Notes From a Dive Bar VIII

06/07/2015 07:51 pm ET | Updated Jun 07, 2016


Yelp! -- Someone came in barking about Yelp! Apparently, it's some kind of site on the Internet. He said I was mentioned on it, rude, grumpy, miserable bastard bartender with a fixed scowl on his face and that is his good points. Something along those lines, so he says. And it made me wonder? How do these people know me so well when they never said hello? It's amazing how some folks are able to get it right with a person they have spent such little time observing. I asked the purveyor of Yelper news if the commenters could be contacted as I'd like to buy them a drink for being so spot on.

Extraordinary Joe -- Joe comes in, as he does, after work building buildings. Responsible for the wooden frames that support stairwells, punched together by his nails and hammer, you may even unknowingly walk upon his toil. He's blind drunk. And has a small diary book open on the bar, loaded with one hundred dollars bills that he is planning to give to a sex worker who is going to lie down with him, he says, and listen to him cry..

He's whining my name -- AAAAlllllaaaaannnnn! -- from the end of the bar. A long, sad plaintive capital whine of extraordinary magnitude, reflective of his terrible sadness, his brother's death, a suicide. They played together in a band.

Now, Joe plays drums alone in his apartment when he's not lying down in purchased arms. He hits those skins hard with his sticks. And he bashes away on the bar with his fingers, and then his palms, and he's playing along to Oasis, his favorite English band, and he's hitting with his palms harder, don't look back in anger, as if he's trying to nail them to the bartop, and then comes his fists and he smashes his fists down, harder and harder and harder and I say, Hey Joe -- who do you think you are, Keith Moon? And he goes away to lie down and cry for as much as 500 dollars. I feel pity.

The Sporting Life -- George talks about sports. Then he talks more about sports and when he finishes with that he talks about sports. The Oakland Warriors are in the NBA Finals. He doesn't like it when I say that. But they play in Oakland, I say. They're called Golden State, he yells, mad as hell. What do you know, you're not even from here!

He likes to remind me of that. And I scowl at him, slam dunk his drink down so that it spills, and my mouth heads south, and I stomp around in a foul mood hoping to rebound but my mood is as flat as a pair of Air Jordans left outside overnight in a puddle of piss. The next customer whispers to his buddy, who's that grumpy miserable bastard bartender who works here?

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