End of night, cleaning up, I’m behind the bar doin dishes, fellow bartender doin out, pickin up empties. There’s 30 empty bottles in front of me, New Castles with peeled labels, half-full Bud Light bottles. It’s a zen experience, you get in the zone, dump bottles in sink, put them in beer boxes for recycling.
I go to dump a bottle. It feels empty at first, but it’s really not. Splash. Splat. A brown sludge. The smell hits you first. It’s a nauseating smell. Minty. Evergreen. The smell of foul outdoor stench. And then you hit the water, fast, to drain the spat chew, unfortunately, there’s a used lime stuck in the drain. The water fills up, get the rubber gloves out.
In a perfect world, a man with a camouflage hunting cap comes up to the bar and asks for an empty cup and a napkin. I say, if you would be so kind, you can throw the cup away in the trash can at the end of the bar.
He says, great. No problem. And I’m going to quit this disgusting habit after I’m done with it. For some reason, it’s staining my teeth a dull brown.
From my heart to yours,
Clint Curtis. Bartender.