Tanya is her name, and smoking is her game.
She moves through the casino with easy poise, and seems to know just
about everybody. The sound of her voice makes people turn, even strangers
and for everyone who doesnt theres a story. They
say shes made a bundle just meeting people, and some think she
owns half the club, and half the heads, as well, but she
still wears the tray, because theres no better way to meet people,
and it lets her speak her mind without scaring anybody besides,
the casinos been good to her, and she loves the action. In fact,
shes never shy about saying how much she loves the place
even those who dont speak to her.
* * *
From the 30s right into the 60s cigarette girls were popular
figures in clubs and hotels, and especially the movies. Today, they
must be about extinct, what with everybody knocking tobacco. The archetype
of the salon peddler of smokes would have to have been Jean
Harlow, with her platinum coiffure. This was a major problem for me,
because they just dont bleach hair anymore, and commercial wiggers
now call anything from strawberry blond to senior blue as platinum,
which is actually the one color they dont seem to offer. I only
solved the problem by using three wigs a partial wig of just
the right color but wrong length, a wig that was just a tad too yellow,
and another with a telling hint of gray. Mixed together with a styling
brush, they shirred up into Marilyns beloved pillow blonde
Camel, Lucky Strike, Old Gold, and Chesterfield were the most popular
brands of the time, and I think the illustrations on the packs were
much more interesting than the newer designs. Recreating the tax stamps
was another problem, but I finally figured them out to my satisfaction.
Historical figures are full of problems even the stockings. Todays
nylons are woven in tubes, so seams have to be added.
The matches, of course, have to have the strikers on the front, so the
driver can bend the match, and light it with one hand without taking
the other off the wheel. It was actually a safety feature, but the insurance
companies said otherwise which reminds me, I do remember now
that my dad had a scar on his palm from lighting a match that caught
the whole book on fire.
The typical outfit for a cigarette girl incorporates bellboy-usher-military
elements that can be sexily arrayed on most any attractive young female
with something to sell. Tanya likes to claim shes going to have
four stars sewn on her epaulettes, and she wants a shoulder holster.
Still, its all worthwhile. I love my Tanya, and I know shell
make me proud.