It’s Like Cheers, But…Not

Walking in, the first person you see is the beer delivery guy. He’s cool, but there’s just something about him that gives you the feeling that if he’s not a serial killer, he’d probably make a pretty good one. He’s not aggressive or anything, just a little…off. Whatever. Time to set up the bar.

There’s a new kid who just started training, so, naturally, you’ve gotta mess with him. There’s a coffee machine in the kitchen that’s hooked up to a water line. You can run the water all day long, but it won’t ever empty completely. You can convince him that he needs to empty all the water out of it to start his shift. You watch him drain eight gallons of water from the damn thing before he figures out that you’re just screwing with him. It’s a good thing he’s a good sport about it; now you don’t feel bad for laughing at his inexperience. Eh, everybody goes through it, you tell him.

Halfway through the dinner rush, you’ve got a few tables. Everything’s going fine…wait…you need a fork? For your bread? What planet are you from? Alright then…

You head back to the kitchen, the place where you and your coworkers gather to air their grievances. You know they’ll get a good laugh out of this one. While you’re all there, you look around the circle of degenerates that you call your friends, and you smile. There’s a tremendous amount of camaraderie here. there is a certain amount of solace in knowing that you’re all a little touched in the head. Granted, some more than others, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It definitely makes things interesting. Never a dull moment.

There’s a guy that comes in fairly often and always asks for the same server. You’re grateful you don’t ever have to take care of him. He’s a really cool dude, but he looks like the villain from a Robin Hood movie, and that’s something you just can’t get passed.

You have a long conversation with a guy at the bar about matters of the universe. It’s not unusual for people to talk to you about heavier topics. When alcohol is involved, they tend to feel much more comfortable. You think you’ve gotten pretty good at giving advice. You consider yourself an unofficial psychiatrist, but in the back of your mind you know better. You’re just some asshole who serves drinks and spouts existential nonsense. Eh. At least you’re a good listener, right?

Time for a smoke break. You go out back to the alley, and find one of the local homeless guys trying to sell leather coats to his fellow alleycats. While amusing and slightly sad, this odd event is nothing new. You’ve come to expect this kind of thing.

Back inside, the regulars have started to find their assigned seats for the night. You’ve gotten to know these folks pretty well. You’d consider a few of them friends. Granted, they happen to be friends that kind of pay your bills, but there is an unspoken agreement that you won’t discuss this aspect of your relationship. This bar has brought you all together, and you’ve been with each other through some big ups and downs, regardless of money changing hands. The alcohol was a catalyst, with some solid relationships being the result.

Now that everyone is starting to feel their booze, they ask you to turn on “The Ocho” so they can watch curling. You know, for such a boring sport, it sure can spark some rather intense emotions. Dear god, they’re actually cheering. C’mon, Ben, get down from the bar; have some class, man…SHIT! The Russians just bumped the U.S. stone out of the center mark! This one’s gonna come down to the wire!

And finally, last call has come. Damn, you’re tired. You start having semi-romantic thoughts about your bed. You can’t wait to crawl between the sheets and drift off for a few hours. Tomorrow’s a busy day for you. A some of your coworkers are going down the street to another bar for a couple drinks, they want you to come along. You really shouldn’t.

Ahh, fuck it. One drink can’t hurt.

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