Sunday, June 10, 2007

From the Sober, To the Drunk

Working at the family bar on Saturdays have taught me so much about the process of getting drunk. There is nowhere so perfect to study the effects of alcohol and how each person uniquely changes with every passing drinking hour. I watch with amazement how predictably each person's behavior unfolds.

They shall remain nameless, of course, but we have the a women that starts friendly, gets friendlier, starts hugging people...I mean, real heartfelt, long, lingering hugs...then starts hanging on guys. She starts with average guys and then, as the clock is approaching 2a.m., her beer goggles tightly in place, she has been known to move on to the scary guy. She is often seen crying and holding herself up on someone and sometimes she starts making out with a scary guy.

We have drunken tourettes guy. With each passing substance, he gets louder and starts making less and less sense. He shouts things out randomly and, to those not used to his drunk/high state, he seems unstable and frightening. I know he is harmless and I enjoy watching others watch him, mostly in terror.

We have a jolly drunk. He says little, but smiles more and more as the night goes on. He is just happy to be there and is very low maintenance. He just wants a steady flow of buds coming his way, will chat when spoken to very cheerfully and then go back to just being happy to be there again. Bothers no one, a bartender's dream.

We have a young guy that everyone seems to dislike, but at the same time, everyone seems to have an urge to take care of when he stammers about. He becomes like an ornery child of three. He grabs people's money, he will take a fry off your plate, he walks into the restroom and as the door opens with other pee'ers entering, he is still in there, looking confused. Someone usually has to fetch him or he would stay there for hours, uncertain of where he is and why.

We have the loners. People that show up, don't seem to know anyone, have a beer or two, laugh at the crowd as though they wish to be a part of it, lack the guts to really do anything about it and then move on.

We have the dancing drunks. The ones that come in determined to relive some moment of their past with songs from their day, dancing and shouting out to others as they sing loud and try to get everyone else involved. They dance for hours on end, usually with the aid of several jaegar bombs for fuel. Some dancers just dance for themselves and are in their own little world having the time of their life.

We have the neighborhood people, that need not drive home, so they work really hard at making it almost impossible to even walk. Often, you can find them face down on the bar, asleep. Once awakened, it is like they are in some game of pin the tail on the donkey, as if freshly spun and spun with a blindfold on, you point them towards the door and they crash into tables, walls and bar stools anyway. You want to drive them the block home, but fear you will never get them out of your you just get 'em out the door and hope for the best.

We have the younger crowd trying to be cooler and dance more trendy than the older crowd, but lose cause they are in a bar ruled by the 40 year olds, making the young ones just uncool for even showing up.

We have the drunk spenders, the more they drink, the more they want to buy shots for ten of their new, closest best friends and they start tipping too much. Me likey them.

We have the good ol' boys from the hood that pretty much run the place and act like they are still the shit with their high fives and loud glory day stories. The same ones, over and over and over and who the hell cares? They usually come with their hens that sit and make ugly faces of "who is that slut" when a young, pretty girl walks in and they decide that her belly is sort of big, or that she is a stripper, a tramp, a skank, or some shit like that. I like to egg it on when they ask, all mean and scrunchy faced, "Who is THAT?" and I reply, "I don't know, isn't she pretty???" MUH HAHA!!!

We have the pains in the ass that want served immediately, no matter how many people are waiting, cause they are part of the good 'ol boys and feel entitled, but never leave a tip, so as loud as they shout my name and no matter how disgusted the tone becomes in their shouts, sometimes, well, the music was so loud, and I just didn't hear ya.

For all the flaws and annoyances, I still like just about every person that walks in and some people I am just happy to see because they are all of these things or none of them at all, but they always make the night an experience.

By 1am, I feel like I am the mom of 75 unruly kids and I just want them to go to bed already. At 2am we have the same ones that just don't get the word quit and hang around and and hang around until I play the song "Closing Time" and shout the lyrics, "Closing time - one last call for alcohol, so finish your whiskey or beer. Closing time - you don't have to go home but you CAN'T STAY HERE!!!!!!" That usually does the trick, except for the ones that believe I am talking to the other idiots in the bar and not "them". News flash! I mean YOU and I am not your sweetie, baby, honey or even a remote possibility for you. Buh-bye.

As much fun as it has all been, I feel the time to pass the baton to another family member or trusted person is coming very soon. I miss being the shouting, dancing, hugging, glory days gal sometimes. Then I usually come back to my senses and think how nice it would be to curl up in a blankie with a warm cup of tea and watch a movie on Saturday night instead.


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