I’m a Bad Drunk.. No, Really—I Suck At It, I Can Barely Pull It Off
I’m beginning to think it may be safer for me to drink at home. There have been a few occurrences lately beyond the normal ‘I’ve had a few too many ad think I’m driving home on a NASCAR track.’ No, it’s more serious then that.
There was a new bartender. That was the start of the problem—and that is a problem. A bartender you know by name, and more importantly, who knows you by name—or at least face—is one of the most cherished of drinking mores. Our regular bartender had to go and better himself, accepting a full time position elsewhere with a respectable multi-part title, health insurance, and a salary one can actually live off. Pretty selfish, if you ask me. What about our bar tab? You’re doing great, but what about us?
This new bartender looked as though he should be set up at a card table on his parents’ front lawn with his Snoopy Sno-Cone machine, not serving drunk passive aggressive shuffleboard playing nerds debating who has out-flanneled whom.
Maybe this was my mistake. I’ve often been told I have poor communication skills. Of course, the other side to that is people simply don’t listen to me when I speak. It goes both ways.
But in a situation such as this, drunk to bartender back and forth communication is rather necessary for the survival of both entities; the drunk must drink and the bartender must be tipped, and to be tipped he must provide the drunk with drinks. The proper drinks. That should be specified.
So I go up to the bar. That’s a pretty good start, I thought. Standard guy hello follows, we nod at each other, and I lean over the bar a bit to say, ‘Can I get a gin & tonic?’ He nods during my brief pause before, ‘and a shot of Jameson.’ I turn back to the shuffleboard game, believing all to be well in hand, and allow the young mixologist to prepare my libations.
When I turned around there was a glass. One. Not two. It was bubbly, it had a little red straw, a lime, and a certain golden hue. In case you’re unfamiliar, a gin & tonic should not have a golden hue.
‘I’ve never heard of putting those two together,’ he said as he slid my drink(s) toward me.
‘Me neither,’ I said.
Now, some may have refused the drink, explained the mixologist’s mix-up and moved on from there. First of all, I’m much too much of a little bitch for that. Second, I had a shuffleboard game to get back to. There was no time for this. I drank the drink. Also, it would be a waste of two perfectly good shots of two perfectly good types of alcohol. I feel like that would get marked down in the bad karma column of one’s scorecard.
I don’t need that.
To be honest, the drink wasn’t that bad. I’ve tasted worse. Also, I’m very good at justifying my inability to stand up for myself. I’m not saying the Jameo & Gin went well together, but they didn’t go poorly. One liquor didn’t overpower the other. They worked together; each offered a subdued sampling of their own unique flavors in this monstrosity of a cocktail.
That being said, I made sure to order only a gin & tonic the next time I went up. And held off on the shots.
I may have forgotten this incident completely were it not for another similar experience recently. A few friends and I had been at this charming little kraut bar for a couple hours, shooting the shit and chatting up the barkeep who looked astonishingly like Commander Riker, right down to putting his foot up on surfaces far too high for mere beardless mortals to put foot upon.
We were getting ready to call it a night; just one more round, one more smoke and a piss on someone’s car, and it was home to my couch. A successful night it would seem—until!
I close out my tab in the only polite way I know, which is to say, I order another pint and a shot of Fireball whiskey.
Riker pours my beer, he pours my shot, turns to—I assume—run my tab, and I throw the shot back.
Now, it is at this moment that time slowed down for me, and in the span of raising the shot from the bar to my lips, pouring it back and returning the glass to the bar, several things happened. They happened so quickly that while these realizations existed, it was more or less simultaneous. Look, the ball was tragically already in motion. Nothing I could do. It went something like this:
1. This Fireball looks lighter then usual.
2. This Fireball does not smell like Fireball.
3. This Fireball, that has just hit the back of
my throat, does not taste like Fireball.
4. Commander Riker just put a salt shaker and
second shot glass with lemon wedge on the bar.
5. I just did a shot of tequila.
In what language, in what world, does ‘fireball’ sound anything—anything!—like ‘tequila?’
I’d been in that bar just a couple weeks before and Riker had poured the group of us a round of Fireball. He even told us stories about how they used to mix up shots back in the 80s before there was Fireball whiskey, that tasted just like Fireball whiskey. He remembered us, my friends and I, from the group. More importantly I asked for a shot of Fireball. I had everything in my favor. Especially the part where I ordered Fireball. Instead, I swallowed the worm.
Basically, what I’ve learned here is that I shouldn’t go out anymore. I’m clearly incapable of operating any longer as a part of the drunk/bartender symbiotic thing that until recently has treated me so well. I have failed at drinking.
Look, I had a good run, but if I can’t even order a shot properly, then what good am I? I’m not sure what the point is, and frankly, I’m more then a bit worried about what I might end up with next—what, tomato juice and sambuca? yesterday’s coffee with a little umbrella?
How can it get much worse? No, it’s just not working anymore. If anyone needs me, I’ll be in my room with a glass of water.
Posted on November 5, 2012, in Bar, Personal, Rant, Things I Come Up With While I'm in the Shower and tagged Commander Riker, drinking, drunk, Fireball Whiskey, Gin & Tonic, shuffleboard. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.