Posts Tagged ‘Party’

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a story of what love hate (and drugs) can make you do.

It was a little past 4 in the morning at the Big Gay Party and we were closing up.
The DJ had played his last song and was unplugging a myriad of cables. The bartenders had cried “Last call!” and were mopping up the dregs on the bar top. The floor guys were doing the same thing they had all night; running from the kitchen with empty trays and returning with them brimming with bottles, glasses, lemon slices, straws, lime wedges, chewed up gum and other delicacies. The cloakroom girls were slowly drowning in the rising tide of guests in dire need of their coats, caps and handbags the size of a small car.

As I always do at that particular time of the night, I positioned myself slightly down the corridor that leads to the cloakroom. From there I could catch people drunkenly trying to get back to the bar and I had a decent view of any trouble that might arise.

Closing time is a tricky time. The potential for trouble naturally increases when the entire party crowds together in a narrow hallway. People are drunk and tired, but still hyped up from the mood and the music. They know they ought to head home, but at the same time the morning bars are tempting with their siren song of “Just one more. Postpone the inevitable loneliness and have just. one. mooooore!”
All the little insults, the shade thrown, the stinky eyes sent throughout the night coupled with alcohol, tight quarters and pushing and shoving, run the risk of turning a small misunderstanding into a fully fledged brawl in this pressure cooker environment.

As I stood there, keenly watching the crowd and trying desperately to forget my sore feet, one or two stragglers passed me from behind. The staff check every room carefully to see if anyone has stowed away and usually someone has. Most often in the bathrooms.
Suddenly I heard what could only be described as an anguished roar coming from behind me. I spun around just in time to see a girl rushing down the corridor at full speed. A small bull dyke coming straight at me, fast and with a burning hatred glowing in her eyes. All I had time to do, was to try and step aside, but I wasn’t quite quick enough.

She hit my left shoulder hard. I reacted instinctively, wanting to get her away from me. I wrapped my arm around her waist and pushed her backwards.
Now I am not really sure what happened. Maybe I used more force than I meant to. Maybe she was smaller than I thought. Maybe the adrenaline and pain kicked in and I lost control. Maybe I have latent mutant super strength. I don’t know. All I know is I ended up sending her flying across the floor. It looked like something out of an action movie and I was horrified that I might have hurt her, but at the same time proud that I did something that looked so cool.

We were instantly surrounded by bouncers and as they picked her up and asked her what the hell she did that for, she looked at me with those dazed, glazed, bad trip eyes and mumbled “Sorry, I thought you were my step-dad”.
After checking she was otherwise okay, all that was left to do, was to find her friends and have them take her home.

Poor girl!

And poor my shoulder when I woke up the next day! Ice packs are not just for athletes. Sometimes chubby lesbian bar-managers need them too.

The following party she showed up, even though she was obviously banned. She didn’t make a fuss and she told the bouncer she hadn’t come to party, she just wanted to speak to me if I had a moment to spare. Naturally I took the time. She was very apologetic and said the incident had opened her eyes. She would try to cut down on the partying. She was nice. She had even bought me a chocolate bar as an apology.

I like chocolate!


There are so many words in the English language that cannot properly be translated into Danish. Mainly because English has so many more words, but also because some words have a very precise meaning or are only used in a very specific context and thus when translating, you run the risk of having to use a much broader and general term. This way you tend to lose some of the original finesse and meaning the word bears with it.

I deal with this on an almost daily basis, but what really throws me, is when it happens inversely. Every once in a while I will stumble upon a Danish word that cannot easily be translated to English. This especially happens when describing bodies of water. We have a lot of terms for those. This country doesn’t consist of 443 islands for nothing.

The reason behind all this rambling about words and translations is, that it happened today. I sat down to write an anthropological piece, because I know you guys like those, but I floundered when trying to translate the name of the LGBT subtype I wanted to portray. I thought long and hard, I Googled, I searched Urban Dictionary, but I came up empty-handed.

The word that gave me so much trouble was Kamplebbe. A literal translation would be Fight Dyke, the closest I could get to what she is like, is Bull Dyke, but she is oh so much more than just that. What is she? Well let’s once again (muff)dive into the mysterious world of The Gay Bar and learn about the strange creatures that frequent it.

The Kamplebbe is usually a short, broad (but not fat) butch. “How butch?” you might ask, my reply: “The butchiest!”. Let’s take a peek at her.

Fauxhawk on top. Always styled with enough hairgel to allow one to commit Seppuku with it. When she’s too lazy to shovel on the hairgel there is her extensive cap selection to chose from, all still with the stickers on, naturally. Sidenote: If you get in a fight with a Kamplebbe and you want to make sure she hits you first, just flip the cap from her head. Insta-fight!

T-shirts. Always T-shirts. They can be woman’s style or men’s oversize, but she never wears anything more feminine than that. Often they will have some kind of design, the more misogynistic or “gangsta” the better. We’re talking slogans with “bitches”, “hoes” or “pussy”, dollar-signs, silhouetted guns, gang signs or strippers. Real classy stuff! These things apparently make our Kamplebbe feel pretty badass. I know I’d feel real badass too if I had “Big Booty Bitches” plastered across my chest.

The Kamplebbe’s pants are always baggy, probably hang down below her ass. How else would the world know she wears boxer briefs? Sidenote: I wholly endorse wearing boxer briefs, they are so friggin’ comfortable compared to panties, and I can’t even think about thongs without shuddering. It’s the “everyone must know the brand and pattern of my underwear”-mindset I don’t understand.

Around her thigh and ass will at times hang the international sign for “I will punch you without a second thought”‘; The wallet Chain. Known to instantly boost your coolness-factor by at least 20%, this item is a must have for a Kamplebbe. I swear I’ve seen dykes carrying a credit card holder and still wear a wallet-chain, that’s commitment!

On her feet we find the obligatory sneakers. Preferably the clunky skater-type and the more tattered the better. As with the wallet-chain this sends a signal that the Kamplebbe is just badass. She is literally too cool  to care.

Her girlfriends are always incredibly femme. You know how the worst question you can ask a lesbian couple is “so, like, who’s the guy and who’s the girl?”. Well here the question is both valid and superfluous at the same time. Valid because they will actually take on these roles and will most likely give you a straight answer. Superfluous because you can tell from 100 meters (109.4 yards for the inventors of anal bleaching (we all look upon your in terror) and 0.54 international cable for the merry men of the sea) away exactly who’s the dude (hint: it’s the Kamplebbe).

Not only are her girlfriends femme, but they are a special brand of femme; the low self-esteem kind. The Kamplebbe treats them like crap and they put up with it because they sadly don’t think they deserve any better. Don’t think domestic abuse doesn’t happen simply because both partners are women (or men for that matter), it does. It is a big problem that it’s so invisible because the victims often feel they have nowhere to go, no one to turn to.

Sometimes being a sexual minority makes seeking help for things, medical, mental or other, very difficult. Simply because you are always afraid, that that your divergence will in some way be used against you or as a means of rejecting your experiences. A lot of people in that situation feel the only viable option, is drunkenly blurting out their burdens to their friendly neighbourhood gay bartender. It breaks my heart every time.

But back to the Kamplebbe. Now I know I have written on the subject of drugs in relation to the Powder Puffs, but I feel that if I do not mention it, it becomes a silent issue much like domestic abuse, the over-sexualization of young guys and the heterophobia that are all thriving in the community, simply because no one will address the issues.

Drug and alcohol abuse is not just common among the Kamplebbe-demographic, it’s the norm. I mostly bust them with coke, MDMA and speed (not counting the copious amount of cannabis I find), but heavy drinking is also a crowd pleaser. Simply put they’ll try anything that will enhance and prolong their nights out. And nights out are not kept strictly to the weekend either, any reason to party, they will use and abuse it.

Being a bartender I’m all for the party-crowd, but after a while you start to see these guys breaking down. The drugs and alcohol take over and they no longer party for fun, but because it’s a necessity. They fall apart and waste away in front of your eyes and there’s really not much you can do about it.

Now someone with a bit of knowledge about the LGBT community might rightfully state, that many of the above statements fit very well with the description of a standard butch. What then makes the Kamplebbe so unique? Well the name sort of explains it; Kamp means fight or battle and that is the final defining feature of the Kamplebbe. She is incredibly short-tempered and will never back down from a fight. Actually she will often be the instigator. She feels the most badass when she gets to intimidate or even hurt someone, both physically and psychologically. She gets off on it. It makes her feel large and in charge.

After reading this description of the fascinating Kamplebbe, you can imagine the trouble a couple of them can cause in a nice little gay bar such as mine. Luckily they mainly frequent the parties and there I have my bouncers to keep an eye on them. Still 90% of the ‘incidents’ we have at the parties involve one or more of them. We catch them with drugs, they start fights or just misbehave in some way and I’ll tell you one can get pretty fucking tired of chucking out the same cunts every month. I ban them for as long as I can, but they sneak in and when I catch them and chuck ’em out again, the trouble starts up anew.

There’s one silver lining though: I’d say you’ve never really lived until you’ve seen three barrel-chested bouncers struggling with a tiny little lesbian. Her face distorted in a scream of expletives that hold no truth or meaning to anyone but herself and her limbs flailing like a shipwrecked sailor’s when vainly attempting to attract the attention of a passing ship. It is indeed a show-stopping routine and even with a replay every month it never ceases to amaze and astound me.

Everything the Kamplebbe is and wants to be, is based on attitude and perceived image. This is my main issue with this sub-group. Why is it so important to look cool, that you would give up any individuality for it? Why act like someone else when you could simply be you? Aren’t the coolest people you know the ones who don’t try to be cool at all?

I guess I’m just not cool enough to understand.

Return of the Neo

Posted: June 1, 2014 in Life-thingies
Tags: , , , ,

I wanted to wait until everything was in order before I posted about this, but it all seems to be falling into place and so I thought what better way to kick off this month long challenge, than to tell you some good news.

I am going back to The Gay Bar!

Not as a manager like I was before, but I will be working a lot on the parties. Seems they managed to fuck everything up since I left so there’s plenty to do and lots’a money to be made. I love it!

I am almost done with my education. Just one final exam to pass and I am graduating. I’m considering working several part-time jobs to get a peek into some different kinds of companies, but for now I have my part-time job and The Gay Bar to deal with.

I gotta say, I thought working at The Gay Bar was my past, but all the new exiting stuff I get to plan and develop sounds very cool and the whoops, hollers and applause I got from my old employees when I announced “Neo’s back y’all” were just the greatest thing I could imagine.

So as John says whenever I show up to fix something: “Have no fear, Neo’s here!”

Some years ago I saw something wonderful happen, possibly the most wonderful thing you can witness; I saw two people fall in love. Two women met at my bar one night, they flirted, bought each other drinks and exchanged phone numbers. During the following months they dated and soon they were in a committed relationship. They would often come to the bar on weekends with friends and they quickly became semi-regulars.(1)

They hung out with a crowd of women, mostly lesbians, but there were a bi or two in the mix as well. We, the bartenders, quickly dubbed the bunch “The Dykers” because a few of them rode motorcycles. They were a nice crowd and always behaved themselves well at the bar. They tipped, didn’t get too rowdy and mostly drank beer so they were well-liked by guests and staff alike.

The couple grew to be a central part of this group of friends and they were to be found at the bar no less than once a week. Aubrey and Katie quickly became AubreyandKatie and no one could imagine them apart. Neither could they and so they decided to use the rights given to us on the 7th of June 2012 and tie the proverbial knot.(2)

The Hen night they naturally spent together and at the Gay Bar. It was a great night and there were so many lesbians we actually managed to run out of beer which has only happened to me once before or since.(3) We quickly remedied the situation with cheap champagne and Jägerbombs (a terrible combination btw(4)) and all was well.

AubreyandKatie were married in the cathedral and went to Greece on their honeymoon. When they returned home they resumed their place among The Dykers. They seemed happy and after a while they started talking about kids. Soon there was a great big belly and talk of sore feet and morning sickness at The Dykers table.

When the baby arrived all the women were so excited, but the novelty quickly passed. AubreyandKatie slowly stopped hanging out with The Dykers and the group dissolved.

From my vantage point behind the bar, watching the gay community pass before me, seeing the trends, relationships, friendships, group-dynamics and rivalries as they repeat themselves ad infinitum, this was nothing new or unexpected.

These things flow naturally like the seasons change and I am sure others see them like I do. I recognize the patterns, always changing, always identical. The loom stuck spinning the same tapestry over and over again.

Poetry aside The Dykers were no more, but AubreyandKatie quickly found new friends. Other lesbian mommies or soon-to-be mommies. They formed a clique and would meet up at the bar frequently. Sometimes they would all go for a night out  together, but mostly they came in the afternoon, kids in tow and sat around gossiping and drinking coffee. The kids would play and the mommies would talk.

All the kids were very well-behaved and I had no issue with them hanging out there, but soon, like the rumble of distant avalanches in the mountains, the murmur of unrest reached my ears. And just like an avalanche it stated slow, but quickly escalated to something much more dangerous.

Aubrey (of AubreyandKatie) had managed to establish herself as the leader of The Mommies and she took me aside one day.(5)

Aubrey: It would be really great if the bar would buy some high-chairs for the toddlers. It’s really inconvenient having them on our laps the whole time.
Neo: Sorry, but it would hardly be financially responsible for me to invest in high-chairs.
Aubrey: But we are loyal customers, we come here with our kids at least once a week!
Neo: Yes, and we are very happy to have you, but I cannot possibly justify buying high-chairs for a bar because you bring your kids here for a few hours every week. Sorry.

And with a “Hrmpf!” she left.(6)

End of story right? Wrong! This was only the first of many a conversation with Aubrey. She would return to the high-chair issue, but she would also make other suggestions like buying some toys for the kids or “touch and feel” books for the toddlers. She also suggested we install a changing station in our miniscule bathrooms. I politely, yet firmly, turned all of these ideas down and she “Hrmpf’ed” her displeasure at me.

I understand where she was coming from. She and her fellow lesbian mommies had only one gay place in town to go, our bar, and they had the urge to make it their own and sculpt it to their needs. The problem was that this was not a kindergarten, this was a bar. Not even a café, but a bar. And a bar has a set of very specific missions and goals.

Missions and goals for a bar:

  1. Get people to buy alcohol.
  2. Be a fun place so people will want go here.
  3. Get people to buy more alcohol.

None of the above are “cater to kids” mainly because kids are not allowed to buy alcohol. So while it was perfectly all right for The Mommies to hang out and bring their kids, I was not prepared to spend money on them because they didn’t bring any profit.

A few weeks went by without any incident or helpful suggestions from The Mommies, and then this beautiful conversation took place:

Aubrey: Do you have any of those colourful plastic cups?
Neo: Sorry, nope. I have regular glasses or the plastic to-go cups for beer.
Aubrey: Hrmpf! I guess some normal drinking glasses will do.
Neo: May I ask what you need them for?
Aubrey: Oh I brought some lemonade for the kids.
Neo: Uhm, you can’t serve them that. This is a bar, if the kids are thirsty we have soda and a variety of juices.
Aubrey: But it’s much too expensive to buy them juice every time we’re here.
Neo: I can get you a pitcher of water for free?
Aubrey: They don’t want water, that’s why I bring the lemonade. I can’t see what the big problem is, I’ve been doing it forever.
Neo: Sorry, but like any other bar we don’t allow you to bring your own beverages. You’ll have to stop making them lemonade.
Aubrey: Hrmpf! This is ridiculous!

And cue the righteous stomp-away and the hushed-yet-aggravated conversation at The Mommies tables.

The following week would mark the last time we saw The Mommies. Some of the women who had been part of the group would resurface, but AubreyandKatie never came back and from what I heard the gang broke apart in quite a nasty way.(7)

Let me set the scene for The Mommies last stand:

A quiet Thursday afternoon. The early spring sun splashed through the windows and revealed the dust playing tag among the liquor bottles. Behind the bar I was lazily flipping through the sticky pages of a  drinks book for inspiration and in the backroom a plumber was sprawled out beneath the kitchen sink. His gentle swearing assured me that he was working hard on replacing the leaking pipe.(8) We had two groups of guests, one was The Mommies, busy drinking their coffee and chatting about the latest development in baby-alarms. The other was four gay guys out to get drunk.(9) They were hammering back shots like there was no tomorrow and their speech was quickly turning racy, seedy even.

Blowjobs and glory holes, anal sex and rimming, butt plugs and orgies are all natural points of conversation in a gay bar, but Aubrey and The Mommies weren’t having it. They had been sending the guys looks, trying to convey that they thought the talk was inappropriate, but the guys just ignored them. So Aubrey approached the bar.

Aubrey: Will you please tell those guys to tone it down? I hardly think it’s appropriate around kids.
Neo: I don…..

I was cut off by one of the guys yelling out “I swear there was just jizz EVERYWHERE! My hair was completely crusted! It was like sperm conditioner!”


The gay guy was completely unaffected “Honey, if you can’t stand the cock, get out of the sauna!”

The Mommies huffed and puffed and rushed their kids out of the door only stopping to send me dirty looks as I, crying from laughter, shouted out “FREE COSMOS BITCHES!”.

I made cosmos till my arms were tired and even convinced the very gruff and super macho plumber to have one after he emerged from under the sink. It was a great afternoon.

This is one of many examples of why being part of the LGBT community is tricky. It seems whatever you do you are bound to exclude and offend someone. The LGBT community is so diverse and fragmented that there is no way to please everyone and when you’re the only gay bar in a 70 km radius (That would be 43.5 miles for Mexico’s noisy upstairs neighbours(10) and 50 sheppeys for the traditional oil-painters of farm-life) you walk a fine line between all these groups and sub-groups.

It is a constant battle to appeal to as much of the community as possible while still remaining interesting and relevant. There is a lot of “But this is the only gay bar nearby so you should be inclusive” going around and we try, we really do, but mostly what people are saying when they state the above is “By being inclusive I mean you should pay special attention to my specific sub-group”.

Navigating these treacherous waters AND making money is like rocking a rhyme that’s right on time; tricky.

1 There is a scale on which a bartender puts his or her guests. Your rating depends on a few things but most important are your behaviour and how often you come to the bar. The higher on the scale you are, the more likely you are to receive free drinks and above-and-beyond service. Semi-regular is in the higher end of the scale and is indicated by the fact that the bartender manages to learn and remember your name and your regular drink. I could elaborate further, but studying history and generally reading a lot has taught me something very important; the longer a footnote drags on, the less interesting it becomes, unless it is written by Terry Pratchett.

2 My internet just kicked it. I was gonna look up where that expression came from, but I guess it’ll have to wait. It’s weird though; tying the knot. Maybe it’s because you’re bound to one another? Also why are you reading my silly ramblings and not the story? Get back up there!

3 See the previous instalment “But I’m the chosen one!”.

4 Even worse: Forgetting all about the Red Bull and dropping the Jäger-shots into champagne instead. Insta-Puke-fest! (This shot was dubbed The Jägerbubble.)

5 Every group has a leader, mostly an unofficial one, but there is always one. If you are in a group and you don’t think there is a leader, that just means it’s not you. Someone else is leading and you have no idea. *Cough*Sheep*Cough*.

6 I don’t know how well this translates. Hrmpf is an onomatopoeic word that basically means “I am dissatisfied” or “I am better than you”. Get familiar with it, you will see it again in this Tale.

7 The Blink 182 song “Stay together for the kids” just popped into my head.

8 I used to always feel uncomfortable when I had men around fixing things. Was I supposed to hang around or leave them alone? But once I figured out that as long as I could hear them swearing they were hard at work, I was much more comfortable going about my business. Oh and I never feel uncomfortable when it’s women. I just swoon, which probably makes them uncomfortable, but damnit there is hardly anything sexier than a woman who knows her tools!

9 In Denmark Thursday is also known as Little-Friday and so getting shit-faced on a Thursday night is pretty common.

10 I couldn’t remember if I had used Mexico before so I just opened all my old Tales, Ctrl+f’ed and typed “mex” on them all just to check. That’s how dedicated I am to this stuff you guys!

Why am I not writing?

Posted: November 16, 2013 in TFTGB
Tags: , , , , , ,

Why am I not writing?

This is why I’m not writing!

As I have mentioned in earlier episodes, along with my position as manager of a gay bar, comes also the management of monthly gay parties that draw quite a decent crowd from around the country. At these events and at the bar we have very strict policies about narcotics and whenever we get the chance we enforce them as publicly as possible. Setting examples is proving very, very effective. So with all these strict rules how did it come to pass that I, last August, was to be found, at one of these parties, on duty and tripping balls? Well if you’ll allow me to tell you, please read on.

It was early August, the weather was about as warm as it gets here; a balmy 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit for the people who still find it relevant to discuss whether abortion should be legal. Yeah I went there, it’s 2013 you guys, come on! And 545,7 degrees Rankine for the engineers) and I was heading out of my front door. It was early afternoon and about that time when I get started on all the party-prep that can only be done on the actual day. I pointed my nose in the direction of the bar and was looking forward to a short walk along the river, where all the beautiful girls would be sunbathing in the grass wearing hardly anything. It was going to be a good day. As I was crossing the wooden bridge near my home my phone rang. It was Ray. He’d had last night’s shift at the bar and had heard some of the lesbians talking about someone bringing some coke to tonight’s party. We agreed we would keep an eye out and see what would happen.

A few hours later and the temperature had dropped a bit, but it was still much too hot for a bunch of Scandinavians. I was hot, sweaty and happy. Warm temperatures meant a rise in beer-sales, not a bad trade-off. It also meant that the smoker’s courtyard would be filled to the brim which makes patrolling for rule-breaking easier. When everyone is in one place and they can’t scamper off, it usually means we catch a lot more people and get to have a little chat about what one does and does not do at our parties.

Around 1 AM my walkie blew up like a 4th of July fireworks display (Bastille Day for the French, National Day of the People’s Republic of China for the Chinese). All I could hear was “Courtyard” so without knowing what was going on I rushed there. There was a struggle, the always calm and gentle Eugene was doing his best to hold on to a young woman I had never seen before. She was kicking and punching him to get loose. Ray appeared a moment after me and used his enormous frame to carve a passage through the mass of bodies. He grabbed the struggling woman by the shoulder and the weight of his hand made her calm down instantly. All Eugene could get out between gasps was “Kitchen…now…bring…her.”

The kitchen serves as a sort of backstage area, this is where we sort bottles and run dirty glasses through the dishwasher, but it’s also where we go to discuss things out of earshot of the guests. Now we marched in there all four and as Eugene slowly recovered he told us what had happened. The woman had apparently been trying to sell drugs in the packed courtyard. As she went around she eventually got to Eugene, she asked him If he would like to buy some coke, he responded by grabbing her and shouting for staff. Someone repeated it over the walkie and that was the story so far. We called the police and had one of our bouncers watch over her so she didn’t make a run for it.

So far so good right? I mean how unlucky have you got to be if you incidentally offer coke to the owner out of 400 guests? She was smart enough to shut up the minute we got her in the kitchen though so all that was left was to wait for the boys in blue. They would search her, book her and charge her if she had anything on her person and we would issue a lifetime ban from the parties and the bar and that would be the end of that. Right? Well…no, not quite.

The police showed up, two nice lads in uniforms and the gays got all excited. We hurried them into the kitchen to spare them from too many cat-calls and “You can cuff me anytime sugah”s. Once in there one of them checked the woman’s pockets while the other asked me some questions. Did we know her? Was she a regular? Had she come with anyone else? Had we checked her pockets before they arrived? Had she said anything? Just like when I ask girls out, the replies were all negative.

The other officer called his partner, he hadn’t been able to find anything in her pockets and they both had to be present for him to legally search her any further (I’m not talking cavity here, just your standard lifting up the shirt to expose your stomach and such). Suddenly the woman decided to speak. Well yell is more accurate. She had been totally cooperative with the officers until that point, but the words “search her further” made her lose her cool faster than a broken freezer in the middle of the desert.

“You ain’t touchin’ me you fuckin’ pigs!” (I didn’t say she was eloquent or even original). The officers tried calming her down, but she would have none of it. “Getcha hands off me you fuckin’ perverts!” The officers were now trying to restrain her; she managed to get an arm free the hand of which she promptly dug down between her boobs. “You wanna get the stuff, have it then!” And she pitched this little baggie right at me.

Now this wasn’t a Ziploc baggie, it wasn’t even one of those that work kinda like a Ziploc, except you have to press the little plastic things together yourself. No it was a very thin, very worn regular bag about the size of a deck of cards. It wasn’t full, but it was full enough that when it hit me square in the face, I got dusted. Now even for me, with all the crazy things that happen to me at work, getting drugs from a cleavage thrown in my face was pretty damn shocking. And what does one do when one is shocked boys and girls? One gasps!

I gasped…

I took a hit like I was a professional athlete! Tony Montana had nothing on me! I could have beat Sheen and Lohan easily! I was on top! I felt good! I felt like nothing or no one could touch me! I felt like shouting! I was the king! I was on top of the fucking WORLD MAN! YEAH!

The cops dragged the woman out in cuffs. They were real nice and told Ray to look after me, but that I would probably be fine. If I started getting dizzy or my mouth went dry I was to say something immediately, other than that there was only the option of riding out the high. Yeah, right on, I was up for that!

Ray wanted me to go to the hospital; I told him “fuck it, I’m good, I’m perfect, never been better!” Then he tried to make go sit down, but I was way too excited for that. He wanted to at least take my walkie and make me go off-duty. But nah man, I was ready to kick some rule-breaking ass! In the end he gave up, he resorted to checking up on me every five minutes and doing his best to keep me out of trouble. He was a pain in the ass. (And an awesome friend!)

In the end it wore off. I got really tired and cranky and mainly just sat in the backroom giving orders over the walkie. When we had finished up Ray insisted on taking me to the ER to have me checked out (suck my free healthcare!). Everything was fine and they said there was nothing to do but sleep the come-down off. When I woke up the next morning I felt like I’d been trampled by a drunkenship of cobblers wearing their own clogs. (Look it up, like a murder of crows it is really called a drunkenship of cobblers. How great is that?) I was completely wasted and just could not drag myself down there for the clean-up. Luckily I didn’t have to, Ray had called in some favors and told me to “stay the fuck away and have Neil (my roommate) make you some eggs and bacon or something”.

After that experience all I can say is hugs not drugs you guys. Drugs’re bad m’kay!

Me, I am a planner. I plan things. Preferably as early and with as much detail as possible. I don’t freak out when things don’t go as planned. I adjust. This is partly why I plan. So that when something goes wrong I don’t have to make things up at a moment’s notice. Instead I have an idea of what is possible and what might work.

Now some people say I plan too much and being prepared for any thinkable (and some unthinkable) scenarios is complete overkill. I say there is no such thing as too much when it comes to planning and all the prep work has paid of more than once. These past two weeks, I find I have, once again, been proven right.

A week before I left to go on holiday, John, who was supposed to manage the bar while I was away, called me. His mum had gotten very ill and he would need to take a leave of absence to be with her. I had to find someone else.

In my mind I was already on the flight, flirting with scantily clad women, drinking mojitos by the pool, buying groceries from withered old women with missing teeth in crowded markets, that had that very specific sweet smell that always seems to frequent picturesque towns in southern Europe on market days, but I had to snap out of it. My options for a sub were limited. Severely limited. Out of five shift managers, three were away (one of them was John, keep up you guys). The two I had left were Laura and Harry.

Laura is sweet and kind and new. She’s quiet and I promoted her to shift manager to build her confidence because, someday, when I find her inner bad-ass, she is going to make an amazing shift manager and I might even consider having her as an area manager at the parties. For now though, she remains quiet and lacking in the bad-assery department. Thus, not the optimal choice to lead the troops for three weeks while the wicked witch of the gay bar was away.

Harry bears a striking resemblance to his namesake from the British royal house. He is tall, ginger, and always seems to stir up trouble. He is also, unlike his namesake, not a big fan of mine. (Prince Harry and I go waaaay back).

Harry (the one from my bar) was a shift manager when I was hired back in 2008. He was actually the very shift manager I wrote about in the Tale of Christina and The Steak. He was very opposed to me being promoted, every time I was promoted. And he was very verbal about my shortcomings (in his opinion there were many). Not really my first pick to sub for me either.

Given the choices it unfortunately had to be Harry.

I informed him of the situation and already I could see the power getting to his head. He wasn’t paying attention at all. He was busying his mind with visions of my speedy demise and his subsequent rise to manager. I’m pretty sure he pictured himself in a toga, wearing a laurel wreath and raising his arm in a salute to his adoring subjects. Ave Harry.

While this pleasant scenario played in his mind I was desperately trying to point his attention in the direction of the very detailed list I had made. This list contained emergency phone numbers, “what do dos” in different situations and also general “what must be done on which days” schedules. Things such as “roll out the bins on Tuesday because Wednesday is trash day” or “on Sunday make sure to check there is enough beer for the following week, if not Monday is the last day to order to have it before the weekend” or “On Thursdays make sure the timer is changed on the ice machine because of earlier opening hours on the weekend”.

Simple things he ought to know after 7 years at the bar, but I made the list anyway to make sure I would not return from my holiday, to a disaster area in dire need of 50 Red Cross volunteers to sort through the rubble.

I was supposed to return to work the 29th of July 2013 (07/29/2013 for the descendants of the pilgrims or 21 Ramadan 1434 for the Muslims). Three days earlier, on Friday, my phone rang.

(Ominous music).

It was Laura, she sounded like she was about a nasty comment away from crying. “I’m so sorry to call you on your holiday, but everything here is a mess! We have no more cokes, we’ve sold completely out of our normal beer and a couple others are running low. The timer on the ice machine wasn’t changed so I have no ice, the refrigerators were turned off when I got here and I open in an hour.”

I managed to calm her down a little. I got her to call Ray and have him empty a supermarket for what stock was missing. I told her I would be there as fast as I could and to keep me posted. I had been house-sitting for my parents after I had returned from my trip so at least I wasn’t in another country. Still it did take me some hours to pack up and get back home.

Lucky for me during these hours both Ray and Laura stepped up way higher than would seem possible. We’re talking light-years! Not only had they remedied the stock situation and gotten everything up and running so the bar could run as usual, they had also found the time to keep me updated on everything they found that was out of sorts.

The messages I got resulted in me calling the brewery at 5 till closing, calling the renovation company and begging for an emergency trash pickup (only managing to get them to come because one of the guys there is a regular of ours and he did it off the books if I promised to put a couple of beers next to the trash) and calling in a favor with an old friend who is an electrician who also happened to know a good plumber. All this while receiving, at first passive aggressive, then just straight up aggressive, messages from my mum (My parents were coming home that day and had a big family dinner planned).

I didn’t go home to drop off my bags. Instead I went straight to the bar to assess the situation. It was a mess. The backroom and the office were both overrun with piles of stuff. The stockroom was completely trashed; with empty bottles overflowing their bins, and liquor bottles just left in random spots like dolls forgotten on the bus.

I was upset to say the least.

My bar. My perfectly organized little corner of the world. My oasis. Lay in ruins.

It was Sodom and Gomorrah and I was forced to turn around and look back at it. As I’m standing in the rubble formerly known as my stockroom, slowly turning to stone, Ray calls me from the office. See it turns out that the fire and brimstone of biblical proportions, that had hit and left only debris in their wake, was not enough.

As I entered the office, Ray was starring at the computer screen with a very distinct expression. An expression I have seen a few times. An expression that says two things: 1. We’re fucked. And 2. Neo’s about to have a meltdown.

No, Sodom and Gomorrah wasn’t enough. For in this expression I now heard the sirens of the London blitz wailing all around me.

Ray had discovered that Harry had not been at the bar since the day after I left (not surprising given the conditions it was in), but worse even; he had not scheduled ANYONE for the next two weeks.

Bombs were falling; Ray was running for the bomb shelter, I repeatedly stubbed my toe against the wall while screaming bloody murder. Luckily the sirens were still wailing so no one could hear the choice words that came out of my mouth, but let’s just say my mum would have been horrified.

Once I had calmed down and they had sounded the all-clear, I picked up my phone. I called that sorry excuse for a shift manager and I proceeded to tear him a new one. The moment he got a word in he didn’t even use the opportunity to come up with a terrible excuse. No, instead he called me a bitch who had no idea how to run a bar.

I was done.

I fired him on the spot. Goodbye Harry, you will not be missed!