Watch Your Back, Connie McDuggul

The worst part of bartending is pouring drinks.

It really gets in the way of talking with customers and checking out the crowd. If I didn’t have to make mojitos, pour beers or sling kamikazes, bartending would be the best gig ever. Being behind the bar, you get to watch the entire room from both a position of authority as well as easy access to delicious cups of municipal water. But with that room full of people comes the dreadful and daunting task of having to get them libations.


It would be so much easier to bartend if all I had to do was kick up my foot, tilt coolly along the bar and strike up conversations with the patrons. Instead of getting to know new and interesting people, I am forced to cut fruit, set up bottles, shag ice, pour drinks, make change and then clean up the place. What am I? A day laborer? It is really getting ridiculous that I need to start looking for a new job that requires nothing but talking in a bar without having to fulfill any responsibilities normally associated with tending a bar.

I took a hiatus from the blog for a couple of reasons. The first was that this was such a mild summer that I spent most of my time outside trying to tend to the palatial grounds at Casa de Beaver Goat. The home front needed much attention in the sprinkler department and general repairs. I found that popping on a podcast, getting to work clearing fields, downing trees, cleaning the multiple lakes and ponds on the property as well as fine tuning the zip lines and the miniature railcart required a fair amount of my attention. There is nothing more embarrassing than hosting guests and having the stables or outdoor amphitheater in disrepair. Being a gentleman in this day and age requires not just being dressed immaculate for any occasion but having one’s home be an accurate reflection of the station in life one has obtained.

Simply put, it took a very long time to repair five sprinkler heads.

In lieu of a full garden, I worked the hops farm instead. The rich bounty of cascade and Mt. Hood hops were bountiful and ready for trade with any home brewers in the valley. My terms are firm but fait—one pound of hops per case of 22-ounce beer. Keep the suds light as I have had been burned on chocolate jalapeño stouts in the past.

Speaking of weird beers, who has tried Red’s Apple Beer on tap? I took a sip last night from the taps at work and I was immediately transported back to my childhood when drifters and ice cream peddlers trolled throughout Doris Hancock Elementary. Have we just conceded that we as a society of drinkers just want everything to taste like candy and don’t want to work to catch a buzz off of whiskey? I think this might be my newest argument for the legalization of marijuana. Marijuana (or weed) is a gateway drug to being a loser and watching TBS but at least when people get impaired (or high or stoned) on marijuana, they’re more inclined to have a proper drink. After consuming marijuana, users (or stoners) have reached a level of inebriation that doesn’t require drinks made with watermelon pucker, cinnamon whiskey or Coors Light. They are sedated from the evils of the marijuana and can actually order a normal drink like a Jameson over ice or a Glenlivet on the rocks or a Wild Turkey with just a little bit of ice.

Marijuana calms the kiddie cocktail drinker like the slaughter zebra the lion. It’s a scientific fact based on science.

If we don’t stop craft cocktail manufactures from infiltrating every aspect of our lives, there could be a day when everything drink will be an orange bitters, ginger infused, muddle mint, graham cracker rimmed, glowing grapefruit-papaya inspired vodka over imported root beer from Timbuktu. Sure that sounds delicious now but I’d rather live in a day of handshakes over fist bumps, collared shirts, Parker Pens and closed toe shoes before I am forced to drink a carnival of flavors that takes a calendar week to make.

I’m looking at you, Connie McDuggul.

I recently got into a verbal altercation with a parking lot attendant last week. He darted in front of me while I was trying to parallel park. I gave a little toot on the horn and he rolled down the window to tell me he wasn’t doing anything wrong. I shrugged my shoulders and said that contrary to his viewpoint that he was wrong. He then started yelling at me the various rules of the road and I just had enough. I said an ugly four lettered word that rhymes with duck to him and he told me I was being a jerk. I repeated the nasty 25-cent sweat jar word back at him and he retorted with a great response:

“You don’t have to be an asshole your entire life.”

Sorry about the 10-cent swear jar word but it really got me to thinking: am I a jerk? Friends and family are excluded from weighing in on this simply because they are biased about being in my presence. They see the multiple selfless acts I perform each and every day for every citizen that comes in my path and are well aware of all of the good work and kind words I generously pass along. There is no way anyone could be objective in assessing my character because they will simply say it is above reproach.

Because I am a man of letters, science, culinary arts, sleight of hand coin tricks, hardcore gangster rap and science, we need to perform a scientific experiment. Will you kind readers find one person who does not know me and have them observe me through the course of my day as I tend to the needs of my family, friends and neighbors while I exercise my animals, perfect my woodworking or fly cast and give a neutral take if I am that ugly seven lettered word?

I can be reached at or at any local charity selfishly giving away both my time and energies.

Ben Raskin is a bartender at Keys On Main. Follow him on Twitter @BennyRaskin. Podcast is at TribSports Radio. He is a massive blowhard and doesn’t own animals. He only has a Shelly Belly and she isn’t that good of dog.

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