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?-Derek
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.