I’m sitting with my flagrant gay friend Roland on the patio of Verb Café smoking rolled cigarettes last Tuesday afternoon. He’s a little flustered. Roland is notoriously cool as a cucumber, with his hair slightly parted to the side, a little devious mustache above his lips, he smokes the rolled tobacco with fervor, flicking the last of the snub across the sidewalk, barely missing two short, equally sexually ambiguous youths walking daintily arm an arm down Bedford Avenue.
“What is wrong with these fucking bartenders, Matthew? Who the fuck do they think they are”
“What?” I say, not listening.
I’m lost staring a woman in black tights and a tee-shirt. The tights wrap firmly up her legs and fully form around a cherubic ass. These tights leave nothing to hide. I literally can see mons pubis. And that's from the back. Normally these girls wear long Alexander Wang white shirts to at least cover their asses, but some of these girls have completely ignored this, creating a new revealing fashion faux pas. I’d like to personally thank who ever decided this be the winter style in Williamsburg. I feel American Apparel has something to do with it.
Just another pervert.
I snap back to Roland, his generally serene face taut with frustration. He begins to roll another Danish Export.
“Pay attention. You’re a bartender. What’s wrong with these other people? They act like aristocrats! Like asking for a drink is somehow fucking with their day! What is with these people? I’m sick of it. Jesus. I live here. I don’t have to drink at your particularly speak easy styled, heavily cocktailed, cheery wood paneled, zinc bar. Aren’t there about a billion of those with ‘signature’ cocktails in this neighborhood?”
Roland is correct.
I’ve seen this silliness before.
How many of you have ever walked into a bar and got attitude from the bartender? All you want is a goddamn 2 for 1 beer special and the bartender acts like he’s getting a hernia just reaching into that ice to uncap it for you. Oh, what a strain!
Or the frustrated, slightly annoyed look you get from your service staff when you ask for a Mojito? And it’s on the fucking menu!!!! (don’t ask for a Mojito at a dive bar, people, that look you get is totally justified)
Let me give you a couple of facts about the bar world.
There are at least 87 bars in the neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. That’s just in the 11211. There is absolutely no reason anyone should give you attitude when you walk into a place. There's just too much competition. I remember walking into a bar in Greenpoint (which we’ll just call Lulu’s for short), and asking the guy if he was open. It was dark and early so the question was valid. His response, staring up from his newspaper, looking around sarcastically, and shrugging his shoulders:
“What do you think?”
I pause, look to my friend, and said:
“I think we’ll go across the street.”
Or you when walk in and the girl's face behind the bar looks as sour as if she's been sucking on lemons all day and gives you attitude when ask her how her day went. Look, honey, we're not trying to hit on you, so take that self-indulgent ice pick out of your ass and fix me a Vodka Tonic.
Now I‘ve been bartending for thousands of years.
I believe in the bar.
It is a place to forget.
It is a place to hide.
It is a place to meet people. It is a place to avoid others.
There is something magical and special about a place where, legally, people can take drugs with each other and act crazy. You can’t do that on the sidewalks outside. You can’t do that in your cubicle. If you can’t go to your nearest watering hole and get fucking wasted, or feel as if you’re being judged by some high school graduate (or worse, a college graduate not using their English degree), then the world is truly a sad and terrible place.
You have a right to get wasted with impunity.
There are options. A real bartender knows the truth. They know what you want. They will help you get laid. They will answer any questions you may have about life, love, philosophy, politics, and the stars up above.
Don’t let some of these horrible bartenders ruin your day. It’s not your fault they hate their lives. It’s not your fault they have shitty bosses. It's not your fault they are pathologically single. It’s not your fault they would rather be writing the next Great American Novel, but instead, have to explain the difference between PBR and High Life to a tourist from Oklahoma.
So the next time you get some unwarranted attitude (we’ll go into how to be a good customer in future blogs) from one of these self-important, highly intoxicated, drug addled, clinically depressed bartenders, just walk the fuck out and hit up the next 86 bars in your general area.
A cordial finger usually adds the right garnish to your cocktail of fuck off.
Till next time, cheers to black spandex!
(Ladies, you do look in the mirror before you leave the house, right? But thank you, anyways.)