27 March 2012

Gnomes, Hookers and Jose Gold

I can't remember now what it was that made me decide to try my hand at mid-afternoon drinking. I'm sure it had something to do with some emotional bullshit that I was trying to avoid feeling and/or dealing with. Tequila is my coping mechanism of choice... my only coping mechanism actually, and I utilized it to the extreme.

I began with a simple of game of pool. I had just gotten off working the one to six shift and was wearing a really short skirt and a pair of knee high hooker boots. I wouldn't have gone to any other bar wearing such a thing - but I know everyone that comes into the Shift Change.. or I thought I did anyway.

The first person I offended was an older gentleman with a full beard that was about my height. In light of his physical appearance I apparently decided that it was my duty to inform him that he looked just exactly like the Travelocity gnome. Because tequila makes me vocal and also honest... which is an awful combination, really.

I then pestered the Travelocity gnome guy to smile, in an effort to make him look less like a gnome. After perhaps thirty minutes of my pestering and awful joke telling the guy gave me a half assed smile and I told him that it did not help in the least. Gnomes, I think, are not supposed to smile. Because when this guy smiled it was some sort of Halloween version of the garden statue. I informed him that he was infinitely less creepy with a somber expression.

At some point I bounced up to the bar for a shot that someone or another had ordered for me and discovered a couple that I had never met staring at my short skirt and hooker boots. I smiled sweetly at them and informed them that I was not, in fact, an actual hooker, but that I did play one on t.v. I can not imagine why I felt the need to inform them of this fact, but they smiled and nodded at me. 

Mr. Gnome left, the couple left, and soon it was just me and H drinking shots at the bar. We decided right then that we simply must walk next door and get M and D to come drink with us. Instead of knocking politely at the door, I pounded like the LAPD and scared the shit out of M,D, and Superman who was visiting them.  Superman tells me that he is going to buy me pants, probably because I look like a hooker. He says that he can't come and drink with us, because he has Kenny with him. M thinks Kenny is a dog. I can't imagine why she thinks this.

 I tell them that they both drink like girls, dog or not.

Kenny is actually a guy sitting alone in the kitchen. Since he is not a dog, I borrow his lighter, put my arms around him and tell him that I love him. Kenny looks scared so i introduce myself and tell him that I am certainly not a hooker. 

Not a real hooker anyway.

I don't know why Superman decides to carry me back to the bar... it possibly has something to do with simply wanting to get rid of me. Maybe Kenny was feeling violated by all of my hugging and professions of love since he actually didn't know me...In any case I found myself drinking more tequila and proclaiming that M was now the Travelocity gnome and that I was still not a real hooker...

When I wake up the next morning I promise to never, ever, ever drink through my emotions with tequila again... but even I know I am lying to me.

20 March 2012

Head Kicking and Bartending

"The crowd can get a little rough sometimes, though." Some kid said to me on one of my first nights at the new bar.

I could only giggle.

People ask me how I am liking it up there, and I tell them that I haven't had to clean up blood in weeks. 

I don't know why they think it's a joke. 

It reminded me of an old post on my other blog, and I feel the need to share it again on this one now.

Sometimes, a guy walks into the bar and you just know that he is going to be a problem. He is probably going to leave the place bleeding. And then sometimes you are caught completely by surprise. 

Shift Change is not the sort of bar that draws a hell of a lot of social drinkers. They cater mostly to the professionals... drinkers that is. Mostly die-hard alcoholics.

So anyway... 

A guy walks into a bar... 

He then, over the course of the next half hour, drinks two beers and four shots of Goldschlager. For this reason we will call him Goldie. 

Goldie decides after his fourth shot that he should absolutely move down to the end of the bar where two men, whom we will call Jim and Bill, are standing and drinking and talking about work. They are steel haulers, not to be confused with truck drivers, even though they drive trucks.

Goldie asks them if they are Teamsters and I get a sinking feeling in my belly. There is no actual law that prohibits bar conversations about politics, religion or unions, but there should be. The four shots seem to catch up to Goldie all at the same time and he starts talking about being a union man and we learn that he works out of local 150. He goes on about unions and Masons and then says something about communists and Bolivian soccer players. 



Goldie is leaning on Jim and talking right out of his ass about God knows what. It certainly isn't making any sense to me, but then I'm sober. I don't know if Goldie thinks he knows Jim and Bob. He seems to be implying that they are Teamsters, while implying that Teamsters are Bolivian Communists. 

Or something like that.

Then Goldie yells to me that he would like to buy a round of shots for his newest buddies. Jim is clenching his jaw, but doing a great job of not hitting anyone. I am very proud of Jim at this point.

I ignore Goldie's request for more shots, because I draw the line at serving delusional people. In a bar where even the drunkest of drunks cannot get cut off, this guy has managed to get cut off in  less than an hour.

Goldie leans back to tell his new buddies how important he is in his union. And again with the communism bit, until he realizes I am not getting his shots for him.

"I want shots for my friends and I."

"Well darlin', I think you need to just drink your beer and chill out on the shots for a bit, okay? You aren't making a whole lot of sense over there." I say to Goldie, quite nicely, I think.

"I. Want. A. Shot."

"Okay, well, I can't give you a shot just right now, Honey. Just chill out for a while and finish your beer, okay?" 

This Goldie guy? He is not getting it.

"You're the bartender." He tells me.

"Yes. Yes I am." Thank God Goldie has cleared that one up for me.

"It's your job to get me a drink. And I. Want. A. Shot." 

Oh. Well, since you put it that it way, asshole... I feel the need to share one of my Daddy's nuggets of wisdom and I tell him, "It's good to want things sugar. Give you something to work for." Because, yeah, I'm kind of a dick like that. Jim and Bob giggle a little, because, come on, that's funny shit right there...

In spite of my displeasure and, okay, anger at Goldie.. I have been struggling to maintain a cheery disposition. This seems to only irritate Goldie even more.

Goldie decides just then that whatever Bob was saying to Jim was about him. It may have been, I don't know because I was busy telling Gold that I do not give a flying fuck if he never returns to the bar... he is still not going to get any alcohol.

Goldie steps up to Bob and gets in his face, yelling about how he is a union man and a member of the Masons and how Bob and Jim don't know who they are fucking with, and I am now convinced that this night is not going to end well.

To give credit where credit is due; Bob takes a lot of shit from the drunk guy before pulling back and blasting Goldie in the face. Goldie promptly falls to the floor. I don't know what happened right after that, because I was too busy running around the bar to save his life.

So, there is all one hundred pounds of me, holding on to Bob's jacket, trying to maintain eye contact and asking him very nicely, at the top of my lungs to please not kill Goldie on my shift.

Unfortunately, Goldie is a fucking moron, and he is still talking shit from his position on the floor. 
Bob kicks him in the head. Which disturbs me. Maybe because I have kids, and my instinct is to scream, "Not the head! Watch the head!" Because really, head kicking is dangerous and I do not want Goldie to die, and I do not want Bob to go to prison forever because of some Bolivian Communist soccer players in Mason costumes or what ever the fuck Goldie was talking about.

Jim helps Goldie up off the floor while I plead with Bob. Goldie stands to collect his things and starts toward the door before falling right on his ass. 

Goldie thinks someone has pushed him. So, while sitting on the floor, he begins, once again, to talk shit to Bob.
And once again, I am holding onto Bobs coat and pleading for Goldie's life. 
This shit is getting old. I do not even like Goldie. But I also do not like cleaning up blood. 

Bob returns to the bar and ignores the insults Goldie is throwing at him. I am rather proud of Bob, but not able to relax, because Bob is one of those quiet guys... and we all know about the quiet ones.

"Uh. You obviously need to leave. Can I call you a taxi?"

Goldie tells me that he isn't leaving. He says that I can't kick him out, because he has just been knocked unconscious.

And now? 

A little bit?

I am wanting to kick him in the head myself, and I am firmly opposed to head kicking.

Goldie tells me that he is going to call my boss and tell him that I have cut him off. 

I am pissed, really super-pissed, but even I can appreciate the humor here and I giggle a little.

Goldie does not see any humor. He stumbles to the bar and tries to take a drink of his beer. I am fed up and pissed off and I remove the glass (gently of course),l and then throw it behind the bar, after briefly contemplating hitting him with it.

 Because, you know, I am all about keeping my cool.

Goldie tells me that he is going to call the police now. He is going to tell them that he is a union man and a resident of this town and he is going to call and tell them I will not get him a drink.

"'Kay." I say to him and give him the sweetest smile I can. He is maybe a little confused by my sudden agreeable nature.

I am hoping he will, in fact, call the police and them know all about it...
Maybe I will get to be on one of those stupidest criminal shows on TV.

But he doesn't.

He looks at me, seemingly confused, and tells me that his jaw hurts, puts the phone in his pocket and leaves.

I hadn't anticipated it being that easy.. and I was slightly disappointed at my lost chance of fame on late night TV - but at least there was no blood to clean up that time!

06 March 2012

Awkward Job Interviews

I just got a new job at the bar that has been open for approximately I have no clue how long. It is awesome and I never expected to put an application in there because... well, you'll see why.

Last year sometime the Shift Change had gotten fairly...er... rough. So I started taking my pistol to work with me. I have no idea what the legalities are concerning firearms and bartending, but I figured in a worst case scenario, I probably wouldn't really care. 
It was a Diamondback 380, a lightweight Glock-looking thing that I often forgot was even present in my waistband.
Which is were this story begins.
I had closed the bar early, at about 1:30 in the morning and decided to stop at this new bar in town on my way home. The pistol was tucked securely in my holster and covered by my sweater. 
Some of you may not know that I spent most of my teenage years and most of my adulthood selling guns in a local gun shop. I am probably too comfortable around guns and sometimes am a little surprised by other people's reaction to them.

So... there I was in this new bar, drinking a beer and probably a shot or two, which would explain why I suddenly became so warm while playing pool and decided to remove my sweater, completely forgetting that I had this little tiny gun tucked into my waistband. 

Fortunately, there were few people in the bar. Unfortunately, the owner was one of the few people seated at the bar. He tapped me lightly on the shoulder and said, "Um. Excuse me? Ma'am? Is, uh, that a revolver in your back?"

I was confused for a second, before replying with a sort of smirk and a what the fuck expression, "No. It's not a revolver. It's a 380." Because sometimes I forget that maybe some people do not know the difference between a revolver and a pistol.. And at that particular time I forget also that this guy probably doesn't really care. "Its a new one, that Diamondback. Wanna see it?" I ask this guy as if maybe I am going to sell it to him right there in the bar.

The man's face mirrors my what the fuck expression.

He asks me very politely if I would mind taking the gun to my vehicle. I do not mind. I am suddenly feeling a lot like an ass. So, the gun is stashed in the minivan and the pool game is resumed.

A few days later one of my regular customers at the Shift Change tells me that I ought to go in and apply at this new bar and I maybe blush but probably not. I do look down at my toes and mumble something about maybe waiting a while to put an app in. The customer goes on to tell me how awesome the owners are, and I do not mention that I have met one of them.

A few weeks ago I am talking to an old friend of mine. He indicates that the bar is looking for bartenders and we make plans to go have a beer at the new bar and feel out the owners a little bit. I tell him to not mention the gun if he doesn't mind and he giggles at me. I meet the owners who ask if I can come in for an interview the next afternoon. 
I am relieved that does not appear to be any spark of recognition on the man's face. 

I show up the next afternoon, late for the interview of course, because after a night of drinking with this old friend, I frequently place my car keys in the most asinine place one can think of... or not think of when they are stone cold sober. 

So I am already nervous as Hell when I walk in and attempt to explain my random key hiding habit and the man says suddenly, "You know, you look a little familiar. Were you in here that one time with a gun?"

I could have denied it out loud, but my first reaction was to cover my face with my hands and think, Aw shit.  After that I am reasonably sure they would know I was lying if I denied it. I could have blamed it on the twin sister that I do not have... but they were both laughing. 
I started the job that night, and have been absolutely loving it ever since. 

I don't carry the pistol anymore... I sold it last summer when the husband went crazy. Course it could always get a bit worse than a pistol in my waistband....