The Joys of Bartending IX

It’s been quite some time, sorry about that.  Even though it’s been ages, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing things down or that nothing funny has been happening.   What it means is that life has been crazy busy and something has to get pushed to the side.  Unfortunately that’s been writing for me.  I’m going to try my hardest to be better…but I digress.

This last weekend was terribly entertaining as far as bartending was concerned.  It’s also much more entertaining after the fact then it was during the chaos.  Here’s how Friday night went for us.

It was a typical full moon night…..WEIRD.  Early in the night nothing specific stood out but the vibe was weird, the crowd was weird and people were drinking…. a lot!  My bartending partner and I would look at each other and shake our heads or shrug our shoulders every now and then to prove we knew, we just knew it was strange.  Her and I were even running into each other behind the bar more than normal, it was one of those days we were acting like we’d never worked together.  Even our karaoke singers were all over the board, normally we’re middle of the road with talent but this particular night we had amazing singers and then those singers that made you want to jab yourself in the ear with a sharp pencil.  Like I say to my customers “always applaud, for those who are bad, you applaud because it’s over”.

Around midnight the downhill slide reached warp speed.  One of our regulars who is normally very well-behaved became not so well-behaved.  On a normal night if we tell him it’s time to go home, he says ‘okay’ and promptly leaves and walk home.  On this not so normal night he said ‘okay’ and walked out the front door……only to immediately return through the back door.  Rinse and repeat seven times!!!  Yes I said SEVEN.  He had his eye on a woman he thought he was going to take home.  I’m pretty sure I don’t have to go into detail here when I say that would not have turned out so great for him.  It would have been like stepping up to the plate at a major league game with a wet dishcloth rather than a bat.  Finally my bartending partner raised her voice to a thunderous level, took him by the arm and escorted him to the corner and watched him cross the street.  I think we saved him from humiliation by making him leave without her.  He should be thanking us.

About the time we got done dealing with him, karaoke wrapped up and we were discussing the ‘weirdness’ of the night with the DJ, three guys walked in who had clearly been elsewhere for a few.  One of them is a regular and the other two we had seen before but were unfamiliar with any of their drunken habits.  They had a beer and the regular asked for a shot.  I said “no, no hard alcohol for you”, as usual, the regular agreed and we went on our merry way……until one of them wasn’t merry anymore.

It started with this kid accusing us (all of us, even his friends) of stealing his $50 bill.  We all stood around as he searched every pocket, more than once, and finally dug it out.  No apology, no nothing, just attitude.   Finally we had enough of him and asked him to leave…..now this is where all hell breaks loose.

We made him leave out the back door, he came in the front.  We made him leave out the front door, he came in the back.  Rinse and repeat too many times to count.  I would guess about the eighth or ninth time he started calling me a retard very loudly and over and over again.  Now, I don’t want to get physical with anyone but I will if I have to.  My hundred pound partner escorts him out the back door once more and tells him not to come back.  We spotted him walking around the building so I was waiting for him at the front door with my hands on his hips.

He opened the door, stepped in, saw me standing there and threw himself on the floor and started throwing a temper tantrum.  I would have started giggling here if I wasn’t so mad so I said “get off the floor and get out, just because we throw you out the back door, doesn’t mean you get to come back in the front door”.   About the time my lecture was complete a new song came on the juke box and no kidding, he looked up at me and said “oooohh, I love this song” and started playing air guitar while laying on the floor.  Again, hilarious now, not so funny then.

I put my head in my hands so I wouldn’t scream at the top of my lungs and he got up and got in my face.  He pulled back his arm like he was going to hit me and I said “please, please hit me”.  I’m pretty sure his buddy yelled “don’t hit her” so he ran to his buddy at the other end of the bar.  My partner then herded him out the back door once again, that time he grabbed onto everything he possibly could which resulted in tearing a bunch of posters off the wall.  One of the regulars followed her out for support.  I picked up torn pieces of posters and thought I better check on the situation outside.  When I got out there my partner said “grab the phone, we’re calling the cops”.  I asked if she was okay, she said “yes, he’s just very verbally abusive and called me the word you never call a woman” so I grabbed my phone and told the guy I was going to call the police.  He started running across the street, lost his shoe, fell and was rolling around in the middle of the street when I dialed 911.  That’s where he stayed, screaming and swearing while I was on the phone with dispatch.

I had to go back in because there were customers still in the bar, my partner and the regular stayed outside to wait for the police.  Once the police got there the kid tried to run and ended up in a fenced in apartment complex so couldn’t get away.  He did attempt to stand very still so the cops couldn’t see him….that didn’t work.  Once the spotlight was on him and the officer got out of the car, the kid threw his shoe at him which promptly got him arrested.

I was tending to matters inside which consisted of attempting to calm one of our giggling regulars down who couldn’t seem to control herself, we now call her the giggle patrol.  The officer came in to question me and the giggle patrol was right behind me giggling uncontrollably.  The officer asked my name and of course I had to be a smarty pants and make a comment about being one of America’s Most Wanted.  The giggle patrol only got worse and we struggled through the questioning.  Finally I told the officer “I really wanted to run him over when he was in the middle of the street”.  The officer looked at me, smiled and said “I would have looked the other way”.

I’m thankful he had a sense of humor at 1:45 AM after what I can only assume was a long Friday night for him too.

The Joys of Bartending VIII

There’s been some interesting things while bartending lately so I’ll give you a few bullet points of the highlights…..or lowlights, however you prefer to look at it. They’re highlights to me.

We got a complaint a couple weeks ago that a guy was being really weird to a group of girls out for a bachelorette party. He was saying things like “do you need me to protect you?”, “are you okay, I’m in the military and can save you”. Eventually he got to be a little too much so I told him he had to pay his tab and leave. As I went to run his tab, I got busy so asked my bartending partner to run his credit card because I asked him to leave. When she went to give him his card back he wanted to know her employee ID number because he was going to call the Department of Defense on us. I really hope the Department of Defense is working on more important things than bartenders who keep their bars clear of riff raff.

The same night the Department of Defense situation happened we had a couple using the women’s restroom for something other than what it’s intended for. The couple had just met about 30 minutes prior to last call and there must have been a sense of urgency and the women’s restroom was the place of choice to take care of said urgency. My bartending partner walked in to use the facilities and had to tell them to put their pants on and get out. I’m glad it wasn’t me that discovered them, I probably would have messed with them a bit before telling them to get out but that’s just me.

At 6:00 PM recently we had to ask a couple to not return to the bar because the wife was performing…..let’s call them…..indecent acts, in the bar. Immediately when they walked in we knew something was going to happen. They were clearly hopped up on something not so legal but well behaved…at first. After one drink, brandy neat, she started talking to one of the regulars, the bar was fairly empty so all eyes were on her when she got up to talk to a guy sitting at a table. It wasn’t long before she turned around and pulled down her pants. It was truly like attending a sporting event, first a hush goes over the crowd and then a collective ‘ohhhh’ and even some added ‘my god’ or ‘lord’ at the end of the ‘ohhhh’. So as any good bartenders would do, we continued to watch her antics with the rest of the crowd and listened to their whispers until we got up the nerve to approach her. The kicker to the mooning is that she never really pulled up her pants all the way so we all had a front row seat to observe the pink lace thong she was wearing and one bare cheek. It didn’t take long for the guy at the table to pack up and leave and oddly the couple followed him to the parking lot. I don’t even want to speculate about why but an employee of the bar went out and told them they weren’t welcome back in the bar.

I had a regular patron go into a coughing fit one day. He’s probably in his late sixties and was really sounding bad. I looked at the few people that were in the bar, looked at him and said “Don’t you dare die on my watch, if you do I’m going to drag you into the men’s bathroom and pretend I didn’t notice you.” The laughing didn’t help his cough at all but he survived thank goodness.

A few weeks ago, I once again wore a pair of jeans to work that I obviously shouldn’t have. Early in the shift as I was bending over to put cases of beer on the dolly I felt the release of pressure at my left back pocket. I knew it was bad, it had to be. I went back out to the bar and immediately two of the regulars knew something was up because my eyes were watering from the laughing and the embarrassment. I said “well, I have a situation and you need to tell me how bad it is”. I turned around and pulled up my shirt to show them and they immediately doubled over laughing. Thank goodness they were the only two sitting at the bar. After a few minutes of uncontrollable laughter they both said “It’s bad, you have to find a new pair of pants.” I had to leave my bartending partner on her own and hurry home to change my pants. I made record time and when I came back one of the two at the bar said “Did you get your pants changed?” I said “Yup, I’m good to go.” He looked at me, looked down, looked at me again and said “Then you might want to pull up your zipper.” That caused another bought of uncontrollable laughter, at my expense, which I’m okay with.

A guy came in while I was working and was a talker. After rambling on for a few minutes he said “What’s your name?” I said “Susan”. He said “Nice to meet you, I’m Joe.” As I look over at one of my regulars he mouths “Susan?” to me. I just smiled and went about my business. Joe eventually left and my regular says “What the hell are you telling him your name is Susan for?” I said “When I don’t want someone to know my real name I’m Susan.” He starts laughing and said, “Someone asked the bartender the other day when Susan worked and she said “Oh we don’t have a Susan here”, now I get what’s happening, that’s funny.” I just smiled, shrugged and walked away.

Christmas Kick-Off

Christmas is over but the memories remain.  My Christmas was kicked off on the Eve of Christmas Eve while bartending.  It was a pretty good kick-off because it’s given me lots of material to talk about and something to write about.

About two hours into a nine hour shift She (I wrote about her and her contact lens previously) arrived.  I looked to the heavens and said a small prayer prior to serving her a vodka diet coke.  “Tall, I want a strong one” she ordered.  Well, when I’m working that gets you nowhere, in fact, it may get you a drink that’s slightly light on the alcohol just because.  I hate to do that but if you want a strong drink and a bartender that likes you, order and pay for a double.  A bartender will make your drink however they make their drinks.  You will not persuade them by telling them to ‘make it strong’.

This woman is a talker, and I mean a talker, she talks non-stop, to no one, about nothing.  She not only butts into everyone else’s conversation, she touches them, hugs them and has no concept of personal space.  Oh, and, she’s also a singer.  Not a singer in the ‘I can sing’ kind of way but a singer in the ‘I sound like a cat that’s being dragged behind a car’ kind of way, and she loves to play the juke box.

Her and I were in juke box bliss (read that with sarcasm please) when the two boys came in.  I carded them so know they were 24 and 25.  I should probably mention here that she’s 49 and doesn’t look a day over 57.  She noticed the boys right away, got a look on her face like a cougar in heat and apparently started plotting her pounce.  After they were about half a beer in, she moseyed up, put her arms around them and said “Hi boys”, in her sexiest of voices (I’m rolling my eyes as I type that).  Now, prior to her doing that I had apologized to these two lovely gentlemen for anything that may come out of her mouth that was offensive.  They’re reply, “we can’t wait”.

She first asked their names, they were Bob and Brian, which was completely not true and of course she basically gave her name, rank, serial number, home phone number and the lowdown on her marital status, which shockingly enough, is SINGLE.  This is about the time the boys started giggling and they didn’t stop through two more beers, two shots and about 15 songs.  Them giggling of course made me giggle and the night was off to a very interesting start.  At one time she rubbed her nose on Bob’s back and said “Ohhh, my nose is so cold”, the look on his face was priceless when immediately following that she said “I think I’m flirting with you, that would make me a cougar”.  his eyes screamed “what the hell just happened, you have to help me” but that was the point of no return for me and for Bob.   No way, no how were we going to stop laughing.

The ‘cougar chronicles’ continued through “Love is a Battlefield”, “Fat Bottomed Girls”, “Hell Is For Children” and “Angel of the Morning”.  She serenaded them like I have never heard before in my life.  At one point I put my phone on record, set it on the bar and let it ride.  Her serenading is forever recorded.  I just have no idea how to share it yet because the file is too big, I’ll figure it out eventually though.  I would hate to not be able to share it with all of you, it’s pretty awesome.   Just in case you have any thoughts that she might have known the words to any of those songs, you are completely mistaken.

The boys finally left while apologizing for having to meet friends elsewhere and assured me they would be back another night.  I asked them to take her with but they respectfully declined.  I personally think Brian was headed home to change his shirt that she kept rubbing her nose on but that’s just my opinion.

After the boys left, she continued to ramble on and sing until her cab arrived for the second time, she had sent him away the first time because she was having so much fun flirting.  When her second chariot arrived she almost forgot her purse, phone and money on the bar so I had to stop her prior to getting out the door.  I shook my head and said a thank you for the peace and quiet as the door closed.

About 45 minutes after she left, two police officers walked in the front door….with her following behind, covered in snow.  I cannot begin to explain to you the thoughts that invaded my brain when I spotted her.  All I could say was “Hi officers, can I help you?”.  They said “we understand she was in here earlier.”.  Of course I told them she had been.  While she was in the bathroom, they told me she had lost her purse and couldn’t get in her house.  I filled in what blanks I could and they finally called the cab company and found out she had been dropped off at the gas station.  She told the driver she was going to walk home from there.

They found out she had her purse at the gas station so they thanked me and left on the next leg of the adventure with the cougar.  I doubt I have to mention here that she was completely flirting with the officers.   I laughed and once again shook my head as they left me.  Thinking that was one too many times seeing her that night.

About 11:30 I started my closing routine, taking out the trash, checking bathrooms, straightening stools and there it was……..her cellphone……..on the corner of the bar.  Well crap, what to do about that?  I checked the recent calls and texts to see if there was anything from her from a home phone or a friend’s phone.  Nothing.  Knowing we were closed for the next two days I figured I would take it with me and track her down the following day, in her ramblings she managed to tell me where she worked along with a thousand other details of her life.

At 11:45 the front door flew open and there She stood.  Red faced, shivering and red faced.  I closed my eyes, laughed and finally said “Hey, you’re here to pick up your phone, glad you made it”.  She said “Yeah, I need my phone in order to get up for work”.   Then she said “Man, I had the cops at my house”.  I said “I know, they brought you in here because you lost your purse”.  She said “They did?”.  Then she went on and on how she didn’t understand how they knew she lost her purse since she didn’t have a phone and they were in her living room and then of course added they were kind of hot.

I tried over and over again to explain to her how she hadn’t left her phone at the bar until after she tried to go home and lost her purse on the way but she just wasn’t in any condition to comprehend.  Finally I went out and started my car, told her to go and wait in the car and I locked up the bar.  When we were on the way to her house she said “You know, I don’t have much but I have a little bit of pot at home so you’re welcome to come in and we’ll smoke it”.  At this point, nothing surprises me about her so I politely said “No thanks, I’ve got to get up early”.  She thanked me excessively and got out.  I waited for her to climb the snow bank and get in the house.

I took the remainder of the drive to piece together what had happened to her and here’s what I came up with.  She had the cab drop her off at the gas station, she bought a bag full of crap, walked home and on the walk she took a digger in a snow bank and dropped her purse in the fall.  She got home, couldn’t get in the door,  called the police, they retraced her steps to the bar, the gas station and the snow bank and found her purse.  She then walked back to the bar to pick up the phone she forgot on her second visit.  I laughed out loud thinking of it, wishing it would have somehow been filmed and was happy the adventurous evening was over.

I’m curious to see what she says next time she comes in and how much she actually remembers.  All I know……it’s always interesting when she’s in the bar.

The Joys of Bartending VII

It’s amazing the people they let on the golf course.  Saturday four guys walked into the bar after a golf tournament.  Now, something tells me that these four really shouldn’t have been on the golf course, not in their condition anyway.  But I do believe the golf course is who served them to the condition they were in.  They were dropped off by a sober cab and were being picked up by a sober cab, thank goodness.  They were actually pretty funny so I started writing down what was being said.  I do have to admit that I couldn’t understand a lot of what they were saying but they sure understood each other.  I’ll share my notes as I wrote them while it was happening.

  • One’s got the giggles and one’s speaking jibberish and they completely understand each other.
  • “Where we going now, some kind of internet” as one of the other guys was changing the channel on the TV.
  • “There’s two things I know and that’s not one of them.”
  • One attempting to use his flip phone, holding it upside down and pushing buttons asking why he couldn’t hear anything.
  • “$10 if you slap my brother, $20 if you draw blood”
  • “I remember seeing Van Halen for $7.50.  Man that was a good time, I think.”
  • “I think I’ve got pink eye.”  I asked him “Do you know what causes pink eye?”, he said no so I told him, “It can be caused by feces.”  So then he said “Maybe it’s hepatitis”.
  • “Tell me this isn’t a good song and I’ll never be your friend again.”
  • “It’s not devil music, it’s aggressive.”
  • “While golfing today I forgot the word fore so when I hit it toward the people in front of us I kept yelling OY really loud.  They didn’t get it and were mad.  We laughed about OY for several holes”.
  • They’re now walking around yelling “OY” and bending over laughing hysterically.
  • One snuck out to get into a sober ride.  He must have finally figured out how to work his phone.  I couldn’t understand a thing that was coming out of his mouth but apparently the driver understood enough to know where to come and get him.
  • Most of the time they were all talking at the same time so it was tough to decipher who was saying what or what was being said.  They’re having the best time though so that’s all that matters.
  • A girl in an inappropriate white shirt has shown up to the party and seems to be hoping to go home with one of them.  By inappropriate I mean, half mesh and strapless.  The bottom half is mesh which shows her thong underwear bunched up above the waist band of her pants but below her butt crack.  So very classy.  I think she just came from Wal-Mart.
  • Inappropriate girl has made it very clear to two guys that she will be waiting in the parking lot for them so they can go to the next bar with her.  Ummm, they’re not wanting any part of that and are planning their escape route.
  • Inappropriate girl thought the side window was the door, tripped over a step and face planted on the floor.  That’s not good.  For a minute I thought she knocked herself out, nope, she’s up and out.
  • Oh dear, inappropriate girl left with one of the guy’s phone.  This isn’t good, he’s mad, very mad.  He just went next door with a golf club.  Wonder if I should warn them he’s on his way.
  • The party ended when one of the daughters came to pick them all up.  They put up a fight but finally went with her as she wasn’t going to take no for an answer.  The walked out in a single file and their heads down.

Well that was sure a night filled with funny.  So glad those things happen while I’m around.

Teeth

I notice teeth.  Whether people have them, need them, should get them fixed or need a toothbrush.  I notice teeth.

Tuesday at the bar while I was working a new set of teeth walked in.  And I mean a new set of teeth, fresh from the carving station and they were attached to one of my regulars.  Now, he hasn’t been in on my shift for a few weeks but I know he did NOT have that set of choppers last time I saw him.  They were white and shiny, brand spanking new, I don’t even think they’d seen a glass of Efferdent yet.

I’m never sure what to say in this situation.  Do you act like you don’t notice them?  Do you  say “nice teeth”?  “I like the teeth.”  Where’d you get them”?  Or, do you say nothing and just stare?  Well, I chose none of the above.   I said “Hi, good to see you, you’re looking good.”  Honestly, this guy hasn’t looked good since he was a junior in high school in 1977 and even then it may have been iffy.  But I was at a loss for the right words so I improvised, very poorly.  Plus, I could not stop looking at him.

My compliment and my staring apparently appealed to him as he was grinning like the chubby kid at an all day buffet.  You would think I would have stopped staring at that point, nope, not one bit.  There is something definitely wrong with me.  I should probably mention at this point it was just his top teeth that were new, his bottom ones were still MIA.  I did not care, I couldn’t get over how different he looked, and by different I mean nice looking…..in a bad boy, used leather, rode hard, lots older than me sort of way.

Yeah, I know, I’m crazy, he still didn’t have his bottom teeth!!!  The more I stared and saw his laugh lines and his smile lines around his mouth that was no longer sucked into his head, the more I was really attracted to this guy.  I need to mention again that he still didn’t have any bottom teeth!!  I even caught myself flirting with him.  Now, I really should reiterate that I flirt with most everyone when I bartend, it’s part of the gig but I think I was really going out of my way on this one.  I kept reigning myself in to just talk about what he’s been up to since I’ve seen him last because it had been so long.  At one point I even had to go and sit across the bar just so I would stop rambling.

He stayed for three drinks and he never stays for three drinks!!  I forced myself to stay away from him so I would stop staring, it was obvious he had noticed me noticing him.  I’m sure he just thought it was amusing as there’s no way he was attracted to me.  Honestly, I’m not really attracted to him either, it was just one of those days and one of those things that caught me off guard and messed with my senses.  What a fiasco.  He finally left, grinning from ear to ear all the way to the door.  Things were so bad I even checked the rest of him out on his way out.

I shared this story with one of the other bartenders and she said “oh, he used to be very good looking”.  Great, just great.  I hope next week he doesn’t come in with new bottom teeth, if that happens I cannot be held responsible for my actions.

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!

This Is My Life

I truly have to wonder if the stuff that happens to me happens to everyone.  I think it does but most people probably find it more frustrating than funny.  I had one of those weeks this past week and of course I feel the need to share.

I had to break up a fight at the bar and I haven’t had to do that in a long time.  One of our regulars Jan was in and she was in rare form (well, not really rare for her).  She’s a bit rough around the edges but has a heart of gold.  I have rules for her when I’m there.  She has to pull up her pants, no wearing them below her butt cheeks, she can’t mooch off of other customers, she can’t ask me for money and she can’t try to sell me anything.  No, I am not lying, those are her rules.  She is VERY aware of them.

Anyway, Jan was with a girl and a guy.  Pretty soon her and the girl were off of their stools pushing and slapping each other.  Like a shot (I move pretty fast when it comes to this stuff) I went around the bar and got between them.  Then I panicked.  I not only got between them, I had my back to the regular.  In a matter of a couple of seconds some very bad scenarios went through my head, including getting a knife in the back.  I stepped away in one piece thankfully.  As I was yelling at her that she had to leave I added “now you have another rule, no fighting and I shouldn’t have to tell you that.  If it happens again, you’re out for good”!  I act pretty tough in times like that.

As I walked back behind the bar Matt, (another regular) said “holy crap, how did I miss that, I’ve never seen you move so fast”.  I said “the last thing I need is to have to call the cops on my shift, I take care of that on my own”.  He just laughed and went back to the game on his phone.  He’s normally the one that takes care of any riff raff while he’s there.

A few minutes after breaking up the fight a woman walked in wearing a pair of sunglasses.  Across the lenses it said SW AG.  Matt and I looked at each other and at the same time said “this ought to be good”.  It didn’t take her long to start dirty dancing and shooting pool.  She was using the pool stick as a stripper pole since we don’t actually have a stripper pole there.  She got a little worked up at one point so took her arms out of her hoodie and just wore it around her neck.  She was wearing a wife beater and was sportin’ some pretty large butt crack.  She didn’t care, she had swag and was going to prove to everyone she had earned those sunglasses.   She attempted to pick up a couple customers to take home but struck out.  She left and came back twice providing us with about two hours of entertainment but left empty handed each time.  Perhaps she found someone in a different bar.

Jan came in a couple days later apologizing for her behavior and tried to tell me she wasn’t fighting.  I argued with her for a minute and then she finally said “if we were fighting why did I wake up with her in my bed the next morning?”  I could only drop my head and go about my day, I had no argument for that and I certainly didn’t ask for any sort of confirmation.

Saturday night I had a group of three come in who were more than interesting.  The woman had won money somehow, somewhere and was throwing it around like it grew on trees.  She used her bra for a wallet and was going back to her stash like a fat kid at a buffet.  She bought her and her friends drinks, bought the other people in the bar drinks and put 20 bucks in the jukebox.  With that $20 she played two songs, the same two songs, over and over again.  She offered me 10 bucks to crank the jukebox.  I’m not proud, I did it and because she was buying drinks for everyone they all stood up and sang with her at the top of their lungs.

It wasn’t long before her and her man started dancing.  This was when I noticed that she had on a very sheer, very revealing shirt which didn’t cover much and continually fell off her shoulder to expose a lot of skin and a good portion of her bra.  I also noticed she wore a swimsuit bikini bottom under her jeans.  The strings and bows were hanging out of her pants and her crack was hanging out of both the bikini and the jeans.

It was difficult for me to watch this show with a straight face so I found something to do that would leave me with my back to them.  Soon after I started ignoring them I heard a thump and got that feeling in my stomach that something was going on I did not want to see.  I turned around and sure enough she was sitting on the bar with him between her legs.  I have never seen a 400 lb man dry hump anyone but he was going to town.

I thought the friction he was causing may start a fire and I was a bit scared to tell him to stop but I had no choice.  I yelled “hey, no no no no no no no, no, NO  You cannot do that on my bar.”  They both looked at me with that “what?” look on their face and he lifted her off the bar.  Thank goodness they stopped without issue but not before I was searching desperately for eye wash, or acid, or tequila, anything.  That’s something that I can never unsee.

The week ended at McDonald’s.  I was in desperate need of a small chocolate shake (I never used to crave chocolate but apparently that happens when they remove some of your girl parts, go figure).  I ordered my shake sans cherry, received my total and started to drive toward the window.  I stopped behind a red Dodge that was probably two car lengths from window number one.  His driver’s door was open with his rear sticking out and him digging under the dash.  My window was still open so when he straightened up he said to me “it’ll just be a second, it’s the battery, no big deal”.  He then proceeded to open the hood and dig around for a few seconds, close the hood and get in.  He was talking the whole time, telling me it wouldn’t be long.  His truck started and on he went to the first window.

After he paid, he stepped on the gas and the truck moved about three feet and then died again.  This time he seemed to be prepared and was veering to the right to get out of the way.  He stopped in front of the second window but he was in the actual driving lane.  I paid quickly and was laughing as I moved toward the second window.  As I got to the second window the guy’s passenger got out of the truck and said “screw this, I’m going in to get the food”.  His passenger left him there, stalled.  The driver opened his door and started pushing the truck by himself.

I went to the window, helped the very confused McDonald’s crew figure out which food went where because they kept trying to give me two McChickens (which actually belonged to the people behind me) and went on my very very merry way.   I giggled for about 30 minutes and had to call a friend to tell her about it.  I thought long and hard about what my friends would do and decided yes, they probably would leave me stalled to go get the food.

I can’t wait to see what this week brings.

Bartending

Bartending is almost as good as going to the state fair or Wal-Mart, especially in west-end Duluth.  It’s entertainment, an ego boost and exhausting all at the same time.

Yesterday started with me screwing up the popcorn, there was a miscommunication in the way it needed to be done.  I was informed there was a ‘new’ way to do it which consisted of two glasses of oil.  Well, two glasses of oil is enough to deep fry a Cornish hen and a couple of corn dogs, but okay.  It became painfully obvious this wasn’t going to work so I was going to dump some of the oil out.  Why wouldn’t I do that in a plastic glass?  What a jackpot!  Sometimes I wonder how I get through life.  After a couple burns and a roll of paper towel I removed enough oil to get the job done.  Come to find out, there was no ‘new’ way, it was the same old way I’ve always done it.  I should have asked for clarification.

I brought two books with me today with intentions of getting them finished, well, that didn’t work out either, stayed just busy enough to be irritating.  I didn’t feel it was appropriate to tell everyone to leave so I could read, I think that would have affected my tips.

We open at 10, which means most of my patrons have had a good 3 or more hours of drinking in, considering they go to Wisconsin to start drinking at 6.  Yes, that’s 6 AM I’m talking about.  They start in Wisconsin, move to next door about 8 and then move to me at 10.

Today the motorcycle club was having a party so they were all leaving from the bar, which is good because it kept me on my toes until about 12:30.  After that a couple old guys, some regulars and two hilarious ladies kept me company until my shift ended.

The two ladies completely made my day, they were drinking PBR taps, eating pizza and writing dirty limericks.  So funny.  While I was chatting with them one of my old guys left but said he was going to be back, I look over at his glass and there was a bottle of lotion next to it.  Lotion? Really? He had been there for quite some time, no lotion prior to this.  Where did that bottle materialize from?  The three of us found it hilarious and made up a few stories as to why it was there.  Let’s just say none of the stories were good.

The other bit of good news is that I only had to cut one person off, which is odd, usually there’s a few of these.  I didn’t have a choice, he couldn’t keep his eyes open and I could no longer understand what I can only assume was English coming out of his mouth.  The speech was hindered by beer and a severe lack of teeth.