We have recently acquired “Crazy Baby Walker Bum” somehow in the last week or so. He likes to cruise around town pushing a baby walker and the first time I saw him last week I kind of got freaked out, wondering why in the fuck our door guy let someone in the bar with a baby after the time limit we have to allow minors inside the place. Well, me being about as sharp as a bowling ball when I’m busy with customers, misunderstood when I was told he was being allowed inside because it was cold out and he wanted to warm up, not knowing there was not a baby in the stroller. As I was about to go talk to the man about not being able to have an infant in the bar he walked out the back, so I was sure the problem had dissolved itself, then the man came back inside without the stroller an I freaked out, thinking he had left a baby alone outside the bar in the alley! I almost came unglued until I was informed there WAS no baby and he was just a crazy homeless guy, then I was just annoyed after that. I eventually asked him to leave after he had warmed up a bit and had some coffee and it has bitten me in the butt ever since then. He keeps coming back in, leaving the stroller outside, freaking people that are not aware that there is no baby in the stroller when he leaves it unattended. My dark sense of humor gets a kick out of people’s reactions, but my black heart has no sympathy or tolerance for people panhandling inside the bar. If you want to find sympathy, you can find it in the dictionary, it’s between shit and syphilis.
I don’t want to sound like a snob or anything, but I always thought it was good manners to be presentable in public. By that I mean, all my parts are covered, nothing hanging from any visible orifices and I did not carry an offensive smell about me, with the exception of the occasional fart of course. Unfortunately, not everyone follows these standards when they expose themselves to others like the group that came in last night. If you smell like dog shit and stale cigarettes, you might want to rethink any kind of plans on leaving the house, like take a shower and NOT smell like dog shit and stale cigarettes! If, by chance, a friend ever lets you leave the house smelling anything remotely like this, punch them in the face and call them an asshole, unless you intended to do this on purpose, then they should do the same, but to you. Now since it was a group, there was no way of singling out the culprit in this attack of the olfactory senses, but by looking at them, there were several possibilities. I even had my coworker go over and see if she could figure it out, but alas, the mystery still lingers, much like the haze of canine excrement and cigarettes smoked long ago still hanging in the bar.
“ WAHOOO! It’s my birthday! I am soooo drunk! Please don’t serve me anything man!” Has to be one of my favorite opening lines by a customer to date. This guy was obviously intoxicated and his friends were just looking at me like “Really? If he doesn’t shut up soon we are going to beat his ass!” He whooped all over the bar with vim and vigor, shaking hands and being genuinely excited about being thirty-two. The girl with him ordered a shot, for herself, apologized profusely and dragged him out of there. I couldn’t help but laugh at the spectacle, especially when he absolutely made it clear several times he did not need any more drinks. This kind of happy go lucky drunkard idiot I can handle. No arguments from boozed up yahoos about stupid crap like, “It’s my birthday” or “But I’m getting married!” or “I just got out of prison Dawg!” is a refreshing change. Thank you birthday boy! Party on!
Last night as I was getting toward the end of the evening and had already endured a couple of hour’s worth of dealing with some self-important obnoxious business owners groping each other in front of some of their employees, when he walked in. Yes, this guy is what bad movies are made of. He was about forty-five, had the bad boy bob haircut circa nineteen eighty something complete with highlights, a white turtleneck and a salt-and-pepper dick target (A.K.A. a goatee). All five foot nothing of him walked up to the bar, slapped down a ten and says “I need some ones and a five to gamble with.” Right away I knew I was dealing with one classy dude. As I hand him his change I noticed all the tell-tale signs of the species I like to call Tweakus No-erectus. The classic meth user, dirty hands, bad complexion, clinched jaw and pupils so large you can’t tell what color his eyes are. I’m thinking “Ugh! More pain in the ass douchebaggery!” Then I look down and notice the necklace he’s wearing. Dog tags, no not like the servicemen that serve our country everyday all over the world, whom I respect greatly. No, it was an actual dog tag, like you get out of a vending machine for your dog so people can call you when they get lost. It was in the shape of a dog bone, and this tool was wearing it on the outside of his turtleneck like it was something bad-ass! I just smiled and finished giving him his change. All the stress from earlier just seemed to fade away and I wore that little smile for the rest of the night. It’s funny how something that simple can put things into perspective if you just remember that ridiculous situations are just that, ridiculous and should not be allowed to affect your mood in a negative way. In fact, I’m still smiling.
It was a quiet and foggy night, the eerie kind of quiet that makes you feel uneasy, like something wicked is just about to happen, then the door flies open and THERE IT IS! Fifteen grown adults dressed in Hawaiian clothes, loud, drunk and looking for food at one in the morning! They came staggering in like a bunch of fifteen year olds that had gone to a pizza party and got into the old man’s hooch. Nothing like a theme birthday party for a grownup with no imagination. They ate, got more obnoxious, which I thought was impossible, made a huge mess and departed, after I told them I was done serving. One guy even tried to bribe me ten bucks for a bud light which, by the way, would have over doubled my tip. Not wanting to endure any more of the drunken babbling, I graciously declined. Remember everyone, there are things that go bump in the night on those mist shrouded nights, lucky for me it was just a bunch of ridiculously dressed drunks bumping into each other.
At closing time, I am used to hearing people pull on the door after we are all locked up so that we can get to taking care of the money and finish cleaning up before going home. Last night one of the doors had been overlooked, apparently, as we heard some people talking in the back of the bar. No problem, all we need to do is tell them that we’re closed, follow them to the back door and lock up after they walk out. No problem, right? Nope, not for one asshole. You know how smart-ass kids like to push your buttons to prove that they can get their way because they try to wear you down by being annoying? Yeah, that’s what this guy tried to do. He just kept asking stupid questions like “Why is the bar closed? Why do I have to go out the back door? Why is the bar closed? I don’t want to go out the back door. What’s the big deal? Why can’t I go out the front? Why are you pushing me?” (sound of door locking) Then he stood there yelling through the door because someone called him a loser and he was trying to tell us that he wasn’t a loser and we were the losers, you know, the rubber vs glue argument. I truly wanted to trip him, steal his lunch money and give him a wedgie but then I remembered, as an adult, that is actually called assault and I don’t need to deal with all that legal business. The next time he comes in he’s going to be very disappointed and thirsty after he is refused service. Maybe he doesn’t understand that as an adult, when you behave badly there are consequences to your actions. That shit might have worked with your parents, but it doesn’t fly here.
Being in my position, I am privy to all kinds of conversations, good, bad or just plain gross and most people either don’t think about the fact that they are in a public place and can be overheard quite easily or they just don’t care who knows what they are talking about. Take for example the thirty-something year old guy trying to pick up on the sixty-something year old by trying to impress her with the size of his wallet and trying to get her to go back to his hotel room, or the two girls talking about their feminine hygiene problems. Both examples are things I didn’t need to know, but will be forever bored into the deep recesses of my brain. After overhearing one of these conversations, I was kind of shaking my head with a sour look on my face when one of the guys sitting at the bar, minding his own business, notices my dismay and says “What’s up man?” So I simply say “I can’t believe some of the shit that comes out of peoples mouths!” He just nods a little and says “Yeah, a lot of people should be wearing a mouth diaper.” Then I laughed a little and went about the rest of my shift with a little extra smile on my face when I heard stupid conversations, just thinking about that person with a little diaper over their mouth to keep from getting anything on anyone else. In my head I could hear the commercial in that cheesy announcer voice “New! From Depends, it’s the Mouth Diaper!” I don’t know, just the mental image cracked me up.
Every once in a while, there comes along a guy, not just any guy but someone that has that special something about them that makes you stop and think, and maybe even reassess yourself and what you have been doing with your life and how you can make it better. The guy that I had to deal with last night was definitely not that guy, he was the guy that you watch interact with other people and think to yourself “Wow! I’m doing alright!” Not only was this individual butting into any conversation that was within earshot, he was wasted after one drink and, after being asked repeatedly to leave other customers alone, kept asking what he was doing wrong. Well, sorry buddy, you’re doing everything wrong. Girls don’t like to be approached by a loud drunk man twenty plus years older than them, especially when he is encroaching on a conversation that they are having with an obvious close friend. I give you one nice warning, one warning with my dad voice, and then it’s time to go! No more drinks, no more fist bumps and please stop apologizing to the young lady that looks like she is about to blow up on you. She is nice, but not afraid to give you a lecture about how to behave in social settings and send you packing with your tail tucked between your legs. Good day to you sir, and thank you for helping me reassess myself and my situation, I should have kicked you out sooner, I will not let that happen again.
As a bartender, I like to treat everyone that comes into the bar with the same level of attention no matter how busy I am, however, there are a few things that one can do that will get you less than exemplary service. For one, if you interrupt me while I am already helping a customer, especially if it is very obvious, like I am in mid-sentence helping someone else. If you are in a bar, that means that you are at least twenty-one, act like it and show some manners, interrupting people that are having a conversation is what misbehaved children do when they’ve had too much sugar. Blurting out an order when you haven’t been addressed, as if you have no impulse control, just makes you look like a Neanderthal, push your forehead back in and wait your turn. And lastly, if you make your order with the bartender, wait for your drink. I am not your lackey, I will place it right where you ordered it and it will get warm before I go chasing you around the bar to give you your cheap ass beer, just like the person last night. I saw her walking away and yelled “That will be two dollars!” She came huffing back over to me and said “Well, you better give me two, you must be busy!” I smiled, that nice little smile that says politely “You should probably go drink someplace else after this because this is the last drink you get tonight.” Along with a curt “You’re welcome.” After not receiving a thank you. I guess some people are a bit too entitled and don’t understand that treating other people poorly will not make them welcome. I am here to facilitate you having a good time, not to be your bitch.
On nights when the full moon is just peeking around the corner and the weather has been nice, a bartender might start to wonder what is in store for the evening. Are people going to get out there and howl or are they going to be mellow? Well, it turns out a bit of both. On one side, there were the party groups that were whooping it up (literally) and then there were the locals that were glad to have a nice busy, yet not crazy, Saturday night to get out and socialize. Then there were these people sitting at the bar looking at me smiling like they knew me, and it turns out that they did. They were from out of town and since they were visiting they thought they would try to find me, and after asking around at a couple of bars they accomplished their mission. I had the good fortune to meet this couple with my family in a shelter in 2017 in the Dominican Republic during hurricane Irma, in which we spent 16 hours. After the storm passed we met up for drinks and shots to celebrate our good fortune. These awesome people took time out of their vacation to come and say hi to me, to them I say thank you. The rest of the night was a breeze after remembering the circumstances in which we met. It’s kind of funny how an emotionally stressful situation can make such a positive lasting impression on people. The guy that was staggering around in the bathroom that we fed and got a ride home for, and the idiots wrestling in the alley behind the bar were much easier to take after the reminder of just how lucky I am, not just because of that storm, but in all aspects of being me. Salud!