Author Archives: Clint Curtis

The Bartender’s Handshake

I’m sitting at the hotel bar, chatting up the bartender, he says, you want a shot?  I say, sure, he gets out a bottle, pours a shot in a rocks glass, one for me, one for him, we clink glasses, I shoot it, and it’s just TERRIBLE.  What the F was that?  He responds with a grin.  That’s the Bartender’s Handshake.  Fernet Branca.  Neat.

There’s a new bar in town called…Bartender’s Handshake.  I checked it out last night, and of course, it was packed.  Minimal seating at the bar, and at the tables.  For the five minutes I was there, I thought it had a really good vibe.  Sorry, I’m an old man.  To keep me there, I need a chair.  But my old pal Liz Bertolette was there taking orders, and she’s the type of hot/smart gal you want working for you.  Word has it that a bartender owns the bar, I’m sure they have a lot of tasty cocktails on the menu, and it’s a place where you call the bartender a mixologist whether you like it or not.  And that’s a compliment.  Gone are the days like myself that the bartender just pours jack and cokes and gin and tonics.  You gotta KNOW YOUR SHIT NOW.  What tastes good with what.  But getting back, next time you’re in the bar, ask Liz for the bartender’s handshake, and don’t make a face when you drink it down.  See it as entree to a special club.

-Clint

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Study A Broad

End of night, I’m behind the bar with my manager, I’ve got three flight attendants, and a pilot, sitting at my bar, having a late dinner, with some cocktails.  I’ve been listening into their conversation periodically, interjecting into it from time-to-time.  One of the ladies say, I had a fight with my husband the other day…it was really stupid.  I say, you know, nobody ever says I had a fight with my husband and it was really smart.  They laugh.

As I’m gathering my garbage, one of the flight attendants, mid-bite into her dessert, says, the last time I had Crème Brûlée, I was in Paris, and I didn’t like it.  This is really good though.  I say, you were in Paris and had Crème Brûlée?  She says, yeah.  I was studying abroad in Paris for a year in college.

And I’m like, I like to study a BROAD, if you know what I mean?!?!

They all laugh, my manager yells sternly, CLINT!  GO TAKE OUT THE GARBAGE!!!

-Clint

 

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Tex

I’m working the hotel bar, it’s around 6, older man with plastic white cowboy hat, white suit coat, and blue tie comes in, sits down.  He’s got a drink already from the free bar, and a large to-go carton, with God knows what in it.  He sits down at the end of the bar, and gruffly says, “What’s the football game on now?”  I say, “Clemson.”  He says, “Can you turn up the volume?”  I say, “Sure.”

I turn up the volume, go back to being bored.  When the free bar is open from 5:30-7:30, nobody is drinking at my bar, as you can imagine.  So it can get really slow.  

I spend my time observing this odd gentleman.

He gets on his flip-phone, starts having a lonnnng conversation.  I hear bits and pieces.  He talks a lot about the St. James Bible.  “Yes, you need to look it up in the St. James Bible!”  He’s got a glasses case in front of him, that says, “Johnny Cash” in a Sharpie scrawl.  Why it says Johnny Cash, I can only guess.

After about 45 minutes on the phone, he gets up, leaves for the bathroom.  

My manager comes out of nowhere.  “Just a heads up…there will be two cops coming in soon to have a conversation with Tex.  I guess he was bothering some of the guests, and they complained.  They checked on him, and I guess he has a bunch of warrants out for his arrest.”

Nice!  Things just got interesting.

After a couple minutes, I see the two cops roll in.  One of them is Asian, one is a white guy.  They look official.  They got the cop swagger.

Tex walks back a minute later, unaware of what’s about to go down.

Asian cop says, “Hey, sir, can we have a word?”

He stops, stands at the host stand, confidently.  He looks about 70, with obviously colored dark black hair.  This guy is a character.

I can’t hear what the cops say, but Tex starts going into a huge monologue.  I hear, “I’ve got 50 dollars in my wallet RIGHT NOW.  I was supposed to get a discount from my friend Carl.”

So…not actually a guest at the hotel.  Interesting.  Snuck in for the free drinks and food.  Bold.

I look over at where he was sitting.  He’s got a bunch of crap there.  His white plastic hat sits there lonely.

White cop, who’s been holding back, approaches Tex, says, “Could I see your I.D.?”

Tex fishes it out of his thick, warn wallet, hands it to him.

Asian cops says, “So…are you living here now?”

He takes a long pause, then says, “Yeah.  I am now!”

White cop comes back with I.D., says politely, “Do you mind if we walk you to the front?”

Tex says, “Yeah.  I just need to get my stuff.”

He walks back to the bar, says to me, “You mind if I leave some of this here?”

I say, knowing the inside scoop, “You should probably take it with you.”

He grabs his stuff, his plastic cowboy hat, his ragged bag, walks out, leaving the to-go container behind.

It’s quiet for a moment, everybody’s gone, I grab the to-go container, look in.  It’s a disgusting smorgasbord of finger foods, and appetizers.  But it looks like he shook the whole thing, so it looks like something you’d feed to a pig.

I toss the thing, the guy’s not coming back.  I resume my position at the bar, glance up to the TV, vaguely interested in the score of the game.

-Clint

 

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Merry Christmas 2018

I wake up on Christmas, out of smokes.  I throw on my sweats, stocking cap, try to find something that’s open.  There’s a convenience store on High Street, I drive that way.

I go in, get some smokes, say Merry Christmas to the clerk, leave.

As I’m pulling out, I see a co-worker from the hotel, getting out of his car.  I roll down my window.  What’s up, my man!  He comes up to the car, says hello.  I say, what are you up to today?  You having dinner with the family?  He says, no…this is a tough time for me.  I don’t have any family.  Just a sister, and she doesn’t live here.  

That just breaks my heart.

Couple hours later, I’m in the car, driving to Cedar Rapids, to be with my family.  I think of him, and all those that don’t have family to be with on Christmas.  I feel extra lucky.  I’m not a HUGE fan of Christmas, but try to be a trooper about it.  But I do know that I would be super depressed if I wasn’t able to spend it with my family.  

So here’s to those who don’t have family to spend with on Christmas.  I feel for you.  And to those that do, take a moment out of your day to appreciate the gift of having a family to spend the day with, and think good thoughts for those that are less fortunate. 

Merry Christmas 2018.  God bless.

-Clint

 

How To Make Your Dance Card Full

I’m chatting with a buddy over a cigar today, he’s a single guy, and we get to talking about the dating scene. He alluded to me that he’s temporarily “given up” due to the burden of rejection. 

I think it’s really simple, and can be compared to sales. At one point in my life, I was selling onsite training to companies over the phone. I was given “leads,” but it was basically a telemarketing job. From that job, I learned an important lesson. If you make 30 calls in a day, you’re going to get two hot leads. But if you make 60 calls, you might get five leads. And so on. The more calls, the more chances at a sale. 

And it’s the same thing with the dating life. The more you attempt, the better chance you have to succeed. I know the rejection is tough, but a lot of it is timing. You may have had a chance, but they just got into a relationship.  If you just keep on “making those calls,” and NOT take the rejection personally, soon you will be flush with love, and as my friend Daniel W says, your dance card will be full.

-Clint

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A Book Doesn’t Run Out Of Batteries

I’m serving tables at the hotel restaurant, I approach a table, there’s a woman, sitting at the table, reading a book.

A real book.  With a cover, and pages, and a lick of the finger to turn the page.

I say, I love when I see someone reading a real book.

She sets it down for a moment, gestures to her laptop, and says,

It doesn’t run out of batteries!

-Clint

 

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Whistling At The Bartender

I’m behind the hotel bar, server just left, group of seven come in, sit down at a table.  When the server makes their exit, It’s time for me to bartend, and serve, which I don’t mind.  Another opportunity to make a little extra money.

I go up to the table, take their drink order.  That’s all they’re having.  Seems to be a family.  Two 20-something kids, a couple parents, a couple grandparents.

I get their drinks, some beers, a margarita, a Captain Coke, deliver them to their table.  They all say thank you, seem friendly.

It starts getting busy at the bar area, but I check in on the table from time-to-time, get them another round.

After a half-hour in, I’m at the register, placing an order, I hear this loud, piercing whistle.  That BETTER not be for me.  I turn my head to the table where the whistle originated from, and GRANDPA is waving me over.

Hold on, hold on.  Did you just WHISTLE AT ME?!?  You want your JAW BROKEN, Grandpa?  There is NOTHING RUDER than the whistle.  I go up to the table.

Yes?

Grandpa says, we’ll have another round.

I just stare at him, without saying a word.  I want to SO BAD say something.  Did you just whistle at me to get my attention?  DO I LOOK LIKE I HAVE A DOG COLLAR AROUND MY NECK, ASSHOLE?!?

I get them another round, deliver it to them.  Very quietly.

I understand, you’re thirsty, you want more drinks, you want to get the bartender’s attention.  I really get it.  But THE WHISTLE will piss off the bartender.  Unless that’s what you’re going for.

How about this?  You see the bartender is busy, not able to be attentive to your needs.  Get up from your chair, walk to the bartender, say, when you get the chance, we’ll take another round.  That’s not THAT difficult, is it?  I mean, we live in society, people!  Where we should RESPECT OTHERS, whether they’re your maid, your server, or your bartender.  There’s a right way, and a wrong way to get what you want.  And I’m here to tell you:  there will NEVER BE A TIME when THE WHISTLE is an appropriate way to get ANYONE’S attention.

-Clint 

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