Stupid Girls

“Do you know how to make Alien Pee?”

“Get an alien to pee in a cup?” I guess.

This girl looks 16, but her ID assures me she is just barely 21. She rolls her eyes, “It’s a drink…”

“Haven’t heard of it.”

“I think it has Midori and sweet and sour in it,” she says.

“That’s a Midori Sour.”

“No!” the girl next to her insists. She is also barely 21. They look like the kind of fraternal twins where one is overly thin and pretty and plastic and the second is homely and obviously loves comfort foods. “We were at a bar downtown and they had it on special. It’s called Alien Pee!”

It’s my turn to roll my eyes. Funny how some people think they are experts after they’ve been to a few bars. I don’t waste my time explaining basic marketing to them. They slam their Sex on the Beaches and order a pair of fuzzy navels.

By the way, it’s only three in the afternoon. The homely one slurps down her fuzzy navel and asks if I know how to make a Baby Mama. When I shake my head no she says, “Oh, well she made it up.”

“If she made it up, why would I have heard of it?”

Both girls shrug but don’t say anything. They won’t admit how special they think they are, local celebrities in their own minds (just like most of the people in this sad little town). “Well if you ever want to make it,” the wannabe mixologist chimes in, “It’s Malibu rum, pineapple juice and cranberry juice.”

I just look at her, my jaw clenched to stone, holding the laughter back. “You didn’t make that up. It’s called a Malibu Bay Breeze.”

Blank stares. I’m kind of embarrassed for them. It’s true, the most annoying demographic in bars is the twenty one-ers.

Another round of sugary, hang-over inducing cocktails later and the larger of the two pulls her Visa out of her purse. Droplets of sweat are beaded across her brows and above her upper lip as she asks, “Can we start a tab?”

My favorite part! “Probably not since I’m going to have to cut you off.”

“Cut us off?!” Surprise and indignation in unison. They argue. They complain.

I point at the sign above the bar and read it for them, “It is illegal to sell alcohol to visibly intoxicated persons.”

“I’m not drunk,” the first one says.

“Me either!” says the second.

Arms crossed over my chest, with all seriousness I respond, “So why are you sweating? You’re sitting still!”


It’s the First of the Month

Remember that Bone Thugs and Harmony song from back in the day? First of tha Month… Yeah, that’s this place. It can be dead all month long, the first rolls around its packed like a sardine can.

I recognize a lot of them; mostly from my last job, from the office lobby. Some of them were even my clients. I processed their food stamp renewals and listened to their case managers complain about how they knew a client was lying but could not prove it.

If only we had known it was easy as going down to the local dive on the first.

A few of them are here tonight and Sally Dee is one of them. She claims she can’t see good enough to use the microwave or bend to wipe her own butt. But I just saw her put a dollar in the juke box, pick a song, and shake that same butt to it.

Sally Dee doesn’t recognize me. Not even when she talks directly to me, orders a beer. She doesn’t remember coming into the office uninvited, without an appointment, on multiple occasions, to complain about her gout or diabetes or any number of things I never had any control of. More than once she claimed her caretaker didn’t get enough hours to help her shower or do the laundry.

“Wow check her out,” a girl at the bar says, referring to Sally Dee. “She’s gotta be like what 50? She’s getting down! I hope I have that much energy when I get older.”

I want to say that it’s easy to save your energy up for a night on the town when the state pays someone to wait on you hand and foot but I’m too distracted by another first of the month regular.

Tasha is about my age. She is a single mother with three kids. She hasn’t worked a day in her life but she takes home more money every month than a lot of people in this city who work full time. Tasha likes to brag about the loop hole she found. More than once I’ve heard her try to advise other women in the bar: “You gotta get off welfare, welfare will make you look for a job. SSI is where it’s at. I got me and all my kids on it. $700 hundred each every month!”

Their jaws always drop. “Don’t you have to be in a wheel chair?”

That’s when she will laugh and brag about the diagnosis that were as easy as suggesting to their family doctor that she has bi-polar, one of her kids has autism, and the other two have ADHD.

I can’t help getting angry as I remember all the clients with serious health problems whose cases were denied or drug out forever. And all the seniors who saw their only income stagnate even further even as prices soared. If it weren’t for people like Tasha…

Speak of the devil. “Hey girl,” she says. Her voice is syrupy. I don’t know why, she always acts like we’re best friends. She’ll come in during the day for cheap beer paid for with a pile of quarters and tell me the intimate details of her life. It’s weird. I’m not sure that I will ever get used to this part of being a bartender.

But the part where I get to cut people like Tasha off, that part I enjoy.

“Tina girl, let me get another Long Island.”

It is really hard not to smile as I shake my head. “Nope. You’ve had enough.”

“What? You can’t do that!”

Oh but I can! “Actually, that’s part of my job.” She wants to argue more but her friends pull her away when I remind her that she can leave the bar instead.

Twenty minutes later, after the rush on PBR and lottery cash outs, I head out for a quick smoke break. On my way to the porch I see Tasha, asleep at a table, abandoned by the friend she had been buying drinks for all night.

Night Stalker Do-Over

Closing time and I’m cleaning off the tables when I find a pile of cocktail napkins scrawled in rage soaked ink on one of the tables. The print starts out neat enough, almost like a bubbly love letter written in typical girly handwriting. But soon it decompensates into something rough that burrows through the layers of napkin, rips and tears at the dried tree pulp. I think back on who could have written it. What oddballs have been in the bar tonight? Next to the napkins there is an empty martini glass. It was an appletini, the cherry stem picked clean and left at the bottom. The only appletinis I’ve sold tonight went to a pudgy blue eyed blond with freckles on her nose. I try to reconcile the perky twenty something with the perfect nails and perfect hair and three hundred dollar purse on her arm with the words before me but I just can’t. And as I read through them the goose bumps on my arms don’t know whether to freak out and call the cops or cheer.

Dearest Richard,

I have dreamed of you for so long. Crazy intense dreams! All the stuff I want to do to you AAAAAhhhhh just thinking about it I can barely contain myself!

Those Mick Jagger cheekbones ooooh yeah, best handlebars I’ve ever seen! You wouldn’t mind if my acrylics dug into them a little would you? I need something substantial to sink them into, something to give me extra leverage when I plunge my favorite strap on up your ass. Oh and those lips! Those lips! They’re so pretty! And they are going to look fanfuckingtastic wrapped around that big fat dildo of mine. You’ll make sure to lick it nice and clean for me won’t you? But fuck my luck it is too late. Your dumb ass went and died before I got my chance. Death at my hands would have been so much sweeter babe! Why didn’t you wait for me? Natural causes, are you kidding me? Surely the pool stick I had set aside to finish you off with would have been way more fun than the infected anal fissure you really died from. Fuck those prison guards for not saving me a piece. And I had such a great recipe for roasted dick I was going to feed you beforehand! Best. Last. Meal. Ever.

R.I.P. Richard Ramirez. Rest In hell Puto.

In honor of the Night Stalker, tonight I change my tactics. Tonight I stalk the innocent.

Maybe it’s not fair to them. But it wasn’t fair to your victims either Richard. And it is time the tables are turned anyway right? That part is only fair. Don’t worry babe, I won’t tarnish your legacy. If anything I will outshine it.

Love Always,