Tip of the hat to everybody who showed up to the Pre-Turkey Drink-a-thon at Keys On Main.
It was a good night. I am sure all of the holiday shots I poured made for some rough mornings but it was all done for a good cause. We raised a couple of ducats and a bunch of canned goods for the Utah Food Bank. I sincerely appreciated everyone who I invited that came down. Dueling piano bars are great places to celebrate special events—they’re not the best place to have a quiet conversation. We had over 200 people come through the door and there was only one idiot in the club. That never happens. On any given night, I say about 60% of the room is problematic. To my relief, there was only one person I wanted to put through a brick wall. The one jerkweed that tried to ruin Wednesday was some 21 year-old know-it-all punk that wanted to hand out Occupy SLC pamphlets in the room. I guess he figured the 1% were drinking $3 Wild Turkeys and requesting Journey songs.
Thanksgiving is a fantastic drinking night and there is no better job than working a bar on a holiday where everybody knows how to drink. Everyone on Wednesday drank and tipped big and I think everyone had a great night. Once again, big thanks to everyone that showed up. I would argue that Thanksgiving might be the most professional drinking night of the year. People act like morons on New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s Day. Because Thanksgiving last for four days, people have a chance to settle into a really good booze mode. Lord knows I did. Growing up in Las Vegas, my siblings and I would escape the house after dinner and head to The Tap House to play shuffleboard and drink whiskey until dawn. I was always a mess. After Mom’s home cooking and drinking a river of Bushmill’s, I’d be lucky to leave the bathroom on Friday.
Wednesday night was the first time that I promoted at Keys On Main. Working at the club is different than other bartending jobs because I am dependent more upon strangers as oppose to regulars. If I was working a neighborhood pub, I’d be on Twitter all day promoting it (by the way, follow me @BennyRaskin). Because of the location of the club, I get as many out-of-towners on a Wednesday or Thursday as I do locals.
For the Pre-Turkey Drink-a-thon, I set-up a Facebook event page and posted a picture every day for three weeks. Do the math: that is 21 pictures. I wanted to post something funny that revolved around drinking. So, I would put things like “drunk chicks” or “drunk dudes” in the search engine and go to the images. Expecting to find pictures of people passed out in hallways or harmless photos of frat boys playing Edward Forty-hands, I saw some of the most graphic pornography that I wasn’t consciously looking for. My Lord, there are some pretty sick people out there and believe it or not, some of them aren’t German.
It took a lot finagling to get three weeks’ worth of photos that didn’t involve donkey shows. A casual inspection of my search history could easily be mistaken for Jeffery Jones’. Just to be able to start writing again, I had to get my poor, little computer 100 cc’s of penicillin. I think next year I will just use photos of Robert Downey JR. before he cleaned up.
I think I have turned the corner on a back issue that has left me walking like Stephen Hawkins. I jacked my back up two weeks ago and it has been a slow recovery. I cannot pinpoint the moment when I hurt myself but I think it is a combination of returning to boxing classes, not having any core strength and getting a sports massage from some crazed Swede. Now, before the CrossFit community squat thrusts me into a dumpster, I am not specifically blaming the sports massage I received at a CrossFit center. Her role in my back injury is like the McGuffin in an episode of Law and Order. Let me explain. You know how in every fifth episode some millionaire gets murdered and Briscoe and Logan initially think it is the founders of some non-profit? As it turns out, the non-profit people didn’t kill the millionaire—they were just embezzling money from the non-profit while his son killed him because he didn’t let him take over as CEO of the company. You know that old cliché? Well, in my case, the Swede masseuse was running the non-profit and boxing is the preppy son that killed his dad. Confused? So am I.
I think what really bothers me about my back injury is that this is a sign of things to come as I get older. With my lifestyle it is only a matter of time before I fall of an extension ladder while cleaning out the gutters. Compound my love of fried foods and strong drink, it is only a matter of time before I have some sort of chronic pain that is going to take me to a place I never want to go—to the offices of a chiropractor. Recovering from a back injury has been a wake-up call for me to take better care of myself. I really need to ease into activities as oppose to jumping head first into them. Boxing is a young(er) man’s sport and I probably have as much reason to step into the ring as I do the cockpit of a F-16. I probably should have just taken up tennis.
The response to the new website has been overwhelming. I really appreciate all of the support. With this new format, I am going to be able to post with a lot more frequency. Please sign up for the e-mail notifications and become a fan of the Raskin’s Rhetoric on Facebook. I am going to run a contest in December and I want to see how many participants I can get. Comments are the life blood of this experiment. Please post if you have any questions or complaints. And as always, be a mensch and tell a friend. New column will be up on Tuesday.