Monthly Archives: July 2015

What Not To Order When The Bar Is Slammed

It’s been a long night, martinis, martinis martinis. 

It’s 11:30, still busy, I’d say 20 people waiting for drinks. It’s martini night, so all I’m making are martinis (see above). It’s very refreshing when someone orders something else, like a gin and tonic, or a PBR. 


I’m helping a customer, next to me is my fellow bartender. The guy he’s working with says, can I get two Old Fashioneds?

Oh…this guy. 

My fellow bartender makes an audible sigh, goes to make the drinks. 

Let me explain something to you, my friends. Old Fashioneds are a PAIN IN THE ASS to make. Ok, they’re a delicious drink, I understand and admit. But here’s the score. When you look around the bar, and see 20 people waiting for drinks, DON’T ORDER a dang Old Fashioned. Don’t order two Old Fashioneds, even worse!  I’m not saying never order an Old Fashioned. I’m just saying, come up to the bar, look around you, alright, there’s two people at the bar, waiting for drinks, I’ll order an Old Fashioned. Absolutely acceptable. I APPLAUD YOU for ordering such a classic drink. But DON’T order an Old Fashioned when the place is packed. 

Rocks glass, get the cherry, the orange slice, the sugar, the bitters, the muddler, muddle it (10 seconds), ice, pour burboun, grab a big shaker, pour drink in there, shake, pour back into rocks glass, top off with soda water, straw, napkin. 

See what I mean?  Pain in the arse. 

Clint, Clint, you’re in business, the customer wants any kind of drink, if you have all the ingredients, you have to make it. 


You’re at work, you’re swamped. Papers, folders completely cover your desk. You look up, you’ve been at this for six hours straight. There is no end. You could be here until midnight, still not get the work done. 

Your boss barges in with an armload of folders stuffed with documents you need to go through. He says, 

Get to this by the end of the day. 


-Clint Curtis

OK I Lie

I’m in real estate class, our focus for the next two days is ethics. All about how to be an honest real estate agent with integrity, and the desire to do what’s right. 

And the whole time I’m thinking…

This is kinda BS. 

Not that I don’t appreciate the concept of ethics, but I believe the tenents of ethics are really hard to follow. 

My teacher asked us what are the kinds of qualities to have to be a good real estate agent, and the first thing someone said was,


This is where I stumble. 

(Already, I know, first quality to have on the board).

Not to say I lie all the time. 

…Just about 87% of the day. 

Oh c’mon. Don’t judge. You know you lie too. For the simple fact that you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. 

And if you’re in business, if you tell people how things really are,

You’re going to be out of business. 

Since this is a bartender’s blog, I’ll give you a couple examples at work where I don’t necessarily tell the truth. 

Now you know REALISTICALLY that not all bands that play the music venue I work at are good. Some of them suck, ok?  But when they come up to the bar, after their show, do I tell them they suck?

Oh hells no. 

I say, oh man really liked your band. 

Or, you guys were great!

This usually happens right before they’re about to sign their tab. 

You can probably guess why. 

But here’s how maybe you don’t lie. You keep your mouth shut, or actually, answer their question with a non-sequitur. This happened to me recently, and it was THE ONLY WAY I was going to get out of a potentially bad confrontation. 

Long story short, random guy not performing grabs mic, starts yelling at people to come dance. After five minutes of him with the mic, I gently go over to him, and take the mic away from him. 

Him: Why did you take the mic from me?

Me: Thanks so much for being here my man. 

Him: What?  That doesn’t answer my question. 

Me: Hang on a second, I’ve got to go help a customer. 

By the end, we were cool, I mean, I DIDN’T LIE. I was thankful for him being at the bar. 

Ok…not really. 

-Clint Curtis

Did You Miss Me?

My wife Carole and I go to a wedding this weekend in Minnesota. It was held at a winery. Really lovely, it was for my Godfather’s son, Zack, and his new wife Amber. Seems like a lot of love between them, so,

Good luck. 

The kids stay at home with their Grandfather Rich. We call from time to time. Of course we miss them. But it’s nice to have a couple days alone with my wife. 

We get back, the kids run into our arms. That feels good. I ask my 8 year-old son Liam, so…did you miss me?  He thinks for a second, says, no. Not really. 

Oh that feels good. 

I say, you don’t say “not really.”  You lie. Oh Dad I missed you so much. I couldn’t stop thinking about you. I wrote your name down a thousand times, you’re all I could think about. 

He gets down from my embrace, takes off, ignores me. 

He’s got all my BS figured out. 

Later on, I’m tucking him into bed. I tell him a story or two from the weekend. I LOVE telling him stories. I tell him a story, he rates it. What did you think about that one, Liam? He says, good. I’d give it an 8.5. 

I say good night to him, give him a kiss, tell him I love him. He says, Dad. I learned a lesson from you. 

I say, oh yeah?  What was that?

He says, mom asked me if I missed her, and I said, 

Duh. I missed you so much. 

-Clint Curtis

Save The Cell Phone

I’m behind the bar, it’s martini night.  Guess what I’m doin’?  Yep.  Pouring waterfalls of martinis.

I approach a couple at the bar.  Have you decided?  The guys says, I’ll have an Eddie Haskell, and she’ll have the Something Fruity.  Great, I say.

I make them.

I put two martini glasses in front of them, shake up the shakers, take the caps off, then start pouring one.

GUSH.  Top FLIPS OPEN, I am literally pouring a martini on top of the bar.  The big problem with this is, his cell phone is in the line of fire.  I am pouring a martini onto his cell phone.

Not good.

I am truly amazed at my reaction time.  It all goes really fast, maybe 2 seconds tops, I set the martini shaker down, and lunge at the cell phone, grab it, yank it out like I was pulling out a fish from the lake.  Luckily, I have a towel in my back pocket, I yank that from my pocket, and start frantically wiping the cell phone off.  It’s just covered in martini.  I get the front, sides, back, then I blow into the area you plug it in.

I think I may have caught it in time, I hand it back to the guy, make my apologizes, ask, does it still work?  He checks it, says, yeah.  Still working.  I breathe a sigh of relief.

At that moment, I am able to asses the damage.  I say, did i dump BOTH martini shakers onto the bar?  Jesus.  The guys says, yeah.

But you saved my phone.

True dat.

-Clint Curtis


Stop Apologizing

End of night, I’m cleaning up the bar. It’s still only midnight-ish, so have a ways to go.

Two girls at the bar, one I know pretty well. Gorgeous Asian girl, sweet as can be. Let me tell you. She has got to be in the Top 200 nicest people I have ever met. Probably top 100. There’s only one itty-bitty flaw in her.

She says sorry too much.

I’m sorry Clint, could I have another drink?

Sure!  Absolutely.

I’m sorry Clint, are we keeping you from closing the bar?

No!  Not all.

Clint, I’m sorry, could I use the bathroom before I go?  I’ll make it quick.

You know I know a few people close to me that NEVER says they’re sorry, no matter how much they blunder. There’s one guy in particular, I have known him for 10 years, and I have NEVER heard the word sorry come out of his mouth.

Now that’s just annoying, isn’t it? You screw up, we all do, and sometimes, you just gotta say, “I’m sorry.”

But it’s like many things. You don’t want to overdo anything. You have to keep everything in check if you’re going to make it out of this thing called life in one piece. You can drink, but not too much. You can eat, but not too much. I think it’s ABSOLUTELY IMPERATIVE to have some control, some restraint in your life. To be able to HOLD BACK. To say, I’ve had a couple drinks, time to go home. Not, I’ll take another, how many, I’ve lost track.

Do you say sorry too much?  You probably don’t even realize you do it. For some people, it’s a tick. So if you do, go for one full day without saying the word sorry. Tomorrow, just do it as an experiment. Go one day without saying you’re sorry. You say it once during the day, you gotta start over. Damn it, I said it!!!  Start over.

Because it’s time now in your life to stop apologizing.

It’s time to have confidence in yourself that you’re saying things and doing things that you don’t have to apologize about.

-Clint Curtis

The Aftermath Of Being On The Road

I’m setting up for the early show with a fellow bartender. She’s counting the register, I’m stocking things in the back. There’s probably 14 musician guys in black t-shirts, loading in equipment, setting up their gear. 

I walk by the women’s room. Holy cow!  Someone died in there. I’ve smelled that kind of aftermath many times in the twelve years I’ve been bartending. Can you imagine the kind of diets these musicians have on the road?  Fast-food, junk, unhealthy food. It’s not all their fault. It’s a cross between having no money, and no place to sit down for a home cooked meal. So when they go into the women’s room, and take care of things, it turns out very unpleasant for the bartender having to breathe when stocking in there. 

I get back behind the bar, say to my fellow bartender,

Have you gone into the women’s room lately?  It smells like road kill in there that’s been baking in the sun for a week. She says, hey. Why do you think I need to know that information?  I say, you need to share that information with your fellow bartender. It’s like war stories. 

Half-hour later, my fellow bartender says, I think I’m going to go in the women’s bathroom, check out the small waste baskets in the stalls, see if they’re full. I say, great. Would appreciate it. 

She goes, I stock straws. 

She comes back five minutes later, says, there is the biggest streak I have ever seen in one of the toiles. 

I say, SEE!!!!  You have the need to divulge!!!

-Clint Curtis

Collapse Of The Dead

It’s 3:15 in the afternoon, I pull in my drive. Just finished a real estate class, I have five minutes, then off to bartending for the night. 

I look in my mailbox, there’s some junk mail, a letter from the bank, and a random letter addressed to me. I look at it. Huh. Handwritten in a green magic marker. Looks like a guy’s handwriting. More youthful if I was to guess. 

Well. It was with a marker. Duh. 

I go in the house, hit the bathroom, do my thing. I come out, grab the card/letter, open it. 

First off, there’s six flash cards in there, with my name typed in the left hand corner of each, with what I’m going to guess, is Comic Sans font. Along with that, there’s another card that’s different. It’s more waxy, with a black border around it. 

I’m still in the dark as much as you are right now. 

There’s a letter, I open it, two pages, type-written, same Conic Sans font. 

I look at the front of the envelope again. From a guy named Cliff something. From Ontario Canada. I try not to get stressed that this person has my address. 

I read the letter. Oh. He wants my autograph. He tells me a story. He’s a writer, moved to Hollywood, started writing screenplays, but then his dad got sick, had to move back home to Ontario to take care of him. 

He says he thinks I’m a great actor, and that I’m in really cool movies. Oh that’s nice. 

He says he wants my autograph, and promises me that he won’t sell it on EBay. Yeah. Because if he did that, I’D BE FURIOUS. 

I read on, he says he likes my movies, especially Blade, Deep Rising, and Collapse Of the Dead. 

Wait a second. 

You need to know a little something about me. If I ever receive a compliment, especially about my acting, I have to DISECT the compliment, before I can ACCEPT the compliment. Sorry, this is just me. 

I usually feel like someone is just lying to me, for whatever reason, and I have to get to the bottom of it. WHY is this person giving me a compliment?  What’s the catch?  Is it at all sincere?  Usually, with a compliment, I DISECT it so much that it turns to ash because I’ve poked so many holes in it. 

I’ll give you a quick example. I was nominated (and ended up winning) a best supporting actor trophy for a movie I did four years ago. Great, right?  Nope. Couldn’t appreciate it. You know why?  Well, at the awards ceremony, YOU HAD TO PAY TO GET IN. 


Now back to the letter. 

He says, I really like your movies, especially Blade, Deep Rising, and COLLAPSE OF THE DEAD. 

That’s funny, see, because I’m not in a movie called Collapse Of The Dead. I’m in a movie called Collapse. 

I re-read the letter. It has Dear Mr Curtis at the top, but then it never goes into specifics. Oh I love that scene you were in where…  No, it’s just, I think your movies are cool. I go back again, notice that the movies he said he likes of mine are in italics. That’s where the space is in the form letter where you get more specific so they think oh yeah he’s talking to me whereas thery’re just filling in a blank. And again, that ONE PART he screws up. Yeah Cliff the movie you so much love me in is called Collapse, NOT Collapse Of The Dead. 


-Clint Curtis

Honey Rhubarb

Guy comes up, says, what’s that Honey Rhubarb beer like in a bottle?  I think for a second, because I have no idea.

I say, well…it has a rhubarb taste, infused with a honey flavor.

He says,

You sold me. I’ll take one.

-Clint Curtis


80/35 Weekend

It’s Sunday late afternoon. I’m at the Mews, got 15 minutes before doors for the early show. 

80/35 was this weekend, and I’m pretty burned out. For those that are not familiar, 80/35 is a yearly music festival in Des Moines, Iowa. It’s become really cool. Headliners this year were Wilco and Weezer. I guess there were something like 10,000 tickets sold to the main stage. And there’s other stages outside the main area for free. 

Friday night we had an after-hour party at the Mews. Only about 300 people showed up. At one time, we had four bartenders behind the bar, and it was still insanely busy. You look up, there’s a line of people at the bar waiting to get drinks, and then behind them, there’s a line of people waiting to get drinks, and then behind them…

You get it. 

Overall a great night. Tires had a reunion show and that was amazing. I talked to Phil Young after, the leader of the group, and he told me that they have a few more shows booked, so look out for that. 

Saturday was a busy day for me. I worked the VIP tent at 80/35 from 2-8, had 2 hours off, then back to bartending at the Mews. After I got done with my early shift, I hit up the gym, took a long, luxurious shower, and did a sauna for 20 minutes. Helped me rejuvenate for the late shift. 

Saturday night at the Mews went smoothly. Kristy Rahm and I were behind the bar, and able to handle it. 

And now here I am in the stairwell, getting myself psyched up for two more shows.  

-Clint Curtis