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

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Hear that Bengal growling...

... mean and angry!

Oh, to be 3-0 in Cincinnati. To be the butt of NFL jokes for 10+ years (humor me), and suddenly turn into the NFL's new Golden, Cinderella Team.

We'll take it, thank you very much.

I haven't lined up for playoff tickets yet, and I realize that sporting fate is especially fickle, but I'm on the Bengals Bus and loving it.

Bring on Week 4!! It's Week 4, all ready? But it's not even cold yet...

And, OK, so you're not a baseball fan (why do you hate America?), but even the San Francisco Giants remain alive down to the wire, and you should begin paying attention.

A sporting autumn to be remembered... I hope.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Semi-Famous Radio Gasbags Behave Poorly In Public, Too.

So, I just received the most hilarious phone call from a friend of mine, KC, who's in San Francisco.

On Wednesday night, KC and his friend decided to get some crab, so they went to Nonna Rose Seafood in Fisherman's Wharf. They wanted one of the outside tables, waited a few minutes, and were seated.

Just after they sat down, they heard a gruff man at the table next to them complaining to his waiter. "I thought you said I'd get some privacy here," he complained. "We're very busy tonight, sir, I'm sorry," the waiter replied.

So, KC glances over at this guy. He's older, strange-looking, by himself, reading a magazine, and there's a sweet little grey-haired poodle at his feet, lapping water like crazy out of a very nice dish. The man absolutely glares back at KC.

KC leans across the table and whispers, "What an assbag," to his buddy. "Poor dog," his friend answers.

They're well into appetizers when the man calls over the server by crooking his finger. "Get the manager," he commands.

"Is something wrong?" the server says.

"Yes, I need to move my dog's water dish, but I'm not going to touch it myself."

Now, KC just about drops his fork when he hears this. He used to be a bartender, and that's got to be one of the most condescending requests he's ever heard.

The server rolls his eyes at KC and his friend, walks away, and soon the manager shows up at the man's table.


"Well, how am I supposed to touch this food after touching the dog's bowl? Move it and bring him another one!" he yells. Literally yells.

At this point, KC's friend says to him, "You know, that guy looks familiar. He even sounds familiar. I think he's famous or something."

The manager actually kneels down and starts to move the bowl when the man screams out, "What are you doing!?? Make the busboy do that!!!"

KC and his friend burst out laughing at this point. They look over at the guy, and KC says it looks like he's about to bare his teeth at them.

Eventually, a poor busboy is dispatched to move the dog's bowl. (I have to add this... what kind of manager would actually send the busboy? Since you're the one allowing the customer to appoint this lowly task, move the bowl your damned self and deal with the wrath, Mr. Manager.)

The man finishes his dinner, scowls at KC's table, gets up and leaves. They immediately call their server over.

"Hey, was that someone famous? He sure was an asshole."

"Yeh," the server said. "He eats here pretty often."

"So is he someone famous? He looks familiar, kinda."

"Oh, him?" the server says. "That's Michael Savage."

No wonder Mr. Savage prefers quiet tables with no diners around him. It's tough to engage in that level of douchebaggery when you have so many witnesses. I'm still not certain why Savage needed his dog's water bowl to be moved in the first place, but who am I to stand between a jackass and misbehavior?

As soon as their dinner was over, KC was sweet enough to call me. "You're the first person I thought of," he said. "You should post that all over the internets."

Heh. Anyone want to bet the fat schmuck had food stuck in his beard?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Just off the top of my head...

No, you cannot substitute the $79 Cabernet for the $34 Cabernet you ordered, but which we ran out of, at the $34 price. Yes, you think it's unprofessional to run out of the wine you selected, and yes, we should own a crystal ball, and sure, you think we should be accomodating, and we're going to work with you, but we're not quite as stupid and gullible as you perceive. Nouveau riche jackass. Thanks for going over my head, too... must have been embarrassing when it took Chef to come out and spell "NO" for you, in front of the friends you were trying to impress with your conceit and insolence.

No, Lieutenant Dan, you still have not paid me. We could go around and around, but you still owe me $5.90. I realize you think you put $20 on the bar, but I'm telling you, Dan, you didn't, and you don't recollect because you were wasted out of your damned mind. I should have known better than to serve you at the time, but I can tell you this much... I was sober, you were not, I gave you the benefit of the doubt, and you owe me $5.90. But since I have a soft spot in my heart for seemingly lonely guys like you, and since sometimes I feel like your only friend, I'll continue to serve you Budweiser even though you really should settle your tab with me first. Cash up front for each beer, though... you've lost your tab privileges, and I don't want to hear about it. Pay-as-you-go, and I hope you really do move to El Paso, the way you've been threatening to for weeks now.

And, finally, please learn how to properly greet another human being. On a crazy Saturday night, don't introduce yourself to me by frantically shouting, "What's your house Chardonnay?" while I've got my back to you because I'm busy making drinks for the well-mannered customers ahead of you in line. Look, you don't have to kiss my ass to get a drink, but, seriously, try this... c'mon, just try it for once in your pathetic, impatient, unfriendly life... wait until I make eye contact, say "hello," and watch how quickly your service experience improves.

Who raised these people?

In television news, I can't let this pass without mentioning... did anyone get suckered into watching the premier of "Kitchen Confidential" on Fox? It's a new sitcom based, I assumed, on Anthony Bourdain's confessional about "the business."

Thought I'd give it a whirl, because I was hoping for a fun comedy about restaurant life behind the kitchen doors. Ten minutes into this dreck, unworthy of filling an emesis tray, I deleted the season pass from the Tivo. So, don't ask me how it ended.

P.S. For Seitz... Go Angels!

They were all impressed with your Halston dress
And the people that you knew at Elaine's
And the story of your latest success kept 'em so entertained
But now you just can't remember all the things you said
And you're not sure that you wanna know
I'll give you one hint, honey
You sure did put on a show

- Billy Joel, "Big Shot

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Nick Lachey's Guy Got 708 Votes.

That's right, bitches! 708 votes. Bring it!!

(When I first published this post, Jeffre had received 54 votes. Nice comeback, Jeff.)

Pepper Leading In (Cincinnati) Mayoral Primary Election Returns (7:52 pm)

Mallory, Pepper To Face Off In November Election (Cincinnati) (11:41 pm)

I don't think Justin Jeffre was a bad candidate for mayor, and I admire the fact that he got off his ass and did something. I think he should lick his wounds, study politics, and try again. But here's a piece of homespun advice, Mr. Jeffre... next time, when in need of local political credibility, don't hold a fundraiser starring Nick Lachey.

Fourteen-year-olds don't have the vote. Yet.

Today was Election Day! Who knew?

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Bar Punditry

Anyone in America watching the news this week is numb from Katrina, yet the bombardment of panels, round tables, town meetings, and punditry duels has only just started.

Every time I watch policy wonks (I have visuals of Cokie Roberts, William Safire, Peggy Noonan, Rahm Emmanuel and Al Sharpton), I'm so frustrated, because they sound really smart, and they seem to have their "pulse on the nation," but it's abundantly clear they've never set foot in a neigborhood pub.

I think it's high time they gave a bartender a slot on one of those Sunday morning talk shows. I'm telling you, we can mediate a debate at least as well as Bernard Shaw or Jim Lehrer. We don't need to ask anyone's opinion, because we hear it all day, from everyone. We're our own pollster. We know exactly who you voted for, and why. We're a font of neighborhood knowledge and current cultural thought.

When you've gone too far, talked too long, or just generally fucked up and offended somebody while running your mouth, we step in and make you and your opponent do a shot and hug each other (the last part is selfish, really... a tip, if you will. It amuses us to make you hug while everyone in the bar says, awwww!). We also tend to be much cuter than Bernard Shaw or Jim Lehrer.

I can see it now... Cokie, Peggy and Rahm give their varying opinions of what people are saying about Katrina. They analyze a poll or two, talk about the president's advisors, and ponder whether Bush really needs a "bullhorn" moment (does it get lower than that, as if a bullhorn is the only thing standing between this president and the people? And yet I've heard this all week, it's so simplistic and lazy and insulting). Viewers vomit spontaneously.

Then, George Stephanopolous says, "let's bring in Lindsay, everybody's favorite happy-hour bartender, at BW3's in the new Burlington Crest shopping center! Lindsay?"

"George, I don't know who those boring assholes you just talked to were, but Jesus, are they stupid. Talk around this bar today centered around the start of the NFL season, but people are pretty mad at the government right now, too. Who doesn't love the Mississippi Delta and New Orleans, dumbasses? Mostly, they say that gas prices are killing them, and we have no leadership, and we're not one bit safer four years after 9/11. They also say you guys should watch more Jon Stewart. Hey, ask Cokie if she'd take Carolina with the points, wouldja?"

But it never happens, the cut-to-the-bartender. It would be a more realistic view of the world. At least my world.

It's been a strange several days, we have a sad anniversary today, and it's the official kickoff of the NFL. So here we are.

I hope everyone affected by Katrina has a better week than last, in fact I hope we all have a better week than last.

May your favorite NFL team never disappoint you, piss you off, make you throw stuff at people you love, or break your heart this season.

Go Bengals!!!! Heh.

Summer has come and passed, the innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends
Ring out the bells again, like we did when spring began
Wake me up when September ends

- Green Day

Monday, September 05, 2005

A Whore Named Katrina

It's understandable why I haven't been too focused on bar follies during this awful week.

I'll admit to being emotionally destroyed by the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina. And that bitch has certainly affected the bar business... not too many of us are interested in celebrating while we watch our brothers and sisters suffer so.

Like many Americans, I can focus on little else. It's been a rough decade so far for my nation, but, in my lifetime, it's the darkest week we have experienced. That's saying quite a lot, considering the sad anniversary coming up next Sunday. It's tragic. The response to those in dire need? Horrific, inexplicable and, honestly, embarrassing.

While our federal government continues to twiddle its thumbs, make excuses and lamely place blame on local officials, Americans will do what they always have... cough at the government and take matters into our own hands.

At the risk of sounding trite, I'll offer this... if you haven't already, please give generously to these good and reputable charities:

Network For Good - A plethora of worthy charity organizations

American Red Cross

American Kidney Fund - helping dialysis patients survive Hurricane Katrina

Noah's Wish - Rescuing and sheltering the animals affected by Hurricane Katrina (these people are very near and dear to TavernWench's heart)

Humane Society of Louisiana - they've issued an S.O.S., and their stories are as heartbreaking as any animal rescue news you've heard. Please give whatever you can.

I'm fortunate to have a few international readers, and from the bottom of my heart, I especially thank you for your kind words and support during this difficult time.

All Americans are suffering... but especially those in Louisiana and Mississippi.

I can't stop worrying about them. I can't turn the television off, even though the pictures and stories grow more terrifying by the hour.

May New Orleans rebuild. May New Orleans, the celebratory capital of America, party again. I have faith she will.

Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans
And miss it, each night and day
I know I'm not wrong, the feelings getting stronger, the longer I stay away
Miss the moss covered vines, the tall sugar pines

Where mocking birds used to sing
And I'd like to see the lazy Mississippi, a hurryin' into spring
The moonlight on the bayou, a Creole tune that fills the air

I dream about magnolias in June
And soon I'm wishing that I were there

- Louis Armstrong, "Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans"