One American Dollar

I’m behind the bar, end of night, running 70,000 credit cards. ‘Scuse the French, but it’s a cluster fuck, everybody wants me to run them at the same time.

Winds down, I’ve got about ten left. Guy comes up, asks, can I borrow a pen? I grab a pen, give it to him, go help another customer.

Two minutes later, he comes back. Actually, he says, I need a marker. I’m trying to get the band to sign a poster. Oh. Wants to borrow a Sharpie, huh? I know where this is going.

I grab a Sharpie, say, ok. I need some collateral. Doesn’t matter, library card, anything. I give people Sharpies, they take them, never return them. He says, opening up his wallet, oh, I’ll be right back. I just need it for 5 minutes.

I say, uh-huh. He says, wait. I started a tab. You have my credit card. What’s the name? I ask. He says Connor Crispy. I check, sure enough, have his card. I say, great. I’ll just keep that, you come back with the Sharpie, I run your card, we’re good. He says, great. Leaves.

I turn to my fellow bartender, say, did you hear that go down? He says, yep. I say, I bet you one American dollar, he doesn’t come back, forgets his card. He says, yep.

We clean up the place. It’s a disaster, sold out crowd. Daddy made some money tonight. I do the dishes, put away bottles, wipe everything down, start in on the register.

Doors locked, everybody’s gone except for me and my fellow bartender. I run all the credit cards, but oh…guess what?

Yes, thank you for answering that question.

A lone credit card sits forlorn in our credit card cup.

-Clint Curtis


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