Tuesday, April 28, 2009


It's all bullshit, really.

Every once in awhile, things come into perspective, and when something like this happens, it makes you take a step back and ponder the important things in life...mainly, staying alive.

It happened Saturday during Twilight. A hectic weekend already, made worse by a professor gone crazy and three homicides in just a moment.

When you take that step back and give yourself a moment to consider what's important and what isn't, the world of downtown and bars and drinking and fights and trying to fuck that hot piece of ass dancing on the bar at Barcode just doesn't really seem like it should rank high on your list of priorities.

The good news is, however, by this weekend most people won't care anymore and will head downtown en mass to try to blackout the memories of the previous weekend.

But at least for a few days, you cared about something more than just partying your college years away.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sometimes They Come Back (Another Old One)

We've got to wonder - each and every one of us who do this - after we throw someone out, if they'll come back. We wonder if they'll come back by themselves, or rally their friends to right the injustice that's been placed upon them, or if they'll be waiting for us after we get off of work.We've got to wonder, at least a little bit, if they'll have a knife or a gun on them, ready to "level the playing field".

See, we'll probably outnumber you when we pull you out of the bar. We almost always do. We do this every single weekend. Nearly all of us stay in shape in one form or another. There's a lot of guys who have wrestling backgrounds or fighting backgrounds. Most of us are bigger than you. We've been doing this for a long time. And because of all those things, we nearly always have the advantage. That's what we're paid to do, and we do it well. We don't necessarily like doing it, but we do it and we do it effectively.

Men, on a basic level, don't like to lose a fight. We just don't. So when we throw a grown man out of a bar, it's embarrassing to him. They want justice, revenge. They want another go at it all because they want to show everyone that they're tough. They're not the little fucking bitch that we just made them when we threw them through the doorway. So they rail against the things that were just so unfairly placed upon them, and they tell their friends. Regardless of what started it, it'll always be our fault, in their mind. They'll still stand on the sidewalk and rally their friends and pump themselves up.

Sometimes they'll go to other bars and continue to drink and talk about what just happened. They'll make a drunken plan of revenge and eventually make their way back to the place that tossed them - much more drunk this time around, of course - and wait for the asshole bouncers who did them wrong.

And that's when - I have to admit - we get a little nervous.

Did they go to their car and get their pistol? Do they have a knife in their pocket? Did they go do a little blow to get the nerve to attack us? We stand there at the door at the end of the night looking for the little fuckers we've thrown out while the bar slowly empties, because sometimes you come back to us when it's all said and done and you want to do it all over again.

We think about the kid that was shot and killed at Insomnia years ago. The stabbings that have happened at Level. The violence that we see on a nightly basis and the things that are in the paper every single day. I think about the times I've had weapons pulled on me. I think to myself, "Gee, these kids are angry and drunk. I hope they doesn't try to do me any harm for only doing my job."

But they don't get that. They can't understand that I'm only doing what I'm paid to do. This isn't macho bullshit on my end, it's only a nights work. And sometimes, after they've pumped themselves up and stood around some ways away from us and gotten the nerve to do it, it comes down to them charging us. And we go at it again.

And round 2 is usually worse than round 1, because we're still sober and they're still drunk and by this time we've alerted the rest of our fellow door guys and we do a quick job of "calming the situation". This is the way it usually goes. Sometimes it's better than that. Sometimes it's worse. On our end and on their end. But normally we go home safely. Sometimes they go to jail.

But in the end, everyone has stayed alive so far, and that's the way I'd like for it to stay.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Twilight Today!

If you've never gone to Twilight before (the bike races downtown) then please go check it out! It's one of my favorite times downtown. It's an all day event with a shit load of stuff to do everywhere. The races usually start around 4 or so (double check that), there's booze sold on the sidewalks, food everywhere, and it's just an all around good time!

I've been at every Twilight for the past 5 years and this is the first one that I'm missing. I have mixed feelings about this, but I also know I get to avoid the people who drink for 10+ hours and then want to fight everyone within arms reach of them, so for that I'm thankful. For example, the guy who headbutted me 4 years ago and broke my nose. I wasn't excited about that one.

But seriously, go check it out.

(An Old One) The Athens Door Guy attempts to be nice...

...and it didn't work. Here's what happened:

"So what's your address?" I asked the drunk kid, strongly suspecting he was underaged while closely inspecting his ID. It was a real drivers license, it just wasn't him. He was much shorter than 6'1. Plus, he looked about 12 years old.

"Uhhhh...I changed it recently." he stammered, looking a little nervous.

"Ok, well what's the one on the ID that I'm holding right now? Your old address."

"Dude, are you serious?" he asked, annoyed and looking directly at me now. The alcohol was taking over now.

"Sure...it's a simple question. Can you not answer it?" I asked back with a smile.

He gave an audible sigh and shrugged. "Look man, I know bartender X. She's one of my best friends! I just need to go in and close my tab," he whined.

"Okay, well first of all, bartender X isn't working the door right now, is she? Secondly, you don't know me, and I'm the one who's checking IDs. And lastly, you don't know your address, so I can't let you in tonight."

"That's fucking ridiculous!" he exploded, throwing his hands up in the air. "I was at with bartender X! The entire time, too! I can't believe you don't know me! I used to work at bar X down the street! Come on, man! "

This is what happens. Some random kid or girl comes to a late night party with us, or some Sunday night party with the employees of a bar on their off night, and all of the sudden they think they're in. The tables turn and it's on me to know them, for some reason. I'm then under some obligation to know everyone I've been within ten feet of at some drunken party I hardly remember.

They suddenly think that the rules don't apply to them anymore, simply because they had a beer with a few of the staff on some random night 2 months ago, and when questioned, they can mouth off to any employee they don't know who questions their actions. This simply isn't the case, and if often ends with some harsh consequences. And 9 times out of 10, the employee they do know won't do a damn thing to stop the hammer when it drops.

"I know," I replied sighing, my smile fading away. "It's a real tragedy, isn't it? But unfortunately, I don't know you from the thousands of other kids I see every night, so I can't let you in. I'm sorry." I tried to be nice as I said this. I think it came out okay.

And so round and round we went. Him asking and me refusing. Him asking again and me refusing, yet again. At one point, he informed me he was going in. I gently stopped him and we continued our back and forth game game. It got old quickly, but I kept my patience with him. My numerous requests that he remove himself from the doorway onto the sidewalk were ignored time and time again. And that's when I stopped being nice. Because it just doesn't fucking work sometimes.

So we removed him directly onto the sidewalk. And that was that. To my suprise, bartender X let out an audible laugh after being told the story of her "friend" at nights end.

"He probably deserved it," she said, chuckling to herself.

Yes...yes, he did. And so did the other 25 people with whom I had identical conversations with that night. He, unfortunately, was the straw who broke the camels back.

So don't test your doorman at 1:55am next time. He's tired, annoyed, and now completely sober and probably looking for a reason to use your face as a punching bag after dealing with the never-ending stream of shit he sees night after night.

Just so you all know.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bus Driver

I only caught a glimpse of this while working last month and have only now come across it and really watched it. It's a 16 year old beating up a female bus driver and it really pisses me off.

It pisses me off like I used to get a few years back. It's the kind of pissed off that had me going over the edge at work from time to time, usually taking it out on someone who wanted to start a fight. Often times I gave that fight to them.

It's the kind of pissed off I got when, at the end of my bar career downtown, I threw a kid out for shoving a girl to the ground. He ended up bloody and unconscious in the gutter thanks to his little drunken uncontrollable rage.

Take a look at this piece of shit and what he did to the bus driver. It's inexcusable.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Decline

I can see Level 131 is still attracting the classiest customers that downtown Athens has to offer. Heed my words: that place is a timebomb. It will close eventually, but not before someone either gets really hurt or the place gets busted too many times for selling booze to underaged kids or for simply being a shady business. And in the world of bars downtown, they certainly are one of the worst.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

The New Job

It doesn't really matter where you go. It could be a the local dive bar on the corner, the mega dance club in the city, the college bar next to campus, or an upscale bar at a fine dining restaurant. There's always a common thread that runs through each of these customers, and every bartender is going to have a preconcieved notion about every person who walks up and orders a drink.

I've found that true as I've started my employement at a place so different than the bars I'd normally found myself behind in Athens. Regardless, I still think that you're a little different and strange for coming to a bar by yourself to order drinks and watch the sports channel. I wonder what your story is. I want to know why, for example, it was so important that you rushed in to the bar in the middle of the day, ordered a Captain and Coke, downed it in less than a minute, and then rushed out. Why? I wonder about the older guy who was at the bar buying drinks for literally any girl within a 15 foot radius of him (and I mean any girl), and finished his night off by buying a $135 dollar bottle of wine (which he graciously let me sample). Did he really need to get laid that badly than running up a $350 tab was necessary? Did he actually get laid? Who's to know.

My new adventure, so far, seems to simply be an excercise in human behavior with a little bit of booze thrown in. It's a far cry from Athens where it was an excercise in how much booze could one person consume without passing out or dying. I can't say I'm disappointed so far, but I may have to find another angle to look for while I try to make this blog interesting again.