Random Magazine

Screwing With Drunk People

By Therealbarman @TheRealBarman

Fucking With Drunk People I’m not sure why, but lately I’ve become more irritable about the fact that I spend five nights a week in a place where I’m sober and everyone else is flying high and yuckin’ it up.  I understand that it’s my job, but after awhile it feels like I’ve been invited to a party but when I arrive, I’m told I should stand out front and wait for guests to arrive so I can park their cars.  I hate it I hate it I hate it!!!

Let’s not dilute the facts, being drunk is stupenderrific!  You’ve all been there, you know how it is:  that sensational feeling of perceived invincibility you experience after five or six drinks.  Even better is if you compound that experience by drinking with a group because the camaraderie shared between buffoons slopping alcohol on each other can only be compared to that of championship sports teams.

That’s why bars are so popular, because being drunk with a group is so much more badass than being drunk alone.  Everything is hilarious and fun and no matter what fucked-up shit you’re dealing with in your every day life, at this moment you and your drinking clan are downright convinced of your indestructibility, so much so that you find yourself discussing scenarios to prove it. In fact you’ve all agreed that, under the right circumstances, if you had a titanium body suit, a utility belt, and a Peter Pan-sized boy with a yellow cape to watch your back, any one of you could easily transition into the role of Batman.

On the other hand, being sober around drunk people is like trying to fit into a clique you were never invited to join, except this clique has the maturity equivalent of nine year olds.  Disorderly nine year olds.  With brain damage.  That’s me, every night (the guy-hanging-out-with-disorderly-drunks part, not the brain damage part).  We bartenders are like matadors armed only with one of those flimsy piece of crap Zorro swords trying to hold off a ring full of dazed, irritated bulls.  Except replace “sword” with “bar rag” and “bulls” with “vomity, cursing drunks”.

Being sober around drunks is boring, which provokes me to spice up the action, which is why I have a serious problem that some of you may have identified already, and it’s that I can’t help fucking with people who take things too seriously (See “Peta Girl”).

I can’t decide if it’s a disease or a superpower, but I do know that I’m addicted because every night before I go to work I choose some mantra to repeat to myself that might help me overcome my problem (something along the lines of, “Bar patrons are my friends, not toys for my amusement”) but every night I somehow become misaligned and betray that mantra which means I have to start my 12 steps over again and apologize to people I’ve wronged and make amends with Jesus in a non-sarcastic way that shows him I’m not fucking with HIM.

I try to leave people alone, really I do, but please remember that I work in a bar with drunk people and telling me not to fuck with them is like placing a ribeye in front of a tiger and saying, “Now when I get back, that steak had better still be there, mister.”

Yes, I understand that drunk people are vulnerable in their state of cheery befuddlement, but you should know that I leave 98% of them alone, the ones who are lovable and considerate and sometimes even offer to buy me a shot.  It’s the 2% that I fuck with, the ones who are determined to destroy everyone else’s good time.

This brings me to Artie, a decidedly irate and spiteful individual who enters my bar about once a week so he can try to drink enough to kill whatever’s inside him that he hates about himself.  I won’t waste your time with too many details except to say that Artie is the type of man that I imagine pulls the wings off butterflies for the pure joy of performing reverse evolution.  Sometimes I want to stab a pacifier into his mouth because I’m fairly certain he would immediately and innately start trying to suck all of his anger out through the rubber nipple like a teething baby.

Like most people who have issues with the world, Artie communicates his problems without bothering to pay attention to what anyone else has to say, which manufactures entertaining conversations where he attempts to recruit misery to accompany him at the bar and I do my best to derail and distract him.  This is what happened that last time Artie stumbled to the bar, already a bit schnockered, trying to tell me about the car accident he had that day:

Me:  How’s it going, Artie?

Artie:  It’s going shitty.  Some jackass smashed into my Porsche today.  Three months off the lot, and he totaled it.

Me:  Wow.  That’s too bad.  Were you alone or by yourself?

Artie:  I was…what?  I was by myself.

Me:  What happened?

Artie:  Asshole ran a stop sign and smashed into my passenger side door.

Me:  How did he smash into you if he was at a stop sign?

Artie:  No, idiot.  He ran through a stop sign.

Me:  I thought you said he was driving.

Artie:  He WAS driving.

Me:  You just said he RAN through it.

Artie:  That’s what you say when you drive through a stop sign without stopping.  What the fuck is the matter with you?

Me:  I don’t know.  My father used to hold me under water for long periods of time…

Artie:  ANYWAY…I jump out of the car and I’m getting ready to beat this punk’s ass.  He’s like 18 years old with tattoos all over the place, and he starts running for these stairs…

Me:  What kind of stairs?

Artie:  What?  What do you mean?

Me:  I mean did they go up or down?

Artie:  They’re stairs…what the fuck? They go up and down.

Me:  Come on.  How do stairs go up and down at the same time?

Artie: Are you retarded? It wasn’t an escalator. They’re just STAIRS!  FUCK!

Me:  Don’t escalators have buttons and sliding doors?

Artie:  Can I finish?

Me:  I wish you would.

Artie:  So then I chased him up the stairs into an office building.

Me:  So they were “UP” stairs (I cleverly used my quotation fingers for this).

Artie:  Will you forget about the stairs, for Christ sakes?

Me:  What stairs?

Artie:  Are you serious?  What the fuck?

Me:  No, you don’t understand.  You said “forget about the stairs”, so I was like, “What stairs?” like I already forgot about them.  You know, like when someone says, “Promise me you won’t tell Jane about the secret passage way,” and you say, “What secret passage way?” because it’s like you’re telling them you’ll pretend you know nothing about it. It’s a clever way to say that I’m on board with you.

Artie:  Jesus, forget it.  I’m done talking to you.  You’re missing out on a goddamn good ending too.

Me:  I know, it sounded like a good plot.  What was the name of it?

Artie:  The name of what?

Me:  Hello?  The movie you were just telling me about with the guy running up the stairs.  Did you forget already?

At this point Artie slammed what was left of his Sierra Nevada down and started to stomp out the door, but I reminded him that he hadn’t paid yet so I ruined his dramatic exit because he had to rummage through his wallet for some time before he found the right credit card.  The great thing about Artie is that he drinks so much he usually doesn’t remember what he’s mad at me for and I’ll see him again in a week when he’ll tell me some other story about how everyone in the world is an asshole except him.

I know what you all are thinking and you’re right, I need help.  I’m going to ask Jesus* to guide me.

*By Jesus I mean our dishwasher, not the real Jesus.  He’s studying psychology at the junior college so maybe he knows some stuff about “fucking-with-drunks syndrome” or whatever.  Again, I’m talking about our dishwasher, not the prime time Jesus.  I assume the real Jesus already has psych figured out pretty good which is why he mind-fucked everyone by letting them nail-gun him to lumber.

Cheers, until next time.

The RB

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