Your friendly bartender is not so naive as to think all bad behavior comes from your side of the bar… he’s fully aware there are jerks behind the stick. Jerks a-plenty!
He knows there’s the full-blown, arrogant bartender who sees your raised hand and pretends that he doesn’t. He knows there’s the sleazy, dishonest bartender who pads your check figuring you a fifteen per-center. And he also knows there’s the sloppy bartender and grumpy bartender too, not to mention the know-it-all fuck who won’t shut up. But worst of all he now knows there’s the “flaming asshole” bartender, revealed in this little snippet from the New York Post.
“A bartender’s flaming drink stunt at a popular Upper West Side bar left a Manhattan woman engulfed in flames… As Great Balls of Fire came on the juke box, the bartender poured 151-proof rum across the bar and deliberately lit it on fire… The flame blew back into the bottle turning it into a flamethrower.
Excuse me? What the fuck???!!!
Did Sparky test this shit out first in lab class back at The Bartender’s Institute of Insanity? And did he think for a second there might just be some danger here? Like a slight chance those who walked into the bar under their own power, might just leave on a gurney headed for the burn ward? Or did he just tap his foot and bop his head to good ol’ Jerry Lee Lewis and think, “Awww, man, I got it! This’ll get ’em… let me just grease down this bar with a swath of “151”, then light the fucker and see what the hell happens.”
Geez, why not toss a hand grenade into the equation?
And if it was indeed this song that kicked off what not to do with matches, what would’ve happened if Devo’s Whip It had thumped in? Would he have climbed over the bar and given this woman thirty fucking lashes?
But do you know where all this stuff comes from… this behind the stick ass-hole-ery to the third power? It comes from the all too popular trend now of bartender-as-performer happy horseshit. (See the old Tom Cruise movie, “Cocktail”. Or don’t, and pull out your toenails instead.) Yes, it’s this bottle-flipping, moon-walking, drink-lighting, check-me-out performance art that leads to guys in bow ties torching the citizenry.
And it’s all nonsense… and the quality of the finished product suffers in the bargain. The trickiest your friendly bartender gets while performing behind the stick is stabbing a couple of olives with a toothpick. And he feels sorry for the olives!
But seriously, Sparky, the next time you feel the urge to dabble in pyrotechnics during your shift, take a deep breath (no matter what song is tickling your inner arson) then wait til the Fourth of July when you can strap your sorry ass onto a homemade rocket and launch yourself out over the Atlantic. I’m just sayin’!
(Movie Recommendation) Speaking of “Cocktail”… the most absurd depiction ever of what it’s like behind the stick (Tommy Boy spilled more than he poured with that lame-ass juggling act)… your friendly bartender directs your attention to the little known indie gem, “Dinner Rush”. Except for the hot dog bartender who is completely ridiculous and someone I wouldn’t let pour me a glass of tap water, this movie is the most authentic look I’ve ever seen of what goes on in a restaurant. Other than Danny Aiello and that guy who played Carrie Bradshaw’s boyfriend on Sex and the City (YFB is embarrassed to have known that!) the cast is largely unknown and spot on terrific. And the ending is great!