Usually the first Tuesday of the month is the night when we bartenders batten down the hatches, cut extra garnish, stock up on scotch and cheap vodka, and await the influx of what we know as "the mortgage party". I'm not sure what the group really is or does, other than that they all have something to do with mortgages, whether on the real estate side or the banking side.
You'll note that this was not the first Tuesday of April. That was last week; when we stood around listening to the clock tick and wondering how to pay our bills.
They decided to show up tonight and I was the only bartender on duty. I'd like to say I was in the flow and I worked the packed bar like a champ, but that would be a lie. I fumbled, stumbled, dropped stuff, forgot orders, and did everything wrong short of spilling a flaming shot on a polyester dress (no flaming shots were served. Flaming shots are illegal in here.).
Of course, right about the time they were all wrapped around the bar and ready for a second round, an eight-top goes down at Table 50. These guys are fresh off the golf course, or rather the 19th hole, and they decide to play "Stump the Bartender": when their ticket reels off the printer it might as well be written in Serbian. I didn't even know we had buttons for half of these drinks. The two easiest ones were a Surfer on Acid and a Hpnotiq Kamikaze. OK, those I get. One guy orders beer. Thank you, sir. The other ones....damn. What's a "Polynesian Maiden?" I'm guessing it has rum and pineapple juice in it, which is my standard guess for anything I don't know how to make. I add some grenadine, so that it follows the #1 dictum of bartending: if you don't know how to make it, the chances are good that it's a pink drink with rum in it. Speaking of, a Zombie! Jesus, man! It's 2006! Who the fuck orders fucking Zombies in 2006! Are you seventeen and flashing your fake ID on spring break in Daytona? Grow the hell up! Repeat after me: "Bushmills. On the rocks." Meanwhile, hands are going up all around the bar, and it's like an infection has spread. "Can you make a caramel apple martini?" Of course (wiping sweat). "I want something sooooooothing with vodka and cream." (Really said that way -- I recommend an Absolut Vanilla White Russian, which I then make with enough heavy cream to cause instant arterial blockage.) "Make me one of those yummy pomegranate thingies!" Sure, as I regret ever adding it to our list (recipe is at bottom of blog, it's tasty, but it takes forever to make). The next few hours pass in a blur. They arrived around five-thirty. The next time I have a moment to check the time, it's nine.
They finally clear out about thirty minutes before close, and I survey the damage. The bar is wrecked. Napkins, glasses, stirrers, straws, olives, cherries, lemon wheels, and blood bedeck the bar. No blood, really, I was just checking to see if you were paying attention. I take a well-earned smoke break (yeah, I know, but it was only the third cigarette today) and come back in and no sooner do I start making progress on cleaning things up than the queue forms and forty-seven different employees want to order food. That's hyperbole: we don't have forty-seven employees. But it seems that way. The new hostess expects me to walk her through the menu and make polite recommendations, so I club her to death with a bottle of Galliano. OK, I didn't, but the thought crossed my mind.
That dealt with, I continue wading through the morass. I make enough progress to justify my earnings, and call it a night. Carl is kind enough to give me a ride home, and he's listening to this freaky jazz that would have been cool and relaxing if I'd gotten to hear more than six minutes of it. I must ask him what it was. Now I'm at home, bouncing off the walls, and it's nearing midnight.
Gotta get up early for brainwashing tomorrow! Oh, the joys of sinnin'.
Just had to teach the Blogger spell-check "fuck", "fucking" and "Bushmills". What are they teaching our spell-checkers these days? Sheesh.