Rockin' night at the Lizards last night. It's a new club, and thus still trying to find its niche. This can take a long time, especially in the French Quarter where people are suspicious of "the new place," favoring at all times the tried-n-true haunts. I think it helps that my boss has established herself by owning a tried-n-true dive bar for so long, and that she imported all the most glamourous staff (HELL-oh!) to work the new club. But I'm still amazed at how quickly things are picking up.
At that end of the Quarter, it's pretty much tourist-city. ("Excuse me. How far is Bourbon Street?" "If it was a snake, it woulda bit ya!") I've never had to work with tourists, so I'm still learning how to be "nice" and "polite." (I have the great luxury of being able to tell anyone off for any reason at my other bar, even if the reason is as weak as, "I'm sorry, I'm about to begin bleeding from the vagina — you'll have to remove yourself from my presence before I go all postal on yo' essss'…")
Besides the tourists, I cannot express how happy and, yes, even grateful I am to see so many familiar faces when I'm working at the Lounge. Little buoys of sanity in an Ohio-ridden world, these people are.
Mea culpa maxima to Churchy who once again shewed his exquisite taste and deigned to come decompress with me in the late hours. You know I consider your insolent swagger into a room one of the lovliest of harbingers. I feel the evening was oddly incomplete due to the queer timing of your felicitous arrival. I was, you will recall, embroiled with approximately umpteen 1981'ers who were out on their first all-night-binger, and learning how to use their credit cards to boot.
"Oh, no, I wanted to get this round of Jägers, but not that round of Sluts on my card. Also, this, this and this beer on my tab, those others on hers. I don't know about that one over there."
"Okay," I gave my most brittle smile, "I'll just waste a lot of time and paperwork voiding out all these charges. Just give me twenty minutes. Hang on, Churchy! I'll be with you … well, tomorrow, probably!"
It wasn't really as aggravating as it sounds because they were so god damned cute! All these young 'uns, out on their first bender in the Big Bad Sleazy.
"When do bars close around here again?"
"BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!" I laughed. "CLOSE? Surely you are smoking crack!"
Here's an example of The Marquis learning to be polite to ignorant (but sweet) tourists.
"How much is that last round of very complicated shots that you took so much time to make me and all my friends?"
"Okay, here's $20. By the way, you're just the nicest person we've met in New Orleans. What's your name? I'm Missy. I just wanted to thank you sewwww much for being so cool and fun and rad and awesome and [insert 21 y.o. vernacular here] ____!"
I grinned and looked at the $20.
"Well that's certainly very nice of you to say, Missy, but tell me, have you experienced a problem with the service tonight?"
"Huh? What do you mean? Of course not! You're tubular! Why! What's wrong!"
"Well honey, in New Orleans, it is customary to tip your bartender when you find him to be 'tubular'."
I was at once amused by the words coming out of my mouth ("problem with the service"? Puh-leeze! I'm accustomed to yelling, "Yo! Bitch! Tip the bartender or get your skanky ass outtahere!") and the melting look of horror upon that sweet girl's face.
"Oh my god," she sputtered and stammered. "I'm such an asshole."
"No, you're not," I smiled genuinely. "You're not an asshole. This is how we learn things. This is called 'a learning experience', and I am honoured to have been chosen to be your instructor in this very important milestone in your life. We will always have this special bond now, you and I."
Needless to say, Missy and her little friends took very good care of their favorite bartender for the rest of the night.
I am ashamed to confess it here, but mom was right; sometimes, just sometimes, being nice works!
Somewhere in the midst of this jolly little mêlée, Churchy, and the few others whom I knew, scattered off and left me with a bar of post-teens. My boss, of course, started putting up chairs and making overt gestures of closing time.
Rang over a grand last night. Those in the industry will realize that to ring a grand on one's own is, while certainly not impossible, indicative of very sore feet on the morrow.
Thus, the title of this piece.
I'm doing my gosh darned utmost to kill off a cold before it gets a hold of me and makes a shambles of my sorry little life.
Everyone's got their stop-a-cold-dead-in-its-tracks recipe, and at the risk of tiring you with yet another, here's mine:
I just chopped up three cloves of garlic and swallowed them like pills.
Dude, I am going to smell fuuuunk-aaaay! at work tonight!
Another nugget o' wisdom from “