CAN I BUM A DRINK?

People are walking around with such gigantic balls nowadays; bringing them everywhere they go, showing them off like they’re something to be proud of. Let me tell you, it takes a lot of balls to be able to walk out on a check. As a bartender, I’ve had that happen a few times. It gets busy, you forget to take a credit card at the beginning, or you decide that they look trusting enough and the next thing you know they’re gone and you’re stuck cleaning up their mess and paying for all the things they’ve impudently consumed. It sucks on many levels. Not only did you just serve someone for free and are now paying for everything their mouths have vacuumed, but you’re now also stuck contemplating humanity for the rest of the day. How do people do this? How do people just eat and drink and get cleaned up after and then decide that it’s okay to just walk out?

This particular incident wasn’t that bad, moneywise. Still, it’s somewhat appalling.

It’s a Tuesday afternoon. It’s hot outside. This lady walks in and she’s all panting and leaning on my bar stools, demonstrating both physically and verbally just how tired she got walking up the stairs and that we need to please fix that immediately with a cold beverage. I ask her what she wants and she points to what another one of my guests is having and says ‘I’ll have whatever she’s having, that looks good’. So you want a frozen coconut margarita? Alrighty.

So I make the drink and put it in front of her. Would you like to start a tab? She goes “Oh I’m waiting for someone”. That’s cool; would you like to start a tab? I just need to hold on to a credit card. She goes “Put it on Mr. Solomon’s tab”. At first I’m slightly baffled… What? Who? She starts getting snooty with me and says “What’s the matter? I thought you knew your regulars in this joint by name”. Um yeah, except this isn’t a 70’s sitcom where everybody knows your name and you have an ongoing tab, lady. Mr. Solomon, if he even exists because he’s certainly not a regular of mine, comes in, pays for his tab and leaves like a good little boy. You lady, don’t get to sit here and sip on your margarita whilst not paying for it, talking to me about how we should treat our regulars.

So I print out her check and put it in front of her. I tell her that since she doesn’t have a credit card to open up a tab, she needs to please settle the bill. She goes “ok” and continues doing absolutely nothing except make slurping sounds with her straw as she decimates her frozen cocktail. A few minutes go by, I chat with some other guests, do some other things, come back to her, point to the check presenter and ask her if it’s good to go. She goes “No, I’m waiting for someone, remember?” Bitch, I remember I told you that that’s not how this works! So starting to lose my patience, but thankfully not yet my cool, I again take her through the procedure of paying for the things that one orders. She then abruptly gets up, blurts out she’s gonna go get her credit card from her car, practically runs toward the front door and needless to say disappears without a trace.

Please, you don’t have a credit card; you definitely don’t have a car. Your homeless self was walking the streets, carrying those big balls of yours and you decided to stroll into a restaurant and get a free drink. After she was gone, and everyone at the bar had discussed the nature of the situation that just took place, one of my customers was like “Had I known she was a bum, I would have offered to buy her a taco, but not a drink.” Amen to that. Don’t get me wrong, I fully condone drinking in the middle of the day on a Tuesday, but at least I can afford it.

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