When people ask where I hail from, sometimes I tell them I'm Vulcan, as a joke, and they ask, where is that? Geography is not their strong point. Communication is lost when you speak in an accent designed to burr and brogue.
Take me far from the madding crowd. Business is very, very slow. No flocks on the pasture. Is there such a thing as a beer shepherd? A romantic figure wandering the streets with a crook, herding drinkers into the bar. I must be to blame for this barren scene.
Talking Heads is on the jukebox. All the hits. Around closing time, the bug man comes in, his poisons in hand. He crawls under the bar like an explorer venturing into the darkness of the insect world. Nothing there.
Turn away now if you are disgusted by the description of a bar's grim lavatory. This is not for you. Come back next time to Notes when the talk will be of love and cocktails garnished with fresh fruit. Sadly, this grim description has to be done.
On every corner of this earth, life deals all manner of complicated cards. Although some may see a snowy evening in New York City as an enchanted evening that allows reflection or the chance to live out an old classic movie, some may experience just an inch of snow as a horrifying event.
Although the federal minimum wage for tipped positions is at just $2.13 per hour as of 2012, and there are many low-traffic bars where the addition of tips just barely brings a employees above minimum wage, there are also places where a bartender can make a decent living with good benefits.
If you're looking for something a little more unusual than green beer to imbibe on St. Patty's day, try The Good Cork Cocktail. The recipe comes from bartender Philip Ward of Mayahuel in New York City.
As runner-up in the 2010 Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year Contest -- a defeat I took with grace, humility and, of course, a stiff upper lip -- I know what it's like to lose by a whisker.