Last night whilst enjoying a cold beverage of dubious content at an establishment where I’m a third generation regular, it came to me that I should write a post about bar etiquette.
Yes, bar etiquette.
People of all kinds go to these establishments, and the beverages of dubious contents have a tendency to lower people’s inhibitions and thus outward manners recede and inward prejudices come out.
A few weeks ago, I was at a club catching up with a dear friend of mine, when a rather intoxicated middle-aged male began “talking” to two MOC at the next table. He began asking them offensive questions like “where do you come from” and “I need my garage cleaned out. Do you guys work?” and other, more offensive things. My friend and I were shocked. This guy was really going there? Really? We decided we needed to leave before we lost our tempers. I did, however, pull aside a bouncer as my friend was paying his tab. They were speaking when we left. I hope that jack-a-lope was tossed on his bigoted bum.
Last night, at my favorite establishment, we noticed a newbie. Now, this place is not outwardly impressive. Most patrons are regulars, and by regulars, I mean they’ve been patronizing this establishment for decades, or a relative has, and they’ve been patronizing for years. Everyone knows one another and looks out for one another. I like it that way–I feel safe going there because everyone knows me as either my father’s daughter, or my grandfather’s granddaughter. I can enjoy beverages of dubious content worry-free. The newbie mentioned it was his first time there (we already knew that). Then he mentioned he’d been kicked out of a local bar (with a bad reputation. red flag.) for life (another red flag). Why would you tell the regulars of this your first time here? It was boggling. Then he proceeded to rant about welfare and lazy moochers. Looks were exchanged. Politics? In a bar? Really? Yep. He went there. He left soon after, and breaths of relief were breathed.
And so came my revelation.
1. If your racist tendencies come to surface after drinking, don’t drink in public. Or stop before you get to that point, because really, no one wants to hear that. You don’t want to be that guy, do you? You especially don’t want to be that guy the woman at the next table remembers and intends to out your bigoted buttocks all over the internet. (Unfortunately, I don’t remember his name. But I’m talking about YOU, guy-at-Entourage-in-Bowling-Green-Kentucky-on-July-2-2010!) Oh, and, if you’re a racist, another good reason to avoid getting intoxicated at bars is because you might loudly announce your full name to everyone while ruining everyone’s good time. Not a good idea.
2. Politics + alcohol = bad idea. Politics + alcohol + public area with people you don’t know = really bad idea. People are trying to have a good time. There’s a reason bars never play the news on their television. Never assume that people agree with you in regards to politics. Oh, and good time does not mean the same thing to everyone else that it does to you.
3. That last sentence was a really good one, so I think it deserves repeating: A good time does not mean the same thing to everyone else that it does it you. You may have a blast ranting about mythical welfare queens, or screaming at the top of your lungs about how drunk you are, but not everyone will agree. Just saying.
4. The presence of a woman at the bar does not indicate her availability for your entertainment. There’s a lot of reasons to be out at a bar, you see, and your specialness does not spread outside of your mother’s vision. Establishments are not safe havens from courtesy, respect, and manners.
5. Dancing is fun. However, when your dancing partner stops dancing and is merely humping you, it ceases to be fun. Not a dog in heat? Don’t hump. Dogs get a newspaper to the head for it, you’ll likely be the dancing pariah of the establishment. And no, that’s not a good thing.
6. Decide to buy a drink for someone? Awesome. That’s quite generous of you. Just let me remind you that your decision to buy someone a drink is not a contract of obligation on the receiver’s part. Politeness demands a thank you, not a blow job. Or even a conversation. We’re here for fun, folks. (see #3 for emphasis.)
7. Ladies and Gentlemen, please don’t pee on the seats. Thank you.
8. Don’t pee on the floor, either.
9. You know, now that I think about it, don’t empty drainage anywhere but the toilet. Thanks.
10. If the place is hoppin’, get your drinks and move awaaay from the bar. Yeah, yeah. I know. But navigating a near mosh-pit with a full drink will be pleasant for neither you nor me.
11. Each establishment has its own atmosphere. Please observe if you’re new. A relaxed bar with chatty patrons aren’t going to appreciate obnoxiousness, and you’re probably not going to enjoy a place where the music is bumping and the patrons are bopping if you’d like to chat over a beverage of dubious content.
12. Don’t make messes, (see 7, 8, 9 for clues) and clean them up if you have an accident. Bartenders are there to make happy juice for you, not to be your mommy.
13. Pay your tab, tip your happy-juice-maker, and don’t leave your monies on display. You never know.
14. Don’t drive drunk. Call a cab, call a friend, call your mommy. And no, not even you, can drive perfectly fine while duuuuudde, you’re flapping wasted!
15. Don’t brag about how wasted you are. You’re not at a college party, and you know, college students get pretty annoyed at that, too. You’d fit in well with the freshmen, though.
16. Watch your back, and everyone else’s, too. If someone is staggering, give them a hand. Looking sick? Lead them to the bathroom. You friend getting close to the line? Get them home by the safest means. Don’t be afraid to cut a friend off. They’ll thank you later. Hopefully they’ll pay it forward.
Anything I’m missing?