Before I Tripped Over a Stone, Fridays, #19

(Previous series post, Before I Tripped, #18)

The beginning of my illustrious career bartending, waitressing and short-order cooking. In this bar, we usually had a bartender and a waitress. We knew all positions, worked them all and were kept very busy! I was training in on a Sunday night. Sunday nights were slower but still active as this bar just never ceased to lack patrons.

I must mention, I had worked as a ‘satellite’ pull tab seller for a bingo hall (yes a third job I held down for a time) and this bar was my satellite spot. This helped tremendously as most of the patrons were regulars, and I knew them from my pull tab selling days.


Warning: Offensive Language.


“D” the owner was going to give me a shot at a position in this bar. You can make a lot of money working at a bar, and this one was no different. I made up my mind that I was going to pass this little test and make my money! I took this ‘shot’ and never looked back…

One of the regular guys was bartending, and I was waitressing when a call came in that his wife had been in a minor car accident but had to be hospitalized. He left with apologies, but he absolutely had to go. I told him not to worry, “I got this…”

Then “D” made his way to the bar to ‘help’ me.

The guys started ordering drinks I’d never heard of! This was ridiculous… this was a biker bar for christ’s sake. Top shelf whiskey was about as fancy as we got! “D” took out a bartending book and decided to tell me how to mix these absurd drinks. (Let’s be serious, the regulars don’t like change, “D” was half in the bag trying to tell me how to mix drinks, this was a damn losing game, and I was getting fed up!) In the midst of this nightmare, two biker’s, …er… patrons… were arm wrestling in the corner and “D” told me to go break it up. (Arm wrestling leads to horrific fights in a bar, I’d witnessed a few.) Everyone’s yelling for “the bartender” at this point and one smart ass says “D” better get his money back and replace me.

“That’s it!” I yelled.

I grabbed the last two drinks I was trying to make and slammed them on the counter! I told the smart asses if they couldn’t tell me what was in the “candy ass drinks” they were ordering they better shut the hell up because I wouldn’t be serving it! I cracked open a few of their regular bottles of Old Mill I knew they drank and yelled $2.50! I walked past “D” over to the bikers. I put my hand on top of theirs and said very quietly, “we don’t hold hands in this bar, got it?” They stopped arm wrestling immediately. I walked back behind the bar and grabbed the book out of “D’s” hands and said, “if they can’t call it they can’t have it!” I threw the book behind the register and yelled over the jukebox, “This is my damn bar tonight, you assholes, who wants a beer?”

Silence. Slowly … a clap … then clapping and finally, a roar of laughter… “I’ll take a whiskey sour, Miss Kim!”

“You got it!”

(Wholly hell, I just became a bartender with street cred.)

(Continued, Before I Tripped #20)

Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 12.48.43 PM~Kim

33 comments

    1. I had to regain control of that bar. I gambled and it worked. I became a good friend of the guy who was giving me an especially hard time! It took a few weeks and I had down names and beverage preferences for my Friday and Sunday night regulars… oh the tips did flow! It was a decent job for a college gal… I wouldn’t want to bartend for a living, no way! LOL!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I can imagine you were great at gaining control of the crazy atmosphere! Sometimes all it takes is knowing ahead of time how people are going to act and figure out the best way to interact with them. You truly are pretty darn incredible!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I figured when the “Kim and the Biker Bar” story came out, it would not be open arms and velvet touch, and I was right! You did not disappoint and if I had to throw someone into the fire and knew they’d tame that sh*t, you’d be my first choice. Great story, and great retelling of it, Kim. Kudos!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I have never counted??? I guess, growing up in a family run and owned small business I just always had a job! My family owned a grocery and variety store. I was stocking shelves and bagging groceries for as long as I can remember! Mopping floors, vacuuming…no job was ever too small nor unimportant… so pull tabs, yes! The bingo hall, called The Bingo Palace was run by the Lions Club charity. It was huge! They also ran off-site pull tab stations. When I went offsite I no longer had to wear the tuxedo shirt, bow tie and black pant uniform AND I could study! So, that was my side gig for a number of years… it was fun, but I always got sick to my stomach when people lost money! I guess because I was raised to respect the dollar and knew how hard I worked for every cent… then I’d remind myself it went to charity and it was not my fault I couldn’t pull winning tickets for the person who was getting soaked. The DRAMA of the pull tab sellers life!😂😂😂

      Liked by 1 person

        1. You are the amazing lady!!! But, thanks my friend! Can I be the slayer of dragons, too? Or shall I remain the lady of dragons??? Hmmm… The truth is, it was instilled in me mostly by my father! He grew up in a one room, farmhouse with a sleeping loft. There was no running water or electricity. He was poorer than dirt poor! He is an amazing man, my dad. Extremely intelligent. He’d be the first one to tell you he graduated from the “school of hard knocks.” He’d really like you! Because he like your kind of sass and intelligence! He loves stories and I will need to show him your blog! He has assured me he doesn’t understand my little “‘bog'”… I say b-l-o-g, Dad… he says well, that writing you do… bog or whatever…! Haha! I will have to print out some of your posts for him and mail them. He loves snail mail now that I think of it! I’ll let you know what he says… oh, this will be great for his aging mind!

          Liked by 1 person

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