Saturday, January 30, 2016

You Miss 100% of the Shots You Don't Take

It's a shame the NHL, and their little troll of a leader, didn't heed the Great One's advice. Because they completely missed this shot.

John Scott. What a great story. A bruiser, A grinder. An enforcer. A stay at home defenceman who makes it all the way to the All-Star game. Every Canadian kid's dream. 

It was a lark from the beginning, everyone knows it. The fans voted in a guy who's got more teeth than points career point. And that's not saying much for a hockey player. (There's a reason the teams have dentists on call at every game.) It started out as a bit cruel joke, a big FU to the NHL for one reason or another,  but ended up as the best underdog story we've heard and a dog's age. 

It turns out John Scott is a really likeable guy. Humble, hardworking, understated, easy going. The kind of guy you like to have around. The kind of guy you like have a beer with once in a while. The kind of guy that people will side with when they find out a big corporation is pushing him around. The kind of guy that makes people jump on the internet to scream and yell about until the next thing comes along to draw their collective web ire. 

A smart organization would have embraced this debacle. A smart commissioner would have instructed his team to control the story. Immediately. Mould the message from the start. Don't ignore the fact that the voting was hijacked by the public and sent in a direction the league obviously didn't want. Roll with that punch. Open your stubby arms with a big gap-toothed grin and embrace the unexpected with grace and style. 

"Hey hockey fans, you voted him in, and we couldn't be happier. Could not have happened to a nicer guy. See kids, work hard, be team player and one day this could be you! #belikejohnscott We're so happy one of our unsung heroes is going to show us what he's made of. We can't wait to watch the game with you.  By the way, get your official NHL John Scott T-Shirts here."

But little men can't get egg on their face. They have to show the world who's on top. Even if it means stepping on someone. A little someone.  If it means crushing a guy's career, that's just business. But to do it in such a very classless, heartless, and stupidly public way? That's just sloppy. It's the information age Gary. The story will get out. I don't know if the story John Scott put out is thereal account of what happened, but I believe his story. It's a great story. And even if it isn't true, it doesn't matter. Because, John was smart enough to control the story. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Elephant Man

We'll call him Lumpy. He's this very strange dude that hangs out in the bar. But not strange in a "I bet he'd be interesting if we just got to know him" way. Strange in a "I bet he'd murder us and keep our heads in his freezer while he stitched our skin into a Zoot suit if we just got to know him" kind of way.

Lumpy comes in during the day mostly . Usually drunk. When the girls would serve him at the bar he'd order bottles from the bottom of the coolers so he could stare at their asses while they bent down for them. Once he was caught taking picture of one of the girls. He's no longer allowed to use his camera in the bar. All of Lumpy's jokes involve murdering and dismembering hookers. He's no longer allowed to tell jokes in the bar.

When I used to bartend Lumpy would always ask to sample various beers on tap, then give me his long-winded opinions how much malt was in each particular one, or whether or not the brewer had used too much rice, or hops. If I didn't pay enough attention to Lumpy, I'd usually hear him holler "Heeeey Tar-Bender! Oh Taaaar- Bender!" I know. Hilarious. Other times he would just make sort of yipping sounds and I would tell him to knock it off or he'd have to leave. He ends up cut off. Then he always insists on going to the bathroom before paying and usually spends a half hour in there. Sometimes he falls asleep in the stall. Sometimes he talks to himself in the mirror.

Lumpy is dirty. He's got meth-head teeth. Looks like he's always just finished tearing apart an engine. He's also got this strange large lump on the right side of his forehead. It's like he was smoked in the head with a golf club and the welt never subsided.

Lumpy staggered to the bar the other night but didn't come in right away, he kind of hid around the corner of the bar for a few minutes before sauntering in. I asked him for his ID and promptly got an inventory of every card in his wallet as he announced each card filed through in the search for his picture ID. Lumpy has a license to drive a forklift and is an AMA member.

Lumpy was wearing his sunday best, dirty sweats, a denim vest and a ball cap you couldn't see the logo of. He sat down at the bar and ordered a beer and then proceeded to attempt to talk to the prettiest girl in the bar. She politely ignored him and focused her attention with laser precision on her friends as he drunkly tried to get her attention, tapping her arm with the back of his hand. I almost felt bad for him as he tried to join their conversation. Thats when he reached over and took a shot from the bar in front of them while they were looking away, trying not to make eyecontact with him. My sympathy ended there.

Big A was already within arms reach of him when I arrived. Our manager was telling him he needed to pay for the shot and leave. Ok he said. But he had to go to the bathroom first.  Go figure. She said fine. Big A hung out by the bathrooms to ensure he didn't try to make a run for it. Lumpy bounced off both walls of the hallway as he staggered to our bathrooms.

Lumpy came back out and tried to walk by the bar, but Big A grabbed him and turned him to face our manager who was ready with his bill and the debit machine. Lumpy dug through his wallet, taking inventory again, of each card in there before producing his debit card. It was an Edmonton Oilers debit card. Figures.

The Oilers Card. For when you don't want to pay.
After repeatedly punching the wrong buttons on the debit machine Big A (a full foot taller than Lumpy) stood over his shoulder and pointed to each button he needed to push. Turns out Lumpy had the same amount of money in his pocket as the Oilers have had Stanley Wins in the last 25 years.

The manager got tired of this game and said screw it. For the six bucks he owed us it wasn't worth our while. Big A guided him out while I cleared a path in case Lumpy decided to get squirrely.

I took my spot back at the door with James. Lumpy stood for a second before turning on me. Apparently he had something on his lumptastic mind.

"What's your name?" he demanded.
"Joe..." he mused "I think you're lying to me"  he's smarter than he looks, but I wasn't giving him any credit. I looked at James.
"What's my name?" I asked.
"Joe" he said flatly. I just gave Lumpy a 'well there you then' shrug. Lumpy teetered while he mulled that over.

"You know what 'JOOOOOEEE'.... as if Joe was a fake name I give to drunks and he'd somehow outsmarted me.
"What?" I asked.
"Jooooeee....I spend a lot of fucking money at this place..." he said lifting a finger for emphasis. I think he meant to point it at me but ended up pointing at some empty space between James and I. James had had enough.

"Time to go" he said with enough edge in his voice that I knew he was short on patience with our filthy patron.

Then Big A came out with Lumpy's debit card in his hand. He pushed it into Lumpy's chest. Lumpy clutched at it and almost dropped it.
"Don't come back" Big A said before turning to head back inside. Apparently he wasn't in the mood to argue about it.

"Time to go" James repeated. Lumpy started to walk away he turned and pushed a finger into James shoulder and started to say something. I stepped forward and told him it was time to go, again. He caught the drift and staggared away.

A couple days later I stopped in to pick up some take out from the bar and was telling the story to the staff. One of the waitresses told me that he came back on Sunday looking for his debit card. He said he must have gotten a little carried away Saturday night because he lost his card and couldn't remember leaving. The waitress told him we had given him his card back already and that he wasn't welcome back. She said he was really hurt by that and said that it was too bad because he really liked our bar.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Bad Asssssss...

There’s a group of regulars who come in, they’re all between 18 and early 20’s. They usually hang out by, or in, the DJ booth. Our DJ is pretty awesome. They are usually a fun bunch, but they do bring a lot of drama with them. Every couple of weeks someone ends up crying. Sometimes it’s the girls.

Last weekend a few of them came in and I noticed (we all noticed), that one of the girls’ shorts were so short that her ass was hanging out. Not a big deal but not all that common for our bar. About a half hour later they were out smoking and we over heard her discussing whether or not her ass was actually hanging out of her jean shorts. She concluded that it was not. Suddenly all the bouncers and a couple other guys started loudly mumbling to themselves in that tone that’s an octave or two higher than normal. “yeeehhh, I don’t think you’re right, there…” and “yeaaahhh..your ass might be a liiiiitle bit hanging outside your shorts shorts….” (see. Drunk Uncle from SNL).

She snapped her head up at us and pulled down the cuffs of her shorts. “Well don’t look at it you perverts!!” she spat.

“Hang on, hang on!” is said putting my hands up. “You walk in here with your ass hanging out all over the place, but I’m some kind of pervert because I can see it? Yeah, that makes sense sweetheart”

She started to tell us we were perverts again but the guys in the group were already clapping and laughing. “THANK you!” one of them cheered.

She stood there and smoked angrily while her friends laughed at her expense. She got over it quick enough and skipped inside. “Good to see you” I called after.

Later that night she made her ex-boyfriend cry. It was a pretty good night all in all!.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Sad Batnews

A few months ago I wrote a post called The Fast and Furious 4 about a group of dickheads who came into the bar one night. One of the dudes was bragging about his Lambo all night, as a crowning glory to his douchebaggery. Anyway, I used a picture I found on the web of a guy in a batman costume standing beside a booted black Gallardo

It turns out that this guy was a local celebrity in Maryland, where he would get dressed up in his bat-gear and visit sick kids in the hospital, handing out gifts and generally making their days brighter.

Sadly he died last month in an accident on his way back from a car show. There's an article here about this hero and his tragic end. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

First Impressions

I was standing in front of the bar when a girl in a slinky dress popped out from the door and bounced in front of me.

“Hi, are you the full time bouncer?” she asked in a cheerfully weird accent I couldn’t quite place.
“Uh, yeah”
“Cool!” she said “So if anything goes down you’ll protect me?”
“Actually I was kinda hoping you’d protect me, I’m only little” I joked.

She laughed and ran her hand down my arm smiling huge. Wait, is this little drunk chick hitting on me?

“Its so nice to have some big strong guys around. The last place I worked we didn’t have any bouncers so I had to break up fights myself” she said.

Ohhh, this is the new waitress. Ok, this is all coming together now.
“Well, you look like you could handle it” I teased. 

She grabbed my arm, and laughed, leaning over so I could see down her top. Then squeezed my elbow and went inside saying she’d see me around.

She went to the bar and sat with two knuckleheads. The type of guys that arm themselves with an ‘eat shit and die’ look on their faces at all time. The guys that smoke like there’s really no time to be smoking and fling their butt’s angrily at the ground for no reason, only to return to their beers and their ‘eat shit and die expressions’. Exactly the type of guy that attracts girls like our new waitress.

About 10 minutes went by when we got a call from Big A on the radio. “Need bouncers in the men’s room!” James and I hustled to the back leaving CT to man the door.  We got to the hall and the two ‘eat-shit-and-die’ guys were coming out of the bathroom, followed by the new waitress wearing a weird smile like this was some sort of fun game, and finally Big A.

“We’re leaving” the first guy growled, wiping white powder from his hands.
The two men grabbed their smokes and keys from the bar and left. The new waitress kinda hung out by the door.

“What are we gonna do about this” I said to James and Big A.
“Kick her out! I don’t care if she’s staff or not, she was doing coke in the handicap stall with two guys”

He was right.
“Yeah you gotta go”  I said.
“I just went in there to warn them not to do it or they’d get kicked out” she lied.
“Yeah, in a locked stall with two guys?” quipped Big A.

She hung out outside for a bit. Then she decided she needed to talk to someone who was still inside. She started calling to them, trying to get them to come out.

“You need to leave” I said to her. By now that manager had caught wind that the new waitress just got thrown out for blow after her second shift. Hanging out and causing a scene was going to do nothing to keep this girl’s job safe.

“I think you need to leave”
“You need to shut the fuck up” she replied.

Suddenly I didn’t care much what happened to her job.Her friend came out and they talked by the curb. He was telling her she needed to smarten up, and she was arguing about that. Finally the friend went back inside, shaking his head. She came to the door and asked me, as sweet as can be, if she could come in and talk to the manager. 

“No, I don’t think that’s a good idea” I said.

She walked away and smoked angrily with a small group of people. I over heard her say “That fucking asshole wouldn't let me back in” pointing my way. Eventually her friend came out with some buddies and they wandered away from the bar. 

didn't work the next day but I found out she’d been fired. I suspect she'll show up at the bar with a group of friends next weekend like nothing happened. I don’t think she’s going to find a particularly warm welcome. Oh, and it turns out she'd been hitting on everyone!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Taxi Confessions

A woman drove into our parking lot, pulled into a stall and bumped into the disabled parking sign. It folded back under the bumper of her cobalt blue PT cruiser then sprang back into place when she backed up an inch or two. She got out without checking her bumper and walked to my door. She stumbled once or twice taking a slightly indirect route.

“Hi there, got your ID?”
“Yup” she said and handed me her wallet with the ID showing through the little plastic window. She was in her 30s, definitely old enough to know not to drink and drive. I wasn't sure if she was drunk or had some sort of disability, which would explain parking in the disabled spot. Maybe a little of both.

“How’s your night going?” I asked.
“Had a couple drinks already?”
“How many?” I asked.
“A couple” she lied.
“Well, you’re a little stumbly. I’m going to let you in but I’m gonna keep an eye on you. And I want you to drink some water.”

I handed her back her ID and stepped aside. She walked to the bar and sat down. A moment later a Jager Bomb and a Pint appeared in front of her. Perfect.

Time passed, she got up to dance by herself. She did kind of a strip tease, slowly taking off her long sweater. She got her arm caught in the sleeve and turned round and round in a circle trying to free it, but never quite catching up to it. Eventually she freed herself and returned to her strip tease. It looked like she was trying to take a shower with her clothes on, randomly squatting down to pick up the invisible soap she’d dropped. She was starting to attract attention.

Eventually a guy walked up to the dancefloor and started chatting her up. They sat down together and had a drink, she leaving her sweater and wallet on the dancefloor.
The night thumped on.  At some point I carded two larger women in their late 30s, and quite flattered to be ID’d. They went in, looked around. Suddenly the larger of the two came flying out and ran to her car.

Her friend trailed but stopped for some reason to explain it to us. It turns out it was the other girl's husband that was now chatting up our stumbling dirty dancer. He was supposed to be out meeting a friend. I got the impression that the wife came out specifically to keep an eye on him.

Meanwhile Dirty Dancer had gone back to her spot at the bar, blissfully oblivious to all of this. The wife came in and tore a strip of the husband and they all went outside to fight. A few minutes later his buddy showed up to find everyone in the parking lot arguing. He left immediately. I was worried the large wife was going to try and take out her frustration on the relatively small, drunk Dirty Dancer. I explained to the wife's friend that I didn't think Dirty Dancer realized what was going on. The friend caught my drift and said they were leaving anyway. 

At this point we had cut Dirty Dancer off and the bar staff were feeding her water. I told the guys that I would have them bring her out when the next cab showed up. She was having a hard time sitting without falling and I certainly didn’t want to have her try and drive. 

We got her outside and I asked how she was. She was fine.
“Can I get you a cab?”
“Alright, there’s one over here” I said, leading her to the line of cabs.

The sliding door of the van opened and she stumbled trying to get in. I gave her a hand up. The cabbie then said “Do you have cash? I don’t have a debit machine”
“Well that’s a problem” she said.
“No it's ok, there’s a bank machine right there, I can take you there and you can get out some money in the drive thru” he said.
“NO! I’m not paying extra because you don’t have a machine!” she said.
“Oh I won’t start the meter until you get your money out” he replied, trying to make things right.
She looked at me for confirmation, so I explained it to her again.
“No,” she said,  “He doesn’t understand his machine”
I looked confused, the cabbie looked confused. “Do you want to try another cab that has debit?” I asked.
She nodded.

At the same time a group of guys was passing us.  One of them had overheard the tail end of our exchange and said “Hey, that one takes debit, the one we just got out of” pointing to a taxi.

I turned and said thanks. The guy had a thick wad of 20s in his hand. “Shit, nevermind” he said, leaned in and handed the cabbie a 20. “Is that enough to get her home?” he asked.

“Yes!” said the cabbie.
Relieved this was resolved, I started to shut the door, when she said “I don’t want your money”


“It’s ok, I won a shitload at the casino” said the guy and walked on towards the door.
I looked at the girl and she seemed a little overwhelmed by so much happening. I asked if that was ok and she said sure. I closed the door and walked away, shaking my head.

Halfway to my post I heard the cabbie yelling to me. I turned.  He was waving, frustrated. 

“She wants ME to pay HER” he said shrugging.
“She says I owe her 20$, you talk to her” he said.

Well shit. How is this my problem again?? I headed back to the cab.

I could see movement through the windshield. Suddenly I realized she was climbing over the seat, falling onto the back row. Then she climbed over the back seat and fell into the cargo space of the cab. She looked like a marine going over a log obstacle in basic training. All of this in a short skirt and heels. The cabbie gave me a 'What the hell is going on!?' look. I opened the door and stuck my head in through the side. She was still hiding in the back.

“Hey there” I said.
“Hi” she said plainly.
“Whatcha doin’ back there?”
“I don’t feel comfortable being in this vehicle anymore” she replied, matter-of-factly.
“Ok, you wanna get out?”
“Yes” she replied from her hidey hole.
“Ok, we’ll open the back door for you”

So we slowly opened the back door, stuffing our hands up underneath to keep her from falling to the pavement. She swung around and eased out. I waved to the cabbie to leave it with us, he was off the hook.

“I’m gonna walk” she declared.
“Yes, I think that’s best” she decided.
“Ok, well, you’re a little drunk and stumbly and I want you to get home safe”
“Yes, I’m stumbly” she said.
“I’ll tell you what, you can come back inside and drink some water if you want and maybe sober up a little before you walk home. Is that ok?”
“Yes” she said.
“Ok, cool, but just water, no more booze ok”
“No booze” she said.

I let the bartenders know the deal, parked her on a bench and kept an eye out.
Almost immediately some dick head wandered over and started hitting on her like a vulture picking at the drunkest carcass he could find. He kept trying to buy her drinks and the bar staff kept telling him no. Eventually he went back to his perch with his greasy friends. Before long she met a new group of guys who began chatting her up. The vulture eyed them all jealously.

Eventually someone bought her a tequila. Before she had a chance to drink it CT intervened and got her outside. She broke her end of the deal. She said she understood.

I took her to where the cabs were and she decided to smoke. She was joined by some other guy who had been chatting her up inside. The vulture came out to see where she’d gone, angry to find her attention directed at another male. Feathers ruffled, he waddled back into the bar, looking for his next victim.

Eventually she got into a cab and was gone for the night. I have no idea how she paid.

The next day I stopped into the bar for breakfast and found her car was gone. I don’t know if she came back and got it, or if it had been towed for being parked in a disabled spot.  Either way, I’m sure we’ll see her again before too long.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Brazil Nuts

Four Brazilian kids came in last Friday. There's the tall good natured kid in a grey sweater, a weird smaller kid who looks like an elf, another douchebag with a little moustache and a new guy with a stupid pony tail.

Tall kid is alright, pleasant enough, never causes trouble. Rumour is he sells weed, but he seems to get that it can’t be done in our bar.

The elf is a douche bag weirdo. Super aggressive with girls, hands all over, doesn't understand 'no', always seems to be in the middle of some sort of trouble. He usually wears a toque way on the back of his head, and a ratty cardigan and skinny jeans. He just pisses me off in every way. One of our younger waitressed told me last week that "no he's not an asshole, he's fun". 

The moustache dude is another piece of shit. He’s handed out half-drank leftover beers to drunk girls, he’s been super aggressive with women on the dancefloor, and we even caught him with a significant amount of weed in the bathroom. We’ve banned him for a while but started letting him and his buddies come back.

The Ponytail freak is new. Seen him around once or twice. Never made an impression on me one way or the other. Until Friday.

It was a pretty good Friday, we were busy. I was working with James, CT and Big A. At some point a body builder looking short guy and his tispy body builder girlfriend showed up. Later, their friend, a blond girl arrived. I asked for ID and she rolled her eyes and handed me her ID and looked away as though I was wasting her time. I let her in and she gave me a quick condescending smile before rolling her eyes and stomping into the bar. Blondie was a bit of a bitch, but that’s nothing new ‘round her I guess.

CT spent a chunk of the night avoiding/entertaining a girl he’d ‘gotten to know’ the weekend before. We were teasing him about his new stalker/love interest over the radio when suddenly he said “Hey, take a look inside guys”

James looked and went in. It seemed there was an argument between the weightlifting team and the Brazilians. I hung halfway back keeping my eye on the door, CT and Big A were approaching the group as well. The argument went through the motions but seemed to resolve itself. The girls in the group just wanted to leave and were motioning the boys to go. James was about to walk away when suddenly people started shoving.

The Muscle-y dude started to step towards the PonyTail weirdo, but CT wrapped him up. James stepped in front of the Pony Tail weirdo who was now completely outside the fray, but still screaming at the Muscle-y dude for some reason. The girlfriend was slapping James on the back of his bald head. A table went over and glass shattered, I ran around and pulled off a guy who was trying to get at the group, I think it was the Moustache Douche.  The tall kid was trying to pull the Elf-looking weirdo out of the group. We had it pretty much tied up when suddenly I heard glass break.

The douchebag-asshole-coward PonyTail freak reached over James, and smashed a bottle over the Muscle-y guy’s head. CT had been holding the guy back and hand his arms pinned to his side. The glass and beer exploded over the guys head and burst square into CTs face like a shotgun blast. He spun around into me and I could see he was cut up pretty good. He ran over to check on the Muscle-y guy. He had a deep gash down his forehead to his eyebrow. Ten or twelve stitches worth. 

“I got bottled” he said with short lived disbelief. Then the rage took over “Where the fuck did he go!?”

Both guys looked like a horror movie. There was blood everywhere.
“I don’t know, I didn’t see who did it but you’re cut pretty bad, we’re gonna get you an ambulance and the cops are coming” I hadn’t actually seen the guy who did it, but found out later that Big A had grabbed him and practically carried him outside then ran back in to help us. I saw on the video later that the Elf looking asshole had gone out and told PonyTail to run.

The Muscle-y guy ran outside and announced he was going to kill the guy who bottled him.  He tried to get at the remaining Brazilians but James and Big A got him calmed down. I went over and told him that we had a pretty good idea who the guy was and that the cops were coming, the whole thing was on video and that they’d get him. “Let me get him” he said infuriated. Not happening big guy.

Suddenly Blondie, who was such a charmer earlier, is my best friend, begging me to help her cut up muscle man. We got him some towels to help stop the bleeding.

All of a sudden he caught sight of one of the Brazilians and lost his shit. He went flying around the corner and tried to grab one. Big A was quick to grab him and I was right behind. At some point I had my arms around his body, he turned to get free and elbowed me in the face. He suddenly stopped turned and apologized. I almost laughed. 

“Its ok buddy but look, cops are here. You’re not gonna do yourself any good getting arrested.” He found that agreeable.

Cops showed up, ambulance showed up, they looked over Muscle-y guy and CT. Muscle-y guy got a lift to the hospital. CT decided chicks dig scars and declined to get the stitch or two he probably needed.  The bar had emptied so I told CT he was done for the night. He was lucky to still have his vision.

Days later I found out that one of our regulars was a roommate of Elf-face and Ponytail asshole. PonyTail claims he was the victim and just defending himself. The video shows a much different story fortunately. The video shows he was no only not being attacked, but his supposed attacker was being held back by on bouncer and blocked by another.  This dick head had to practically climb over James to hit the guy with a bottle, cutting him badly and almost blinding one of my buddies. Hopefully PonyTail get deported after a few months in jail having his hair used like a handle. Yup, that’d be nice.

Anyway, CT is fine, like a trooper he was back to work the next day. The cops came by to get the video earlier this week. And there’s pretty much only one kind of Brazilian allowed in our bar now.

If you know what I’m sayin’.