Monthly Archives: May 2015

Not Complaining

Girl comes up, I know her, cool kid, we chat, she says, OH MY GOD. It’s so COLD in here.

She pauses, then says, not that I’m complaining or anything.

I say, you know what? I HATE LIFE.

Not that I’m complaining or anything.

-Clint Curtis

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Playing To An Empty Room

It’s 2:05am, I’m chatting with a musician that played in the band that headlined.

I say, great crowd tonight. Bar did amazing. You can come back anytime.

Guy’s super nice, he says, thanks, man. Always love hearing the bar did good.

Then he says, we haven’t always had great crowds. We had a terrible show in Chapel Hill on our first tour. I say, I went to school there!  What club was it?  He says, Local 506. Oh yeah, I say. Great club. He says, no one showed up for our gig. It was a Tuesday night. Right when we started playing, the bartender went outside to smoke cigarettes. So we played…

To an empty room.

I say, was there a sound guy at least?

He says, no. No sound guy.

We played to an empty room.

-Clint Curtis

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How To Lie Good

A little bit of information is needed before I tell this story. Unless of course, you’ve been to The Lift, and you’ve looked at the bar clock, to see how much time you got, to finish off that beer.

You’re standing in the bar area. You need to get something from the back. There is a small room back there. We store bar odds and ends. The ice machine is back there. Etcetera etcetera.

You take a step up, then another step, then you walk through the curtain to the back. On the landing, before you go in the back, is a large cheap clock with Roman numerals that hangs precariously upon a rusty nail on a beam head high. If you’re tall, let’s say 6′ 6 up, you better bow your head down if you don’t want to thunk your head on the cheap clock.

There. That’s the info you need for the story.

It’s been a busy night, but everybody is gone by 1:35am. I bust ass, start cleaning up the place. Clean glasses…wipe tables…yada yada yada.

I count the register. Good night for the bar. Last thing I do is mop. The mop stuff is in the back room. I go to the back room, turn on the water, get it in the bucket, put some soap in it.

I wheel the mop bucket onto the landing. I put the mop in, get it wet, ring it out, I have the mop in my hand, I take the step down, and

WHAMO.

CRASH.

I just look at the smashed cheap plastic clock on the ground. The AA batteries are scattered around the clock. It’s just DESTROYED.

I know my fellow service industry people can relate to this. You’re almost done with the close, you have one more thing to do, and BAM. Shit hits the fan.

Ok. That sucks. I pick up the pieces. Now, what should I do with it?  First instinct, I put the pieces in the back room, send a text to my manager, saying, I broke the bar clock. Knocked it down with the mop handle. Then I think,

Nah.

What if I just throw it away, and forget about it?

I rationalize. What do you expect?  That’s the WORST PLACE to put a clock. And it was just hanging there on a single nail for dear life. Nope. Not my fault.

I take the clock, throw it in the trash, mop the bar, then take the evidence to the dumpster outside.

I go home, I forget about it.

Tonight bar manager comes in, sets a new clock down on the bar. I say, oh!  A new clock. Did something happen to the old one?

I look back where the clock should be. Huh.

Not there.

I wonder why?

I turn back to him, say, do you know what happened to the clock?  He says, not really. I just realized it was gone two days ago.

I say, huh.

I’m doing some serious Oscar winning acting here. I’m literally erasing the memory of me breaking the clock. I focus. How would an innocent person act in this situation?  

I say, that’s weird. Do you think someone broke it?

Playing it “dumb” is always a good option. You have to get this blank expression on your face, as if you’re trying to figure out what had happened.

Yeah, he says. I think someone broke it. You wouldn’t know anything about it, would you?

I say, me?  Oh um…no, I mean, I haven’t heard anything about it. I worked on Saturday, I don’t remember seeing…

I just fucking bust out laughing.

-Clint Curtis

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I Have A Rock In My Shoe

I’m at work, I’ve got something in my shoe. I’m thinking it’s a rock. Well…a pebble. I’m not sure if it’s in the shoe, or in the sock.

Problem is, I’m kinda busy. Every time I think, ok, I’m going to reparate the situation, another customer comes stumbling up.

Ok maybe not stumbling. Just first word to come to mind.

Guy comes up, says, can I get a dirty Tanqueray martini, and a Cucumber Number?

I say, you bet. But if you don’t mind, I’d like to get this rock out of my shoe, before I make them for you.

He stares at me with a quizzical look. I just stare back.

‘Cause, why not?

Finally, when he sees I’m not saying anything more, he says,

Are you serious?

I say, yes, I’m very serious. I have a rock in my shoe.

He says, yeah! Go for it.

I go sit down, take off my shoe, shake it out, put it back on.

There. Better.

Then I go make his martinis.

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Check Out The Vocab On Drunk Guy

Round 1:30am, guy comes in. He’s a semi-semi regular. I know his off-again, on-again girlfriend a little bit better, but he’s a cool guy, in my book.

He’s drunk. No, I’d say wasted. He comes up to the bar, starts hollering things about this guy being in Good Burger.

I don’t know who he was talking about.

He asks for a beer, I kindly tell him I had already called last call, which was somewhat true.

He says, I’ll give you money, you play this band for me. I say, who is it?  He says Courtney something. I say, sure. He slams down a twenty, and his phone, says, here you go.

Thanks. Nice doin’ business wit cha.

I play his music, whatever, I don’t care. Better than what I was playing,

And my tip jar is just a little bit heavier.

The night goes on, almost done, I run tabs, start changing gears for the close.

I get everybody out by 1:50am, except for a friend and drunk guy with the phone. I hand him his phone back, say, here you go, man. He says something to the effect of, thanks for playing it. He turns around, starts “walking” out the door. I call out to him,

You’re not driving, are you?

He says, driving?!?!  Hell no.

That would be EGREGIOUS.

I laugh, because I think,

Good word coming from a drunk guy.

-Clint Curtis

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Pussy Drink

Guy, girl at the bar. I know them, they’ve been going out for awhile. I’d say they’re a cute couple. Great to see one person find another.

Guy says, can I get an Amaretto and Pineapple for her, and a Jolly Rancher for me? I say,

You want that as a drink, or a shot?

He says, a drink.

I grab the cup, scoop the ice, then say,

Do you want me to cup your balls when you drink it? …If I can find them.

He says, does it cost extra?

I say, nah.

I’ll do it for free.

-Clint Curtis

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Caught Smoking Weed In The Women’s Bathroom

I’m behind the bar, solo, busy busy, running one side of the bar, to the other.

Uh-oh. I feel it happening. This is not the time, nor the place for this. To be honest, I try to take care of it BEFORE I come to work. Preferably, before a shower. But today, I wasn’t feeling it. I wasn’t…ready. You can’t really force it, can you? You may hurt yourself. You just have to let the breeze flow the way it’s gonna flow. When it’s ready, it’s time to go.

But when I’m bartending right when it’s busy?!?! Damn you Mother Nature. And for those who have never been to our bathrooms before, there’s some planning that needs to happen. You can’t go in the men’s bathroom. THERE ARE NO STALL DOORS!!!  So what are your options?  Go next door at the coffee shop, but then, you know, I always feel like I NEED to buy a coffee from them, no matter how many years I’ve been going there. Another option is the bar next door, but that’s embarrassing, isn’t it?  Oh hi I’m the bartender from next door, I can’t use our bathroom, so I’m gonna go use yours.

But tonight, those options are not viable.

Time to hit the ladies room.

But see there’s a major trick to it, going into the women’s bathroom. Of course, you can’t go in when there’s a girl in there. That’s not possible. So I first peek my head in, as if, oh I don’t know. I want to make sure the ladies have enough toilet paper.

So I peek in tonight, the bathroom is empty, THANK GOD. Let’s make this shit quick.

Literally.

I rush into the middle stall (that’s my stall), drop jeans, get down to business. Ok. Going good so far. All of a sudden, door flings open. DAMN IT!!  So what do I do? The first thing I think is, the girl’s gonna see my guy shoes, gonna get freaked out. So I pull my shoes as far into the stall as possible, right up against the toilet.

The door flies open again. I gotta get out of here, but how?  I CAREFULLY look down, see shoes in both stalls. Mind you, I GOTTA GET BACK TO THE BAR IT’S JAMMIN’.

I flush, wipe as fast as I can, BUT THOROUGH. Of course, it’s not a clean one. No, Clint. Not that lucky. So…

Wipe faster.

Oh wait, oh wait, be careful, not too much, plug up the toilet. That would be DISASTROUS. I FLUSH, it goes down, luckily, wipe some more, flush a second time, stand up, pull my jeans up, button, take a deep breath, and open the door.

First thing I see, girl at the mirror, taking a toke off a one-hitter.

Hey, I say. You can’t do that in here!  She says, oops, sorry, and bolts out the door.

What the hell just happened there?

I wash my hands, take off.

On my way back, I see the girl, she’s talking to someone at the merch counter, I tap her on the shoulder, give her a tsk, tsk. She looks at me, her face gets red, she smiles guiltily.

I get behind the bar, take a deep breath, start bartending.

You know, I wonder when the moment happened when she thought, jeez, I’m so embarrassed, the bartender caught me smoking weed in the bathroom,

To,

What the hell was the bartender doing in the women’s bathroom?!?!

-Clint Curtis

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