I mean BIG. So big that his friends nicknamed him Ox. In addition to being big, Ox is also funny. What the guy may lack in male-fitness-model good looks, he makes up for with self-confidence and a great sense of humor.

He was with his buddies that evening and they were having a fun and noisy time as usual when he set eyes on a very pretty, very curvy brunette named Liz who’d just come in with a group of friends to celebrate the end of the work week.

Ox observed the way Liz sang along with all the songs, and that she bobbed in place at the bar with her friends, as if she wanted to dance, but no one had asked her yet.

Never one to let an opportunity pass him by, Ox strolled up to Liz and said, “Sweet, voluptuous angel, would you care to dance with me?”

Now, being married to a sweet, voluptuous blonde angel, I readily noticed the flicker of defensiveness in her eyes as she blinked at him, as if wondering if he was making fun of her curviness.

She put a hand on her hip as she looked Ox up and down. “I think that beer belly would get in the way, don’t you?”

Without missing a beat, Ox patted his mid-section as if he was displaying washboard abs. “Sweet angel, don’t let appearances deceive you. This isn’t a beer belly, it’s a fuel tank for my sex machine, and right now it’s sittin’ on ‘full.’”

By the time everybody stopped laughing, we were pleasantly surprised to see Ox and Liz dancing together.

Looks are a great thing to have but they fade, where a heart of gold and a sense of humor last forever.

Cheers y’all!

Note from Heather: I hope y’all are enjoying the Slices of Life from the Dancing Pony. I have to say, I identified with Liz and this pickup line, only I wished that I’d encountered a man like Ox. We’ve all been there, I suppose, and not all men have as much “snap” as Ox did, in asking his curvy beauty to dance when she was trying to hide that she was afraid he was making fun of her. I know he was big, and funny, and self-confident, but at his core, I think his greatest asset was kindness.

You know I value a snappy pickup line if you’ve read the Divine Creek Ranch Collection, so tell me about the pickup lines you’ve heard. We’ve all heard the cringe-worthy ones but have you ever heard one that either struck you right in the funny bone, or one that strummed the chords of your heart? Tell me about it in a comment. 😀

Seize the day, baby!

All material copyright ©Heather Rainier 2015

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PS: Thanks to all the readers who have contacted me with compliments about Bunny and the Beast. Thanks to wonderful readers like y’all, Bunny and Joseph’s story has been very successful, and I hope continues to be when it reaches Amazon. Thanks also for telling your friends about the series.

Shy Girl Takes a Shot

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This pickup line was actually delivered—or fumbled—by a shy young woman named Gina, who works as a secretary for a local law office, to a guy who is also a bit shy. I imagine if Gracie had been at the Dancing Pony on the night in question she’d have taken matters into hand and called it a service to young love…and the universe at large.

Alex works for the Texas Department of Transportation, also known as TxDOT, so you can imagine that he doesn’t get practice making small talk with pretty women on the job.

It started out simple enough. Gina and Alex kept making eye contact with each other from opposite ends of the bar. Alex would catch her watching him, and turn beet red from his forehead and his ears all the way down to his neck. Then she’d look up to find him watching her, and she’d get clumsy and knock her purse onto the floor or knock my stack of cocktail napkins into the bar sink. Neither one of them had the nerve to go over to the other and open a conversation. It was nearly painful to watch.

Granted, on most occasions a lady need only make eye contact and smile, but Alex needed a little stronger push.

Finally, Gina got up, grabbed her purse, and started to walk past Alex and by “accident” spilled her beer and drenched Alex’s shirtfront.

Gina gasped said, “Oh! I’m so sorry! That was really clumsy of me!” She grabbed half the fresh stack of my bar napkins and began blotting his shirt front, dropping most of them on the floor until they were standing there surrounded by a mound of cocktail napkins, and she was patting his chest with a handful of damp, shredded napkin and leaving bits and pieces of paper all over his shirtfront. Meanwhile he’s just standing there grinning like a tongue-tied fool because she’s actually touching him.

One of the other bar patrons nudged Alex and whispered something to him. He finally snapped out of it, and said, “You could’ve dumped a keg on me, pretty lady, and I wouldn’t have minded, as long as I get the next dance.”

604137_102082776625452_34904134_nGina looked so relieved, and she accidentally whacked that helpful bar patron in the head as she passed her purse to me to put behind the bar. She grabbed Alex’s hand, stumbling on her own two feet once as they headed for the dance floor.

One of the bartenders looked at me and said, “She shoots, she scores!”

The execution doesn’t have to be graceful or suave but it’s important to take a shot at what you want.

Looking forward to serving you another slice of life from the Dancing Pony soon!

Cheers, y’all!

Note from Heather: I hope you enjoyed the first in a series of pickup line stories as written by Ethan Grant. It started out as a brainstorming session with my street team one night. I was looking for the perfect pickup line to use in a scene set in the Dancing Pony in the book I was currently writing. I’d asked the Divine Divas to tell me about the worst and best pickup lines they’d ever heard or fallen victim to. Ethan Grant was still new to Facebook (no, it’s not me 😀 ) and he piped up with one of the gazillion pickup lines he’d heard while working at the Dancing Pony.

The Divine Divas, still a little twitter-pated that Ethan Grant was actually on Facebook and a member of their private FB group, were thoroughly entertained by his stories and over time, it grew into a weekly thing. Some of those pickup lines became the basis for scenes or actual books. That was back in 2013, and all those great pickup line stories just languished in the ever growing group feed.

Ethan and I talked about it and thought my readers might enjoy some of those stories here on the blog. So, with the help of my excellent personal assistant, Lily Castle, we found all of them and dusted them off for their own special editions of the Divine Tease. We collaborated–with Ethan revising and me editing–to bring them to you in a new and improved version.

These are different stories than the ones he currently shares from Ethan Grant on Facebook on Sunday nights, so if you enjoy this one you might look him up there and read the current stories, known as the Dancing Pony Pickup Lines.

All content is copyrighted ©Heather Rainier 2015

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