Month: July 2011

Bar stories: The girl with the red chin

One of my major pet peeves as a bartender is when people stick their fingers in the fruit tray. I take customer service very seriously. Customers to me are like guests, so for a long time I just didn’t mention it because I didn’t want to make anyone feel bad. But after a while a guy can only take so many foreign fingers in his fruit before he says enough is enough. I’ve tried the polite route, informing clients with a smile that I can get them anything they need, all the way down to the last squeeze of lime. I’ve gotten sassy too because some people like that, snapping the tray cover on their hands like they are Pretty Woman. I’ve even tried bribing people, letting them know that if they just ask, I’ll give them two lemons next time or even three. But I’ve never had to throw anyone out over a fruit tray fiasco, until last night that is.

Check it out. It was already after hours and I was in the middle of some 3am pre-closing. The music was still pumping. People were smoking and the Red Bull was flowing sans vodka. I’m on the patio sweeping straws and napkins into neat little piles when I see this gal just going for the the cherries like they were chicken strips at the Sizzler. One or two cherries went into her mouth as she was talking to her boyfriend and I almost didn’t mention it until the eager beaver went in for a double dip, her hands already wet with maraschino and saliva.

So with broom in hand like a staff of wisdom I ask directly “Hey girl, are you a bartender here?”
She rolls her eyes. She knows where I’m going with this.

I go on. “Cause you know the bartenders here, we wash our hands when we give you your cherries, but if all the customers here helped themselves, there’s a pretty good chance some germs could get up in that mix and you might even get sick.”

She sneered. “Well it’s a good thing I’m not gay.”

Really?

Really, I was relieved she went there. “Ok” I said. I leaned my magic staff on the wall, gently grabbed her drink out of her hand and threw it away in front of her. “You’re outta here. Both of you.” I extended my arm toward the exit with a smile, the way I usually do to welcome people into the bar or point them toward the bathroom.
As I walk them toward the door the boyfriend chimes in with, “Man, why don’t you mind your business and do your job?”

“I am doing my job. I’m throwing you out.”

My man Todd at the door took a mental pic of the pair and assured me they wouldn’t be back. They assured us of the same as most people do when they are thrown out of a bar, spewing incoherent vitriol.

To be honest, I’m sure these two aren’t really haters. I’m sure they are alright folks who treat people with an adequate amount of respect 80 percent of the time. I probably embarrassed the girl as she was slurping up the sticky redness that was dripping down her chin. I called her out and a gay slur was the first thing she could think of. That’s ok, I have a high tolerance for uncreative comebacks. I’m sure these people are alright people. Right? They just happened to fuck with the wrong fruit.

Wing it with Nicole Smith

Don’t you hate it when you go out with a girl and she blabs about it all over the internet? Well I love it. And it just so happens that my new gal pal Nicole Smith over at at Phoenix New Times did just that.

Seriously, check it out.

Nicole Smith

She approached me last week about doing something for her wingman series and you better believe I was down. The thing is, if you take a peak at previous wingman pieces she’s done, you’ll notice her previous subjects range from party promoters, musicians and well known DJs. It kind of freaked me out to be put in such a category. I didn’t know how to compete. How do I make this girl think I’m cool?

I couldn’t. So I did what came natural and invited some friends over to make some art. And I think she liked it. Please give the post a read and send her some mad comment love. Bloggers love that.

Kiss the librarian

I rounded up some books yesterday. I’ve been meaning to do that for while. To build myself a little writer’s library; something I can reference while I look away from what I’ve written in disgust. The idea was simple. Some how-to books, Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul and the same thesaurus I used to leaf through in the sixth grade just for fun.
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But as I started pulling books out here and there, from the bookcases, from end tables and night stands, from the tops of dressers and toilets, from my backpack and from underneath table legs, my little reference library started feeling more like a mood board then I library. There were just some books I couldn’t see myself not referencing.

Anthologies come to mind. Lots of time, money and energy goes into compiling the same old stories into multiple collections and I’ll be damned if I don’t read The Yellow Wallpaper from a literary, writerly and feminist perspective. There are poetry books too. I do happen to dabble but I’m not good with names. I also got a few wine books by the way, from my serving days. Because you wouldn’t want to lure a character to his death using the wrong sherry.

20110701-033117.jpgSpeaking of the macabre, I realized I have some pretty, gothic roots from all the scary story books lurking around my new library. I even found an R.L. Stine masterpiece I never never actually read. Oh and there are plenty of other books I never read too. But how else am I going to get to them if they’re not in my face everyday when I write, instead of piled next to a retro tea pot for looks.

Still, there are plenty of old favorites in my new library. The Chronicles of Narnia, The Basket Ball Diaries, Shade (a sexy adult Vampire novel I read in middle school). Don’t think I left art out. There’s Picasso, Alison Bechdel, and Sean Hoy, a cartoonist who’s book I bought during a Zombie walk. I even have some libros en español.

All in all I feels like I got what I was looking for out of my little library. Nostalgia. I love that stuff almost about as much as words. The rest I can just google.