EDITOR’S NOTE: This is an explicit column. It is intended for mature audiences.
It is a sin to kill a whale, bear or an elephant.
It’s probably because I am a large omnivore with no real natural predators that I think these animals should never be killed. They’re massive, majestic and beautiful and deserve to live without some sort of modern day Teddy Roosevelt putting buckshot through their head. To all of my hunter readers (both of you), you have my blessing on double-downing on zebra killings if you save one Dumbo.
In Las Vegas, any high-roller is nicknamed a whale. I’ve taken this term with me to SLC. Anybody who spends money like a sailor on shore leave gets this moniker. I especially like it when a pod of whales comes to town for conventions and this weekend should have been a great time to do some whale watching. Outdoor Retailers opened on Thursday and I was expecting the bar to be breaching with corporate credit cards.
You know why your job is better than mine? You hammer a check every two weeks, don’t have to stand for eight straight hours, probably have health care and get to go to bed before 4am every night. You know why my job is better than yours? I can say whatever I want without fear of repercussion, I always have cash, every shift is different and I get shifties. Besides that I think it is a push because we both have to deal with assholes of every shape and color.
Outdoor Retailers was supposed to be the seed cash for my kid’s college fund. Instead, a historically great convention turned into a cavalcade of cheap, stupid, lazy, needy, rude and generally horrible people. In years past, it was not uncommon to make a 50% tip with a kayak thrown in as a tip. This week, it has been nothing but penny-pinching punks who think our local beer can’t get them drunk. How is that people complain about 3.2% beer but our bathroom looks like a Roman vomitorium at the end of the night? For people who endorse a lifestyle that values work hard/play hard, I don’t know why they act like they have never been in a bar before.
Outdoor Retailers is a biannual convention that showcases outdoor sporting equipment. Apparently this year they expanded the selection of goods they are showcasing to include mobile homes. How somebody can afford a $200 North Face jacket but winces at a $3 Bud Light befuddles me. I have had full bars every night but it is filled with people who have their head on a swivel looking for their boss to lay down a credit card so they can mooch drinks all night. Like a middle linebacker focused on the QB, they scan the room for somebody to buy their drinks all night long. At some point, you would think simple pride would surface and they would just pay for their drink. Moreover, you would think that they would at least tip on a free drink.
I had a baker’s dozen corporate tabs working at the same time. They drank Crown Royal, Sailor Jerry and Sierra Nevadas. Providing someone else was picking up the tab, they didn’t care what things cost. The minute that the junior vice-president saw that the mongoloids were racking up tabs, they would quickly close them out. The proper way to think about it is, “Wow! Wally is a really nice guy. He just bought me a Grey Goose and tonic.” It’s amazing how fast Wally becomes persona non grata the second he catches a whiff of what a bucket of trolls that works for him.
In case, this guy had been hammering VO and Cokes like the elixir to longevity was found in the world’s worst Canadian whisky. He pounded seven of them on “Wally’s” tab and when he found out the tab was eventually closed, he had a visible freak out. He demanded that they be put on somebody else’s tab and I told him to knock it off and give me $5. You would have thought he caught me pistol whipping his daughter when I demanded money. He gruffed and reached into his pocket to pull out a knot of money that 50 Cent dreams of carrying one day. Breaking off a $50, he stormed off with his change without leaving a buck. What a mutt! He’s the kind of guy that steals the pennies from the tray at 7-11 when buying Stroh’s and a Hustler. I pray hepatitis takes him before the next convention.
Utah might have crummy liquor laws but they’re the ones we have. I wish that I could free pour tequila off the chest of Tia Carrere into shot glasses for every guest but alas, Governor Herbert has forbidden it. It’s a shame because I know Tia could use the work. Just because I have a lot of restraints on slinging drinks in SLC doesn’t mean I don’t know how to mix drinks. Here’s the kicker: my ego doesn’t get in the way when I don’t know how to make something. I’ll look it up or ask you how to make it. This week has been a nightmare with every Gordon Ramsey mixologist screaming at me because I don’t carry apple juice or pumpkin extract or fresh huckleberries. I swear on the lives of my children that somebody ordered a Martini with a floater of truffle oil. Look people, consider yourself lucky if your glass is clean. The best part is when I don’t have some sort of ingredient that requires an expedition where we lost five good men to harvest the bile from a viper, they always order a Coors Light.
You want to know why? Because people are stupid. Some idiot ordered a rum Collins and ask me to put rum in it. She told me that some bartenders put vodka in it. She must have thought I was stroking out and was going to pour Windex into her drink. Seriously, rum is in the fucking name. It’s not like she ordered a Tommy Knocker but wants it in the Viennese style. You know how I make a rum Collins? With fucking rum and Collins mix. The worst part is that any tart with half a scoop of brains refuses to tip for browbeating me.
Here is the deal: you don’t have to tip but you sure-as-shit have to tip if you act like a twat. Don’t come into my bar and tell me how to make the world’s simplest drink and I won’t tell you how to turn a trick. I am going to petition my boss to put an auto-grat button in the computer for anybody who acts like a dildo or is wearing any clothes that has metal studs on it. You have been forewarned owners of Affliction blouses. I have no pride left. If I thought you’d tip 100%, I’d let you pee on me while I making margaritas. But you assholes have taken the last shred of dignity I have left. There was a time that I thought bartending was the apex of the blue-collar workers and now I think I am some sort of janitor at a peep show. I hope I never write this again but maybe al-Qaeda is right and we deserve to be razed off of the planet.
And when the fuck did Red Bulls become free? The can of Red Bull I use to make douche fueled drinks cost money. Just because I have half a can sitting on my bar mats doesn’t mean it’s an aperitif while you’re waiting to order a beer. The only thing free at the bar is tap water and my contempt. Try chugging an energy drink at Korean convenience store with the cashier’s back turned and you’ll end up in a choke hold. Guess what? Our kitchen isn’t behind three-inches of Lucite and padlocked from inside but does that mean you can go in and start foraging through a bucket of kettle chips? Pinching a single green olive from the fruit tray is disgusting but unstoppable. People do this because they have no respect. They don’t respect my trade, my bar or themselves. They lack the discipline to ask for the can and feel so entitled that anything within arm’s reach is there for the taking. Once again, al-Qaeda has it right, it’s time to start cutting off the hands of thieves: grab a drink that isn’t yours and end up having your wife cut your steak.
My favorite part of the night was telling a woman that her first name is the same name as my chocolate lab, Shelly. The difference her and my trusted companion is that I would definitely give a free cocktail to my dog. She was doing this thing that drives me nuts. She hemmed and hawed trying to decide what she wanted and when she finally made up her mind, she turns on the charm thinking a little flirting will get her a free drink. Fuck-me eyes only work on people who will cash in on it. I am not at the bar for blow jobs—I here for the cash. Besides, what good is oral when it comes to putting gas in my truck? What she needs is some sort of fellatio commodities market that she can trade BJs for drinks. In turn, I can take this “I will gladly pay you a blow job today for a hamburger tomorrow” to somebody else for goods and services. Can you imagine the look on the face of the roofer when I pay him a dozen hummers for re-tarring my house?
Second favorite part of the night, this guy ordered a Newcastle Brown Ale. He paid, didn’t tip and then chugged half of it. He then stormed out of the bar. I left the half drank beer on the counter for at least a half hour when he comes back and demands to know where his Newcastle is. Of course it was my fault because I assumed when he left to go walk the Earth, he’d be parched when he returned after circumnavigating the globe. I told him you snooze, you lose. He lost his shit. I guess he figured I was going to be donating his beer to a museum after he left. Takeaway? Protect your drink.
Third favorite part of the night, somehow the door guys let in a Juggalo and his tub of a girlfriend into the bar. I knew he was a Juggalo because he was proudly sporting an ICP hat and he looked retarded. At first, I was excited to have somebody in the club that wasn’t a part of the Outdoor Retailers mob but I quickly realize this was complete false hope. In that mumbly, dumb wigger voice, he ordered a Bud and his turd of a girlfriend wanted an AMF. I asked for the $11 and she asked what for. Are you kidding me? The money is in exchange for goods and services. Fat and stupid is no way to go through life. You’re fat because I have eyes. You’re dumb because you’re with him. Man, I need that auto-grat button…
Last favorite part of the night, last call comes at 1am in SLC and I am not quiet about it. I had a compacted ass-full of pouring drinks for the worst people on the planet, so when it is time to call it a night I make sure everyone knows. Both the piano players and I scream “Last Call!” and then the bottles get put away. It isn’t done clandestine. It’s not like I am David Copperfield magically putting away over 200 BOTTLES in a puff of smoke. Moreover, all the lights behind the bar go dark when I am done serving for the night. Even with all of these signs these morons think that service doesn’t stop for them. I love the guy who tips $5 on $118 and thinks I am going to jeopardize my job by getting him one more VO and Coke at 1:15am. They always negotiate and tell me that they’ll tip me huge but unless I see two $100 bills on the bar, you are done for the night. Didn’t think so…
I sincerely hope that the local economy benefits from Outdoor Retailers. I hope the state coffers overflow with taxes collected from hotel rooms, airport fees and sales tax. I figure since I am not making a dollar waiting on these ignorant sons of bitches, Salt Lake can piggyback off of my labors. I wish I had a coda saying, “Oh shucks, I was just joshing with you. These people are the salt of the Earth and a few bad apples spoiled the barrel.” Nope. These people are vermin and the next time they threaten to take their convention to Denver, I’ll be out front of the airport with a cardboard arrow pointing east. The sooner they clear out the sooner I can get back to what I love: pouring drinks for ex-Mormons who think they’re cooler than they are. With that said, the next time I want to see a whale, I go to San Diego.