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

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Hi, I'm A Diabetic!

It's a Monday. I'm barely dragging into work after a nice, lazy weekend. I'm not feelin' it, but we throw open the doors and the first customer, already waiting outside, is an uncommonly perky young lass.

I flip her a cocktail napkin and say, "What's your poison?" My head barely contains a dull ache.

"Hi! I'm a diabetic!!" she replies, with a chirp at the end of the sentence. Her tone induces a marked pain just behind my left eye, but I endure. It's certainly not her fault, she's pleasant enough, but some days, you're just not in the right mood to serve at the pleasure of the public.

"OK," I answer. Not sure how to please her after that introduction, I offer a Diet Coke.

She laughs, throws back her head, flips her hair (we're empty) and says, "No, silly! (ed.: Seriously.) I want a drink, but nothing with too much sugar!"

I have a flashback, old coworker of mine. Great bartender, and a diabetic. He abstained from drink, but when he felt like imbiding, he always stuck to something sweet. He said that alcohol tended to bring his blood sugar down, so he'd counteract that with a little sugar to keep him even-Steven for about an hour. On the rare occasion he felt like falling off the wagon, he'd always insist that I make him my Long Island.

"Bacardi and Diet?" I ask. She doesn't look remotely qualified for a Long Island, nor my friend's blood sugar explanation. She makes a face.

"Gin and tonic? Vodka and soda?" I offer. I'm really trying, here. I'm one helluva bartender even when I'm feeling weekend-weak, but I'm definitely not a dietician.

"How about a PiƱa Colada?" she says, perkily.

Thinking it's an odd choice for a diabetic, and also thinking that I really don't want to make one, I tell her that I don't have a blender, and although I could mix one on the rocks, it just won't be the same. I'm praying she'll change her mind, since I'm not even sure I have Coco Lopez on hand.

"OK... how about a Margarita?" Whew.

"Salt or no?"

"Sure," she says.

It's like stepping on an elevator, and a kind rider says "What floor?" and you answer, "Yes." I choose to salt the rim of her glass, and begin mixing her Margarita.

Just as I whip out the tin and start shaking, she says, "Ohhhhhh... it's not frozen?"

What part of I don't have a blender escaped her?

At the end of the day, my perky diabetic customer drank an iced tea. I strained the leftover margarita into individual shots and offered them to the kitchen staff.

At least they were cheerful the rest of the evening.

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Take a bottle, shake it up
Break the bubble, break it up

Pour some sugar on me
Ooh, in the name of love!
Pour some sugar on me
C'mon, fire me up!

- Def Leppard, "Pour Some Sugar On Me"