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

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The White Zin Bandit

Image hosting by Photobucket

This four-top in a nice booth are puttin' away White Zinfandel like nobody's business. They're into their third and fourth glasses quickly, so I ask their server, Josh, "You think maybe they should just get a bottle?"

"Thing is, only two of them are drinking it," he tells me. Of course, he's happy to sell it to them by the glass, since the bottle is always cheaper. Can't blame him, I'd do the same in his shoes. But it's Friday, it's hectic; I'd rather hand over a bottle, a marble sleeve and some glasses, send you on your way, and go back to mixing cocktails. It's shaping up to be a wine night, and my favorite key is starting to go crooked.

When the couple goes for glasses five and six, I'm bewildered. They're getting close to a bottle of White Zinfandel each. It's damned impressive, because I just can't imagine drinking that much bad wine while dining, and they've got to be seriously buzzed by now. Are they even on salads yet? I set the glasses on the bar mat and work through the rest of the order chits.

Josh has a busy section, and he's quick to return, saying, "Hey, I need another White Zin." I look up and see only one of the two glasses I poured sitting on the mat. I'm pretty sure I'm hallucinating, but it's getting crazy, and I pour another glass instead of protesting. Just as Josh grabs it, I see a man walking out of the men's restroom, and he practically slinks while he sets a pink-tinged empty white wine glass at the busiest corner of the bar. We make eye contact, he's slightly charming, he grins, and I lose him.

I'm not 100% certain, but I'm pretty sure that man with the Cheshire Cat grin nabbed a glass of wine from under my nose, and chugged it in the bathroom. White Zin, mind you.

Just when you think nothing can surprise you. Way off my game tonight.

I can't seem to face up to the facts
I'm tense and nervous and I can't relax
I can't sleep cause my bed's on fire
Don't touch me, I'm a real live wire
Psycho killer, qu'est que c'est
Far better
Run away

- Talking Heads, "Psycho Killer"