Monthly Archives: September 2015

Step It Up

I’ll be leaving the Mews and The Lift mid-December. I was offered the position of bar manager at Noce (No-chay), a jazz club downtown opening New Years. I am SUPER-EXCITED. I’ve been taking my close friends to the space the last couple of weeks, and they seem to be impressed. I want it to be WONDERFUL, I want everyone to have A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE when they pay a visit. That is my goal. 

I pour shots last night for a couple pals at the Mews. Guys I’ve known for years. I pour them Crown, I make my shot, soda water and bitters. I make the toast:

Never look back. Always look forward. 

That’s what I do. I don’t dwell on the things that have happened in my life. When you do, that’s when you stop growing, and accomplishing things. You succeed, you fail, then you move forward. And it helps if you just wipe out the past, and focus on WHAT’S NEXT. 

I also recently received my real estate license. If you look back on my blog last January, you’ll see a post about my New Year’s resolutions, and getting my real estate license was one. The second one was to learn how to type properly. My mom gave me one lesson, but I gave up after that. It’s hard to start over, after you been plucking at the keys for years. 

The story of how I finally got my license is interesting. I’ll try to make it short. 

My wife and I were thinking about buying a new house, step it up a bit. We love our house now, but it’s good to keep on stepping it up. Moving forward, looking to the future. See above. I go to an open house, start talking to the real estate agent there. Her name is Carrie Brugger. “Real Estate Agent To The Stars.” We get to talking, I tell her I’ve been thinking about getting my real estate license. She says, well. If you have any questions, give me a call. 

Next day, I wake up around 10, my phone rings. 

Hello? Hi. Is this Clint? I say, yes. He says, hi. This is Gary Gloshen, I work at Iowa Realty. I hear you’re interested in going into real estate. Why don’t you come in, we can talk about it?

I say, um…all-right. 

Sometimes we need someone to come up to us, give us a nudge. Sometimes…a strong push. 

You can email me at Maybe it’s time for YOU to step it up, buy yourself a new house. 

-Clint Curtis




I’m behind the bar, guy comes up. Shaved head, big beard, tattoos, a bad boy. Tee-hee. 

He says, I met you a number of years ago, with John Carles. I say, oh yeah!  Man, you look totally different. 

It’s slow, we chat, he opens up. I’ve got a drinking problem, I’m an alcoholic. Had an intervention in January. I say, with your family? He says, yeah. All in a room. It was bad. Went on a three day bender right after it. I ask, did you get help?  He says, yeah. I’ve been to rehab twice. I say, well that’s good! You’re getting help. He says, yeah. Somewhat. I say, one of the greatest things I’ve ever done was to get sober. If I hadn’t, my life would probably be in ruins. He says, yeah. Must be tough as a bartender. I say, yeah. Can be. 

Then he says, so… Could I get a Jack and Coke?  Make it a double. 

-Clint Curtis

Blind Guy Walks Into The Bar

Blind guy walks into the bar. He’s holding onto a guy’s arm. He’s got one of those sticks in his left hand. He’s not wearing sunglasses though. 

I think I’d rock the shades if I was blind. It’s a good look. And nobody can make fun of you wearing black shades in a bar. You be like, hey, back off. I’M BLIND. 

After awhile, he comes up to the bar. Interesting looking cat. Long straggly hair in his face. Black metal t-shirt. He’s got a lot of bracelets on. 

He’s got his friend next to him, he rasps, get me a Guiness. I say, HEY. Why don’t you talk to me?  He says, I didn’t know you were there!  I say, well. I am. You want a Guiness?  He says, yeah. I go get it for him, bring it back. I say, beer’s on me, my man. He rasps, thanks man. 

I very rarely buy people drinks. I like as much money to go into the register. But the guy’s BLIND. I’m gonna say, across the board, from here to Munich, blind people get the first drink on the house. 

He leaves, I help other customers. 

He comes up, 20 minutes later, actually solo. He raises his hand. I go to him, say, another Guiness?  He says, yeah. Don’t worry, I’m not driving tonight. 

Nice. A blind joke. 

I say, man. I would NEVER want to be in a car with you driving. Period. 

He laughs. 

I get him the Guiness, bring it back. He’s got his wallet in his hand. He says, how much?  I say, five dollars please. He says, can I use a card?  I say, sure!  He opens his wallet. It’s a battered Slipknot wallet. He’s representing. He feels around in his wallet. I guarantee, he knows EXACTLY where every card is. He takes out a card, hands it to me, I say, dude. THIS IS YOUR LIBRARY CARD!  He exclaims, 

What?  Really?!?!

I say, nah. Just messin’ with you, man. 

-Clint Curtis

We’re Even

Guy rolls in the bar in a wheelchair. One of those cool ones. Streamline. He’s a good-looking guy. He has one of those hipster haircuts, short on the side. 

He orders Jameson on the rocks. I get it for him, set it down so he can reach it. He says, thanks, we make the transaction. 

Later he comes up for another drink. I say, man. I like the haircut. He says, thanks!  I say, I’m jealous. Obviously. 

I rub my bald head for effect. 

He says, well. You have your legs, so we’re even. 

I laugh, say, God is cruel, isn’t he?

He says, yeah. He is. 

-Clint Curtis

Three Months Pregnant

Friend of mine comes up to the bar. Really happy for him. His wife’s pregnant, they’re going to be great parents. 

I say, how’s the wife doing?  

He says, really good. 

I ask, is she showing yet?

He says, oh yeah. She’s three months pregnant!

I say, how you like dem pregnant boobies?

He says, they’re huge!  But I can’t touch ’em. Too sensitive. 

I say, I know, right?

He says, but they’re so big, they need their own Nip Code!

-Clint Curtis

In The Motorcade

I’m at my computer, doing nothing. Don’t you just get bored on that thing?  I run out of things to look at after 3 1/2 minutes. 

My phone rings, I look, it’s my buddy Casey. Huh. I haven’t heard from that guy in awhile. About a year ago, he comes into the bar, says to me, I hear you play chess. I say, I do…well…not that good. Just learning. He says, we should play sometime. I say, how about Monday?  He says, let’s do it. 

We get together, then before I make the first move, I say, so…how long have you been playing?  He says, since high school. I was the Wisconsin Chess Champion two years straight. 


The game lasted exactly 2 minutes 30 seconds. 

I did not win. 

I pick up the phone. Casey!  What’s up?  He says, I’m working on the Hillary campaign, she’s going to be in Ankeny in two days, and I was wondering if you’d like to be in her motorcade. 

Uhhhhh. What?

I get to the hotel we’re all meeting at. There’s two girls there, and a bigger guy, who introduces himself as Aaron. He tells me what’s what. The girls each jump in their own van, I get in mine, and Aaron joins me. 

He says, we’re headed for the Ankeny Airport. I’ll give you directions. 

The two vans in the back follow, but for some reason, they don’t go into the airport like I do. 

Aaron gets out, says, wait here. 

I wait. 

There’s about ten Secret Service guys milling about in dark suits and sunglasses. You’ve seen it before. About four cops. The main Secret Service guy comes up, says, open the door, please. I say, you bet!  I open the door. He says, we were having trouble locating your driver’s license when we were doing your background check. Can I see it?  I say, sure. I get out my wallet, grab my ID, start to pull it out, then he says, no. I’ll look at it later. I say, confused, are you sure?  He says, I’ll look at it later. I say, ok. 

He never ended up looking at my ID. Must’ve been some secret Secret Service test they pull on potential motorcade drivers for might-be Presidents. 

He says, you can get out of the van. 

I get out, and stand there. This is quite strange. What a bizarre and completely random place to be at 8am in the morning. 

They get the sniffing dog that sniffs out the bomb smell, and escort him around the van. Then they have two guys go through the van inside, outside, underneath. I say, excuse me. I have a backpack in there with a couple books inside. You’re welcome to check it. 

After the bomb search, I get back in the van. The head guy says, drive into the airport there. Follow the black van. I say, ok. I start the van, put it in drive, follow the black van, park it. Guy comes back up. He says, your job is to follow behind that black van. That’s all you have to do. I say, got it. 

We sit there for two hours. I read, I close my eyes briefly. 


This white jet lands, cruises down the runway, stops. The vans next to me dart into action. I FOLLOW THE BLACK VAN. I park, ten people file out of the plane. There’s Hillary, she gets in the second van. About five people jump in my van, the vans start moving, I follow. We are going fast, flying through red lights. It’s exhilarating. It’s exciting. It’s terrifying. I’m scared as hell. 

We stop, everybody gets out, two girls stay in the van with me. Her hair and make-up. They’re cool. After five minutes, everybody climbs back in, we speed away, five minutes later, we’re at the next stop. Everybody jumps out, Aaron comes up to the van, says, you want to meet Hillary, come with me. 

Sure, why not. 

I jump out, go in, it’s like the agriculture school, I get in line with ten others, it gets to me, I shake her hand, say, it’s an absolute honor to meet you. 

I pour it on a little thick. 

I turn, the camera woman points the camera, and I gently put my hand on Hillary’s back.

The picture is taken, I cruise, Aaron says, you want to watch her speak?  I say, sure, why not. I watch Governor Villsack give an introduction that goes on and on and on and on, then finally Hillary gets behind the podium, says the things she needs to say, I leave after five minutes. 

I wish Bill was here. I LOVE Bill. 

I go back to the van, wait, Aaron comes out, says, I’m sorry I know I told you you’d be done at 2:30, but we’re running late. I say, that’s cool. Then he says, do you think you could do me a favor, gas up the van on the way back, I’ll give you my credit card, return the van to the rental place, then take a shuttle back to the hotel? 

Damn dude. 

I say, sure. I’ll do it. 

Half hour later, everybody climbs back in, they’re all talking, I’m being quiet as a mouse. Actually, during the whole trip, I’ve said, does anyone need any water?  And that’s it, besides talking to the hair and make-up girl. I’m keeping it professional. 

We get back to the jet, everybody climbs out, before they leave, they all say thank you, and good-bye. 

The only annoying thing about the day was not being able to find the opening where you put the gas in the van. I SEARCHED ALL OVER FOR IT. I COMBED the sides, I looked behind the license plate, I looked UNDER THE VAN. I spent five minutes trying to find it, thinking, oh great this is embarrassing, I take it back to the rental place, say, WHERE THE HELL IS THE GAS CAP?!?!?

It’s IN the driver’s side door. You literally have to open the door, then there’s this flap that is flush with the side there, it’s impossible to see!!!

But other than that, one of the best days of my life. 

-Clint Curtis