The Joys of Bartending VI

Sometimes so many things happen that I have a tough time deciding exactly what to write about.  I will attempt to share some highlights with you.  We could probably call some of them lowlights.

The other night a woman was on a roll with some stories and there I was looking around for a way to record or write down everything she was saying.  I thought it would be sort of rude if I would have said “hold that thought, I’ve got to write this down”, so I sat back and attempted to file away all the crazy stuff that she was saying.  I doubt I can remember it all but here’s a few things:

“It’s okay that I smoke and my kids don’t know about it, right?  I mean, I’ve never actually had weed in front of them….well, one time I had a quarter pound of it duct taped under my bed….but they didn’t know it was there so I think that’s okay, plus, it never happened again.”

“I could move on the res with my cousins I suppose but I couldn’t go without a couple of potato guns, I mean, a tennis ball won’t kill anyone, right?  I’m related to them all but that doesn’t mean I have to like them.”

“I’m having a shot, I don’t care what kind of medication I’m on.  If I wake up in the morning and don’t know where I’m at then I guess that’s what happens but I really need a shot right now.”

“It’s really weird talking to my mom at this age.  It’s like we’re the same age or something.”

Her questions were completely rhetorical because she certainly didn’t want any answers from me so I just smiled and nodded as any good bartender would do.  I could have also typed that as one long sentence because she barely took a breath between any of it.

I did manage to make notes on a woman that was in one Saturday afternoon who was talking about her wedding…..

“We’re going to get married here and you’re going to be my bartender.  I’ll tell everyone no less than $5 tips at a time because that’s how I roll.  I’m paying for the kegs and the food.  My girls will do the food….hams and turkeys….good food.  We’re fat girls, we like to eat, none of this skinny girl shit.  His sisters are skinny bitches.”

I then asked her when the wedding would take place…..her answer……”whenever he asks me, in the next month or two.”  She then proceeded to play their wedding music over and over again on the jukebox.  I was privy to some sort of dance I would have rather not witnessed.

After the dancing he told her he wanted to play pool.  She said “I can’t play pool, you know I can’t play pool because I have a glass eye.”  Upon saying that she promptly poked herself in her glass eye.  Thank goodness he didn’t ask her to brush her teeth, she was a little light in the tooth department and I would have hated if she stuck her finger anywhere to point that out.

One of my regulars was in a few Saturdays ago and he had a styrofoam coffee cup on the bar.  I said hi when I walked by and he said “hey, do you want to see my rats?”  I promptly said “NO”.  He had a pile of dead baby rats in the cup that he had found in a refrigerator somewhere.  All I could do was shake my head and force myself not to look in the cup.  A little later he said “move away with me to Colorado and we’ll go down the river together”.  I said “one of us won’t make it to the end of the river alive”.  He knew exactly what I meant and he still brings it up to this day.

Very recently a few friends came in for a couple of drinks and a visit.  During their visit two of my other friends showed up and one had clearly indulged in several adult beverages, this particular lady is a hugger on a regular day and a super hugger on a day with beverages.  I introduced everyone and conversations flowed easily.

When the hugger was leaving she promptly said “nice to meet you and I’m a hugger so no handshakes”.  I immediately had to turn away from the scene as one of my friends is clearly not a hugger but he indulged.  This woman is not only a hugger but she’s a long hugger.  The whole scene was pretty hilarious.  I’m sure you’ve seen it before….the hugger and the stiff as a board non-hugger in an embrace.  On her way to the door she announced she was going to do the Irish jig.  She did.  Her sober significant other did not laugh near as hard as the rest of us did.

Closing up at 2:00 AM I heard a horrible noise coming from the parking lot.  I looked out the window and saw two women standing outside of what was left of their car.  One end of the back bumper was hanging on by a thread and the other end was dragging on the ground.  I assumed that was the cause of the noise.  I noticed the back window was plastic and duct taped on and every piece of trim was missing on the car.  As I walked outside I noticed the front bumper was also dragging on the ground.  They were screaming at each other and at some people who had gathered around the scene.  I have no idea what they were saying because I could only understand a few curse words.  After a couple of minutes they got in the car and drove away.  Yes, they drove away, sparks flying and earth shattering noises following behind.  I have no idea how far they made it because I chose to drive the other way.

A couple weeks ago, a very intoxicated woman was at the bar for several hours.  She was well-behaved for the most part and at one point she asked if I had any contact solution, which I did.  She was having trouble with her contact (I don’t think it was the contact myself but hey) and wanted to soak it for a bit.  I put it in a plastic cup to soak and she went back to gambling.  About two hours later she was yelling and swearing so I asked her what the problem was.  She said “I lost my contact!”  I said “you were supposed to leave it in the cup”.  She said “I did but I wanted to put it back in my eye”.  We looked and looked for the contact and then looked some more, I even broke out the flashlight and was crawling on the floor.  I finally gave up and said “it’s gone, I have no idea what happened to it”.

After about three more hours she yelled “I found it!”  I went over to her and she had the top of a beer can in her hand, squinting at it with her ‘good eye’.  I said “you can’t put that in your eye, it’s a beer can top”.  She had a shocked look on her face and asked “are you sure?”  Well, I wasn’t about to state the obvious that I hadn’t put in an eight hour shift of drinking so I said “I’m sure”.  She looked down at the floor and said “oh, but there it is”.  She bent over and picked something up from in front of the chair next to her and sure enough, it was her contact.  I took it from her, slathered it with contact solution for a few minutes, looked at her and said “can I put it in for you?”  She pried open her eye so I put it in.  She blinked once, hugged me and said “I can see better out of this one than my other one now!”.  Enough said, I went back to work shaking my head and she sat down to go back to gambling.

This morning a guy came in and ordered a tap beer.  I said “what’s going on today?” because it was 10:00 AM, he’s not one of the regulars and he was having a beer so I figured something was up.  He said “I called in sick for the first time in three years today because I’m hungover”.  I said “oh no, that’s not good”.  He replied with “well, I actually went to work but decided to leave after I blew a .12 in my buddies car breathalyzer”.  Then he added “the strip club was just too much for me last night”.  I didn’t ask any more questions because I was afraid of the answer.  I really wanted to say “by all means, why not start drinking again” but it was too early to have that conversation.

Tonight a woman said “two years ago I planned my wedding for September of 2013 and now I have a wedding planned and no boyfriend”.  I was dumb and said “what happened to him?”  She said “oh, there never was one, I just thought I’d have one by now and I have the date, the place and the flowers, what am I going to do?”  I stared at her for a minute and said “shoot and holler shit”.  I couldn’t think of anything else to say.  She tried to bring up the subject several more times and I completely ignored her.  I am not qualified to counsel her on that particular issue.

Happy drinking!


The Book is Done II

Finally!  Exactly four weeks after distribution to the eBook sellers they all have it for sale.  It only took one poke and prod to my publisher to make sure it was up on the final straggler.

Here is a list of where you can find it:

Amazon (Kindle)
Barnes & Noble (Nook)
Sony Reader Store
Kobo Books

I don’t know a lot about all of these sellers but I do know that you can download a free Kindle app and read books on your phone.  You can also download iBook on you iPhone.  The great part is you don’t have to own an actual reader to enjoy eBooks, I just discovered that myself.  I know, I know, I’m behind the times.

Thank you to all of you who have purchased, will purchase, have shared  with friends and who have typed up an actual review of the book.

I currently have no idea how well or not well it’s doing and probably won’t know until early to middle July.  I do know that I can finally send out a press release and some other marketing items.

Keeping my fingers crossed for retirement in the Caribbean……actually, I’m keeping my fingers crossed to recoup my publishing costs and some gas money!

The New Cell Phone II

I couldn’t do it.  I just couldn’t do it.  I could not keep the phone that was a step above two dixie cups and a string and a step below a rotary phone.

I was lucky enough that a friend who read my last story had a phone that he didn’t need anymore.  I got a text from him last week that said “I just read Following Funny and I have an iPhone3 you can have.  Cut your losses.”  You would have thought I hit the lottery.  I was happier than a government employee on flag day.

I wasn’t overly thrilled because it was an iPhone and I’ve been operating off of Android for so long but I didn’t care at this point.  Frustration had made its way in and it wasn’t leaving.  I had realized by then that the phone had fewer features than I first thought and it didn’t always seem to ring when someone called.  I started getting voicemails and there was no missed call or anything.

Today my saint dropped off my new phone.  I of course had to text several questions to my iPhone guru friends to ask some really dumb questions (I couldn’t find where the SIM card went) so it took me about three hours to get it set up and I’m even still working on a couple things at this point.   Remember how the other phone brought in three of each contact?  Well, with this phone I’m missing a bunch of them.  That certainly could have been me messing around with the phone from hell the last few days.  Now when people text I’m going to have to ask “who is this”.  How embarrassing.

Miraculously I kept my receipt from my purchase last week so I was on a mission to return it today.  Once again I was reminded why I do not go to Wal-Mart.  When I made my purchase last week I asked the cashier if I could return the phone if it didn’t work and she clearly said “yes, just go to customer service and they’ll take care of it for you”.  Today I parked in the customer service line with the crappy phone and a smile on my face…..for about five minutes.

It became obvious fairly quickly that returning this phone was going to be an adventure.  There were four Walmartians behind the counter.  One was on the phone, one was weighing and counting money (on the front counter while people were standing there no less), one was sorting returned items and one was helping a customer.  Yes, one.  There was a line of six people waiting to be helped.  I can only imagine that they were returning some piece of crap as well.  It seemed to be more important for them to switch a money drawer and for one to leave for break than actually help anyone.

I not so patiently waited for my turn to proudly present my receipt and purchase.  I was finally greeted by the sole working Walmartian and told him I was returning the phone.  He was only too happy to tell me he couldn’t help me and that I needed to go to the cell phone center.  I said “seriously” and he said “yup, that’s where all phones are returned even if you bought it back in electronics”.   Oh good.

I walked over to the cell phone center and lo and behold, two people working, nine people in the center.  I was hoping I wouldn’t have a meltdown before I got helped.  One worker was helping a woman who was asking about monthly plans.  This woman was saying the craziest things to the worker, I just couldn’t believe the employee was so patient with her.  She was telling her about how she got her last four or five cellphones which was completely irrelevant to what was happening today.  All this while people were waiting!  This wasn’t social hour at the local tavern.

The top of my head was about to explode when the woman finally stopped talking and I could get helped.  I was a bit crabby until I saw the woman’s face who was helping me.  She was clearly more frustrated than I was so I put on a pleasant face for her and did what I could to make my visit quick.

I’m happy with my new phone and I’m sure it will take me a few weeks to figure it out and get all my contacts back.  By then it will probably break and I will have to get a new one yet again.

The New Cell Phone

The cell phone I’ve had for well over a year has been limping along for a couple of months and I’ve been living with it.  Why?  Because I haven’t wanted to bother finding a new one, that’s why.   Getting a new phone stinks, I struggle with it for months before really knowing how to use it.  Hell, I think I had just figured out the one that was limping along.

Well, the other night the limp turned into a full-body crappie flop.   Ok, yes, it had help.  I dropped it on the floor and it completely gave up on me.  I picked it up, put the battery back in and hoped for the best.  The best did not happen.  The worst happened.  The screen looked like an old television that was losing its picture tube.  A bunch of multi-colored lines with no sign of the actual picture.  I played it cool because it happened in front of someone and no sense getting worked up when I had to finish out my shift and it was only 30 minutes in.

As the night wore on panic set in.  I no longer had a working phone.  I’m going to have to get a hold of people to see if anyone has one I can borrow until I get a new one.  Really?  How was I going to do that?  Smoke signals?  Drive to their houses or places of work?  I certainly couldn’t call them from the work phone because I don’t know anyone’s number by heart!!  Damn technology.

I got home about 1:30 AM and was in full panic mode.  I’m on a month to month plan so walking into the cell phone store and asking for a new phone for eight bucks and a two-year contract isn’t a possibility.  I actually have to buy my phones new or used.  Well, I don’t want to take out a mortgage to buy a brand new schwanky state of the art phone so I was thinking that buying one off Craigslist may be my best bet.  Okay, that was going to take too long and too much hassle with no phone to call from.

At 1:45 AM it came to me.  Wal-Mart.  Now, for those of you who are new to my ramblings I would rather have a root canal without Novocaine than go to Wal-Mart but it seemed to be my only choice.  I ventured out to buy a new phone.  I did what I set out to do and I bought a new phone.  I’m not happy with my new phone but I have one.

My old phone was an Android so I thought I would buy another Android.  Little did I know that the non-contract phones that Wal-Mart carries are one step above two dixie cups and a string.  I’ve never been overly picky about my cell phones, all I really want to do is talk and text, anything more than that is a bonus.  With this dollar store Android I bought it’s a crap shoot as to whether I will actually get to talk or text.  I certainly will not be able to do both at the same time.

I switched out my SIM card and my SD card and thought that I would be good to go.  Not so much the case as I looked in my contacts and there were five numbers there.  Ok, I probably have to import them.  I figured out how to do that and left it work for about 15 minutes.  I tried to read the booklet with the features but there really weren’t many features listed.  Great.  The import finished so I checked out my contacts and lo and behold there were 600.  600????? What the….?

Upon further investigation it had imported three of everything….and I mean everything.  There were numbers imported that I had deleted a year ago.  This phone managed to find  numbers that weren’t actually there.  Goes to show you nothing is ever truly deleted, be careful.  I started to have hope for the phone, maybe it was smarter than I thought it was.

The next morning my hopes were dashed when I attempted to text.  It has no dictionary, no auto correct, no suggestions (other than the names that are in my contact list so every time I type an A, it suggests that I use Adam), nothing.  Even auto correct would be welcome at this point.  I sent this text earlier “I have norhung better to do than wirry about whats on tv.  This fuckinf phone diesnt even tell you when something is spelled wrong its so cheap.  Urgh.”  Honestly, my fingers are too fat to not make mistakes, I could really use some help.  If I would have picked corrections for my misspellings it would have said “I have nonnie better to do than wenker about whats on tv.  This frankie phone dan even tell you when something is spelled wrong its so cheap.  Urgh”

I downloaded Dice with Buddies and Kindle and the phone told me it’s running out of memory.  I cried and wanted to throw it.  I’m not going to buy yet another one so I will struggle through it until I can afford a good one.  For those of you who text me, don’t expect anything to be spelled correctly so you’ll have to figure out what I’m trying to say.