Archive for May, 2012

Jason C., Chicago, IL. GULPU

May 26, 2012

I don’t like to toss the words frosty and bitch around lightly, but sometimes there is no other way to describe certain females. There are just some women who make it a point to be a royal pain in the ass. There are men like that too except we call them a douche bag or asshole or dickbag. The term frosty bitch, however, is one I like to reserve for the fairer sex.

It was college night and we were slammed. I was by myself behind the bar and maintaining pretty well despite the constant stream of server tickets spewing out of my ticket printer. I pulled three tickets and on my way to making those drinks took an order from a couple at the right end of the bar. After placing six drinks in the server window I proceeded to mix the couples drinks. I served them with a smile and moved onto a group of three guys to the left of them.

They all ordered beers and on my way to the draft tower I snagged two more server tickets from the printer. As I was pouring the beers I scanned the bar. Three more server tickets had just printed out. The couple I had just served was good, the guys next to them were the ones I was serving, there was another couple to the left of them who were good and to the left of them was one guy who had just walked up and was patiently waiting with his money in hand.

I put the server’s drinks in the window and then served the three guys their beers. I gave the solo guy the head nod and then proceeded to cash out my current order. As I did that up walks a girl who I could tell from the slam of the front door had literally just walked in. She stood next to the guy I was going to help next and tried to catch my attention by bending over the bar showing her cleavage. I avoided nipple and eye contact and kept moving.

I dropped off the three guys change. Four more server tickets printed out. I approached the guy who had been patiently waiting. Before he could even begin to order this frosty bitch started waving her hand in the air.

“Excuse me I was here first.”

I ignored her and maintained eye contact with the guy. He began to order when again she waved a hand in the air.

“Are you fucking kidding me? I was like here way before him. “

I looked at her. She was in her early thirties but based on her makeup and skankified outfit it was clear she was hoping to pass for twenty-two. Her blatant attempt of looking younger was failing miserably.

“Excuse me Mam, but no you weren’t here first. I will be with you as soon as I help the customers who have been waiting longer.”

“Whatever. A gentleman would help the woman first.”

She then glanced at the guy I was originally trying to help with a crooked smile that smacked of a sickly attempt at seducing him. Instead of being interested in this forward flirt on her part he looked scared and confused. He motioned for me to help her first.

She ordered a lemon drop martini. I chilled her glass and then went about pouring the four server tickets. I placed the drinks in the server window and then began to mix her drink. The guy I had tried to help had walked away.

I put her drink in front of her and told her it would be eight dollars. She gasped in disgust.

“Really? It took long enough. I feel like that’s way too much money.”

She begrudgingly pulled her wallet out of her purse and slid a ten dollar bill across the bar. I gave her the change which she quickly snatched and put away. I saw that the guy I had tried to help before hadn’t left but had simply moved to the other side of the bar.

I went to go help him again when out of the corner of my eye I saw her reach for my fruit caddy. I was able to intervene before she stuck her grubby little hands all over my freshly cut fruit. I politely informed her that her touching my fruit was against health code and made it clear that if she wanted more fruit all she had to do was ask.

“Wow, rude. All I wanted was another lemon,” she said.

I handed her another lemon. The guy ordered a beer. The ticket printer pumped out two more server tickets. They were both beers. I poured them and then as I went to put them in the window I saw this frosty bitch with half her hand buried in the server’s fruit caddy.

I watched as she grabbed a couple of cherries and dropped them in her drink. She then stuck her dirty skank hand back in the caddy. I put the drinks down and slammed the lid of the caddy down on her. She screamed at such a high pitch it sounded like a cat was being tortured. She pulled her hand back and it was full of cherries and lemons.

“I told you not to do that once already. If you do it again I will have to ask you to leave,” I said.

She let out a defiant cackle and then threw the fruit in her hand at me. Before the fruit hit the floor I snatched her drink and threw it away. I then came around the bar and escorted her out. She kicked and screamed and cursed and skanked but her words fell upon deaf ears.

When I returned I was finally able to help the guy who had been waiting so patiently. Once he got his drink he and everyone else that had come in contact with that frosty bitch breathed a sigh of relief at the sight of her leaving.

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The Bad Bartender Chronicles III

May 12, 2012

With modern technology cell phones have come a long way. Devices that used to be dedicated to just phone conversations have evolved into mini computers that allow people to avoid human contact with other people for weeks at a time. These hi-tech phones also allow people to ignore each other in a blatant manner under the guise of being busy on one’s phone. This has especially become rampant in the bar business where it seems bartenders feel like they need to constantly have their cell phone within arm’s reach.

I understand there are special circumstances. People have kids and sick loved ones and gambling problems and in the event of an emergency may need to leave the bar to take a call. However, nowadays people normally want their phone around in case they think of something witty to post on twitter or want to leave a comment on facebook every time they think of a new way to pour a cactus cooler or because they are engrossed in a new app they just downloaded that tells them what kind of panties a girl is wearing as she walks by.

There is nothing more frustrating than walking into a bar with a strong thirst for a pint and upon sitting down seeing a bartender with his back to the bar. Upon further inspection, you see that he is standing in front of the register and briefly you forgive him for breaking this golden rule of bartending. After almost a minute it becomes evident that there is no transaction being processed through the register. You peer down the bar and see that there are five people waiting all with empty glasses. The music is loud but even over it you can hear the bartender give out a chuckle. You move down a few stools for a better view and see that the bartender is too busy on his phone texting to even know that you want a drink. If you ever witness this leave whatever establishment you are at immediately.

The internet in the palm of one’s hand can be very distracting. Some people feel as if armed with this power of information they are able to answer any question or issue thrown their way. Bars have long been a place of great debate. The key to winning most debates are facts and what used to be found in dictionaries, sports almanacs and classic issues of playboy can now be found in modern day cell phones.

Of course there is always the guy who believes his fancy phone can find any piece of information no matter how obscure or asinine the fact faster than anyone else, anywhere. He wears his phone on his hip ready for any software duel. As always there is a regular game for the challenge. They draw their phones and race to find out what 1980’s movie featured the Paul Simon song that just finished playing on the jukebox.  I watch from my side of the bar as the bartender leans both elbows on the bar top as he furiously types his way through countless pages of 1980’s movie trivia. Once my glass of whiskey goes without for five minutes or more my patience wears out and I leave, never return to such a place.

A cell phone’s original purpose, once again, was to be a mobile device people could have phone conversations on. Even that most simple function of a cell phone shouldn’t be used when one is working behind the bar. Only two results can come from this, either people are going to be rudely ignored or receive shitty and absent-minded service.

For example take the girl who will continue to serve people while chatting away on the phone. You’ve seen her before. She prances around the bar mis-pouring drinks because she is only half listening to orders while the other half of her half a brain is listening to whoever is on the other side of her cell phone. It’s even worse when after fucking up she apologizes, covers the mouthpiece of the phone and mouths the words “my boss” to you. For some reason she thinks this makes it okay. If this statement is actually true then it makes me wonder why the fuck am I spending money at a bar owned by someone dumb enough to condone such behavior in their business.

The other girl will just stare at you while she talks on her phone. It is apparent whatever conversation she is holding is far more important than getting me drunk, making herself and the bar money or most simply doing her fucking job. Whether she is laughing or feigning sadness to whoever is rambling in her ear, her lack of common sense is never lost on me. Then, when I try to engage her in a last ditch effort to get my drink on, she sticks a bony smoke stained finger with a hot pink painted nail in my face signaling for me to hold on. You are supposed to put phones on hold, not people. As soon as that finger finds its way somewhere near my face I fight the urge to snap it and simply just leave.

To all the bartenders out there who are going to read this and say, “Hey bro, what’s the big deal?” I say you are in a business where making a lot of money is directly related to the happiness of the people you are serving. Talking to your boss because he or she believes they are more important than their customers means the bar they own won’t be in business much longer. Texting your friend that you can’t wait to get off work so you can get drunk is not going to put money in your tip bucket. Twittering every five minutes to keep your four followers informed on exactly what you are doing at all times is only going to leave you with an empty bar. Most importantly, to all be warned that the next time I see a bartender using their cell phone behind the bar I am going to snatch it and stuff it in a very dark place. I encourage you, the general drunken public, to do the same.

 

 

Great Balls of Ranch

May 5, 2012

I am going to create a shot that consists of Fireball whiskey and ranch dressing. I’m thinking about naming it the Great Balls of Ranch shot but am open to name suggestions. I know this recipe of salad dressing and cinnamon flavored whiskey sounds nasty, but believe me that it is exactly what the general drunken public wants. I know this due to the fact that every time I am waiting tables everyone is always asking for ranch even if their meal doesn’t traditionally call for it. Coincidentally whenever I am behind the bar and the topic of shots are brought up everyone immediately brings up Fireball.

I moved to Southern California several years ago and it didn’t take me long to realize that people out here will put ranch dressing on just about anything. Back east ranch was mostly just reserved for salads, but out here ranch seems to be a more popular condiment than ketchup. It seems like no matter what I serve there is always a constant need for ranch to accompany every dish.

At times I wonder if most people like the taste of ranch more than the food they are eating it with. When you douse something in ranch it is nearly impossible to taste anything other than the dressing itself. That then begs the question if people prefer ranch over the food they are dipping in it why don’t we cut out the middle man? Let’s start serving ranch in a bowl with small sides of food. You can toss the food in the bowl of ranch and then get your dressing fix by the spoonful.

Anyone who works at a restaurant knows how awkward it can be if you forget someone’s side of ranch when you drop off their food.  It will be the first thing they look for. When they discover it isn’t there the rest of the table will go quiet. They will try not to make eye contact with the person or with you. The person who was expecting the ranch will address you with a very serious tone of voice as they ask if they could get the ranch they ordered. They then will stare at you with an unwavering look that makes you feel like their life may depend on your answer. It’s as if the very thought that maybe there is no side of ranch because there is no ranch is enough to drive someone to the brink of a serious mental breakdown. Once you return with their side of ranch cooler heads always prevail and then everyone else at the table decides that they would like some ranch as well.

Fireball is a Cinnamon flavored whiskey that was created by our evil neighbors to the North, the Canadians. If that alone doesn’t make it lame then just repeat the words cinnamon flavored whiskey. Whiskey is not meant to be flavored. It is supposed to taste like whiskey. That’s why they call it that. People who drink whiskey do so because they like its natural flavor. If you want to add different flavors to something then grab a bottle of vodka.

I get that you don’t want to drink whiskey. That is a personal choice that has no affect on me. However, the second you start to try to justify to me that Fireball is real whiskey you begin to invade my personal space by insulting my intelligence. Nothing you can say will make it alright to drink Fireball so let’s stop there. If you order a shot of Fireball you might as well be shooting a blonde headed slut or a white gummy bear or a pussy fart or a Washington apple or some other mixed shot meant to taste like anything but alcohol.

This is why I have come up with The Great Balls of Ranch Shot (name subject to change) to please the portion of the general drunken public that would rather bathe themselves in ranch than normal bath water and who believe that whiskey isn’t good enough on it’s own. I am combining the two seemingly most popular items at bars and restaurants and plan on selling them for ten bucks a shot. I will make a killing. No one can resist the mixture of  the two things most people prefer to put in theirs mouths. So order another round of Great Balls of Ranch and be on the lookout for, “The Ranchsickle” (patent pending), the next best thing in dessert that will be out just in time for summer.

R.I.P. #55

May 3, 2012

Tragedy struck the city of San Diego yesterday morning when NFL legend and future hall of famer Junior Seau apparently took his own life. According to police Seau shot himself in the chest at his Oceanside residence. When talking about Junior Seau it is important to do so not only as a football player, but as a man. His contribution to the San Diego community has been more important and influential than any one of the 545 tackles Seau recorded over a twenty year NFL career.

The Junior Seau Foundation through its diverse programs has contributed four million dollars to helping young people with desire but without means to achieve their dreams since its inception in 1992. His foundation does this by handing out scholarships, funding athletic fields and giving under privileged children funds to buy presents for their loved ones around the holidays. His stamp on the city of Oceanside and the entire San Diego area will never be forgotten.

Neither will his prowess on the field. As a kid growing up on the East Coast the only players we heard about who played on the West Coast were the ones who played for consistently good teams and normally the most coverage was reserved for quarterbacks or other offensive stars. During his 13 year career with the San Diego Chargers the team had an overall record of 88-120. They made the Super Bowl in the 1994-1995 season but only reached the playoffs three times when Seau was a member of the team.

Despite playing for a team that was mediocre at best everyone knew who Seau was. Even on the East Coast we knew Seau was the best player at his position and remained so for the majority of his 20 year career. He should also be considered the greatest defensive player to ever wear a San Diego Charger jersey and will surely be a first ballot hall of famer. Seau went on to play with the Miami Dolphins for three years before retiring in August of 2006. Four days later he was coaxed out of retirement by the New England Patriots. In 2007 Seau was part of the 18-1 team that fell just short of perfection and providing Seau with the only thing missing from his illustrious career, a Super Bowl ring.

His distinguished career doesn’t need a ring to justify its greatness, although I am sure he would have loved to win one. Seau retired after playing one more year. In the years that followed his retirement Seau remained in the public spotlight through his charity work and as a restaurateur. Seau always seemed to be wearing a smile wherever he went, but perhaps there were some dark parts of his life that even a man as strong and determined as Seau couldn’t overcome.

What’s disturbing is the manner in which he went. Suicide is always tragic but to shoot oneself in the chest seems rare and raises questions about the motives behind the act. On February 17, 2011 Dave Duerson a former defensive back for the Chicago Bears also took his own life by shooting himself in the chest. Before doing so Duerson texted family members and requested his brain be researched by the Boston University School of Medicine. These doctors found that Duerson was suffering from a neurodegenerative disease that’s caused by repeated concussions.

Football is a violent game that involves high-speed collisions between very strong men. The NFL has built an empire on the sport and used its violence as a major marketing tool to increase their audience. However, it is becoming more and more evident that this violence has serious long-term negative effects on the player’s who sacrifice their bodies on a weekly basis to make the NFL one of the most powerful corporations in the world. Maybe Seau was starting to suffer serious side effects from all those years of leaving every part of himself on the football field for 20 plus years of his life.

Why Seau might have taken his own life is a topic that will be studied and discussed and analyzed for years to come, but that is not what today is for. Today and at least for the near future it is time to honor Junior Seau for the great man that he was. Even as an outsider it is obvious that when Junior Seau passed all of San Diego shed a tear for the loss of a beloved native son who will truly be missed.


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