Working My Wood

I’m doing banquet bartending, woman comes up, orders a drink, there’s a bit of a lull, we have time to conversate.

She reads my name tag. Your name is Clint?  Yes, it is. Yours?  Julie. Julie, nice to meet you. We shake hands. She says, I like the name Clint. I say, do you?  I don’t think anyone names their kid Clint anymore. But I’m ok with it. She says, I like Clint on the TV show Fixer Upper. I say, I’ve never heard of it. She says, it’s good. He’s a woodworker. I say, well that’s funny. I like working my wood, too.

She smiles, grabs her drink, says, coyly, I like that. I’ll remember that.

It’s a miracle I haven’t been fired from this job yet.

But it’s all in the way you say it. Innocent, and somewhat naive, with a black face, as if I was really just talking about real wood.

And working it.

-CC

 

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A Riddle From The Bartender

It’s Friday night, I’m behind the bar, doing my thing.  It’s been pretty slow, but it’s picking up.  To my left, at seats one thru four, there’s a woman, a woman, a woman, and a man, not together.  They’re all sitting there, with drinks in front of them, and they’re all on their cell phones.  Yeah duh, it’s 2017.  Who’s NOT on their cell phone 24/7.  BUT.  I work at a hotel bar where it’s ok to be at the bar by yourself, and strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you.  It’s super easy.  Hey, where you from, what are you doing in town, what do you do?  It’s mainly business people, airline people, people visiting DM for events, shows, weddings, conventions.  There you go.

But here they are, sitting at the bar, shoulder to shoulder, and they’re all on their phone, being somewhere else, besides here, at the bar, being social.  And that’s fine.  But I’m old school.  There’s NOTHING LIKE having a conversation with someone in person, rather than texting back and forth with someone.  Surfing the boring internet.  Reading some dumb bar blog.

Wink wink.

I walk up to them, say, ok, folks.  I have a riddle for all of you.  PLEASE put your phones down for a moment.

They all look up, shocked for a moment, but they all put their phones down, look at me.

Ok, you’re in a room with two people.  And two doors.  One door leads to “heaven”, and one door leads to “hell”.  You don’t know which is which.  You get to ask only ONE QUESTION to figure out which door to choose.  Here’s the problem:  one of the guys always tells the truth.  The other one always lies.  You don’t know which is which, but they both know who each other is.  So…what is the question?  I’m going to go do dishes, start talking amongst yourselves, to figure out the answer.

I go do dishes, help some other customers.  I look over from time to time, all four people are engaged in trying to figure out the answer to the question.  I go over.  How’s it going?  Any ideas?  They throw out some possible answers.  Nope.  Nope.  Ok, you’re on the right track, keep going.

After 20 minutes, they seem to lose interest in the riddle, but what happens is, they start talking with each other.  AND THEY START HAVING FUN.  Getting to know each other.  The where you from’s, what are you doing in town?  And then they keep on going, we’ll take another round, on me, and then I look at my watch, and 9pm, has become 1 in the morning, and the three women are still there, drunk now, laughing, exchanging numbers, they’re future best friends, and it’s all because of a riddle from the bartender.

-CC

Swiss Rolex Guy

I’m behind the bar, its been a busy week.  The Perfect Storm:  The Solheim Cup meets The State Fair.  We’ve got lady golfers in the house, with state fair goers.  Makes for interesting conversations, and people watching.

Guy at the bar, looks foreign.  In the way he dresses, and duh, his accent.  I strike up a convo.  Man, I love your watch.  He says, thanks.  I say, is that a Submariner?  He says, yes.  It is.  I say, beautiful watch.  I actually saved my pennies for two years to buy one.  True story.  When I finally got it, it was just too damn heavy for me!  It felt like a handcuff around my wrist.  I could’ve cried.  …I actually did.  He says, I work for Rolex.  They just let me borrow it.  I say, you work for Rolex?!?  Please, tell me more.

He proceeds to tell me what he does, and I literally drool.  He says, I go from golf tournament to tournament, and set up the big Rolex clocks.  I say, are you SHITTING me?!  That’s fricking AWESOME.  You do that all year?  He says, about 150 days out of the year.

The guy goes around to all the golf tournaments, gets everything paid for.  Sets up some clocks, hangs out the rest of the week.  Shows up in the morning…let’s see, checks his $7,000 watch.  8:22 AM, looks at big clock, yep, says 8:22AM, grabs a coffee, watches some golf, whatever the hell he wants, then hangs out at the hotel bar, with a tight Rollie on his wrist.

I say to Swiss Rolex Guy with awesome incredible job, dude…hook me up!  I WANT YOUR JOB!!

-CC

The Players Championship PGA tournament in Florida

Less Talent Than A Pen

Two ladies at the bar, I start up a conversation. Hey, how you doing?  Where you from, what are you doing in Des Moines?  It’s a hotel bar, so mainly people from out of town. They say, we’re working on a show at the Civic Center. I say, are you performers? No. I’m Master Carpenter, she does lighting. 

The woman that’s the Master Carpenter is this gorgeous black woman. She’s got these long, perfectly manicured nails. I say, if you’re a Master Carpenter, how do you keep those nails so nice?  I’d think you’d chip a nail. They laugh, her friend says, she just points to her minions with them. You do this, you do this. Make them do the dirty work. Master Carpenter says, I need to make one into a Philips screwdriver. I say, that’s an idea!

They go back to their conversation, I go back to bartending. 

After awhile, I start doing dishes. The grind part of the job. The two ladies are in front of me, I listen in on their conversation. 

God, the cast just SUCKS. NO talent. 

I say, why do they suck?

The Lighting Girl says, we got a whole new cast last week. 

She grabs a pen off the bar, the pen she used to sign her tab. 

She says, you see this pen?  This pen has as much TALENT as the cast. 

She starts clicking the pen, the button on the top. 

She says, wait a second. No. I’m wrong. This pen has MORE TALENT than the cast. 

Oh God I had to laugh at that one. 

-CC

 

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When It’s Time To Call It

I’m behind the hotel bar, been a busy night. Couple wedding parties in the house, and a Ball. Everybody’s drinking, having a good night. One guy in particular. He’s at the bar with his buddies, on his 7th Tito’s Soda. 

He points down to his empty glass. I hate to do this. He’s been basically a cool dude. But he’s slurring his words, volume of voice rising, crazy look in his eyes. If I don’t cut him off now, there’s no telling what might occur. 

Hey man…  I’m thinking you should be done. …What?  You cutting me off?  …yeah, I know. I don’t like to do it. You seem cool. But I think it’s time to call it. …No, man. One more. I’m good. 

He turns to a woman standing to his right, says, this is my wife. She’ll get me upstairs. I look at her, she nods, says, it’s ok. 

Against my better judgement, I pour him another one. 

About five minutes later, I hear, CRASH. Ohhh!

I look down, he’s sprawled out on the floor. After a moment, he gets up, brushes himself off. 

I say, with a slight smile, mind if I run your tab?

He slurs, yeah. That’s cool.

-CC

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Fishing Your ID Out Of The Toilet Bowl

I’m cleaning up the bar, end of night, I attack the women’s restroom.  That’s always a shit show.  Literally.  I have to be honest with you.  For some reason, the women’s room is always worse for wear in comparison to the men’s room.  I’ll give the ladies the benefit of doubt, and a bit of understanding.  I’m sure at home they have to deal with some lazy-ass guy that never does any cleaning.  So when they’re out and about, it’s PAYBACK for the person who has to clean up the bathroom.  I’m ok with that, and will accept the brunt.

I’m in the ladies room, I’m sweeping up all the paper towels littering the ground.  I take out the garbage.  I go into the stalls, to see what’s going on in there.  I lift up the lid, and, what’s that at the bottom of the bowl?  Hm.  Looks like someone’s ID.  Love to see how that exactly went down.  OK…that sounds weird.

Never mind.

I make my way back to the bar, grab one of those disposable gloves.  Always handy.  I go back to the women’s room, go in the stall, reach into the toilet, fish out the ID.

I get behind the bar with it, wipe it off, get rid of the glove, and wash my hands thoroughly.  Hm.  Now what?  I read the name, then get an idea.  I’ll reach out to the young lady on Social Media.

Hey there.  This is Clint, your bartender for the night.  I found your ID at the bar.  Actually, IT WAS IN THE TOILET.  I’ll have it behind the bar for you, just ask the bartender for it next time you come in.

You know, I never heard back from her, and the ID was there for months.  But please note how I went the extra mile.

And THAT’S WHY I’m a badass bartender.

Not only will I make you a great cocktail, but I’ll fish out your ID from the bottom of the toilet bowl.

-CC

 

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Can You Ask A Bartender How Much A Drink Costs?

Can you ask a bartender how much a drink costs?  Of course you can!  But you can also MURDER someone. And is that right?

Depending on the bar you’re in…no, scratch that. No matter what bar you’re in in the world, when asking the price of a drink, or a beer, you will inevitably get an eye-roll from your friendly/perhaps not-so-friendly bartender. The eye-roll may be imperceptible, or obvious, but I guarantee it will be executed. Why?  Well, the initial reaction from your bartender, no matter how open-minded, or understanding he or she may be, will be that you are cheap. No high rollers, or even medium rollers, ask how much a drink costs. It just doesn’t happen. They lay it down, and usually tip generously. And that’s the key. FOR THE MOST PART (of course there are outliers) those who ask for the price are usually bad tippers, or no tippers at all. But what should you do if you’re on a tight budget, and need to know how much a drink costs?

If this is the case, you shouldn’t be going to a bar. Hit up the grocery store, buy a case of Bud Light Lime, and have at it. Your cheapness/lack of funds will therefore never be noticed. Except for perhaps with the check out girl.

Ok, you’re at a bar with your homies, you got to hold something, but your wallet’s thin. Here’s my strong advice:  go for the domestic. Bud Light, Coors Light, et al will probably cost you six bucks tops. At your local dive, probably around three-fitty, four. Tip the bartender a dollar for the beer, and you’re an up-and-coming player. Want a taste of the good stuff?  The Macallan 12? The Grey Goose?  Pass on it if you feel the urge to ask for the price. 

Sure I’ve been broke before. Who hasn’t that have been in college?  If you can’t AT LEAST bring a 20 to the bar, don’t go out. Invite your friends over for some Xbox, and tell them to bring a six of PBR, and you’ll “pay them back.”  And PLEASE all-mighty, don’t bring your laundry change, and slap it on the bar. Your friends will be mortified, and the deep breath and exhale from your bartender will be heard at the coffee shop next door. 

So can you ask your bartender how much a drink costs?  OF COURSE!  But SHOULD you?

My advice to you is a concise NO.

-CC

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