Bartending 101

I guess the apple doesn’t fall so far from the tree.

My dad owned a bar for 40 years; I essentially grew up in a bar. It was a terrific upbringing.

So it was probably inevitable that I would tend bar. I do so, every once in a great while, and it’s always fun. Friday evening I worked an art auction at a hair salon called The Men’s Room in Burlington, Vt.  The benefit, which is still going on on line,  helps Vermont CARES., which in turn helps people with HIV and AIDS.

The type of crowd that shows up at these types of event  don’ exactly attract the barroom-brawl, shots of Jagermeister bunch.   Which meant  this gig was easy. All I had to do is pour wine, beer and soda, and smile. I had a blast. Something about providing the social lubricants that keep a party on an upbeat keel made things fun.

A bartender’s perch is a great place to eavesdrop or watch people. Two young women were arguing over whether their boobs were attractive. A man was horrified and clearly hoped nobody noticed when he dropped a piece of an hor d’oeuvre into the ass crack of a carved wooden statue of a human figure.  I watched another woman with leopard print boots and green nail polish work the room, her laughter booming everywhere.

She left for a moment for a smoke. She told me to guard her wine with my life. I did, and she rewarded me with a huge tip.  Small victories like that make me happy.

I had to wear a white shirt and a tie.  I never wear ties, so that was difficult. I’m competent at tying Windsor knots like Britney Spears  is competent at neurosurgery.  So my crooked, twisted, sad tie turned out to be a nice conversation starter.

Amazingly, not one drop of red wine ended up on my white shirt. That fact is history-making. I usually wear anything I touch.

Standing on your feet and bartending for a few hours can be tiring, so I was happy to sit down at another bar with two great friends after the event was over.

And it was so sweet when a person handed me a beer, instead of the other way around.

2 Responses to “Bartending 101”

  1. Denis Says:

    you were an excellent — and dapper — bartender. i’d hire you if i was having a special function.

  2. kim Says:

    I wish I could have had a glass of wine with you. Sounds like fun. I wouldn’t make you guard it either.

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