Two For Tuesday...

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We updated the website to Moveable Type 4.0, and i'm playing around with some things with the site design. So don't panic if you see strange things happen over the next week.

I figure it's Tuesday, and i'll write two short stories for you real fast.

Story one happened Saturday Night. I was bartending and had a full bar in front of me of customers who were having a fun time, drinking and being playful. Nothing is more fun to me, as a bartender, than having customers who interact with me and bring a postive vibe to the bar. The customers were drinking a lot, and I made sure I took care of them.

Around 9:30 a woman sits down at the bar, alone. She's asian, i'd say in her early 30's, and dressed really well, with a torquise (merino wool?) shawl, which looked sharp on her. She ordered a Yuengling, and quietly drank it. My spidey senses said to me, "Ok, she must be waiting for her boyfriend."

About ten minutes pass and my friend Jimmy* walks in. Known Jimmy for at least seven years, great guy, knows a ton of people in town, and has always been a great friend and good customer to me. He was about to sit down at the bar end of the bar, but I immediately tell him, "Hey, why don't you sit here..." and gesture to an empty seat next to the comely Asian woman.

That's my job, people!

Jimmy looks over, sees her, and has a nice grin on his face as he sits down as if to say, "Oh, thank you."

Jimmy's good with people, guys or girls. Can chat anyone up. I figured this girl has been sitting at the bar quietly having a drink and i'd see if I can put the two together to see what happens, even if I was wrong about her waiting on a boyfriend.

A bit later, Jimmy is pleasantly talking to the woman, and I can overhear a bit of the conversation, since she was not only talking to Jimmy but also to another girl sitting next to her. She eventually reveals that she is from Miami. She came up to visit her boyfriend for the weekend. Her boyfriend decided that Saturday night would be a "boys night out", and left her at the apartment.

Everyone listening is shocked and incredulous.

"You came up for the weekend and your boyfriend went out with his friends?", was the group's general reaction.

My reaction was, "Gotta love asshole boyfriends who treat their girlfriends like this. Honey, there are nicer guys out there, really. You deserve better."

She nods saying, "Oh I know. I wasn't going to sit in the apartment, I figured i'd go out in Hoboken and have fun. Screw him. My flight leaves tomorrow morning and I won't be coming back."

Part of me didn't believe what she was saying...about the "I won't be coming back". part. Far too often I have seen friends of mine rebound over and over again. Hey, i'm no angel, I did it once with one of my ex-girlfriends, too. It's hard to seperate logic and emotion.

No more than five minutes later two african american guys walk into the bar, and start talking to the Asian woman. The first impression that I get from them is that they are dressed more casually than her, and that one of them is probably the "boyfriend". My suspicion is confirmed when she says to Jimmy and the girl next to her, "This is my boyfriend..."

He's quietly talking to her, and his friend is looking over Jimmy a bit. I can immediately tell that there's a bit of the bullshit jealousy vibe going on with the friend looking at Jimmy like, "Why are you next to her" and they are sort of angling to move towards the bar and basically cock-block Jimmy from where he's sitting.

Again, follow me here, the whole bar vibe goes from fun to "uncomfortable" because we have the African American guy talking to the Asian woman, and they are tense. The "guy friend" is sort of trying to angle his way into the bar, and the Asian girl says, "Hey, Jimmy is sitting there..", trying to get the guy friend to back off.

The guy friend basically isn't listening. Even Jimmy turns around and says, "I just sat down..."

The guy turns to Jimmy and rudely goes, "BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH" into his face, with his hand up to Jimmy's face, basically mocking Jimmy. Jimmy goes a bit pale, and i'm half wondering if he is going to throw a punch at the asshole. Fortunately, Jimmy just turns back to the bar and says nothing, but the expression on his face riles me up.

I'm furious. Furious. Even as I write this my hands are shaking a bit thinking of that event. It was rude, and it was directed to a friend of mine while i'm bartending. My job isn't just to sling drinks. It's about creating an atmosphere at the bar, when needed. I don't need asshole customers.

Let me repeat that.

I don't need asshole customers.

I appreciate the business, and i'm sure if Mike and Cindy were standing there, watching one of their customers, and a personal friend of theirs, get mocked rudely by another customer they would take the same action as I did.

I calmly walked to the end of the bar, got the bouncers attention and waved at him. He looked at me, I pointed to the two guys and said, "These two guys are out of here."

He gets up, taps them on the shoulder and says "You two have to leave. Now."

The guy friend has a look of "What did I do?" on his face. The boyfriend is asking why is he getting thrown out. I'm standing in front of them and say, "You do not insult my friends while i'm bartending, pal. I don't need your business."

I turn to the Asian woman and say, "You boyfriend's buddy was rude to a friend and customer of mine. The drink is on the house. You can stay or you can leave, but I don't want either of them here."

The two guys leave. The Asian woman?

She stayed and finished her drink.

My moral of the story?: I always have my friend's back.

And now for story #2....

Someone asked me today, "Know of anyone who's used the old visine in the drink trick on someone? does it really work or is it an old wive's tale?"

I directed her to read this site and told her I didn't know anyone trying it, but I did know another story.

I used to hang out at another bar in town, and don't really go there much anymore. One of the bartenders, William*, told me a story similar to the visine trick.

He was bartending once on a Tuesday night in the late 90's. It wasn't very busy, but he had a few people in the bar. He had a really unruly customer in the bar, who was older, in his mid-50's, dressed in dirty jeans, a biker jacket, and unshaven face. He had a few tattoos, and would keep on ordering his drinks with a "Hey pal!" attitude, waving his money and/or slamming his palm on the bar to get William's attention.

Being a bartender, and that it wasn't very busy, William put up with this guy. The guy was insistent on getting trashed. Was doing a bunch of shots, along with his beer. He was chatting up a few customers, and they wanted nothing to do with this guy.

He orders William to make him a snakebite shot. William starts to make the shot, and then gets an idea.

While he's making it, he tells the guy, "You know, I have the Jack Daniels and I have the Tequila, but I don't have Tabasco."

The guy grimaces and says, "Ah, that's bullshit man..."

William stops him and says, "But I do have something back here we use to spice up some of our dishes. It's called Da Bomb.", William then proceeds to play into the man's bravado, "But I don't recommend using it, I don't think you can handle something this spicy."

The guy, drinking a bit, and typically obnoxious, says, "Fuck that! I have eaten habaneros before with no problem, bring it on!"

Now, a quick segue.

For those of you not familiar with this sauce, it is really only used with a few drops into a salsa mix to really heat it up. You don't use it directly on your food.

For "fun" we used to play jokes on each other at the old bar. One of them was taking Da Bomb and putting it around the rim of a friend's beer bottle when they weren't looking. They would put the bottle to their mouth, the sauce touches their lips and they would look up in shock and horror. Everyone got "Bombed" at least once, even me, which I can remember to this day.

My lips would tingle from the sauce. Wiping it away fast didn't help. My eyes would start to water and i'd begin to sweat. I actually felt my ears getting hot, too, and my nose would begin to run. It was horrible. Water didn't help because it just swirled around the sauce in my mouth. The only real fix was eating some bread, and I suffered for about 10 minutes. Eventually the bartenders would hide Da Bomb and stop the madness, they didn't want the regulars to get TOO angry. That little sauce was "Evil In A Bottle".

So William gets Da Bomb, and added one drop, two drops, then a few more to the shaker. Adds the Jack & Cuervo and shakes it up on ice. Puts it into a shot glass and serves the guy, while he watches.

The guy stands up and downs the drink in a quick gulp.

His head twitches.

An eyelid flutters a bit.

He drops like a rock to the ground.

William's expression of mischevious grin turns into a look of horror, and think he killed the guy. He lunges forward, looking over the bar and on the ground. The guy is sprawled out on the ground.

William goes, "Dude, you ok?"

The guy gets up groggily, with a dazed look on his face and shakes his head, as if he was clearing the fog. He staggers out of the bar, not saying a word.

He never came back again.

That story had me howling with laughter when William told it to me, because I knew exactly how hot that sauce was even in a small amount!

There you go. Two for Tuesday. Hope you enjoyed the stories.

1 Comment

Thanks for the explanation (story 1). We were sitting at the end of the bar and couldn't figure what was going on. But the atmosphere definitely went from jovial to uber-tense in no time at all. Glad to report that it returned to jovial the minute those guys were gone. Or maybe it was the appearance of another pint of Dublin's finest. Either way, thanks for looking out for us all.

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This page contains a single entry by Furey published on September 19, 2007 12:18 AM.

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