IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THIS YET, CHECK IT OUT AND THEN YOU’LL UNDERSTAND WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE A BARTENDER NIGHT IN AND NIGHT OUT.
Based on my analytic stats and search engine results, I am apparently heading a forum for a group of desperately horny individuals seeking counsel on how to get laid and/or drunk fucking. And bird hangovers. I had no idea birds drank that much. Here’s a sample of Friday’s keywords that brought people to my site:
I think this means I am the new-world leader of a spastic, unstable group of perverts, which is weird because I wasn’t even nominated or anything, which is REALLY weird because it seems like I should have some credentials or something to be the leader of a gaggle of sexual deviants. Either way, don’t tell my wife because if she thinks I am the leader of a group of people figuring out how to get laid she will fall on the ground and laugh until her lungs tear at the seam.
Nevertheless, allow me to offer advice in a couple areas I do know about. For you females who searched the Internet for, “how to get laid for women” and “how to get laid if you’re a girl,” I can only assume that you have a vagina that is oozing a green gonorrhea-type substance because in order to get laid as a girl all you need to have is a (somewhat) clean vagina. Don’t worry about your face, that can be overlooked, and alcohol fixes most beauty-deficiencies.
A girl who says she can’t get laid is like someone with a loaded gun who says they don’t know how to commit suicide. All you have to do is pull the trigger. If you don’t know how to get laid as a girl, here’s a tutorial (you may want to write this down and put it in your pocket for when you go out): Say out loud, “I would like to get laid tonight.” in a bar with dudes in it. Wait 3 to 4 seconds. That’s it. Enjoy. And you’re welcome.
Since writing my book on how to bartend, It has been my contention for some time that anyone can do this task successfully and learn it in a relatively short amount of time, which is why it was so disconcerting when we recently brought on a guy named Brad to help cover some shifts and, despite his appearance as a full grown man, I discovered that teaching him to pour drinks and help guests was not unlike asking a small dim-witted child to whip up a chicken risotto for dinner.
The first thing Brad ever said to me while shaking my hand was, “I was in the Marines.” He also told me that some people liked to call him “Bad Brad” and that I was more than welcome to partake in this whimsical nickname which I assumed he created for himself after several days of heavy thought.
Brad recently returned from the Middle East and after settling in he got a bouncer job at a bar around the block from us. Unbeknownst to me at the time, Brad’s dad and the owner of our bar were roommates in college together, so less than six weeks after his return, an arrangement was made so that Brad in all his muscled glory was offered a bartending position at my bar based on no criteria what-so-ever.
To say that Brad is a bit sluggish upstairs would be tip-toeing around the obvious. I imagine there is a hamster wheel where his brain is supposed to be except that the hamster powering the wheel is about 96 years old and uses a walker to make it go round. This information was made painfully clear while teaching him how to use the POS system. He would stand and stare at the screen for a good thirty seconds looking for the correct drink to ring in, his finger poised in the air as if he were contemplating his next thirteen moves on a chess board.
“It’s ok,” I told him, “you can touch the screen. It’s not a mine field.”
“I can’t find the Captain Morgan button,” he said.
“It’s right here,” I said. ”Under the Rum tab. You’re in the Burgers section.”
“Oh yeah,” he laughed. “That makes sense.”
The following day I foolishly left Brad behind the bar for longer than 90 seconds so I could change a beer keg in the back. Just as I finished tapping the keg, Brad came into the beer cooler and said, “Something happened.”
“Something happened? What happened?”
“The beer wand fell off.”
“The what? The beer wand? What’s a beer wand?”
“You know,” he said, making a pulling motion toward him with his fist. ”The shaft thing that you pull to make beer come out.”
“Oh, you mean the beer handle. It fell off? How did it fall off?”
“I was trying to be fast like you taught me and I poured a Coors Light and it fell off.”
“It fell off or you broke it off?”
“Ummm…I don’t know. There was like this cracking sound and then it just kind of fell off.”
This is Brad’s other downfall. He has lifted so many weights that walking behind the bar in a narrow space is like Godzilla trying to walk through downtown Hong Kong without stepping on or killing anyone. Negotiating simple things like handling glassware or pouring a draft beer without ripping the handle off its socket is remarkably difficult for him. This is because Brad was built to destroy things, not provide polite and delicate service to nice people looking to have a pleasant night out on the town.
On a brighter note, Brad is quite artistic, choosing to decorate his arms, legs, back and neck with a variety of tattoos–mostly of daggers and guns and skulls and one large “Semper Fi” tattoo which arcs from armpit to armpit across his massive, hairless chest. I know that he has this on his chest because Brad likes to spend approximately 97.6% of his time discussing his tattoos and his life in the Marines with anyone who comes within 100 feet of him, and at the request of a young lady (and before I could intervene) Brad unbuttoned his shirt and opened it up so she (and the other 120 guests in the bar) could see it.
“Brad,” I said calmly. “Please button your shirt up. This isn’t Thunder From Down Under.”
“I was in the Marines,” he said, as if this excused him from being held accountable to remained dressed during his shift.
“Yes, I think you’ve mentioned that once or twice, and I thank you for your service. Nevertheless, I would appreciate it if you served your fellow countrymen with your shirt on.”
“Ok, no prob,” he said, and then he promptly buttoned up his shirt in just under four minutes while telling the same young lady a story about the time in the Iraqi desert when his Marine buddies pushed him down the latrine hole as a prank that left him standing in the entire platoon’s shit and piss for approximately 3 hours in the 110 degree heat. This was all the guy sitting at the bar eating nachos needed to decide that he was no longer hungry.
Two days later I came back from the kitchen to find Brad making a mojito that a server had ordered for her table.
“What are you doing,” I asked.
“Whatta mean? I’m making a mojito.”
“You’re muddling it with a fork.”
“Yeah, I couldn’t find the stick thingy. In the Marines we were taught to improvise.”
“That’s a great lesson, but the ‘stick thingy’ is actually called a muddler and it’s right here,” I said, pulling it off the rail 12 inches in front of him.
“And what is it you’re muddling?”
“Limes and stuff.”
“Is that parsley?”
“Ummm, yeah. I couldn’t find the mint either. I’m hoping they won’t even notice.”
“I’m pretty sure they WILL notice. I don’t know if you’ve ever tasted parsley and mint before, but they’re quite different.”
“So, should I stop?”
The next day I made sure that Brad stopped everything related to bartending. After speaking with our owner, it was agreed that Brad would no longer be allowed to bartend but that we would keep him on as a bouncer. So now he stands outside our door and checks ID’s and during slow times admires his tattoos and shadow boxes with imaginary Al Qaeda members, I assume.
All I can say for Brad is that he does his best with what he’s got. I still have moments when I require several deep breaths to calm myself down, like the other night when Brad let in an underaged girl after she presented him with a library card and a photo ID of her high school student body card. When questioned about it Brad’s response was, “Yeah, but she was smokin’ hot, and besides, she shouldn’t have lied to me. I’m a Marine.”
I guess it just goes to show you that getting a job really is all about who you know and not what you know, and I suppose that means there are some people out there who think Brad is pretty fucking awesome!
Cheers, until next time.
You’ve only got two choices when you come out of your mom’s vagina: you’re either a little snotty, aggressive boy who is dirty all the time, wrestles with his friends and has a permanent boner from the age of 11 years old on, or you’re that other one. The one who chased us around in kindergarten and tried to pin us down to kiss us on the cheek, and who then chased us around when she got older so she could pin us down to a lifelong commitment.
Who has the time to figure girls out and all their mixed messages? You meet a nice girl and she tells you that she loves a guy who’s funny and spontaneous, but as soon as you pop up outside her bedroom window at night dressed as a clown, it’s all panic and screaming. I don’t get it. And neither do the rest of the guys out there.
All I can say is that I’m thrilled that I came out with a penis and very little brains because it makes my life a lot less complicated. After all these many years of marriage and life experiences I can honestly say that I’ve only learned one thing about girls: if you beat them at anything competitive you are an asshole and if you lose to them you are the idiot pansy-ass who lost to a girl.
For all of you girls out there who wonder why we love being guys, here are 25 reasons why being a guy RULES!!!
1. A week-long vacation in Hawaii requires only the clothes on our backs and a small duffel bag equipped with one swim-suit, a toothbrush….that’s it.
2. We have the ability to open all our own jars, bottles and anything with a cap on it. A pregnant woman’s worst nightmare is craving pickles, a new jar and no man in sight.
3. We can throw a baseball without looking like we are hurling a cinderblock with a dislocated shoulder.
5. We don’t bleed out of a hole between our legs once a month and start crying because someone didn’t notice that we changed to bangs instead of no bangs.
6. We have the ability to go pee without forming a conglomerate of friends who stay in the bathroom for 45 minutes discussing hair, outfits, Juicy bags and the inadequacies of men.
7. Speaking of peeing, being able to stand up while doing so is a true gift from God. Camping, porta-potties and gas station bathrooms. Enough said.
8. When heading to the beach, we do not feel the need to instruct the driver on which lane to drive in, which parking space to take or how to lay the blanket out on the sand.
9. We don’t have to worry about birth control. Thank god!
10. We don’t need to spoon to fall asleep. Sure, for you ladies it’s all cuddly, warm and safe-feeling. For us it’s hair in our face, arm falling asleep, painful boner in your lower back.
11. After an argument, we will bro-hug it out and buy each other a beer instead of not speaking to each other for the next 23 years.
12. Our underwear doesn’t permanently wedgie our ass.
13. A woman’s underwear permanently wedgies her ass.
14. From the first sock we take off to the last cuff link we put on, we can shower and be ready to go out in four minutes.
15. We don’t care what you’re thinking….which reminds me, I’m not thinking anything, EVER. Just because we sit in silence for five to six seconds at a time does not mean we are thinking of leaving you. Yet.
16. We do not dream of a walk-in closet for our shoes. In fact, we only have three pairs to choose from: athletic, work shoes, or flip-flops. Come to think of it, we could fit our entire wardrobe in one of the bathroom drawers that holds our toothbrush and deodorant and still have room left over to hold our porn.
17. Haircut, wash and rinse = $16. Tip included.
18. Two of us don’t need to sneak off from our other seven friends at a party to go talk shit about them.
19. Car mechanics tell us the truth.
20. We don’t need to learn how to use an iron because wrinkles are what give a shirt its character.
21. The more women we sleep with, the more legendary we become.
22. If we see another guy wearing the same shirt as us, we don’t run home cursing our existence and change, we simply high-five each other for having such great taste in clothing.
23. We can achieve a perfect manicure using our teeth and/or possible the tines of a fork.
24. We can complete all of our Christmas shopping at 8:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve at 7-Eleven in just under 14 minutes.
25. We don’t need to fake orgasms. We can finish in our pants just by rubbing up against a wall. Fake orgasms? Are you kidding me? This is why I don’t understand girls. A guy couldn’t fake an orgasm any more than he could fake sweating in 120 degree weather. In both cases the bodily fluids are coming out whether you like it or not.
Fake orgasms. What a waste!
Cheers, until the next time
K: What were you doing?
Me: I just sunc my iPhone.
K: You sunk it? Like in water?
Me: No sunc, as in I added new songs.
K: That would be synched, honey. You mean you synched it.
Me: I’m sorry, but I’m pretty sure sinked is not a word.
K: Ummm….yes it is.
Me: You’re talking with an English major here. Just sayin’, I would probably know.
K: I know you’re an idiot. Look it up.
Me: Like in a dictionary? Those are heavy.
K: Like on the Internet, genius.
Me: Let’s just see how it sounds in a sentence first: ”The boat sinked into the ocean.”
K: You said you were synching your iPhone, not sinking a boat.
Me: So? It’s the same thing, at least grammatically. They’re both past-tense. Listen: ”He sunk the boat,” and “I sunc my iPhone.” Steve jobs wouldn’t be that big of an asshole and invent some fucked up word like that.
K: Steve Jobs didn’t invent the word “Sync”. It was already a word.
Me: Really? Before there were Apple products I didn’t think anyone sunc anything.
K: It’s because they didn’t. They synched them.
Me: That’s what I said.
K: And I know you love Steve Jobs, but he isn’t the king of the universe, just so you know.
Me: Yeah, but what if Steve Jobs and Jason Bourne had a kid. HE would definitely be king of the universe. He would invent all sorts of kick ass apps and iOS updates that would bring down the government guys who were chasing him.
K: I’m going to bed. You can sleep on the couch.
Sometimes I love my job. And sometimes I feel like a dirty hooker lying on her back on a urine soaked mattress in a sleazy motel: I focus on a spot on the wall and allow my mind to drift to a happier place in order to avoid the sweating, grunting clientele who just want what they want without the distraction of human interaction or emotional commitment.
If you ever find yourself in my bar and feel the need to act like one of these douchebags I’m speaking of, follow this simple step-by-step guide to ensure that you and everyone you come in contact with has an awkward, uncomfortable bar experience.
Step 1: Upon arriving, become annoyed when Dave asks for your ID, as he should know who you are. It is extremely inconvenient to dislodge your license from the little plastic window in your wallet and can only be compared to receiving paper cuts on your eyelids. Dave should know, just by looking at you, that you are 22 years old and more important than God.
Step 2: If you come alone, pretend to check your phone a lot, as this will make it appear as if you have lots of friends who can’t live without your constant counsel and comment. Every once in awhile, grin or laugh and pretend to text something. In order to make new friends at the bar, yell out, “Let’s do some shots!” to the people next to you, but don’t offer to pay for them. There’s always a chance that there will be a responsible adult in the group who is kind and stupid enough to offer.
Step 3: If Dave is busy, reach your arm across the people sitting at the bar and snap your fingers at him to demand his attention. Inform him that you’ve been waiting awhile and inquire whether or not you’ll get free drinks for the aggravation you have endured. If he refuses, leave a 25 cent tip and then tell the people whose backs you’ve been leaning on that the bartenders here sucks. If Dave notices your tip before you have a chance to back away, tell him that you’ll get him next time and let him know that he’s still your boy by making your fingers into a pistol shape and shooting him while making a snickering noise people make with their mouths to get horses to come to them.
Step 4: To break the ice with girls, talk to them about your fantasy football team and how if Adrian Peterson would have had just 600 more yards and 12 more touchdowns you would have won your league. If she appears disinterested, call attention to the fact that winning your league would have banked you $150 and as a hypothetical result you would have bought her at least one cocktail and possibly even a beer by now. If that doesn’t work ask her if she has ninjas in her pants, because her ass is kickin’, and then touch her awkwardly on the lower back.
Step 5: Pretend that everyone you are speaking to has cotton packed into their ears and the only way for them to hear you is to shout super loud right in their ear. Complain about everything going on in the bar. This will demonstrate to others that you are too good for this place and do not tolerate mediocrity. Tell those around you that the music sucks and that it’s too bright and that there are no bitches here for you to hook up with. Complain about how weak your Jack and Coke is and the next time you order a drink from Dave, order a “Strong Island” and tell him to hook you up. Assume that he is perfectly happy risking his job for you by not charging for the extra alcohol.
Step 6: While at the urinal, strike up a conversation with a complete stranger. Point out that it’s a sausage-fest at the bar tonight, implying that you are the only person with a penis who should be allowed to congregate here and that the rest of the crowd should be women begging to go home with you. Every few seconds, glance over at your new friend and see what he’s got going on in his urinal, and then give a soft chuckle at what you find.
Step 7: Once you are sufficiently sloshed, head out to the dance floor and grind up on some hoes. Do lots of raising the roof while making a loud “Woo-woo” sound. Show everyone that you are part-gangsta by screaming out the lyrics to every rap song that is played. While dancing, experiment with pick-up lines that only sluts would appreciate (“Nice legs, what time do they open?”) so as to weed out the undesirables. After you finish your vodka Redbull go back to the bar and tell Dave that a busser took your drink and that he needs to make you a new one for free.
Step 8: When Dave cuts you off for being over-intoxicated, give a look of treacherous disbelief and then become violently angry, as if you have just been accused of raping your own mother. Yell out to everyone in the bar that this place is bullshit and then point at Dave and ask him if he has any idea who he’s fucking with. Make a scene when the bouncers escort you out by thrashing about like a fish on a hook. Once outside, scream at the bouncers for being dicks. Stagger fifty feet down the sidewalk and puke in the bushes.
Step 9: Get on Facebook the next morning and post something awesome like, “Waz up bitches!!! Yo, got my drink on last night. Girls were grinding all up on my junk!!! Heading to the drug store to replenish my condom supply! Get some Bro!!! Peace out!!!!!!”
Step 10: Lock yourself in the bathroom and masturbate. Watch Jersey Shore marathon.
Cheers, until next time.
What can’t pigs do? Not only do they fly when unbelievable shit happens, but if you feed them an apple they turn into meat. Like bacon. I’d eat bacon if it were stuck on the bottom of someone’s shoe after it had stepped in dog shit. I once wrapped bacon around my Twinkie and then spent the next four seconds in heaven as I jammed it in my mouth and swallowed it without chewing. Next time someone calls you a pig, just say thank you.
For reasons beyond my comprehension, at least once a week I encounter a patron at my bar who, with great empathy and pity, asks me why I am still bartending at my age. Because I’m not retarded (for the most part), nor do I have any major disfigurations or facial lacerations to speak of (not even so much as a lazy eye) they expect that someone as healthy-looking and capable as me should by now be making a living in a way that is more, well…dignified, I suppose.
As offensive as this might seem, I get it. Professionals like school teachers and dentists are considered the luminaries of our society in that they provide respectable services for our kids and our community. On the other hand, the nice man who gets them sloshed when they go out is more like an executioner with that black hood over his head: he’s not that bright, but he has some good stories to tell because he’s seen a lot, and he provides a necessary service for his betters. Nevertheless, nice man or not, you’d prefer that he didn’t date your daughter.
Believe me, I have spent a good deal of my youth fantasizing about becoming something fantastically eccentric one day, something completely unique from the men I imagined sitting miserably in their crowded cubicles, committed to cold calls and penciling in numbers on gridded paper. It just hasn’t happened yet.
What I really want is a job in which enormous amounts of money flood my bank account on a daily basis without having to do any actual work. A real turnkey operation, like selling subscriptions to my porn sight on the Internet. A job I could do on my yacht while entertaining my friends, who would look on with jealous resentment as I answered my cell phone and barked orders at whoever was on the other end: “Well you tell miss goody-two-shoes that if she wants a job with this company that she’d better reconsider doing anal.”
I understand that this type of unambitious dream might give you cause for anger. You would argue against such lethargy because you have the romantic notion that every American should shoulder an equal load for equal pay and that hard work is its own reward. You’ll say that we should all contribute something worthwhile and useful to society, and that spine-crippling labor is the yardstick that measures and ranks a person’s reputation and moral fiber.
I hear you loud and clear. Hard work certainly can be rewarding. Just not for me. I find it rather burdensome.
Even so, if it makes you feel any better, I am (and have been) amongst the working class for many years now. And yet, for whatever reason, I am grilled on a weekly basis from those who relentlessly inquire what else I want to do with my life. Apparently bartending is not a real career, but more of a hobby or part time distraction, like working at Jamba Juice, which implies that I am, at best, somewhere in the range of two-thirds of a man as opposed to a full time contributing man.
Though I certainly appreciate the foresight and concern from those of you who have pointed out my failings thus far as a serviceable member to our society, I would like to mention that I am not without accomplishments. I even sat down and compiled a list to silence all you naysayers. It only took me six days to finish.
MY 10 MOST AMAZING ACCOMPLISHMENTS UP TO THIS POINT IN MY LIFE
(in mostly chronological order)
1. I am born and manage to stay alive, despite my stubbornness to breathe. It takes three minutes of vigorous swatting on my backside from the doctor to trigger my first gasp of life. Apparently breathing is more effort than I care to tolerate.
2. I learn to read at an early age and as I grow up I read almost anything—novels, magazines, newspapers, comic books, the backs of cereal boxes. Besides basketball, it’s the one credible thing I do up through high school, and because my parents witness me reading, I am able to convince them for two years after I graduate that I am writing a novel. I stay locked in my room for hours sleeping or listening to Nirvana with my headphones on. When my mom or dad come knocking on the door I raise my head groggily from the sheets and call out, “Be out in a bit; I’m at a real crucial part here.”
3. I receive a patch for “Whittling” from the Cub Scouts at the age of nine because I can carve a regular stick into a marshmallow stick. I believe this accomplishment speaks for itself.
4. I grow a mustache by the age of thirteen. It is thin and cheesy, but while wearing it around I feel like I have a leg up on all the other boys in the race for manhood, like smoking must make you feel when you first start.
5. It turns out I am right about the smoking. I take it up at fourteen and feel downright invincible. After school lets out I lean on the giant oak tree just off campus dressed in a tarnished leather jacket and shredded 501’s, a Jimmy Dean replica, only I’m not an irresistible bad boy. Truth told, I’m so regrettably introverted that I’m only a step removed from invisibility. I am not fully aware of this at the time, though, and as the other students stroll past I pinch and waggle the cigarette between my thumb and index finger while taking an occasional drag and stroking my moustache. Unfortunately, I quit smoking the next day. The coughing is more commitment than I signed up for.
6. I give a dollar to a girl from the Salvation Army who is standing outside Safeway at Christmastime ringing that annoying bell. Even beneath her sweat suit I can tell that her body is lean and compact in the thighs and generous up top where it should be, like one of those silhouettes on the mud flaps of trucks. This fact doesn’t make my donation any less admirable, I hope you know.
7. After being grilled by my parents for the gabillionth time about what I think I’d like to do for a career after high school, I foolishly blurt out, “Park Ranger” and before I can say, “Just kidding,” I find myself counseling a bunch of smart-ass sixth graders at a nature-motivated experience called Ecology Camp, where you sleep in cabins, go on nature hikes and basically spend a week gathering bugs and leaves and falling backwards into each others arms to spread glorious feelings of trust. This isn’t the accomplishment, though. During the first day’s hike I fake an ankle sprain and spend the week sleeping in the cabin and ordering the boys around to wait on me hand and foot. I am a male Cleopatra. As a precaution, I warn the boys that if they squeal to anyone about my little secret that I will tell every girl in camp that we are having all night gay orgies. Extortion is such an ancient, forgotten art of persuasion.
8. Lying in bed one night I have a revelation: I realize I can name all 172 episodes of The Duke’s of Hazard, The Six-Million Dollar Man and MacGyver. I understand that this should be a depressing, possibly suicidal moment, but I am giddy with my talent to recall. If I should ever get a call from Jeopardy and one of the categories happens to be “Shows Only Seven Year Olds Watched Thirty Years Ago”, you may as well step down. Game over.
9. One night I sit down to play some online poker for an hour or so but instead I somehow stumble across a site called partybingo.com and spend the next 27 straight hours playing bingo online. When my girlfriend comes out of my bedroom to ask me what I’ve been doing all night, I panic and cover up the screen and tell her I’m looking at S & M porn sites.
10. I memorize the lyrics to Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy” the first day I buy the tape, though I have to admit it takes me nearly two years to learn that Jeremy commits suicide at the end of the song. Upon digesting this information, I find myself looking over my shoulder everywhere I go, as if I have discovered some cosmic wisdom that only I and a handful of other secret agent Pearl Jam fans know about. This, I realize, is silly and cannot really be considered an accomplishment. Still, because of the song’s intensely profound message and the fact that, of all the songs on the tape, I intuitively chose that one in particular to memorize, I feel that the coincidence cannot be overlooked.
There you have it, my accomplishments, which, looking back now, don’t seem as impressive as they did when I thought them up in my head. In fact, I’m rather depressed now. For argument’s sake, and so I don’t have to read a bunch of emails from people judging my life’s work, let’s just go ahead and declare right now that I’m more like half a human being than two-thirds of one. I don’t want to generate any unwarranted expectations concerning my true value. The last thing I need is for someone to come into my bar and point out the precise fraction of a man they think I am.
Cheers, until next time. I’m going to play bingo.
A week ago one of my readers emailed me a question about bar etiquette, which I answered in a most knowledgeable and proficient manner, as I have been in this profession for quite some time. This got me to thinking about common day to day rules of etiquette and courtesies in general, which upon deeper analyzation I realized that I am not proficient at in any way whatsoever, and never have been. I’m talking about the simple trivialities that we all agree should be obeyed lest we be judged by our peers. I am an admitted minimalist, so to tell me that I can’t use the soap or the towels hanging in the bathroom because they are decorative causes someone with my stunted pedigree to stand there and blink stupidly.
Growing up, I was never one to devote much time to social graces, but in my defense I was raised in a hickish town where people possessed a fanatical adoration for camouflage caps and vests and mounting mule deer heads over the garage. The notion of being fancy where I grew up meant that you agreed to wear jeans without holes in the knees when attending a prom, and/or possibly opening your date’s can of Schlitz for her before the drive-in movie started.
My lack of refinement caused a great clash when I met my wife in college. Born and raised in Walnut Creek, she was far more savvy in the ways of decorum than I, which was only natural considering the cosmopolitan surroundings she was brought up in. It’s not that I was a mannerless brute without decency, it’s just that certain rules of etiquette were, to me, silly and superfluous. Can you really enjoy BBQ chicken without licking your fingers clean? There is nothing sadder to me than wiping them off on a napkin and watching all that good sauce go to waste (I see the same looks on my guests’ faces when I pour the wrong mixer in a cocktail and dump it down the sink: longing and regret at such senselessness).
And yet despite my obtuseness, I have always fantasized since I was a boy about being a distinguished secret agent like James Bond, the kind that continually adjusts his cufflinks and raises a demure finger to servants who rush to provide me with whatever I desire without ever having to provide verbal direction. I often imagined people talking about me as a mysterious guest who had arrived at their dinner party:
“Who is that distinguished looking gentleman? The one drinking Louis XIII and speaking with the Duchess?”
“Oh, you mean Mr. Allred. The international debutant.”
I do not share such fantasies with my wife, as the very notion that I would ever be viewed as “smooth” would cause her to fall to the floor in a ball of hilarity, laughing and choking on her own hysterics until her spleen exploded.
It was plain from the very beginning when I met my wife at Chico State that she wasn’t going to tolerate my social impairments for long. Seeing as we were still in the fragile stages of getting to know each other, she was sensitive enough not to come right out and state what was so obviously out of place to her. Instead she would drop passive-aggressive hints in hopes that she would eventually mold me into the man she had always dreamed of marrying one day. On the way to a movie she’d say something like, “I love how you can just wear anything and not care what people think.”
Looking down at my faded pink t-shirt and purple cut-off sweats, I couldn’t have been more confused. My philosophy on being cool was to avoid looking like you were trying to be cool, which is to say my style at the time could best be described as a sort of grungy aloofness. It had taken me years to perfect this style of genius, and now I was being subtly ridiculed for it. Nevertheless, I patiently suppressed my damaged ego and went to change into something less relaxed, as my newly acquired girlfriend was absolutely gorgeous and I really wanted to get into her pants.
As time moved on, my wife continued to try and mold me, but eventually she realized that molding a country boy in the ways of proper civility is about as easy as shaping a shard of glass with your hands. And it wasn’t just a “which-fork-do-I-use” thing either. It was more of a human relationship thing. Whereas most people instinctively knew to leave the toilet seat down, I had to be educated on this bit of folklore.
“Why do I have to put it down,” I asked one day, early in our relationship. ”Why don’t you put it back up for me?”
“Because I’m the one who gets up to pee in the middle of the night and practically falls in the toilet trying to sit down on the rim of the bowl which is drenched in your pee because you can’t fucking aim. That’s why!”
Ok, she had me there. Still, I was resistant.
“It’s because I have a penis, isn’t it?”
“What’s because you have a penis?”
“That you think I do everything wrong.”
“Yes, I’m quite sure of it. Most every thoughtless act derives from the penis.”
Even so, when I tried to blame future blunders on my penis, she failed to acknowledge us as separate entities.
For the rest of you who also have a penis and who are as clueless as me when it comes to proper social customs, allow me to share with you what I’ve learned, at least as I understand it. Perhaps I can save you some pain and discomfort early on in your relationships.
1. You can never have too many decorative pillows on the bed or sofas (side note: it’s a sofa, not a couch), as if the number of pillows directly reflects your level of success. I imagine couples leaving our house after dinner parties: ”Did you see how many throw pillows they had? I didn’t know bartenders did that well.”
2. When in-laws visit, it is not ok to disappear upstairs and watch re-runs of The Andy Griffith Show for three hours. Or so I am told.
3. Clothes must be segregated into different colors before you wash them. This is not only tedious, but it borders on discrimination. I’m still fighting the injustice of this chore today.
4. When having guests over for dinner, it’s not ok to simply put the condiments on the table in the form of jars and bottles. Apparently you must use nice little porcelain bowls. And real silverware, not plastic, as if we were royalty.
5. You must clean the house before the maid comes over….to clean the house.
6. Never invite people over to your house without first consulting your wife, even after she tells them, “You guys should come over soon.” As it has been explained to me, what one says and what one means are not always congruent nor consistent with each other, and therefore you must first check with your wife to sort out which is which.
7. It is absolutely prohibited to sit in your underwear and play poker at www.partycasino.com while your mother-in-law is visiting (you’ll sadly discover that there are many things you cannot do when in-laws are around).
8. Learn how to fix things around the house or your manhood will be questioned on a weekly basis. My basic skills are bartending, telling stupid stories and watching tv, none of which turn my wife on. If only building a fence were directly related to one’s knowledge of Seinfeld episodes, our house would have beautifully surrounding boundaries and I would SO get laid all the time. (Bonus advice: though you might think so, relying on duct tape or staple guns as your indisputable resolution for anything that is broken or maimed is not as good of an idea as you might think, so if I were you I’d tread carefully with this line of strategy).
9. Staying in hotel on vacation is really just like being at home in that you will still get yelled at for leaving your underwear and clothes strewn about. You might as well send me to balloon camp with a 5-inch needle and tell me I can’t pop anything.
10. Learn what RSVP means. And then tell me, because I still don’t know. My wife often tells me that we must RSVP to parties and weddings by a certain date, and I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to not know what those letters mean. I could look it up on Google, but for now, a certain element of mystery keeps things exciting and unpredictable for me.
In some ways I am still quite obstinate when it comes to following customs which I view to be quite ridiculous. To this day I refuse to wear a tie and no manner of cajoling or persuasion from my wife or anyone else will steer me otherwise. I’m not sure how it ever came to be that a piece of cloth dangling from one’s neck became the social barometer that measures cultural refinement and sophistication. It could just as easily be agreed upon that hanging it out the back of one’s pants like a motley tail is the reflection of civility.
To this day I am still learning what it takes to step outside my cave and live a life of cultivation, or at least compliance. There are things I will never understand, nor do I care to understand them.
What it really comes down to is that I love my wife to no end, and if she tells me that we must place doilies on every door and wall in the house, I will run and grab my duct tape and simply ask her where and how many.
Cheers, until next time.
As a recent graduate of Bowman’s Academy of Acting in the top 87% of my class, I decided to get a temporary job as a server with Dave at his dumb bar, but I am only working here until my talent agent gets me an audition to be the newest sister on the Kardashians.
Due to my hotness and razor sharp brain, I am definitely probably the best server you’ll ever meet. Just last week I brought extra napkins to a table who had ordered buffalo wings without them even asking and one of the guys told me, “Thanks, Sandi, you are awesome,” which I totally am.
Another reason I am such a good server is that I wear an apron with a dozen ballpoint pens lined up in the pockets and I can also hold up to two orders in my head at one time without writing them down.
My hobbies include: sleeping til noon, tanning, sweatpants, and sleeping with boys to try and get them to love me.
My manager, Frank, tells me I have really good ideas, and he’s not just saying that so he can get in my pants. I recently had an idea that definitely should be made a law: I think when patrons come in to eat, they should tell me how much they are going to tip, then I will give them service that reflects their tipping percentage. I call it “Reverse tipping communication ideology”. If that sounds like a good idea to you, it’s because it is.
If you want to be an elite server like me, then you should listen to me because I can tell you exactly what you are doing wrong and how you can be more like me. Dave asked me to come on his stupid blog and give my 7-Step Guide to becoming a great server like me. I asked him to pay me for my geniusness but he said no because he’s a cheap asshole.
Step 1: Complain to everyone working that night that you are “in the weeds” and when the hostess triple-seats you, go yell at her and tell her that she will never become a server because she is a dumb slut. Or if it’s really slow, complain to everyone working that night that you aren’t making any money and that they should give you their tables because you are prettier than them. Either way, whether it’s busy or slow, you will be able to practice complaining a lot.
Step 2: If you are one of these people, don’t ever come sit in my section: 1) People from countries that don’t tip, like Spain or Paris. 2) People with kids. 3) Anyone who isn’t rich and white. 4) People who order a side of ranch with everything. 5) People who want refills. If you want all this stuff, you should have stayed home and got it yourself.
Step 3: Talk to your table a lot about your life and what you are doing and why it’s important and how you had to take your cat to the vet because she got a tick on her neck. If they start to talk about their lives, quickly excuse yourself and say that you have to refill waters at another tables, but don’t actually do it. Instead go in the back and complain to the other servers that table 9 is full of pompous assholes who think they are better than you.
Step 4: Don’t ever be friends with a girl named Michelle Rykers. She will screw your boyfriend and the only way to get back at her is to use her toothbrush to clean the toilet. Or sleep with her dad, which was really gross.
Step 5: During one of your 12 smoke breaks, be really nice to people to their face and then when they walk away, talk about how fat and fake they are to another server. Sincerity is the first step to becoming a great server, even though I listed it as step 5.
Step 6: Constantly ask the bartender what garnish goes on your drinks. They love to be involved in the process of helping you with stuff you forget all the time. Also, tell him to hook you up with some free drinks, and if he doesn’t go tell all the female servers that he has really bad breath. And syphilis.
Step 7: Don’t ever sleep with the manager because as soon as you do he’ll pretend he’s not interested any more and he won’t call you back no matter how much you text him or drop by his apartment and knock on his door, and then he’ll change the schedule so you aren’t working the same shifts as him.
If I could give one piece of advice to people who want to become a server, it would be to understand that what I think and feel is the most important thing on this planet. And ranch dressing sucks!
Dave tells me that these steps don’t really tell people how to become a server, and that they aren’t really steps at all but more like aimless bitching and rambling, but he never gives me free shots when I ask for them, so he can fuck off!