Tales From the Gay Bar – “A Night To Remember” or “There’ll Be Some Love Makin’, Ass Shakin’, Glass Breakin'”

Posted: August 23, 2013 in TFTGB
Tags: , , , ,

In mid-January this year I was at the bar. It was before opening and I was busy taking everything off of the bar and the work surfaces to clean them properly. Those who have only been on the relaxing side of a bar can have no possible clue of just how sticky the working side gets. I take a lot of pride in keeping the bar clean, but even if a rag is always within grasp it is impossible to keep your bar spotless.

So every once in a while, everything gets soaped up and hosed down, all the glasses go for a ride in the dishwasher, and the booze bottles are wiped off. Some for dust, some for sticky fingerprints.

This is tedious work, I loathe cleaning, but the end result is well worth the tedium. And blasting Rammstein on the (pretty awesome) sound system helps a lot!

I had cleaned, scrubbed and polished everything to a shine and was placing the gear back in it’s assigned spots. (I get so frustrated when my bartenders don’t put things back where they belong. Sometimes I think they do it on purpose to watch me flap my hands and spin in circles because I can’t find the speed openers.)

After all the gear was in place, all that was left was to replace the rows of glasses. First the shot glasses because they’re the most annoying. Then the cocktail glasses in the fridge, then beer glasses, whiskey tumblers, pint glasses, and finally, the highball glasses. As I was setting up the highballs in neat rows, I noticed quite a few of them were discolored (they get that way because, by law, our dishwasher has to wash at 90 degrees Celsius (194 Fahrenheit for the free and the brave, 29.7 Newton for the apple enthusiasts)), and a lot where scratched, some even chipped. I stopped what I was doing and called one of the owners.

• Owen: “Hey Neo, What’s up?”
• Neomety: “Hey Owen. I think it might be time we got some new highball glasses.”
• Owen: “How many do we have left?”
• Neomety: “I dunno, ‘bout 120 I guess, but at least half of them are scratched or discolored.”
• Owen: “Is that all? They’re worn?”
• Neomety: “Yeah, but it doesn’t feel proper, serving drinks in chipped glasses.”
• Owen: “Listen Neo, I don’t care about proper. If they ain’t broken, I ain’t replacing ‘em!”
• Neomety: “But the customers…”
• Owen: “You make great drinks. The customers would drink ‘em outta pickle jars, so long as you made ‘em.”
• Neomety: “Thanks Owen, but I still think we owe them more than that.”
• Owen: “We don’t owe them shit! Now as I said, when the glasses break, I’ll buy new ones. Hell you can even pick them out yourself.”

And that was the end of that phone call.

Like I take pride in a clean bar, I also take pride in other things: Good service, high quality liquor, that my bartenders (and myself) display proper hygiene and behavior and that, when I serve a drink, it looks and tastes as good as possible with the materials I have to work with. These glasses were dropping my drinks by at least 10 points on the Neomety scale (no need for conversions, this scale is recognized internationally).

Little did I know, the annoyance over these eye sores, also known as highball glasses, were only the beginning of my night.

As I opened the bar and the guests appeared, the evening found it’s shade. Evenings come in many colors: Some are violet-grey like the clouds of an oncoming storm. Some are murky green like the river in the autumn. Some are that particular blue, which I have never seen anywhere but here in Denmark during those three amazing months of the summer, where the sun just dips below the horizon at sunset only to rise again a few hours later. When 18 straight hours of daylight turns the dusk into something quite unlike anything I could ever hope to describe in words. This blue that is so deep it holds your breath hostage, and all you can do, is just stare wide-eyed in to it, and feel so small and insignificant and like you’re the luckiest person alive because you get to witness this.

The color this particular evening chose was a far cry from that. It was orange. I can’t stand orange. It’s such an egotistical color! It’s as if it’s constantly yelling “Ooooh look at me, I’m orange! Aren’t I fun and pretty and interesting?” No orange, no you’re not! You’re the color of warning signs and carrots. Shut up! (Incidentally, I despise carrots as well).

Orange is a difficult color for an evening. It means you constantly have to be on your toes because it could very easily turn red. You can all guess, I’m sure, what a red evening is like!

The orange seeped into my consciousness and I was on edge. Constantly on the lookout for anything that might cause alarm. Around 9PM something did.

I spotted two guys entering the bathroom hand in hand. “Drugs or sex or both” my brain told me. Whichever it was not happening on my watch!

I finished the customers in line and excused myself from the bar. I went into the bathroom and there was only one closed stall. I knocked on the door and, very politely, said:

• Neomety: “Only one guest per stall gentlemen.”
• Guy#1: ”Go away!”
• Neomety: “Please come out of there.”
• Guy#2: “Oh fuck off will ya?”
• Neomety: Raising my voice “Please come out of the stall, NOW!”
• Guy#2: “FUCK OFF!”

I did, I fucked off. All the way out into the main bar room. And there I loudly proclaimed “Hey, who wants to see me kick out two guys having sex in the bathroom?” Fuck yeahs and Who is its rung out over the tables. “Come see, but be quiet.”

I turned around and walked through the bathroom door once more. Around 20 people followed me. All was silent, only the moans and grunts from the stall were heard. I relieved my pocket of a coin, and, like a surgeon with his scalpel, I performed an operation in which I am well-trained. With swift fingers and steady hands I worked for a few seconds and then: POP went the lock. The stall door swung open.

Inside were 2 half naked, panting and sweating gay guys of about 20 years of age. Their expressions quickly shifted from pleasure, to anger, to surprise and finally settled on bright, pink shame. A roar of laughter rose from the spectators as the two young boys fumbled with stuffing rapidly deflating erections into pants and zipping up flies. They fled the bar with shirts in hands, and as they ran through the crowd there were pats on the back and shouts of “Once more with feeling, boys!”

Even after this, the evening was still orange. And that meant I still had not avoided disaster. Though disaster might not be the correct term for what was about to unfold before my very eyes.

Two gentlemen, both around 35, were sitting at a nearby table. They both wore nice suits and dress shoes, indicating they had come to the bar directly from work. Suddenly their conversation turned loud:

• Suit#1: “Bullshit man!”
• Suit#2: “Nuh-uh!”
• Suit#1: “I don’t care what you say, you’re wrong!”
• Suit#2: “Oh yeah? Let’s have someone in here decide then!”
• Suit#1: “Fine, let’s do it!”

They walk to the bar and Suit#2 asks me: “Will you be our judge? This guy thinks he’s better than me!” I have no idea what I’m about to be the judge of, but years of bartending have taught me to say yes in these situations, because it usually pays, be it in tips or in laughter. I would learn, that in this case, it would be definitely not be the former. I agree to judge their impromptu competition.

And then it happens: The two men, in their mid-thirties, wearing suits, drop down and start twerking! Only at a gay bar. Come for the drinks, stay for the booty! (Which would totally be my slogan if I ran a pirate-themed bar)

After about 2 minutes of twerking like their lives depended on it, they get up and turn to me.

• Suit#1: “Well?”
• Neomety: “…..”
• Suit#2: “Come on, who was better?”
• Neomety: Tears in my eyes “BWAHAHAHAHAHA”
• Suit#1: “Well if you’re not going to give us a serious answer we’ll just go somewhere else!”

So they left. Heads held high as if this bar was beneath them. But not before screaming me out about how I was a bitch, a terrible bartender, fat, ugly and many other truths.

The evening wore on, I remained ready for any sign of trouble, but there was none to be had. I was exhausted when I locked up. Just needed to count the till and empty the dishwasher. Then it was beddy by-bye for little Neo.

That’s what I thought. But then I checked the bathroom. Some random was passed out on the floor of one of the stalls. He had made it that far, but in his rush to get there, he had left his aim behind. Vomit. Everywhere!

I chucked him out, swiftly yet violently, and then started cleaning. Now I’m used to this. Vomit is a common occurrence when you work with alcohol, so it only took me about 10 minutes to clean it up. Still, this whole evening had gotten to me. I was pissed!

I counted the till, locked up the money and went to empty the dishwasher. And what was staring me in the face? Those fucking highball glasses!

I snapped.

I grabbed my phone, called Ray and told him to come to the bar and bring his airsoft rifle. We were gonna do some target practice! Outside, in the courtyard, we lined up the glasses that were chipped, discolored or scratched 10 at a time in a pile of snow. We took turns and killed about 70 of these sons of bitches.

When I walked home that night, the evening slowly turned from orange and in to the white of the moonlight glinting in broken glass.

Aftermath: Owen was not happy! But he did still let me pick out the new glasses. Only fair since I paid for them.

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