Sunday, April 23, 2006
Diary of a COCKTAIL Bartender
August 22, 1988
Man, does it feel good to be finally back in the USA. I don’t know if I could’ve taken the Army life anymore; four years was enough. Becoming highly trained in specialized skills while traveling to foreign countries just doesn’t cut it for a guy like me. I need something BIGGER.
August 25, 1988
This sucks. I went to my uncle’s bar to see what he could do for me and all he could offer me was a job. What a gyp! If all I wanted was a job, I would’ve stayed in the Army for Christ sake. How the hell am I supposed to become a huge success working 40 hours a week? I won’t have any time to come up with get rich quick schemes!
August 27, 1988
Well, I did it. I moved to the City. No one thought I had the balls to do it, but I did have the balls. Big ones. I’ll prove everyone wrong. Especially my uncle and his shit heap that he calls a bar. I wasn’t put on this earth to sling drinks to depressed and broke factory workers. I’m destined for something better than that and I know it, even if no one else does. Tomorrow I’ll find a job, no matter what. After all, night school isn’t free.
September 5, 1988
Wow, the first week on the job has been rough to say the least. I ended up taking a job at a really hip bar. All the beautiful people go there and it is THE place to be…especially at the end of the workweek. I must’ve made a good impression on them, because T.G.I.Friday’s isn’t the kind of place that will hire just anyone.
This one guy, Coughlin, has taken me under his wing and taught me the lay of the land. He seems to be a pretty good guy, but he fucks with me sometimes. I can’t prove it, but I think he keeps hitting me in the head with the cash register drawer on purpose. It’s kind of a dick move, but whatever. Anyway, the drink orders come fast and furious and the waitresses can be real bitches, but I’m learning quickly and think I can sleep at least a few of them. Coughlin says most of them have VD, but I don’t give a shit…after four years in the Army I’ll fuck anything that is warm and wet, as long as its free. There’s nothing worse than having to pay to catch the Clap.
September 10, 1988
Now I remember why I joined the Army in the first place: I hate school. It’s soo boring. Between working at the bar and going to all my classes, I’m having a hard time not falling asleep all the time. It is like there aren’t enough hours in the day. I don’t know what to do…I just wish there was something I could take to keep me up all the time and to stay wired. Like some kind of George Jetson Futuristic energy powder that I could eat or drink. Shit, I‘d even shoot it up my nose, if it could do the trick. Too bad I’m just a guy working at a bar in New York City in the 1980’s and that kind of miracle drug doesn’t exist.
October 2, 1988
I know its been awhile since my last entry, but I’ve been working on a big project for my business class and I’m really excited to hand it in tomorrow. The whole thing is based on the bar I work at now. My plan is to build bars all across the country modeled after all the best things about my bar. There would be a killer hi-fi system and crazy décor. I would train the bartenders to pour like me and Coughlin pour, the waitresses would wear funky outfits, and we would party like it was the weekend every day of the week. We would be so unique that people from all over would flock to our bars because they wouldn’t be able to get that experience from anywhere else. We would be one of a kind. It would revolutionize the bar industry. Everyone would know that when they came to T.G.I.Friday’s they were coming to the hottest, most cutting edge bar in town…I just can’t wait to see what my professor thinks of my million dollar idea.
October 10, 1988
Apparently my professor doesn‘t know shit! He fucking ripped me to shreds right in front of everyone. He claimed my proposal wasn’t well thought out and questioned why a waiter or waitress would possibly need to wear so many buttons on their suspenders. I yelled that he just didn’t get it. Then he had the audacity to say I was acting unprofessional. Of all things! A guy falls asleep in class one time, and he’s labeled for life. So naturally, I questioned his manhood and stormed off. I was all prepared for a grand exit with a really loud door slam, but I didn’t realize the fucking thing was one of those slow-closing doors and I damn near bent my elbow backwards trying to fling it shut. Fuck that place.
October 15, 1988
I’ve had a few days to cool off. I know I overreacted. I have a very hot temper and I get mad way too easily. That’s probably why my high school counselor told me I could never be a jet fighter or a racecar driver or an Irish bare-fisted boxer…I’m just too dangerous and out of control when I get angry.
I’m working on changing that though. Just yesterday I took advantage of a free personality test that was offered at a place called the Hubbard Dianetics Foundation. They brought out this thing called an e-meter to evaluate what changes I can make to be a better person. It was kind of weird though because they kept trying to get me to come back next week. I was hesitant at first, because I thought they were coming on to me. But then they offered me an autographed picture of John Travolta., so I agreed to come back. I figure, what the hell? If this place is good enough for Barbarino, then it’s good enough for me. And anyway, what’s the worst that could happen? It’s not like they are a cult. Believe me, after 4 years in the Army, I know cult when I see one.
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Let's Go, Red Pop!
Don't look now, but a Drinking Holiday is right around the corner. On Monday, April 10th, the Detroit Tigers have their home opener at the CoPa. While many people equate Opening Day with the start of spring and the chance for their favorite team to start fresh, we Detroiters have been conditioned differently. For us, Opening Day is the one chance out of the whole year to go to a game and have it feel like an actual Major League game. This is due to the fact that the Tigers have been shitty for nearly 20 years. Like really shitty.
So while fans of other teams view the home opener as the first step toward a great season, Detroit fans have already resigned themselves to another clunker of a year. There is good reason for that, though. The Tigers haven't had a winning multi-city trip to open the season since 1984. That's 22 years, to you and me. Because of this, Opening Day in the D has evolved from a day to go out and celebrate the return of a beloved sport and turned into an excuse to skip work and get drunk downtown. It should come as no surprise that Detroiters know how to do that. (R.I.P. Bubba Helms)
Bubba aside, that evolution wasn't such a bad thing. Opening Day became the one Drinking Holiday where you didn't have to deal with the Amateur Night crowd that could always be found en masse on St. Patty's Day or Thanksgiving Eve. The people who came down were still fans of the Tigers but they knew that they couldn't count on a Tigers victory to provide or add to their good time. So, like anyone would in that situation, they turned to alcohol. Bars were packed and everyone was happy. The Tigers would lose and everyone was pissed...until they went back to the bar. While that doesn't sound like the most ideal situation, people enjoyed themselves and took comfort in the fact that they were all in it together. And it still beat the hell out of going to work.
That was then, and the now is a brave new world. The Tigers are 4-0 and are on a tear. Chris "Red Pop" Shelton is leading the league in dingers and, Bless 'em, the Boys are leading their division and seem to have a renewed sense of purpose, teamwork, and life. For fans, the expectations of old may need to be revamped to include a little optimism. What kind of affect will that have on Opening Day? Surely, the bandwagon got a little bigger and it might be a bit harder to get a beer at the local watering hole. We might be a little more disappointed than usual if the Tigers lose, but we also may be cheering a lot louder if they win. I, for one, will be down there cheering them on no matter what and booing the Sox until my voice is sore or the beer runs out. As for pre-game activities, Nemos is definitely the place to be. All the power couples will be there; like me and Debbie Pinson.