April 6, 2012 at 7:52am
REAL STORIES FROM REAL BARTENDERS >>>
I've been a bartender for a long time. I have met countless freaks, jerks, pervs, sweethearts, rockstars and crazies. Even though it's a physically and mentally exhausting job, these are the colorful people that make it all worthwhile. Well, that and the tips.
I'd like to share with you some of my personal experiences behind the bar, along with the stories from some of my fellow bartenders. Each week - under the clever heading of "Behind Bars" - I will dig into my memory bank - and the incident log books that all bars keep - to bring you some of my favorite stories.
Names of bars, bartenders and patrons have been changed or withheld to protect the innocent.
And the not so innocent.
Thank god bars don't have fluorescent lighting. Every bump and blemish and wrinkle would be on display, making people have to drink even more to achieve "beer goggles."
A little mood lighting helps the atmosphere of any bar. It makes things softer and sexier. We have these really great lamps at the bar where I work. They are vintage and classy and provide just the right ambience.
People love them.
They always ask if they are for sale, or where they can get them. And, sometimes, they love them so much, they try to steal them.
Here's a story of one such individual.
"The Lamp Lifter"
It was a recent closing on a typical Thursday night. People were shuffling out of the bar, lighting smokes and exchanging numbers, when one of the regulars started hollering about a lamp thief. Immediately, another regular and I sprung into action.
"Where is the bastard?" I demanded.
By this time, a crowd had gathered.
"That way!" They all replied.
My sidekick and I quickly sprinted in the direction of the perpetrator, my bar towel flapping in the wind. We could see him and his culprit counter-part ahead - just near the bus station. He still had the lamp under his coat.
"Give up the goods," I said, hands on hips.
"Yeah, Jerk," said my sidekick.
The man sheepishly returned the lamp. He mumbled something about being sorry and drunk and walked away, tail between his legs.
We returned to the bar, lamp raised overhead. The crowd cheered.
As I locked up for the night, all I could think was that shot of adrenalin was just what I needed to get through the last of the cleaning. That, and "what a dumb ass."
Check back next week for a story of a lamp lifter who was caught in the act - only this one wasn't so apologetic.
In the meantime, Cheers!
LINK: Past Behind Bars columns
Off duty rules.
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