For those of you who aren’t up to date on the going-ons of my life… shame on you, you’re clearly not stalking hard enough. But I guess I’ll ruin the surprise… or shock, and tell you that this week, I joined the ranks of the gainfully employed. “The gainfully employed” are the ones that make minimum wage working at a gay bar in rural North Carolina, right? Now I know what you’re thinking. No, the irony of the fact that I lived in West Hollywood for half a year and never worked at a gay bar, only to work at one in the middle of North Carolina is not lost on me.
Anyways, I’ve been working there for all of two days, so naturally, I’m an expert on bars now. Again, I know what you’re thinking. With the amount that I drink I was probably on expert on bars before I ever started working at one. It’s a cheap joke, you’re better than that, moving on. In honor of my employment, or more accurately, in honor of the hellish night last night, I’ve decided to provide you with a couple of tips for how to handle yourselves at the bar.
1. Don’t ever call me sweetie.
Like, ever. Same goes for “honey” or “cookie” or any other confectionary sounding terms of endearment. I don’t really do pet names. Something about a tattoo-laden, twenty-something guy being called “darling” just… feels wrong. I understand it’s an affectionate thing, but more often than not? It just kinda makes it sound like you’ve already forgotten my name when I told it to you less than a minute ago. It’s not great. Now, I know I’m in the South, and things run differently down here, but that’s one that I’m not budging on. More than anything else, it doesn’t really serve a purpose. I mean, you’re trying to get my attention and you yell, “Hey, sweetie!” Well, who the fuck is sweetie? Is it me? Is it that guy that you know from your gay kickball league? Is it the other bartender? When you call bartenders pet names, it doesn’t help clarify who or what you want, so just don’t do it. Plus… dude, you’re in your 40s. “Sweetie” is just weird coming from you.
I can’t believe I even hafta say this one. Your mother always told you this for a reason. She wasn’t just talking about her tchotchkes, it’s a life lesson. There’s this weird phenomenon with drunk folks, particularly in a gay bar, where they regress to their infantile state. It’s like they’re perpetually caught in the “Mine!” phase where they think everything belongs to them. Well, see, here’s the thing… I’m another person. People don’t belong to other people. Jesus, didn’t you see Lincoln? So, yes, some people may say that I invited it by taking my shirt off but here’s the thing… I just wanted better tips, okay? And it was hot as balls back there and I’m runnin’ around. Over the course of the night, I had three nipple grabs, two thwarted nipple grabs, four people try to run their hands through my chest hair, and one guy who, for some reason, tried to tickle my armpit while I was carrying three bags of ice over my head. Do you know what happens when you tickle my armpits with three bags of ice over my head? I almost drop three bags of ice on your head, that’s what. So do us all a favor and just skip the awkward touching thing.
3. Drink responsibly.
This one isn’t because I’m concerned about you. I should probably get that bit out of the way first. Okay, yes, I don’t want anyone to die from alcohol poisoning or in a drunk-driving accident, but there are selfish reasons to it, too. Why, you may ask, do I want you to drink responsibly? Why don’t you ask my vomit-covered Levi’s? Cut to the end of the night, where I’m mopping up vomit off the floor and wall in my boxer briefs. It sounds like a scene from some fetish website, but I assure you, there was nothing pleasant about it for anyone involved.
So there you have it. I don’t ask a lot from folks, just keep those things in mind when you’re drunkenly fumbling for the last of your cash to tip your bartender, okay? We put up with a lot of your shit.