Happy Hour

The man wanted a drink. He entered the crowded bar.

It was happy hour, and the place was filled with other men like him, a roomful of expensive suits at the end of another day. He was looking about, hoping to flag the bartender, when he saw the woman. She was the kind of woman who could stop a man's eye. He worked his way over. She looked up at him.

I saw that. You like watching me put on this lipstick. Your eyes followed my fingers over my lips. I wasn't being provocative. I was being practical. You do understand what I mean, I hope, about not sending the wrong signals.

You have a nice smile. Sure, sit down.

You're sales, right? Me, too. Good. Then I don't have to explain that knowing which signals to send pays for my Jaguar, and—by the looks of you—yours too, I'd say.

Scotch, on the rocks, please.

Thanks.

People like us, people who travel for a living, we give up certain amenities and abandon certain formalities, don't we? So you'll understand that applying a little after-a-long-day-of-meetings' lipstick in this less-than-elegant bar means nothing to me, just so you'll not think I'm a tease. Fact is, I'm a bottom-line kind of woman, if you want to know the truth.

I didn't say bottom of the line, thank you very much. Bottom line. That look says you're not listening. All right.

Sooo. Let's get straight to it, okay? After all, that's what both of us want. Here it is, bottom line. Pay attention—not to my chest, to what I'm saying. Come on, we're in the same game, you'll appreciate this. I can sum up these little contract negotiations in two sentences: You're software. I'm hardware. Think about it.