From time to time, I am honored by the presence of a fellow bartender at my little corner of the wood. Bartenders love nothing more than serving off-shift bartenders. They're full of tales, kindness, news, fun and great tips. Tonight, a barkeep from one of Cincinnati's best-known bars visited, and regaled me with his bar stories.
This one is my favorite.
Recently, a threesome of women came to his establishment. He knew one of them, she's a great tipper, a regular, and a generally cool person who I also happen to know, so he gave her a drink on the house.
One of her friends, very young and inexperienced, ordered an Absolut and cranberry, and didn't care to open a tab. After a sip, she complained about the quality of her drink to anyone within earshot, and attempted to walk away.
"Five bucks, " he told her.
"Five!!!" she protested.
Offended, he answered, "You're welcome to find a cheaper serving of Absolut, but yes, here, it's five dollars."
"Well... why isn't it free?" she whined.
Puzzled, he looked the young woman over and replied, "For one, I've never seen you before in my life. For two, it's five dollars."
"I'm beautiful. Why do I have to pay?"
Now, my barkeep friend is a lot like me. He's been around the block, and he was pretty pissed off at her loud objection, and even more shocked by her arrogant (and, from what I hear, subjective) reasoning for why he should comp her cocktail.
"Seriously, it's five dollars. Six if you keep whining."
She laid down five dollars on the bar and walked away with her generously poured cocktail. Five, even. No tip, clearly.
At the end of the evening, our mutual acquaintance apologized for her friend's behavior. She's a good girl, and super-cool, so she's forgiven for keeping bad company. Still, it begs the question...
What the fuck?
All of her lovers all talk of her notes
And the flowers that they never sent
And wasn't she easy...
And isn't she pretty in pink
- Psychedelic Furs, "Pretty In Pink"