Drawing by Jesse Egan
I’ve been serving booze in this town since 1985. That’s 26 years behind the plank. Truth is, I could have quit a long time ago, having parlayed other skills into a decent freelance business, but I really do love bartending, and believed I could do it forever.
Well forever came early last month, when I was informed by the powers that be that my services would no longer be needed.
Now, this is not going to be a screed against my former employers about how they could have fired such a hard working, honest, efficient, speedy and spectacular bartender (with handsome features and genius tendencies). They had their reasons, which I respect. For the record, though, I did nothing wrong, apart from the fact that I got older and the bar (710 Beach Club) got younger. In dating parlance, you could say that we had “grown apart.”
Indeed, the news of my unemployment came the day after my 49th birthday—a fact that has hit me pretty hard. Not because I’m getting old, per se (I typically don’t sweat birthdays), but because it probably means my bartending career has come to a close. I mean, let’s face it, in this economy, there aren’t that many bar openings available, and the ones worth having are going to the young and fun babetenders.
Well, polly wolly doodle if that don’t suck my nuts! Bartending has been a part of my identity for as long as I can remember having an identity. It’s how I know everybody I know, and that’s how everybody I know knows me. Christ, I haven’t worked at Winston’s Beach Club for 15 years, yet people still ask if I can get them on the guest list, which is really annoying because only friends have the right to request guest-list privileges, and if they were my fucking friends, they’d know that I haven’t worked at Winstons for 15 years.
But I digress. The point is, I’m not a bartender anymore, and it’s time to face the fact, time for closure. Hence this column, which is a bittersweet farewell (or good riddance) to the people and things that were part of my life for so long. For instance, I would like to send a heartfelt farewell to my former co-workers and bosses at 710 Beach Club. It’s been a brilliant 12 years. Thanks for all of them.
Farewell to my customers—regular or infrequent—who never gave me no guff. Your business was greatly appreciated.
To the sumptuous cosmo-metro mamas, the busty, blondie, beachy babes and the “Just-flew-in-from-Louisiana” Susyannas—who grinded each other’s pelvises on the dance floor in a Technicolor, quasi-lesbo grope-show—fare thee well, my fairy fays. Read the rest of this entry »