Tag Archives: bartender tips

Tip #16 on Being a Good Bar Customer

2 Mar

Alright, kids, I’m back with the tips. And I think this one might be exceptionally snarky although honestly, at this point, my snark gage is all off and I can’t even tell anymore. After doing some (admittedly non-exhaustive) research on the topic, I am not going to link to my other tips here because pretty much no one ever clicks on those links. If you want to read more tips, I think there is a search tool somewhere around here. Or you could look at the “A Bartending Life” archives for all your bartending related content. If you disagree with the outcome of my study, feel free to comment below. Or don’t. Either way. So without further ado, your next tip.

If any of you have read one of the multitude of stupid Buzzfeed articles entitled “Ways to Get Your Bartender to Hate you” or “Ways to Behave in a Bar” or “This Man Orders a Drink. You Won’t Believe What Happens Next!”* which are basically always written by people who (a) seemingly have never bartended before and (b) cannot really write, this next tip will not come as a surprise to you. For those of you who have somehow managed to avoid all that clickbait: well done, you are my idol.

So last night some dude came in on the earlier side of my shift, sat down at the bar and looked confusedly around the room. His eyes, eventually, landed on the whisky selection. I would classify our whisky selection as pretty standard New York. We have a fair bit, but it’s all the usual suspects. Basil Hayden, Bulleit, Buffalo Trace.** You get it. If I had made a bet right then and there, I would have put money on him ordering a Bulleit Bourbon on the rocks. I was wrong. Not so wrong, as you will come to see, but wrong enough. I feel like betting is sort of an all-or-nothing proposition which is why I don’t like to do it. Shades of grey are totally my sweet spot. Anywho, instead of going the predictable route, he looked at me and said,

“Do you know how to make a Clint Eastwood?”


I replied that no, I did not, in such a way as to try to dissuade him from digging out his phone, Googling a ‘Clint Eastwood’ and then handing the phone over to me. I failed. He immediately reached into his pocket and started tap, tap, tapping away at the screen. Moments later he handed the phone to me with a meaningful look.

Why do people do this? First of all, the drinks that people want either contain something that most bars don’t have like velvet falernum or a raw egg or they are something made up by a bartender at some place like Little Branch as a result of some dude walking up to the bar and saying “I want something with gin that tastes like cloudberries and cotton candy but comes in a manly glass.” Second of all, whenever this scenario happens (not the cloudberries but the recipe googling) and I ask people what is in the drink, generally so that when they say Batavia-Arrack I can tell them I don’t have that and we can move on, they have absolutely no idea. And not just no idea like,

“well, it has gin, lime and the tears of a baby narwhal, I’m just not sure the proportions.”

No. They have no idea like,

“Oh, I have no idea.”

I begrudgingly took the phone while he looked at me, waiting for the moment when I would excitedly take out my shakers and my jiggers (kindly remove mind from gutter) and maybe bust out the suspenders that I have left hanging from my pants, eagerly awaiting the opportunity to suit up and get down to business. (He totally wasn’t expecting any of those things. I am just being a dick because the image I conjured made me giggle.) I looked at the screen and here is what I saw:

1½ oz. Bulleit bourbon
¾ oz. Vya sweet vermouth
2 dashes Regan’s orange bitters
1 Amarena cherry, for garnish

Combine bourbon, vermouth, and bitters in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass; garnish with cherry.

I want us all to just take a moment and look at this recipe. Really just take it all in. Think about what it might be similar to. Something that maybe you have had before? Because I don’t know but this looks to me like a variation on a Manhattan. Granted this one calls for different bitters – Ragan’s orange as opposed to the more common Angostura -and there is of course call liquor here and different proportions but that’s what makes it a variation. Also you’re supposed to shake this? Who shakes a Manhattan? It comes out all cloudy and weird when you shake it. (And this is where my inner snob comes out. I firmly believe, and this is my own personal thing so whatever I won’t impose it on those around me, that Manhattans and Martinis should be stirred. Always all the time. And that James Bond was an asshole. Although now I have done a little bit of research and apparently in Ian Fleming’s books Bond actually ordered his Martini “stirred not shaken.” Can anyone verify that for me? And can we count this as another example of a film adaptation being a lesser version of the book it is based on?)

Anyway, while in my head I was hearing Sean Connery say “shaken not stirred” on constant repeat, I broke the news to my customer that I didn’t have Ragan’s bitters or vya sweet vermouth but I could do the next best thing: seeing as how the “Clint Eastwood” was surprisingly similar to a Manhattan, and it just so happens that I make a pretty mean Manhattan, I offered to make him one of those instead. He seemed dejected and asked if he could see my selection of bitters. I placed the bottle of Angostura directly in front of him. And then it all seemed to click. He looked around the room and noticed the television, the lack of cocktail paraphernalia, the weird photo collages on the wall, the Christmas lights that are, for no real reason, still attached to the mirror, a mirror that is not intentionally aged to make it look all vintage. He was not in a cocktail bar. He begrudgingly agreed to have a Bulleit Manhattan but requested it be on the rocks.

*By and large these are my least favorite articles. The second I see something titled “Man tries to hug a wild lion, you won’t believe what happens next!” I become angry and storm away from the computer. Chances are I will believe what happens. And, as a direct result of that stupid title, I will not care.

**Unintentional alliteration!

Tip #13 on Being a Good Bar Customer

31 Jan

The hits just keep on coming, folks.  If you want to catch up on the earlier tips, you can go to them here: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, and XII.  Did I get those right?  I haven’t done roman numerals in a long time.  But the Super Bowl is coming up and that’s basically the only time you ever see roman numerals so I figured I would get in the spirit.  Go sports.

So you guys.  We have made it all the way to 13 tips.  When I first started doing these lo these many years ago, I figured I would have five, maybe six, tips.  But no.  People just keep upping their game.  They keep fucking up, and I keep writing about it.  This might turn out to have as many tips as Sue Grafton has mystery novels.  Only time will tell.

So over the past number of years that I have worked behind the same bar, I have had this reoccurring nightmare of people walking behind the bar. It’s like, I’m there, working, and I can’t seem to get to people fast enough.  There are barely any people there and they order relatively simple things, but I just can’t seem to put them across the bar in any reasonable amount of time.  I just sort of wander around, looking for things, spilling, forgetting.  And then, they come.  One after another after another people just start filing behind the bar so I am left trying to make drinks while shooing people away.  It’s awful.  Thankfully, that has never happened in real life. Well, until a few weeks ago.

It was a normal Sunday.  I had sports on.  So, this trio came in, one girl and two guys.  The guy must have been married to the girl because he had a picture of her as the background of his debit card.  I thought that was weird and decided that if I ever get to a point in my life where I think that is a reasonable thing to do I will pack up some belongings and move into a cave for however long it takes for me to figure out exactly where everything went so horribly wrong.  The guy ordered three “beers.”

Eye roll.

I told him I wasn’t really sure what he meant by that and asked what kind of beer he generally likes.  In a surprising turn of events he decided upon the hoppiest thing we had on tap. Those beers went unfinished.  Oh well.  The reason that I give you all these seemingly inane details is that I had already kind of pegged this group as a little off.  Not that they did anything wrong, but just that I had to be prepared for the potentiality of weirdness.  I actually kind of like that.  I mean, normal, more or less predictable people are great but every once in a while it is nice to throw some weird in there.  Keep things interesting.  Anyway, it was one of those days where I had a pretty full bar but all the drinkers were really pacing themselves.  So even though I had lots of people in there, I had very little to do.  I paced.  I made awkward comments to no one in particular.  I washed a few glasses.  I received a text message!  Before responding I did a quick walk around the bar, checking to make sure everyone was sufficiently drinked (they were) and I settled down to respond to the text which was, as it turns out, hilarious.  I have a lot of funny friends.  For those who don’t know, I work in a long bar.  I think we probably have something like 24 seats at the bar?  Maybe more?  Anyway, I was standing in the middle of the bar with my back to the backdoor when all of a sudden I hear a small little “excuse me…?” and a tap, tap, tap on my shoulder.

Oh. My. God.  I froze.  I whipped around and made a face that looked like this squirrel which I know I have used before but whatever I don’t care.  I am this squirrel and no, Aaron, 2008 cannot have its meme back, it is mine.  So this woman, obviously a member of the weird crew, had walked like 10-12 feet behind the bar and what did she want?  What in the world could have been so pressing at that very moment that she couldn’t have (a) asked me for it like 30 seconds earlier when I had checked on her group, (b) waited another 30 seconds for me to walk back to where she was standing, or (c) walk on the other side of the bar, where she belonged, and say “excuse me” over the piece of wood separating us that isn’t, I have learned, a force field that disallows me from hearing what happens on the other side.  In fact, I would say that that piece of wood actually intensifies sound, making me able to hear orders from a ways away while my back is turned and I am having a conversation with someone else over my right shoulder.  What she wanted was a piece of chalk to mark down her score from darts.


There she was, behind the bar waving a piece of chalk in my face and repeating the word “chalk” while she pointed at it because clearly I have no idea what chalk is.  So obviously I got mad.

Lady, waving the chalk.
Me: Get out from behind my bar.
Lady, still waving the chalk.
Me: Seriously, get the fuck out from behind my bar.
Lady, now seriously confused but still doggedly waving the chalk.
Me: This is unreal.  Under no circumstance do you ever walk behind someone’s bar.  Ever.  Get out from behind the bar.  Now.  And no, you cannot have any goddamn chalk!

I was really mad.  I felt like I was dealing with a toddler only this toddler was a little bit taller than me, really stupid, and badly in need of a writing implement.  Oh, and she was hurling pointy things through the air which, I have to tell you, did not make me feel confident in my safety.  The woman-child who, for those who have forgotten, is featured as the background of her husband’s debit card, spent the next 10 minutes trying to figure out why I was so mad and why she couldn’t have any chalk.  She then went back to happily hurling things.

Oh and, by the way, she barely even touched her half pint of whatever the hell it was.  It is possible that she was on drugs or had been drinking somewhere else but I don’t know.  I have served a lot of drunk and drugged out people and they have never walked behind the bar.  I guess she could have just been stupid but I have also served a lot of stupid people and they also haven’t ever walked behind the bar.  So I don’t know.  This one is a mystery to me.  But I am happy to know that, thanks to all those nightmares over the years, I was more than prepared to handle this particular interloper.  Oh psyche, you have outdone yourself yet again.

Tip # 9 on Being a Good Bar Customer

8 Aug

And we’re back with more tips, folks!  If you missed the earlier tips and wish to catch up, look no further than the following links.  Tip #1, Tip #2, Tip #3, Tip #4, Tip #5, Tip #6, Tip #7, and Tip #8.  If you wish to share the tips with your bad bar customer friends in a not-so-subtle way, please do!  Let the missteps of others inform our future booze establishment behavior. And now, without further ado, how not to behave if you get 86ed from a bar.

If you end up getting 86ed from a bar, AKA you are never ever allowed to set foot in there ever again, probably you should just never ever set foot in there again.  Obviously, I would advise you all to never behave in such a way as to get yourself 86ed, but if you do, have some pride.  I don’t know much about other cities in the world, but New York City has a lot of bars.  A lot.  There are bars everywhere.  It is easier to get a drink in this city than it is to do a lot of other things that normal people do in their day.  Here are some examples: it is easier to get a drink than mail a letter because there are basically no mailboxes; it is easier to get a drink than to find a public restroom because there are basically no public restrooms; it is easier to get a drink than go to the grocery store, the pharmacy, or the hardware store because, at least in my neighborhood, you pass at least 8 bars en route to almost any of these other destinations.  The point of this is that if you get 86ed from one bar, there are plenty of other bars you can go to unless, of course, you have gotten 86ed from all of them which is a problem I am not prepared to deal with at this time.  If you have been 86ed from All Of The Bars Ever you should probably talk to someone.

Some people who have been 86ed from my bar get it.  This doesn’t mean that they like it, but they understand that once they are refused service for acting like an asshole, they probably should not show their faces there again.  The thing about the people that get it is that generally, in their case, acting up to such a degree as to get kicked out was such an aberration for them that they are ashamed and take a pretty severe detour around the bar whenever they are in the vicinity so as not to have to relive their embarrassment.  Then there are the people who misbehave, get 86ed, and insist on walking by the bar on the regular, peering in the window and mean-mugging.  No joke.  I can think of two solid examples of this type of person: this one guy who online stalked one of my coworkers and the woman who tried to beat me up over the bar.  It’s as if they think that if they stare at the bar often enough, they will put some sort of hex on the bar and either we will go out of business or we all will suddenly be struck by strange cases of amnesia and will forget ever having 86ed them in the first place and they can happily go back to online stalking and bartender threatening.  Finally, there are the people who have been definitively 86ed from the bar and yet continuously try to come back in.  Today I am going to talk about a few of these people but not all of them because, sadly, there are just too damn many of them for one post.

Sometimes you have a really annoying customer who you hate and you really wish that he (I am just going to go with ‘he’ here because statistics!) would do something that would allow you to kick him out for good.  But no.  He walks ever so close to the line without ever crossing it.  He comes in on drugs.  He does not understand the volume of his own voice or that he is incredibly annoying.  He seems to think that “paying for drinks” is a new phenomenon that simply does not apply to him.  He spills his drinks so much that I am forced to erect safety barriers out of coasters.  Sometimes (okay, one time but I like to think it happened over and over again because it is just so damn funny) he tries to sit on a garbage can and the lid breaks and he falls into the garbage can with his legs and arms sticking out of the top of it and everyone leaves him in there for a little while because they are laughing too hard to pull him out.  Anyway, this guy gave me such a headache but there was nothing I could do about it.  I had to serve him.  But then, one day, he got super wasted, somehow got himself buzzed into my coworker’s apartment building, and proceeded to walk up and down the stairs yelling and knocking on every available door in hopes that she would open hers up.  She didn’t.  This went on for over and hour.  He started at 4:15am.  He subsequently got 86ed from the bar.  That was at least 6 months ago.  And still, all these months later, he regularly tries to get back into the bar.  His most recent attempt came at 3pm on a Sunday afternoon.  I was behind the bar, as I generally am at that time, when he walked in.  The second I saw him I started shaking my head no.  He looked back at me with an expression of complete bewilderment. Then he said, “is she here?” referring to the victim of his late night stair climbing rampage. She was, in fact, there.  Before I got a chance to say “it doesn’t really matter if she is here or not, you are not welcome to drink here” my coworker came flying down the bar, finger wagging, sternly repeating “no!” He began to argue, realized there was no point, tried to look defiant and walked out the door.  I doubt this is the last we will see of him.  But here’s the thing.  He isn’t like, an awful guy.  He just can’t drink. He crossed the line.  He followed someone to her home.  It could just be over but no.  He has to continually make our jobs harder and also make himself look like a complete asshole by repeatedly trying to sneak one by us.  Guess what?  We are not stupid.  Also, if you really need your fix of Raspberry Stoli, I am pretty sure I can point you in the direction of a bar that has some.  Basically, in any direction because there are so many bars.

A few days later on a really weird Thursday night (I think there was probably a full moon…there had to have been a full moon) this other annoying guy walked in.  He is another one of those guys that I am just itching to get rid of but he hasn’t done anything bad enough.  Yet.  He always walks in with the worst people because shitty people, I have found, tend to either be complete loners or travel in packs.  They don’t tend to go around with people who are cool.  Anyway, one of the women he walked in with was too drunk for me to serve.  She couldn’t put her elbow on the bar without it sliding off, causing her to almost fall forward off her chair.  She also would not speak to me without having her hand over her mouth, thereby making her thickly slurred speech that much more difficult to understand.  I was so busy arguing with her about how I would not serve her another drink (why does this happen?) that I didn’t even notice that the guy next to her was someone who we kicked out about a year earlier for screaming at one of the owners when she refused to give him another drink because he had already had something like 12 Bud Lights in an hour and could not hold his head up.  And yet he could scream.  Go figure.  Anyway, in the midst of explaining to elbow lady, for the 5th time, that no, she could not have a beer, I noticed that the guy sitting next to her was Angry Bud Lite Guy.  I told him that not only could he also not have a drink, but he was actually not allowed in the bar.  He then started yelling about how he didn’t want a drink and how he hated the bar anyway and would never actually go there.  I pointed out the flaw which was that he was, at that very moment, in the bar.  This did not go over well.  Anyway, yadda, yadda, yadda, he yelled, I stared at him, he yelled, I threatened to call the police, he yelled some more, then one of our other customers who is SO BIG walked over and sat next to do the dude, causing him to immediately flee the scene. (Sometimes bigger is better, it turns out.) But that’s not all!  Angry Bud Lite Guy then pulled his favorite party trick:  call the bar over and over and over again for the rest of the night, asking for the manager every time he calls even though he is already talking to her and complain about how he never misbehaved in the bar, how he never yells (while yelling) and that we are all stupid.  Again, if you want a Bud Lite, go somewhere else.  Seriously.  Keep your drama to yourself and let me do my damn job.  Staying up until 5am sucks enough without your spit landing all over my face while you yell at me about how you never yell.

So, yea, probably don’t get 86ed but if you happen to, just stay away.  We don’t forget.  Also, as I said before, have some damn pride.

Tip #8 on Being a Good Bar Customer

17 Jul

And the customer education mission continues!  Be sure to check out my other tips if you haven’t already.  Mostly they’re funny.  Tip#1, Tip #2, Tip #3, Tip #4, Tip #5, Tip #6 and Tip #7.  Enjoy.  Share.

So I work in a bar that has 15 taps, which these days isn’t really anything to write home about, and a lot of brown liquor.  A lot.  There are so many choices. So many fun and interesting things to try.  So many possibilities.  So I get it, it can be sort of hard to figure out what you might want to drink.  So please, take your time and consider your options but keep this in mind:  choosing what drink to purchase is not like buying a car, it is not like picking a college, it is not like deciding on a career.  Those things will impact your life well beyond the making of the decision whereas choosing a drink really only makes a difference during the drinking of the drink itself.  It might be unpleasant to drink a beer you don’t like but you know what?  I get it.  Sometimes things are yucky.  Be cool.  I will hear your complaint, pour the offending drink out, serve you a new one and you know what?  If you’re nice during the whole interaction and don’t act as if I purposely mixed some foul tasting substance in with your beer specifically to fuck with you I won’t even charge you for it.  Isn’t that great? You know what will not get you a new drink?  Acting like an asshole like this girl did this past Saturday.  Let me explain.

So this past Saturday around 4:30 PM, give or take, a couple walked in and sat at a hightop.  They made no move towards the bar so after a few minutes I politely informed them that there was no table service and that they would have to come place their order at the bar.  Upon hearing this they did what people often do when I give them this information: they gave me nasty looks and acted as if they already knew there was no table service which I knew to be a complete lie because from the second they walked in the door and took their seats they were looking at me expectantly.  Whatever.  Some people just can’t be wrong.  No matter.  About a minute later the female half of the couple came up to the bar and ordered the champagne cocktail I had specialed for the day (I’ve been trying to use up that damn cassis for like, 4 years) and a rum and coke.  I made the drinks, she paid me and took them back to their table and we all carried on happily with our day.  Or so I thought.

About 1/2 hour later the girl comes back up to the bar with a completely untouched rum and coke and says to me, in one of the snottier tones I remember hearing recently (and this after I complimented her on her sandals!),

“Um…what did you make this with?”
Me: “The rum and coke?  Well…with rum? And coke?”
Snotface: “No, what kind of rum?  He says he can’t drink it.”
Me, upon lifting up the bottle of Rico Bay rum: “The well rum.  In any bar you go to if you order a ‘rum and coke’ that is what you will get.”
Snotface, in her best ever imitation of a small, bratty child: “Not any bar.”

I took a moment to calm myself and think about what bars she might frequent that don’t use well rums in their rum and coke. I thought maybe he had a very discerning palate and perhaps he just didn’t like our delicious Rico Bay.  Then I thought that was unlikely because he ordered a rum and coke.  Then I thought maybe they usually go to fancy bars that use call liquor like Bacardi for their well. I mean, her sandals were really nice so it was possible.  I decided it didn’t matter.  So I asked her, trying to do my best imitation of someone who thinks the person she is talking to is a complete bitch,

“Well, what kind of rum would you like, then?”

She turns to her companion to see what he would like and you know what he said? Cuervo.  I looked around the bar to see if anyone else was hearing this because it was hilarious.  She then turned back to me and, in a completely serious tone, repeated,

“He wants Cuervo.”
Me: “Um…tequila?  He wants tequila and coke?”
Snotface: “No, he wants rum and coke.”
Me: “That’s great except that Jose Cuervo is a tequila so I don’t really know what you want me to do here.”

Her companion then started hysterically laughing.  I guess he wasn’t such a bad guy.  Wish he would have ordered the drinks in the first place.  She looked terribly upset that she was not in on the joke.  He then, through fits of giggles, said to me,

“I want Captain Morgan!”

So you guys.  Spiced rum and regular rum taste really different.  This is mostly because spiced rum has spices in it.  Spices like vanilla maybe and some cinnamon.  A spiced rum and coke probably is going to taste different than a rum and coke.  Also, I don’t know of a bar worth its weight in salt that uses spiced rum as their well because you know what would happen? Someone would order a rum and coke and end up with a spiced rum and coke and it would taste weird and they would send it back because that is not, in fact, what they ordered.  Anyway, since she was such a fucking snot I made her pay for her new drink.  So anyway, the moral is if you screw up your order, don’t blame it on the person who made it for you.  Blame it on yourself.  Because it was, in fact, your fault.

Oh and then sort of on the same topic.  Here are three other drink ordering related things that drive most bartenders up the wall. You know, jut for your own edification.

(1) The people who come in when the bar is packed, wave you down (HUGE no-no), and then when you arrive to take their order they turn around to ask their friends what they want.  If you are going to commit the faux pa of waving, snapping, or hollering at your bartender then at least have your order down.  Otherwise you will drop down to the end of the drink line.

(2)  The people who walk in and then stare at the beer board, or taps, or drink menu for fucking ever and when you walk over to see if they are ready they’re all, “um? I need a minute?” as if part of your job is reading minds.  So you make an effort to pass them by every minute or so, looking at them as you slow down to see if they are ready and they either ignore you while staring blankly at the beer boards, taps or drink menu or they give you nasty looks.  Then, all of a sudden, they are ready!  They know what they want!  And they are incredibly agitated if you are not standing right in front of them at that very second for their order.  They act as though the amount of time it took them to get a beer is your fault as opposed to the absolute inability they have in figuring out what they want to drink as if it is the hardest and most important decision they have made ever in their entire lives.

(3)  The people who walk into a non-cocktail bar and when you ask them what they want they say “you tell me.”*  No, I’m sorry, that is not how it works.  You actually tell me. I do not want a description that’s like “I want something pink with some berry notes and a finish of bandaid.”  I want you to tell me the beer you want or the vodka you want or ask me my advice on what sort of whiskey or bourbon might be fun to try.  I will then pour that into the appropriate glass and give it to you.  And then you will like it and give me money.  And then maybe we’ll make some jokes and I’ll listen to you talk about your job and everything will be right with the world.

So yea, ordering.  It is one of the easiest things to do and yet people, regularly, get it oh so wrong.

*And, actually, in my experience cocktail bartenders don’t really like this either.  Generally they like you to at least give them a liquor and a general idea of sweet or savoryness.

Tip #6 on Being a Good Bar Customer

15 May

This is a series!  You can read all the other tips here: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5. Or you can read about this incredibly awkward sort of love triangle-esque (only so much worse!) situation that happened this one night.  Or you can read none of those and just read this one.  Here at FranklyRebekah we like to give you all the choice.

Don’t be a dick about sports.  I don’t mean like, voicing your opinion about your favorite team, although really I could give a shit.  I mean don’t be a dick about getting your specific game on the TV, especially when the bar you are walking into is a bar that sometimes plays sports and not a sports bar.  I have examples!

About 3 weeks ago I was at work, having a relatively run-of-the-mill day when in walks this dude.  He marches into the bar, looks around at the 4 televisions and exclaims, loudly and rudely,

“What? No Nets?!  We are in Brooklyn, right?”

People do this literally all the time.  “What? No Yankees?!”  “What? No Giants?!” “What? No Rangers?!” What if I walked into a bar and was all, “What?! No women’s gymnastics championships?!”*

Anyway, all the time.  All the fucking time.  It’s like, do you see a Nets game?  No?  Well, then, clearly the Nets are not currently being played in this bar.  I didn’t say that, though. Nope, I was nice.  But see, here’s the thing about being nice to people who ask to see games in that manner: they are almost always assholes of the “give them an inch they’ll take a mile” variety.  Whatever.  I walked over to him and this happened:

Me: “Can I help you?”

Dude: “Yea, you don’t have the Nets on.”

Me: “That’s true. Is that you telling me that you would like to watch the Nets?”

Dude: “Yes. I mean, we are in Brooklyn.  I mean, how could you not have the Nets on?”

Me: “Well, I mean, the Nets were a New Jersey team that everyone ignored until Jay-Z got on board but whatever.  What channel?”

Dude: “I don’t know.”

HUGE Nets fan right there.  Really needed to watch the Nets game and had absolutely zero idea as to what channel they were playing on.  In my experience people who are adamant about specific games have at least some semblance of an idea as to the channel.  But not this guy.  He starts throwing out random channels.  And there I am, like an idiot, pointing the stupid remote control at the cable box, scrolling up and down as this dude is like


Up and down and up and down and up and down.  In the midst of the scrolling, as I am getting extremely irritated, I scrolled over a hockey game to which another customer, sitting right next to the first customer, exclaims,

“The Rangers! I want to watch that!”

At which point I got extremely frustrated, slammed the remote control down on the bar and said,

“You know what? Why don’t you guys figure it out yourselves. I want nothing to do with this television.”

And then do you know what happened?  The HUUUUUUGE Nets fan could not figure out how to work the remote control.  He was standing there, staring at it, pointing it up at the television, staring at it again.  It was almost as if he thought by the pure power of his mind he would be able to make the channel change.  He then got frustrated and said, exasperatedly,

“How do you work this damn thing?”

To which I replied,

“You have to actually press a button.  Just point it at the television and hit ‘guide.'”

The hockey fan then took the remote control out of the Nets “fan’s” hands and, quickly, got the game on.  The Nets fan then ordered a drink.  He then sat there, staring blankly at the television as if he had never actually watched a basketball game ever in his entire annoying life, and then he took out a book.  He started reading a book.  And then he left.  Before the game was over.  I bet he just moved to Brooklyn like, yesterday.  Asshole.

So just as an FYI, my bar has exactly 4 flat screen televisions.  One of those televisions is like 10 years old and is hued kind of greenish.  I have to climb up on the back bar to turn it on because the remote is so old that it no longer works.  For those 4 televisions, we have 2 cable boxes.  That means we can have a total of 2 channels on 4 televisions.   I tell people this all the time and they don’t seem to compute (again, a bar that sometimes plays sports, not actually a sports bar).

Like the other day when this guy really wanted to watch the incredibly important Rangers game which was so important that he was the only person at the bar who wanted to watch it but all the TVs had the Knicks game on which didn’t matter at all because he doesn’t care about basketball.  I wanted to be like, dude, move to Canada.**  Anyway, he got all irate that we didn’t have the Rangers game on.  My boss even went so far as to take a poll down the bar to see if there was another soul in the bar who was interested in watching hockey, there wasn’t.***  So I, again, stupidly, trying to be nice, told him we only had two boxes so we could only have two channels on.  He responded by telling me to put it on one television.  I’m like, dude! What part of I cannot put it on one television do you not understand?  You have been hit by one too many hockey pucks.  I tried to send him to a nearby bar with all the TVs in the world (some call them sports bars), but he wouldn’t have any of it.  So I ignored him.  And he left.

Anyway, if you want to watch something, all you have to do is say “Excuse me? Would you mind putting on the Strong Man contest? I like to watch dudes lift things that are so heavy that their noses bleed.” And I would say, okay, but I would be sure to put it one of the TVs that I can’t see because Strong Man contests make me want to vomit.

*I would never do this for three reasons. One, people would probably laugh me out of the place. Two, I doubt the sound would be turned on and you simply cannot watch floor without the music. And three, I think there are some pervy dudes who like to watch 14-year-old girls tumble around in leotards and that makes me feel icky.

**Actually, don’t.  I have some friends from Canada and I really like them and I think probably I would like lots of other people from there too and I would not like to punish them with your presence.  I will research islands with no inhabitants.  You can move to one of those. With a TV. To watch hockey. There are flaws here…

***I told my boss my theory about the “give an inch take a mile” variety of assholes, of which this dude definitely was an example, so he left well enough alone.