Wow, I haven’t written anything in a while. Sorry, I’m working more and life is beating me down, I can barely muster up the energy to make my move in “Words With Friends” lately, nevermind structure something interesting and worthy of reading. It isn’t that I’m lacking material. On the contrary, because I have been working so much, I have a virtual treasure trove of crazy shit that has been piling up in my mind, so much that I am concerned my leaky brain is allowing these stories to escape before I can get them down. Therefore, I am going to attempt to get back on track with my regularly scheduled posting.
Most nights behind the bar offer an interesting story, although they tend to become repititious….drunk, belligerent customers, screaming, laughing women who are discussing penis size entirely to loudly, server arguments that become heated fistfights in the kitchen, check jumpers that I have to chase into the parking lot. I was recently forced to participate in a “bartender championship”, which basically entailed having my old ass throw bottles around timed to music. It was obnoxious, stressful and annoying, but at least it broke up the monotony of my normal workplace activities.
Another constant but interesting facet of being a bartender is that you tend to get hit on often. This is something that used to irritate me in my younger years, but I have to admit that the older I get, the more appreciative I am of this occupational hazard. The bar where I work is often frequented by African-American men, who tell me that they love me for my FA (definition: “fine ass”. I interpret it as “fat ass”, but whatever). Truthfully, I do have a little too much junk in my trunk, but in the humble opinion of the men who frequent my bar, too much is never enough (this is what they have told me, I shit you not). I think that is the reason why I have continued to work in Manassas, I shamefully like the attention. FA appreciators aside, in general the quality of gentleman who are now asking me out on dates has been downgraded, and handsome young businessmen have been replaced by toothless 55-year-old men wearing Hawaiian shirts. I am also being wooed on a nightly basis by a crazy old margarita drinking guy who never tips. COMDG always wants to hang out with me after work (yeah, sounds great, I’ll see you at 3AM!) and constantly tells me how beautiful I am. Yes, it’s a lovely compliment, but I think his perception is a little off, since he has the misfortune of having only one working eye. Ahh, whatever, at this point I’ll take the compliments where I can get them, when the attention stops I’ll definitely know it’s time to shelve the beer popper and hang up the wine key. Working behind the bar is a lot of things, but it is rarely boring, and for that I am usually grateful.
The other night I was able to add another story to my ever-growing collection of bat-shit crazy bar experiences. I started thinking of my most told bartender stories, so I’ve decided to compile a list. I apologize if you’ve heard them, most of the people who have known me a while have heard all my stories over and over, so much that they probably throw me an eye roll when I start in on a story for the 6,437th time. So if you are one of those people or if you are easily offended, quit reading now, because there is definitely some offensive material here. For those who wish to continue, I present to you some of my top bartending tales, in chronological order.
This is not so much a story about me, but about my friend Miranda. As you work your way through bar after bar over the years, you tend to pick up some good friends along the way, and Miranda is one of them. My husband, sister and I had to good fortune of bartending with her about 10 years ago, and now she can’t shake us. Not only was she a kick ass bartender, but she is also one of the kindest women I have ever known, and has the ability to make me laugh so hard that I have to change my underpants. Truthfully, I could fill a book with Miranda stories, but this one is my favorite.
Miranda was pregnant with her son, very pregnant. I am presently working with several girls who are close to giving birth, and I am always amazed by their stamina. I am personally a big weenie, and at about 6 weeks into my pregnancies I would bow out, take a leave of absence and drop all the bill paying at Bob’s feet for the next 9 months. However, Miranda was one of these women that kept on keeping on right up until her due date, for which I give her tremendous props.
Anyway, super pregnant Miranda was working point that night, which means that she was taking care of anyone who decided to sit up at the front of the bar. A group of preppy college kids came in, complete with their polo shirts and twin set sweaters, and sat down at the front corner of the bar. That front corner sucked big time. A poorly placed beer cooler blocked the ability to reach the bar top without standing on your toes and stretching, so you can imagine that a 37 week pregnant belly made serving that area nearly impossible. Still, Miranda grabbed a bar towel, went over to greet the children of privilege sitting in the corner, and started wiping the bar down to the best of her ability. It seemed that Muffy expected a perfectly clean bar prior to indulging in her 5 appletinis and the drunken frat house romp that surely followed. She outstretched her french nail tip and pointed at an unreachable area of the bar. “Ummm, you missed a spot..” Miranda stared at the girl for a minute, and then jumped on top of the cooler and climbed on to the bar top. Her baby belly rested right in front of Muffy, and she started scrubbing the “missed spot” furiously. “THIS SPOT? THIS ONE RIGHT HERE? DID I GET IT? IS IT GOOD NOW?” Muffy nodded, Miranda climbed down, and the rest of us were rendered helpless for the next few minutes because we were doubled over with laughter. Gee, I hope it was clean enough for her. Lesson learned, Muffy: it’s best not to fuck with the bartender, and you DEFINITELY don’t want to fuck with a pregnant bartender. She’s lucky she didn’t get slapped.
Part of my uniform, no matter where I worked, was a pair of black pants or a skirt. Because I tend to beat the hell out of my work clothes, I am always looking for a bargain pair of pants that I can add to my collection. One day my sister and I were out shopping and I found a cute pair of pants that fit me right and were on sale, so I picked them up and planned on wearing them that night. Unfortunately, when I was getting dressed I realized that the material was so thin that I had a very defined panty line. I asked my sister for help.
“Do you think I can get away with this?”
“No, it looks like shit. Just wear a thong.”
“I don’t have any, I hate them. It’s like having a wedgie all night long that you just can’t pick.”
“So just go commando. You are just about the only person that wears underwear there anyway.”
I don’t like going commando, I’m a big fan of the underpants. But I had waited too long to try on the pants, and I didn’t have time to wash an old pair. I took my sister’s advice and went to work with a nice smooth booty, underpants free.
We had a great deal of liquor on display at that bar, and cleaning duty for that night was to get up on a ladder and clean the display bottles. I was working my way around the bar, going up and down the ladder as service bar tickets needed to be made. While I was making a strawberry daiquiri for a table, I spilled strawberry puree all over my leg. I turned to the other bartender and showed her the mess.
“Look what I just did to my brand new pants!”
“Yeah, that sucks. You better take care of that.”
She had a weird look on her face as she walked away, a little too weird for just some puree all over my leg. Whatever, I grabbed a towel and went in the back to clean myself up. While I was wiping my leg, my sister came into the kitchen to dump some dishes, and I turned to her and showed her my pants. She looked at me, her mouth dropped open, and saying she started to laugh is an understatement. She grabbed me by my shoulders, directed me into the employee bathroom and pushed me in front of the mirror.
My bargain pants turned out to be not so much a bargain, because they had split wide open, from the bottom of the zipper to the middle of my crotch. My “winter bush” was hanging out, for all the world to see. (I tend to shave less in the winter months, because why bother? It’s a good thing it wasn’t summer.) So I had been going up and down that ladder all night, my exposed crotch at the eye level of every bar guest. Not one person told me.
A very nice boy who worked with us went to the store and bought me a sewing kit, and I sat on the toilet and sewed my pants back together so I could get through the rest of the night. I also threw on an extra long t-shirt, just in case my sewing skills weren’t up to par. When I asked the other bartender why she didn’t tell me, she said I thought I knew. Really? I knew my bush was hanging out and I was cool with it? Okay then.
Oddly, I have no shame about this incident, which leads me to believe that I am more of an exhibitionist than I thought. I have told the story a million times, so I guess this makes it a million and one. The most common question I get is if I saw an increase in tips that night. Sadly, the answer is no.
Our bar is in very close proximity to a concert venue, it is maybe 4 or 5 miles away. The concerts generate some decent business, before and after we are always busy with people on their way there or on their way back. We always get our fair share of concert going weirdos, but how weird they are depends on who’s playing. Stevie Nicks had a concert on this particular night, and while we did get a few people dressed up in Stevie-ish hats and scarves, for the most part the guests we saw were pretty normal.
After the concert, two women walked in who had come up from southern VA to see Stevie. They were dressed fairly conservatively, both were wearing nice, nondescript dresses, blond hair pulled up, with quiet jewelry and expensive hand bags. They ate dinner and were drinking champagne splits. They were staying in the hotel next to the bar, and after an hour or so one of the women decided that she was tired and wanted to leave. The other woman, Barbara (I won’t ever forget her name) wanted to stay and drink a little more, so she was left alone and started a friendly conversation with the couple sitting next to her.
I have to assume that Barbara was not usually a big drinker, because after 3 glasses of champagne, she really started to loosen up. The conversation went from a polite chat about her children’s school too her recently acquired boob job. I find that women who have breast augmentation do not find it enough to just talk about it, they often have to offer a visual as well, and Barbara was no exception. I turned and looked down the end of the bar to find that she had completely pulled down the top of her dress, and she was cupping a huge tit in each hand, bouncing them up and down. What the fuck. I ran over there and convinced her to cover those babies up, which she did with apologies.
Well, the fun didn’t end there. A group of people walked in for a drink right before last call, and Barbara apparently found it unacceptable that there were people present who had not yet seen her bodacious ta tas. This time she pulled her entire dress up over her head, pink granny panties showing, now exposing not only her knockers but also her less than fit belly, complete with her c-section scar.
I asked her again to cover up. Instead, she went to an open booth, laid down and explained that she wanted to demonstrate how she could bounce quarters off her stomach. Really, lady? Thankfully enough, it was now 2 AM, so it was time to send Barbara and everyone else packing. The nice couple who were sitting next to her volunteered to walk her to her hotel so she would get there safely, or maybe they planned on setting up a night of swinging. I don’t really know what the hell was going on there, but I was thankful that I didn’t have to walk her there myself. Later Barbara, time to go home to your husband and kids, I guess we’ll see you and your titties next time Stevie Nicks rolls around.
Last week, I was working my usual uneventful Sunday night shift with my friend Chris, when an old couple came into the bar. They were both probably in their late 70’s, early 80’s, they walked very slowly, the lady had a little trouble getting up on the bar stool. The old man was bald, wearing a tweed chappy and an outdated suit, the lady had very short, grey hair, a flowered dress, and bifocals on a chain. They ordered two Cadillac margaritas.
While they were drinking and snuggling up with each other, the lady announced that they were “pre-engaged.” She showed us her ring, and informed us that she was wearing it on her right hand, and if she said yes, she would move it to her left. I oohed and ahhed appropriately, and went about my business.
Lovie and Thurston were clearly dying to tell us their love story, and since I didn’t have a whole hell of a lot going on at the time, I stood and politely listened. Here is how the conversation went.
“We have been friends for 40 years! We met in 1971, I was in the Air Force and her husband was my best friend!”
“That’s right, he was, they were best friends.”
“Yup, and we were friends too, and we were always attracted to each other, but we were both married to different people, so we never did anything.”
“That’s right, we didn’t. I was also friends with his wife, but my husband, well he was a motherfucker!”
“That’s true! He was a motherfucker! Right to his core, that motherfucker!”
Um, excuse me? Did they really just say that? Okay….
“Um, well, that’s a long time. It’s nice that you found each other again after all those years.”
“It sure is. My daughter became terminally ill, with the same ailment from which his daughter had just died, so I called him to talk to him about it.”
“Cancer. They had cancer, and I knew what to expect, so she called me, and I was living in California, so I told her to come and see me. So after her daughter died she did come and see me, and stayed for a week!”
“Well, I’m very sorry to hear about your daughters.”
“Thank you dear. Anyway, I went out to see him, and we fell in love.”
“But I didn’t fuck her! Not once!!”
“That’s right, he didn’t fuck me at all!”
Okay, now this just can’t be happening. I started looking around to see if anyone else was hearing this conversation, no one was. Maybe I was being punk’d, or they were bringing Candid Camera back on TV, because this conversation was just too insane.
“Um, well, that’s good, very respectful, I guess.”
“That’s right, we were being respectful, because she was still married to the motherfucker, so she had to get out of that. So she went home and ended her marriage.”
“50 years I was married to that motherfucker! 50 years! So I broke it off, and I went back to California, and I stayed for 3 weeks.”
“THEN I fucked her! Isn’t that right, honey?”
“You, sure did!”
“I fucked her so hard she couldn’t see straight! All night long! I fucked her, and then gave her the cunnilingus!”
“That’s right, he did! He fucked me good! And now we are pre-engaged, because I haven’t said yes yet, and when I do I’ll move the ring to my left hand.”
“So now we are going to go back to our hotel and fuck some more. We’ll take the check.”
“Okay, I’ll get that for you. Thanks for telling me your story.”
“Thank you for listening dear, we love to tell it.”
I bet you do, and you tell it so well. Holy shit.
They paid the check, hobbled out, and I guess got busy next door. I don’t know how I kept a straight face, I’m not sure I did. All I know is that once they left, I started laughing so hard I couldn’t even tell the story. Chris was thankful he wasn’t the recipient of the tale, because he isn’t sure what he would have done. I, however, will be ever grateful, another awesome reminder to never judge a book by its cover.
So there you have it. Like I said, my job is many, many things, but it is rarely boring.