Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bar Whining in New Orleans; or, Funny You Should Mention That.

All of this recent talk about banning smoking in all bars & public places in New Orleans has brought back a flood of memories from my days tending bar in the French Quarter. Memories, specifically, of all the people who didn't know how good they had it, and still cried about shit anyway.

I was behind the bar at Sin City that night, one of the tours had left, about 90 people tipping a total of 10 bucks for making each & every one of them a drink in about 15 minutes. Needless to say, I wasn't in the mood for any bullshit.

It was still pretty crowded, and I realized it was one of those nights when the surrounding city was going to send us some emissaries a bit different that our usual rock & roll, black leather crowd. At just that point, three twenty something young women careened in the door, threw themselves against the bar and demanded drinks, as they "were having a hard night". Forgoing the obvious pun, I got their IDs (after much eye rolling and heavy sighing), saw that they were all mid 20s, and began making their drinks.

The girl in the middle was very blonde, and a hair flipper. From her eyebrows, I'd have guessed she was really blonde. She was also strikingly pretty, and well built, more so that the two on either side of her, who were browner of hair, and obviously minions of this particular Cheer-ocracy. I called them her 'Support Ho's'.

They were practically fanning and fawning over the pretty girl in the middle, who was loudly whining that "so many people wanna buy me drinks! Can't they just stop?!"

The Support Ho's clucked and whimpered as though she'd lost a limb, egging her on to levels of whining I thought were reserved for Christians in Hell (it must be a big room). Finally, as I handed them their cups, I couldn't take anymore.

"Look lady," I said as I picked up their money to ring them up, "you should probably learn to enjoy the generosity & attention while you can. This shit won't last forever."

She looked directly at me, stunned.

"What... what do you mean?" she whimpered. Looking right back at her, totally dead pan, I said, "Well, I used to be a pretty young blonde girl, and look what happened to me."

As I turned to the register, she burst in to tears.
Some people are just waiting for an excuse to cry.
About anything.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

'A Day At The Store' or 'Take The Shuttle'

So I'm checking out at Mardi Gras Zone. The cashier is a young man with a large beard, wooly cap and big fur collar, sitting on a stool, talking on the phone.
"Take the shuttle. It's two dollars." he says, in to the phone.
I pile my items on the counter, and slowly, one by one, he bar-code reads them.
"No. Take the shuttle. It's two dollars." he says again, into the phone, making obvious progress, at least on that front.

Finally, I am rung up. $28.05.
I hand him a twenty and a ten.
"No. It's only two dollars. take the shuttle." he says in a convincing monotone.
Victory is no doubt within reach.
He closes the register.
I reach over the counter to get a bag, and begin bagging my groceries, as he watches each movement, sitting on his stool, with his phone to his ear.
"Take. The. Shuttle."

"My change" I say. "$1.95? My change?"
Never moving the phone, he nods, and takes a minute to figure out how to open the register. His nails are a bit long and seem polished.
Shiny, shiny nails.
He finally hands me my change, sort of dumping it into my hand. He offers a grimacey smile thing, and starts back at the phone.
"Oh, nothing. So, are you going to take the shuttle?"

As I step away, the next person in line (there are now several) is just standing there, staring at him as he talks on the phone. I leaned back towards the customer, and in a loud stage whisper, say, "Shhhh... He's on the phone!"

As I turn back to walk out, the cashier finally speaks directly to me.
In his own stage whisper, he says, "Thank you".