Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Searching For A Buzz...

Here's a few terms people have typed into search engines before ending up on my blog....

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The Latest

Well, I'm a little stuck. Back a few years ago when this blog got a lot more traffic and I was a lot more pissed off to be stuck working at the bar full time, I had at least a few subjects queued up to write about at any given time.

I even started a new post earlier today while I slacked off in my cubicle at work, pretending to be busy, about a fight I got into a few weeks ago in the bar. I ended up erasing the entire thing because its just the same damn thing I've written on here time and time again. I choke someone out and then I go take a few shots to celebrate. Big fucking deal. The "twist" in my story was that his girlfriend scratched me as I drug her boyfriend towards the door, as you can see in the very first attached picture of myself that has ever been posted on this blog before.


How so very interesting. This blog has, over the years, simply gone over a majority of the shit that happens in downtown Athens during the hours of 10pm and 4am. Just read back over the past several years of entries. I'm just not sure what the hell else I can say that I haven't already said.

I literally sat here and tried to think of something - anything - that has happened since my glorious return to the bar business that I hadn't already experienced or seen before, and I realized I had absolutely nothing new to share.

I suppose I can go over how we get incredibly hammered after work. Or during work. How the guys look for a new bar slut to go home with on an almost nightly basis. How not everyone who works in the bar business breaks up fights with minimal force. Sometimes a few punches get thrown in there. How your bartender might be under the influence of a number of different substances at any given time.

But all of that should be common sense. This is the nightlife industry, after all.

I've painted a nice little picture of what happens downtown, but the truth is that even though I consider downtown Athens to be the nightlife training bra for kids away from their parents for the first time, bad shit can happen. And it does. Bar employees can get caught up in it too.

I promised pictures a few weeks ago and even wandered around downtown to try to find something funny and worth putting up, but came up with nothing.

Well...that's not entirely true. I found this leaning against a wall having trouble standing up at 2:15am last weekend; and believe me, I'm just as confused as you are as to why this handsome young man went home alone to cry himself to sleep that night:

Friday, August 20, 2010

It's Here

Well, ladies and gentlemen, it's here. The big weekend. The next several weekends downtown, at least in the past, have rivaled home game weekends for the amount of people that I see stumbling down the sidewalks.

It won't be all fun and games, however. Cops have planned
checkpoints around town this weekend to ensure everyone's "safety". In other words, they're going to make 10 to 30 DUI arrests this weekend to capitalize on the potential revenue of drunk drivers, make some examples of a few kids and do the politically-correct,obligatory beginning-of-the-school-year-arrests that will make for good press coverage in the ABH come Monday morning. So unless you have an extra 6 to 8 thousand dollars laying around, a bunch of free weekends to do community service, and a really good friend willing to drive your ass everywhere for the next 12 to 18 months, I would get a cab or a sober friend to drive the car.

And if that wasn't enough, I guarantee you'll see an increased police presence downtown. While UGA Police Chief Jimmy Williamson says that they are staffing no more officers this year than in past years, he doesn't speak to Athens-Clarke County Police or the Georgia State Patrol.

Mark my words: You will see more cops downtown riding around on bikes, more patrol cars cruising around town, and for the bar owners and managers out there, you will see the Fire Marshall's walking around downtown taking inventory of bars that are overcrowded.

I commented before that I would take pictures and post them, and this weekend I really will.

Until then, keep the contents of your stomach off the sidewalk, your wrists free of handcuffs, your bad attitude at home, and your tips at or above 20% when you're downtown drinking.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Another One

Women Reports Rape by Two Men

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Stop Scratching Me

If your boyfriend is being drug out of the bar, the worst thing you could do is try to step in and attack the employees.

I was on the receiving end of that this weekend, and I'll just say that I'm very unhappy about it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Some More Info...

Here is a list of the rapes and attempting rapes that have happened just in the past few months.

Look out for your friends. Stay together. Be aware of your surroundings. Don't drink yourself into a blackout in a place where you're unfamiliar, or at all for that matter!

And It Begins...

Woman Allegedly Raped in Bourbon Street Bathroom

Teen Claims Assault During Party

The two common denominators between both of these stories? Alcohol. Both girls had drank to the point where they didn't remember exactly what had happened.

Where were their friends? Why were they left alone so early in the morning? Who let them drink that much?

Did anything actually happen?

I don't want to discredit what may have happened to these girls, but this is the shit I preach about every single year. I say bad things will happen, especially early in the school year when people are the least aware of how to handle themselves than any other time. Here it is, in plain black and white. People drink too much and can't say no. Or they can't say it forcefully enough. And then, they can't remember exactly what happened. Or who did what to them. Their friends are nowhere to be found. And now you have two girls who are possibly scarred for life, and there may be a few guys who's lives may be ruined by something that may or may not have happened.

Please, everyone, for the love of God, be responsible out there!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Mail Call Part 2

I stumbled across your blog somehow and found it pretty funny. I recently started working the door at a bar downtown, but so far i haven't come across any of the insanity that you mention. Maybe it's because school hasn't started back yet, or that it's frequented more by townies. The best i can figure from your stories the bar you work at is somewhere between Lans Downe and Walker's. I was wondering what's the craziest thing you've seen so far?


Thanks. It seems most people who read this blog or find it funny either work or have worked in bar business in Athens. And you're right. I'm in one of the busier areas of downtown. I deal with a lot of college kids, as well as a lot more, it seems, of the "undesirables". Maybe that's why I come across some of the more ridiculous things...simply because I cross paths with such a high volume and variety of drunk people every weekend.

This past weekend marks the last "slow" weekend we'll have for quite awhile. The upcoming weekend promises to be twice as busy as last weekend with all the students back in town and quite a few people who are totally new to Athens. The ones who have never been downtown will discover the bar scene in short order and won't know how to handle it. They'll fight. They'll puke. They'll be helped - read: carried - out of the bar by their friends because they can't walk. Their friends aren't usually much better off than they are - I saw this scene repeat itself at least a half dozen times last weekend. It was like watching the blind lead the blind.

It happens at the beginning of every single school year. I've watched it over and over. So hopefully you're ready for it! Have your camera phone ready, because if you can move fast enough, you’ll get some funny pictures. Not a bad idea, actually...perhaps I'll see what I can find and post them here next week.

But it's a little difficult to point out one single thing that would to be the "craziest thing I've seen". While downtown, I've been robbed at gunpoint, have had knives pulled on me, gotten punched & kicked, have caught people having sex in the bathrooms and other parts of the bar, caught people doing a laundry list of different kinds of drugs throughout the bar, have seen car accidents in the street, drunk driving arrests, puking, seen a level of violence that is sometimes shocking both in and outside of the bar, gotten black-out drunk myself, and have gone to the ER for injuries to myself and coworkers.

I could go on and on. Any time that I say that I've seen everything, inevitably I'll see something brand new that either makes me laugh or scares the shit out of me.

Downtown comes across to those who are new to college and the town as a fun place to go get hammered and meet new people. And it is. But there's so much more that can happen while you're out getting fucked up.

People can get hurt. Girls are raped every year where alcohol contributes a major part to a situation where its more difficult for everyone to make a responsible decision. People do things that they end up regretting, sometimes forever. People go to jail and are stuck with a criminal history for life because they did something stupid while they were drunk.

Maybe that’s a little heavy for a place that, at first glance, appears as fun and exciting as downtown Athens. But it's proven to be true time and time again.

On the other hand, drunk people can really crack me up. I can't help but laugh at the kid who drinks himself retarded and take a wrong step on the curb and falls on his face. We point and laugh at the kid puking in the gutter. A few weekends ago I saw one of the most awkward fights I'd ever witnessed - it was essentially one kid bear-hugging another into the fence of one of the outdoor patios of a bar, with a few wild, untrained punches thrown that didn't connect. Me and another guy my age happened to be standing outside watching and could only shake our heads in embarrassment at their lack of ability to fight. There was lots of talking and yelling with nothing to show for it in the end.

Last weekend, I laughed at the little kid who couldn't control his emotions when he almost got into a fight inside the bar, threw a temper tantrum when I tried to stop it, threatened to kill me, and found himself completely out of his league when my coworkers dog-piled him in my defense. He was carried out of the bar with his pants down and started laughing at us when we deposited him in the street, and then almost immediately transitioned to crying as if on cue when a few bored police officers wandered over and put him in handcuffs.

College kids just simply don't know the appropriate way to act or how to drink or when it's time to say "no" to the next round of jager bombs or $1 liquor drinks.

It's like a scene out of a movie. Downtown Athens isn't real life. It's like a training bra for the bar scene; it gets you ready for real life, grown-up bars back in Atlanta. When everyone graduates and moves back to Atlanta and gets their new place in Buckhead and starts going out there on the weekends, they'll know that arguing with the bouncer and trying to start a fight over a fake ID is a bad idea. They'll have learned that trying to steal money out of a tip jar on the bartop is a recipe for a back-alley beating by bar employees. They will have seen what a bad idea it is to puke in the middle of a dance floor, or try to run out on a tab, or fight on the sidewalk. Sometimes the stupid shit you choose to do lands you in jail.

But then again, some people never learn.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Same Old Shit

Idiots. You're all idiots, as far as I'm concerned. If this "slow" weekend is any indication of the intelligence level I'll be dealing with in the foreseeable future, I'm frightened for all of us.

UFC 117 is on tonight. We'll see how many wannabe MMA stars are downtown this evening. Should be a blast.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Mail Call

Hey so I saw your blog and I must say I enjoy reading it. Also, I had a question for you that maybe you can answer: I am a senior at UGA, and I've been here long enough to know that Athens, GA is a party town, but one thing I don't understand is how come cops allow all these underage students drink night after night. It's no secret that people under 21 are downtown partying, but besides some raids, nothing is done about it. I don't know many people that have gotten caught, and I know plenty that shouldn't be there downtown. I don't even understand how raids work. I know that they happen, but how come more students aren't caught? Do the cops not care that most of the people there have fakes and just look for those who pass back?

If you could just answer these few questions, that'd be great! I look forward to reading more of your entertaining blogs!

Good question.

This is something that enters the mind of anyone over the age of 25 to 30 who comes to town and ventures downtown and takes a look around at what's going on every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.

I think the bottom line is numbers. The Athens-Clarke Police Department has an authorized strength of 231 sworn positions. As far as I can tell on their website, UGA seems to have roughly 40 to 50 officers. That's a total of about 281 police officers.

UGA has an estimated enrollment of about 35,000 students. That means there's about 1 officer for every 125 students. And let's not forget to take into account that the Athens-Clarke PD also has to deal with the other 100k Athens citizens that live there year-round. Plus, there's the students who go to Athens-Tech, Gainesville College, and Piedmont. At this point we're talking about 1 officer to every 500 people total.

Again, it's a game of numbers. The cops simply don't have the resources to crack down on underaged drinking. And even when they do crack down - for example, underaged drinkers are now brought to jail instead of just being written a citation and sent on their way like they used to do - it doesn't do a hell of a lot.

Sure, it exists and we all see it every time we're downtown, but the fact of the matter is that one underaged arrest takes an enormous amount of time and energy from the police officer, the jail, the courts, judges, prosecutors, the probation office, and UGA as well.

Do I think it's a problem? Absolutely. Underaged drinkers make life uncomfortable and inconvenient for all of us. I remember innocently standing in line for the bathroom at the now-defunct "Bird Dog" years ago and getting puked on by a grossly-underaged frat boy who had taken too many shots of whiskey. On the more extreme end of things, I had a drunk kid punch me in the face last weekend while I stood at the door. He was of age. So underaged or not, drunk people do stupid shit.

As a matter of personal opinion, I think some of the cops take a "been there done that" sort of attitude. I went downtown when I was underaged. Some of them did, too. A lot of us have. It's a a common thing to do. That doesn't make it right.

But at the end of the day, even if they had an "Underaged Drinkers Task Force" that got together on Friday and Saturday, breaking up house parties, cruising through the local pools in the afternoon and checking the ID's of every person to set foot downtown after 11pm, what would that really accomplish? Besides the feeling of a police state everywhere you went, in the long term it would clog up the courts, and ultimately make UGA and Athens a less attractive option for college students and athletes, which is the revenue engine the entire town runs on.

It's probably a combination of the above reasons that the police choose to enforce it when they have to. It's an annoying problem, and it can be deadly, but until they figure out a way to eradicate it (which they'll likely never do) underage drinking among college students is here to stay.