It was 1:50 a.m., closing time after a busy Saturday night at the bar. I had already made the final announcement to the happy peppy party people: “We're closed, please finish your drinks.” I had even made the final, final announcement: “Time to go. Drink 'em or lose 'em.” And now it was time to make the final, final, final absolutely last final announcement:
“Get out now, you bastards-out, out, out-Jesus Holy Christ, don't you people have lives!”
Most everyone had left, except for this little rude drunk prick who was holding a pitcher as though it were an oversized mug and nursing it alone. I approached, put my hand on the lip of the pitcher, and said, “I have to take this now.”
“Slow down, dude-what's your hurry?” he snorted.
“What's my hurry? Do I really have to explain this to you-dude?” I asked.
“Look, I paid for the pitcher and I'm going to finish it,” he said, refusing to release his grip on the handle.
So there we were, the two of us, tug-of-warring over a half-full pitcher of blonde beer, the clock ticking dangerously close to 2 a.m., my patience completely and utterly drained, and him glaring at me-red-eyed and glassy, like a demon emerging from an overly chlorinated swimming pool.
“If you don't let go of this pitcher,” I said, “I'm going to rip off your limbs and play H.O.R.S.E. with your torso.”
Thankfully, he let go.
This is just one example of thousands and thousands of patrons across the country who simply do not know how to close a bar. I guess these people just don't understand the consequences to our livelihoods if we fail to get you out before 2 a.m. and don't understand there have been a million kooks, drunks, rookies and pricks before them who also refused to relinquish their pitchers.
I guess, just like everything else, knowing how to properly close a bar is an art, a skill and a science that must be learned. And I guess it's my job to learn-ya.
How to Close a Bar (Hints, Rules and Etiquette)
1) Guzzle and Go, Goddamit: The first and most important rule and it comes in two, easy-to-follow steps: A) Guzzle. B) Go.
So much good can be accomplished by guzzling-and-going. For instance, when you guzzle and go, the next time you walk into the bar, the doormen and bartenders and regulars won't be whispering behind your back, “Psst-that's the guy who flung his drunken drippy dung all over the walls last week.”
Yes, yes, of course, nobody understands more than me the urge to hang on to that pitcher-oh, lovely pitchy-pitch filled with chilly droplets of golden goodness-for dear life. But, dude, there's beer in the outside world, too! They're called “liquor stores,” and if you guzzle and go right now, you can get to one before it closes.
2) No Face-Punching: Studies have shown, closing the bar often leads to unsolicited acts of face-punching. Try not to punch any faces as you head out the door. Face-punching is bad on the knuckles. Wall-punching, jukebox-kicking and nine-ball-through-the-window-throwing are not recommended, either.
3) No Bathroom-Ducking: It's an old trick that doesn't work. Besides, the party is over now. The last of the unclaimed happy peppy party girls are outside, hooking up with some dude she has to settle for because you-clearly the stud of her dreams-are sitting on the crapper making sure you drain every last bubble out of that bottle of Bud, bub.
4) Think Before Acting: At closing time one night, a guy stripped off all his clothes and wrapped himself around a beam. I suppose-nay, I am certain-that if he had taken just one short moment to Think Before Acting, he would have decided against rubbing his Johnson along the grain of an old wooden support beam.
Admittedly, because the bouncers had to pry the kook off the pole, one extremity at a time, his antics bought him a few extra minutes. But he ended up in an alley-puddle-naked, drinkless, cashless-with mud in his buttcrack and splinters on his balls.
5) No Girl-Molesting: Studies have shown a higher incidence of girl-molesting at closing time. Sordid Tales does not recommend groping any breasts or asses as you exit the establishment-even if the breasts or asses seem to be “begging for it.”
6) Have an Exit Strategy: Think ahead. Start organizing after-hours parties no later than 1 a.m. (Somebody needs to invite the happy peppy summer girls. Somebody needs to go on a beer run. Somebody needs to score the drugs). Of course, always invite your bartender. Then he'll come over to your house, grope your girl, break your dishes, pee on your mattress and pass out in your tub.