Of Bars, Booze, and Bartending - Proving "Coughlin's Law" Invalid Since Feb '05

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Am I a glorified beggar?

Fantastic night. Packed bar, on a Tuesday! Full of fun regulars, the kind that call you "honey" and say "please." Very fun.

Well, except for... Belgian Eddie.

Belgian Eddie called bartenders beggars tonight. See, I received a lovely and gracious tip, and rang the little bell we have behind the bar for such (increasingly) rare occassions. For whatever reason, likely related to alcohol, Belgian Eddie took offense to this gesture. Eddie, who drinks three Gentleman Jacks and two Bud Lights every night, you could set your clock to it. Tips about $2.00 regardless.

Never gets the bell.

"I could go to a football game and hear a bell and drums begging me for money," he insists to me, as if someone asked, in his almost comically thick accent. I strain just to understand him.

Some bar customers enjoy getting numb. Others are there to look at women. Some are there for company, a little conversation, while a handful are there because the food is amazing and they're just sucking down some Chianti while waiting for a table.

Belgian Eddie is there because he enjoys insulting bartenders. It blows his skirt up. It's a pattern of his.

"Eddie, I make, like, less than minimum wage," I complain. "I live for tips. I live from the generosity of others."

"Just like a beggar," he replies, with a deep, familiar cough that suggests disease.

I decide to respond with a simple, "Ohhh, Belgian Eddie!" He's just an instigator.

A few moments later, when he begs for another Gentleman Jack when he's clearly beyond his limit, I don't throw his words, which have hurt me, back at him.

I just pour.

Bartender you see
This wine that's drinking me
Came from the vine that strung Judas from the devil's tree roots
Deep, deep in the ground
I'm on bended knee I pray
Bartender please

- Dave Matthews Band, "Bartender"