Wrong Side Of The Bar – Twenty Years Ago

I work as a bartender across the world, to fund my travelling habit. In order to stop myself going insane, I write rants about the people I meet.


I am fuming. Angry like I seldom get. More annoyed than a mosquito who spent half an hour burrowing into a fat man only to find out it’s cured beef. If I was in the Bible, it would just say ‘Great was his wrath.’

I’ll tell you why. There will be lots of swearing. I’m going to say ‘fuck’ a lot.

I’m working in a mountain resort in France. It’s a little different to back home, I’ve found, because the bar can only be as busy as the resort is; the people come to us, and we fluctuate in busyness based on national holidays, university groups, etc etc.

So tonight we quieten down after a busy-ish food service. I’ve closed the bar, sent staff home, and I’m cleaning up when suddenly a drawl happens near my face. It sounds like a very sick chainsaw.

“Where’s the people at, mate?” It’s one of the men from the only table left. He’s pissed, he’s wobbly, he views ‘personal space’ as something that’s both optional and negotiable.

I explain to him that we’re quiet because the resort is quiet, and that we’ve had our busy weeks already. He waves it off, nearly sweeping a row of glasses to the floor.

“Rubbish. You need to get people in! Put some good music on!”

”Well we’re closing now, but like I said there is no people to come in. There’s a lot of families that were in earlier but weirdly they don’t want to party with diagonally-inclined drunks like you.”

The insult passes over him. I got the impression most things would pass over him; he’s not conversing or debating, he’s talking and pausing for breath. Fucktard.

(Also he looks like a sad unsuccessful Seth Rogen, which, when you think of Seth Rogen’s face, is not a good thing at all.)

“You got any gear? Can I buy some?”

I think he’s trying to tap his nose but he ends up giving his ear a good clean instead.

“Nope. No idea where you can buy either, not interested in the stuff.”

“Ahhh,” quoth he. “There you are. If you could get people coke, they’d definitely be in here right now. You’re failing this place because you can’t get me coke.”


The bar top I’m cleaning nearly catches on fire with how hard I’m scrubbing. Like Confucius say, “better to scrub a deck than deck a scrub.” or something.

“So you’re telling me that you think I’m a bad bartender because I can’t sell you illegal substances?”

He blinks. I think it dawns on him here that he’s not winning. I say ‘dawns’; what I mean is that the single coherent thought finally kicks down the door and starts shaking his brain stem into submission. He tries again, leaning over the bar as if he can beer-breath me into agreeing.

“I’m just saying, I was in here twenty years ago when I was 18, and it was incredible. Busy, loud music and we were all smoking cigars. You’re just not doing your job because this place isn’t packed. Let’s do Snakebites.”

“Great.” By this point I’m fucking furious. (See the start of this post for an idea of how furious.) “Well twenty years ago, a ski trip here would set you back £200 with spending money to spare. It might have been busy then because a lot more people could afford it. Now it’s nearly a grand for the same thing; and I know because you’ve been loudly complaining about the price all night. You say you’re nearly forty? And you’re in here spending your holiday week harassing a bartender because there’s no people in the resort? That’s sad, mate. The most you’ve done in this conversation is convince me that if our sole clientele is droopy-cheeked fuck-faced cock-gobbling twiglets like you, then it’s pretty much in our best interests to turn this into a fucking brothel – because honestly, and I tell you this truly, you swaying sagging sack of shit, I would rather sit on the lap of a burly bearded man and call him Daddy than listen to you explain just exactly how I’m a ‘bad bartender’ because I don’t magic people up a fucking mountain. Also, we’re fucking closing, so drink up.”

Whatever vapid and piss-poor response he’s planning on vomiting out of his vagina-slit of a mouth, I don’t care. I don’t want to hear it, so I go and start doing something else. He eventually leaves the bar and fucks off back to his table, presumably to reminisce about how much better everything was before he had to take a tablet an hour before sex, and after a few minutes they all get up to leave. And then, he wobbles over my way again. He’s like the itch you get in your throat after a night out; annoying, persistent and probably lethal.

“Listen, mate,” he drools, thrusting out a hand in entirely the wrong direction and knocking my brush over. “I’ll see you tomorrow yeah?”

I take his hand. I look him in the eye. I shake. I say,

“I really fucking hope not.”

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