ShoreBilly’s Swill: Introducing the Cast, Part II
I got a whole lot of feedback after Part 1 of this piece, so I’m going to keep it rolling. This column is, always has been, and will continue to be essentially an autobiographical, humorous look at life through my eyes; as Daddy by day, bartender by night, and fledgling writer while everyone in the house is asleep and I have vodka on the rocks sitting on my desk beside me.
This particular ongoing piece is simply me making light of some of the stereotypical characters I witness in the bar on a nightly basis. It’s by no means a malicious bashing of these people, simply a lighthearted hazing if you will. If you’ve ever spent any time in a bar, you’ve all seen of these people. It just so happens that I’m calling them out, bringing them to light, and writing about it for no other reason than for your enjoyment, and my own entertainment.
It’s no secret that I keep a small notebook with me at all times, especially when I am at work. I’ve comprised a list of literally dozens of these ‘characters’, and in the first installment, I was only able to tell you about three. So this more than likely will be a piece that I will return to from time to time. I hope you all enjoy. Please know that this is not me ‘hating’ on all of these characters; some of them yes, but most I actually revere on some odd level. And as long as these people exist, I have not one, but two jobs. So to quote Billy Joel; “don’t go changing, to try and please me. I love you just the way you are.” If one of these descriptions should hit a little close to home, just laugh and don’t take it personally. Appreciate the fact that you took part in making someone smile. If you’ve read any of my work, then you know that there is no one I poke fun at more than myself.
So without further adieu, I’d like you to meet character number 4. We’ll call her; “recently turned 21 year old girl who knows more about how to do my job than I do”. This particular young lady has never worked in a restaurant or bar a day in her life, (or anywhere else for that matter), yet she considers herself the foremost authority on the ancient art of ‘mixology’. I wrote that last line with tongue in cheek as I loathe the terms “mixology”, and “mixologist”. And any time I hear a bartender refer to themselves, or what they do by these terms, I want to smack them really hard in the back of the neck right at the base of their skull. Not enough to cause any permanent damage, just to send a message. I’m no more a mixologist, than the pizza faced 17 year old kid at Starbucks is a ‘barista’, or his twin brother at Subway is a ‘chef’. I’m a bartender, plain and simple. Let’s not sugar coat it like I’m writing a resume and presenting it to a moron. At the end of the day, I do nothing loftier than spend my evenings serving beverages to full grown adults that make them dumber. Even if ( hypothetically speaking of course) someone I am very, very close to had been voted best male bartender of the year in Worcester County in another publication, ‘He’ would still be nothing more than just a drink slinger.
Getting back to this young lady who will no doubt marry at least 3 times and never find happiness; she’ll approach the bar, and without smiling, or saying “please” or “thank you” not so much request but rather demand a round of shooters with a traditional name. Though I immediately want to sentence her to 30 days in manners rehab, I am actually relieved that she ordered a shooter I’m familiar with (and have been since the early 80’s). I smile, turn away and start to prepare the Princess’ order; all the while thinking how I had just met yet another person I refuse to allow my daughters to become. I make the drinks exactly as I have roughly 4 million times without complaint. I promptly return and place Charisma Challenged Barbie’s shooters in front of her. She picks one up, holds it up above her head to the light and observes it with the scrutiny of a master jeweler appraising a huge diamond.
She sets the drink back down on the bar and looks at me with disgust. Her fake, green, contact-laden eyes turn black like a great white shark about to chomp. Her perfectly sculpted and sloped narrow nose wrinkles up as if she smelled a wet taco fart. The nose, by the way, was a Sweet 16 gift from her parents because the original factory-installed sniffer took up so much facial real estate that it required at least 2 fingers and a thumb to extract a booger from. It was a 2 car garage for Hot Wheels. She was probably at least tolerable prior to the rhinoplasty, but more than likely has been an insufferable B—- ever since and has taken on a whole new circle of shallow friends. To further convey her disgust at my incompetence at my menial job, she spews forth a primal, guttural, throaty sound that sounds as if she is going to either ‘hock a loogie’ on me, or rat out a Taliban member and thought better of it after the first 3 letters of his name. If any of my beautiful little girls shows the first sign of being anything like this complete failure of humanity, I will sell her on E-Bay.
She then makes the announcement without an ounce of humility, shame, or compassion; “you made this wrong!” NOT; “I think this might not be right.” NOT; “this is different than I’ve had before.” NOT; “I’m sorry, I may have ordered wrong.” All of those are perfectly acceptable and will rekindle our blossoming relationship. NOPE! “YOU MADE THIS WRONG!” Now she’s trying to belittle me and look cool to her gum chewing friends who haven’t stopped texting since they walked in. BIG MISTAKE SWEETHEART!
I get ‘bitter’ mail whenever I leave you with a cliff hanger, but I’m going to have to finish this exchange next week. After Plastic Face, I’ll introduce more ‘cast members’. I promise it will be worth the wait.
It may be unprofessional of me, but I’m going to use the last paragraph to end on a personal note. Barring the unforeseen, this column will post on August 19, 2014. August 19 is without a doubt my least favorite day of the year, and yet I will ALWAYS honor it. Twelve years ago today, Earth became a much darker place, but Heaven became so much cooler. Twelve years ago today, my Superhero Mom took her last breath. She quietly ended her ‘fighting’ career and drifted off into retirement with a 5 and 1 record against that cowardly asshole we all know as cancer. If you beat that 5 times, YOU ARE SUPERHUMAN!! I could do a whole piece on this, but I won’t.
MOM- Everything I am, I owe to you. Everything I have I would give for just one more day with you. I LOVE you! I miss you! My only regret in life is that you didn’t get to hold your last 3 Grandchildren. Thank you for everything.