Hunter S. Thompson was a great writer. He made images come alive inside your imagination to help you see the story he put down on paper, whether those images were good or disturbing is up to the reader’s interpretation. Last night something was said to me that left nothing to the imagination except bad, gross, horrible images that I am still trying to erase from my memory banks with a little help from beer and a sleeping pill. I get to work and it is kind of slow, so I am contemplating what to do in the slow time, when this nasty old bar hag pipes up and says “You look like you need to get laid! How about you pound a shot and we go to Vegas?” Keep in mind, this chick looked about sixty and was probably about fifty and acting like she was still twenty. Drugs do bad things to people’s looks that they don’t consider until it’s too late. I politely declined, stating that my wife wouldn’t think that was a good idea and quickly moved off to the other end of the bar where I tried to make myself look busy. She must have seen the look of terror on my face and figured out that I was not looking to finance a drug induced romp to Sin City, or at least a cheap bottle of hooch and a thirty-five dollar hotel room down the street and moved on to the next bar. All I have to say is thank you Baby Jesus.
We do not accept prison ID cards in the bar, if that makes me a dick, then you can add that to the running list of things that make me a dick. I don’t need you to get all tough guy with me, that’s just how it is and you acting like a dick will get you invited out of the bar even faster. I know you just got out of prison and want to have a drink, I understand that this is the only form of ID that you have, and yes, it is very apparent that you just got out of prison, both by how you are acting and posturing. First off, let’s just say, good for you, you paid your debt to society, that is very commendable, however, I don’t think your PO would be stoked on you going out to the bar right after you were released. This falls under the category of none of my business, except for the fact that you do not have acceptable proof of who you are, you look like you’re sixteen and you look pissed off at the world. My suggestion, if you must have a drink, would be to have a friend pick up some beers or booze or whatever your beverage of choice is and go to a buddie’s house and go get yourself a suitable form of ID the next day then come see me. Also, keep in mind that I check the local mugshots page regularly and probation violations are a big reason that I see people being arrested, usually from making bad decisions related to drinking after being released. Not judging, just merely pointing out an observation.
I think it may have been because of the weather, or maybe it was the fact that it was my Friday that threw me off, I’m not sure but my creepy-crazy sense was way out of whack last night. It didn’t help that he was there right when I got to work and was ill prepared to deal with someone of that crazy a magnitude, but I guess I didn’t have much of a choice in the matter. My first clue should have been the sweater. At first glance it just looked like any black and white sweater, but upon closer inspection it was a bit tattered and dirty, then on to the hands, dirty and unkempt. Damn, homeless guy with a few bucks slipped in undetected. It was a dead giveaway when he started talking politics, society and some rather questionable issues a bit on the racist side and had no problem getting animated and loud about it. I had been ignoring him for a bit, hoping he would just go away and was about to have “The Talk” when I noticed he had gone outside to smoke and never came back. WHEW! I guess being a rude bartender by not listening, or caring what someone had to say for a change worked in my favor for once and I got to avoid crazy bum death threats. Hooray for me!
Hello there Mr. Cool! I’m sorry you stopped developing in the early ninety’s, but there have been some serious strides forward in social norms since then. If you had taken the time to notice, fashion trends have changed, hair styles are not mulletted (unless they are trying to be ironic) and common courtesy are all things that most people moved forward with. Take for example the way you interact with bartenders, if you come up to me and treat me like I’m a dumb asshole to try to impress the ladies that came in with you, you will be dealt with in an appropriate fashion. When you look like Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite and say “Give me some tequila, and none of that house crap!” Then take time to look over your shoulder to see which of the girls you are with are noticing, don’t act surprised when I say “Then tell me what you want. Don’t waste my time, I’m busy.” Then when I give you the bill for you and five other people because you said you were buying the round DON’T say “Holly Shit! Really? I thought you wanted a tip!” which is just an out for something you weren’t going to give me anyway, then act surprised yet again when I say “Sorry man, that’s what it is.” I’m not going to change my price or magically ring up a different number. If you think, by acting like a douche bag, you are either impressing anyone or going to get preferential treatment, then I think you missed the douche bag part. Please go back to the nineties, or whatever crap bar lets you hang out and feel welcome. That place is not here.
So, three bad customers came in last night, all rolled up into the nice neat package of one person. Yes, this one guy encompassed three of my least favorite kind of customers, the best friend guy, the moocher and the “Claven” guy (Cliff Claven from Cheers). I had not seen this person in a while and, to be honest with you, hadn’t noticed and was glad about it until he walked through the door and my little voice inside my head yelled “Oh shit! Not this guy! Hopefully he’s too drunk to remember where I work!” He walks up to the counter with the “Hey Man! How have you been! It’s been a long time! I’ve been growing out my hair and blah, blah, blah…….” That’s about the time Charlie Brown’s parent’s voice starts kicking in. Before I go on, a little background. This guy is one of those people that I have to cut off almost every time they come in, I have had to have him removed from several bars and is, in general, a pain in the ass. Luckily he gets distracted easily and gets into a conversation with someone else quickly. The bar was slow, so I got to catch more of the conversation than I cared to, and noticed the Claven and the mooch coming out. After the unsuspecting rube bought him a drink, this guy knew everything about everything and had no problem talking loudly about it, even the stuff he knew absolutely nothing about, and was just spewing crap out of his word hole. If someone was that smart for real about that many things, then why is he hanging out in a dive bar mooching drinks instead of out making tons of cash and being as important as he says he is? Oh yeah, because he’s a dumbass.
Thank you, full moon, for having mercy on us last night! There were only a few incidents and those were mostly minor problems that were resolved pretty easily. The one theme that persisted throughout the evening however, was people that had lost or misplaced their credit cards. A couple of these people had indeed used their credit cards at our establishment, but there were a few that didn’t that insisted we had their cards somewhere and were flummoxed when, after checking with everyone on staff, they were told that no transactions had indeed been run on their card. One person in particular was not placated by our efforts to ensure him that we had never seen his card until his friend that had paid for the round for their group assured him of that fact, and still had to help coax him out of the bar. Yes, there was the crazy old ladies high on either cocaine or MDMA that wanted to pet my face, or the old hobo that bummed five bucks off of a nice woman and proceeded to gamble with it, all the time drinking the beer he brought in with him out of a Gatorade bottle, that had to be removed, but those things can happen regardless of a full moon. I’ll take no fights, nobody passing out and not having to clean bodily functions off of the floor (bathroom or otherwise) any shift, let alone on o full moon night.
Sometimes things are just a bad fit, weather its shoes, pants or just people, it can make for an uncomfortable experience. Take for example the guy last night in the bar that people either described as awkward, when trying to be nice, or creepy, when trying to be accurate. We pulled his drink and nicely asked him to leave, which he did after some convincing and being yelled at by some of our regular patrons, only to come back later, saying that he had not been kicked out of the bar and we were just being ridiculous. So, after being kicked out a second time, he tried returning yet again and this time tried to start a fight, so, as he had been warned, the police were called to make sure that he understood he was not welcome at our establishment. The cops came, he gave them the old sob story about not understanding why they had been called and we were just unreasonable and mean and totally in the wrong, so they listened and let him go on his way. I just wanted to intervene and say “Look man, if you are the only person in the bar creating problems you will be singled out, you will be asked to leave and when you treat us like dicks, we are going to be mean to you, now do us all a favor and go away!” While I know it wouldn’t have been productive, it sure would have felt pretty awesome.
It’s always nice when you can perform a public service and remove someone that is painstakingly annoying in one fell swoop. It is also equally satisfying when this person is a repeat offender and you cringe every time you see them walk through the door. It all started when one of my good regulars came up to me and informed me that someone was filling up the piss trough in the bathroom with puke and gave me a description of the offender. I thanked them and waited for him to come out of the bathroom, which he did shortly, looking a little worse for wear after his puke and rally session. He sat down next to a cute girl and started chatting her up, which was a pretty bold move for having fresh barf breath, and was acting like nothing happened. That’s where I come in, pull his drink, slide him some water and tell him that he’s done for the night. He looks at me all surprised like this is coming out of nowhere and says “What’s the deal man?” To which I reply “You just emptied your guts in my urinal, there’s no way I’m going to let you drink after that, in fact, it’s time for you to go!” The girl he was talking to promptly got up and left to go sit with some friends. Like any good entitled drunk oblivious idiot, the guy followed her over to her table to try to get her digits. There is definitely no shame in his lack of game. I hustled him out and that was the end of that, for now anyway. I’m pretty sure shame does not settle in on someone like that, it just gets shed like water off a duck’s back and the bad behavior just gets repeated. Maybe he’ll get it someday, doubtful, but I suppose we can hope for the best.
Having “bartender ears” can be very beneficial to a lot of us that work in the trade, you hear a lot of things like funny jokes or you may overhear the beginnings of situation that you might need to intervene in, then there are the things you can’t unhear. Sexy talk can be entertaining or gross depending on who’s saying it and what they’re saying, loud talkers oversharing family incidents or alien abductions can help you figure out where a person is coming from, and then there was the chick last night. I was minding my own business attending to my closing duties when I hear a woman say “You know, he was using heroin in my bathroom and I told him not to do that before, so I tried to stab him, not to hurt him but to make him think about not doing that.” I just kept cleaning, but in my head, I was like “What!?!That’s how you try to help someone!?! I can think of a few more positive ways to deal with this situation!” Now, don’t get me wrong, getting stabby can definitely let someone know how you feel about what they’re doing, but then I digress. The next thing she says is “Well, it doesn’t matter, he’s dead now anyway, not from me stabbing him though.” Just act like you didn’t hear anything and don’t make eye contact! The guy she was talking to didn’t seem to be fazed one bit and just kept on with the conversation like it was normal, I can’t say I would have done the same. I would have excused myself to go use the bathroom, never to be seen again. Who needs that coat anyway? Thankfully there is a couple of feet of Formica between me and stabby Joe, that is always comforting.
The one woman Party Train rolled in last night. She was out to get drunk and apparently accomplished her goal with flying colors. She started off with a cocktail and then moved on to shots, that’s when the Party Train derailed, spilling toxic ooze all over the landscape, and yes, I do mean that she puked. Thank God it was at the end of the night and we were closing up anyway, because that smell wasn’t going to be keeping anyone around. The next time the Party Train makes an unscheduled stop I think I’m going to inspect the running gear a little closer and make sure it stays on the tracks.