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. 

Yes. 

Really.

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!

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