Bar Therapy: Session 6 – Know Thyself

It amazes me how often people approach my domain with no preference. This typically happens at the busiest times. Sandy comes up and asks for a glass of wine, something fruity, or a vodka drink. Joe asks me for a beer–a fucking beer!

Does this happen at Walmart? Do people walk up to the greeter and ask for purchase suggestions?

“Hello, sir. I have some credit room available, so here I am. What should I buy?”

“Well, what do you need?”

“Duh. Obviously, I need suggestions.”

“Walmart sells lots of things. Can you give me a category? Like, are you looking for toys, auto parts, or groceries, perhaps?”


“Yes to which?”

“Yes to all. Why limit myself?”

“Right. Do me a favor and wait here. I’m going to walk over there to my supervisor and hand her my badge. Have a nice self-fucking.”

I couldn’t be that mean. I need tips to pay for my drinking problem. Still, why even approach a bar if you don’t know what you want? Why not stand back 5-10 feet and ponder? Why clog my flow, Joe?

My response to the sense-numb customer depends on how busy I am. Here’s a list from non-busy to slammed:

  • I sigh, smile, and hand you a drink menu.
  • I pry a bit. “Do you prefer red, white, or pinkish wine?”
  • I turn like I’m hosting a beauty pageant and wave my hand toward the 100 fucking bottles of possibilities while trying no to do violence.
  • “How’s about you stand here and think about it while I serve those more decisive?”
  • I tap a random beer, put it in front of them, and demand $7.25.
  • I close my eyes, shake my head, say, “Excuse me one moment,” and I go beg another bartender to serve the clueless twat-knuckle.

Look, if you can’t narrow it down to precisely what you want, why not narrow things down to a choice of 2-3. I can help with 2-3. I can’t do a goddamned thing with “a beer.”

Often, we keepers of social medicine are also tasked with taking food orders. This is horribly annoying to every bartender. It’s like lime juice in a paper cut. You should try it sometime. I can tell how high my blood pressure will rise based on the gender of the hungry.

Female: “I’d like the carne asada burrito, but no onions and can they put the guacamole on the side? Instead of the tortilla chips, can I have a side salad with vinaigrette on the side? Oh, and no tomatoes, please. Does it come with croutons? Can I also have ice water? Not too much ice. Oh, and a slice of lemon. Do you have flavored vodka?”

Male: “Burger, medium, swiss cheese, fries, and a bottle of Bud.”

Come on, people. Make the life of the bartender less shitty. Know thyself.

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Author of humorous essays about relationships and lifestyles.