Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Whatever by Diesel

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I guess it begins with the day I finally got fed up with the low-life non-tippers. This was a day I’ll never forget.

Everyone has problems at some point in their lives. We lose our jobs. We break up. We endure the deaths of our friends or family. We crash our cars. We fuck our credit up. Our girlfriends cheat on us with any swinging dick willing and able. We smash our pinky toe on the leg of the coffee table. Sometimes we have to wear a dirty shirt because the dryer didn’t dry our clothes fast enough. Do you understand? No matter how trivial the problem or how depressing the problem, we ALL have our bad times. The bartender still gets tipped.

I’ve heard every excuse in the book. I’ve USED every excuse in the book. Excuses are like assholes- everybody has one. Ever heard that one before?

I don’t care if your cat choked to death on a hairball. I don’t care about the Christmas gifts you bought for your family. Aunt Jean needs prosthetic titties? What does that have to do with me? I don’t have cancer. Not yet. Your guitar needed new strings, huh. Well may I have the old ones so I can give you a six string neck-wrap?! You’re not that good anyway. I’ve heard fingerless dirt-balls strum better. What does your tax refund have to do with your bar tab, OR the tip? NO, you can’t tip with cocaine. I don’t use it anymore. Who do I look like, Steve Rubell or Shane O’Shea? This isn’t Studio 54 you fucking numb-scull. Go across the street with that shit, plenty of coke freaks over there. This barrage of excuses started to fuck with my head.

A few months ago I was working and noticed an unusually large amount of non-tippers. Even the regulars were on the ropes. I’m already more high strung than the average “Joe” so I got to thinking of how I could turn the tables on these people without coming over the bar.

Cheap customers cause bartenders to move really slow and pour really light. That’s not my style so I had to do something about this little annoyance, slowly killing me. There must be something I can do or say to get these people to start tipping me.

First off let me explain what bartenders do. They serve your drinks to you in a social environment. Then they are rewarded in the form of a tip for their service. What a concept. Get it?

Now that I’m at my wits end I must be careful I thought. Don’t want to lose any regulars.

We serve cheap beer at this place daily. What’s cheap tonight, they ask? My simple one word reply is, YOU. Every day of the week we have a cheap beer to sell. This “special” attracts people. This “special” lures in the cheapest alcoholics within a twenty mile radius. They come thirsty and parched. They come running like the wind, don’t need no car, they RUN. They come with one thing on their minds. They come with exact change, none for me. Some of these people are so loyal they could find this place with blind folds on. I could take them deep into the woods, blind fold on, then spin them around till they puke and they’d STILL find their way here. Holy Tequila Batman! How do they do that?

Some of the loyals are closer to me than others. The close ones got experimented on first. Now I’m diesel the mad scientist. I over poured. I under poured. I tried being a smart ass. I squirted them with water. I ignored them. I threw their drinks together like a Sloppy-Joe. I even gave them one on the house. Nothing worked. Was it me? Are they sick of looking at me I thought? Do I have something in my teeth? Maybe they think I’m weird because of my MySpace profile.

They kept asking what was wrong with me. At the same time they were giving me excuses why they couldn’t tip. Sorry, we had to take our dog to the vet. Sorry, my band hasn’t been playing lately. Sorry, I just bought a twenty bag of coke with my last dime. Coke? They buy coke instead of tipping? One guy I know just asked me straight up, “Hey diesel, can I drink for free tonight? I’ll pay you in a couple of weeks.” I’m the last in line to see a penny from these fuckers.

This behavior went on for a couple of weeks until I moved on to the not so familiars. I was more abusive with them going as far as ejecting them for life. No beer for you! Come back in one hundred years! I was prepared to be the asshole for as long as it took.

The same tactics were used on every type of customer that walked through the door, young and old. I’d never seen a fifty year old punk rocker before I worked here. Out you go. This is one strange joint. On any given night I’ll have old and new school punkers, old school skin heads with hair now, tattooed rockers, college kids, strippers, and emo fags. Most of the punk rockers are pussies so out they went with a quickness. They smell funny too- bad for business. I absolutely will NOT fuck with the skin heads. Let’s leave that one alone. The mind games worked on the college crowd and the strippers. There just aren’t enough of them to make it worthwhile. My all time favorite people to fuck with are the emo queers. They listen to Morrissey and The Killers and whine and complain about everything. Maybe if they didn’t plaster their hair to their heads they could think better. Oh yeah, the white belts have to go too. They have a weird style that reminds me of a cross between Robert Palmer and Flock of Seagulls. The emo boys don’t get kicked out only because I think it’s fun to look at their girlfriends. I’ve even swooped a few of their girls away from them right in front of their faces. That’ll give them something to complain about. I’ll give your slut back if you start tipping, you fag. I kept this up over and over for another two months. Then another week just for good measure.

It was becoming more and more apparent I would soon go completely broke if this bullshit didn’t stop. I even went to my boss and asked if he had any advice for me, or a secret trick to induce tipping. He told me to be extra nice. Ok, we ALL know that’s not gonna happen. I’m on my own here and something has got to give. Someone’s going to budge and it won’t be me.

Well since the boss-man had no explanation of the high volume of non-tippers I had to break down and ask for a loan. I hate asking for money but I’d be evicted from my loft if I didn’t pay the rent. My landlord is one of those black guys who call white people ‘The Man.’ He’s probably down in his office tapping his foot and watching the clock. My eviction papers are no doubt ready to be served. A neat two page eviction notice stapled together symbolizing my ass being stuck out on the street. There’s something about that staple. He’s just waiting for my time to expire……

I asked for the money and he said no. I sat there stewing in my pickle. After a couple of minutes I stood up and said “whatever.” That’s the first thing that came to mind. He’s not responsible for my personal problems. As I walked away I didn’t get ten feet when he said “Ok, wait a minute.” One time he said. I’ll loan you money one time. He gave me the old ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’ lecture. No shit Sherlock! I know money doesn’t grow on trees. Only pussy, sticky marijuana buds, and sleeping pills. Everybody knows that. After that comment he almost changed his mind. My boss squeezes his money so tight the dead presidents have bulged out eyes and red faces.

On my way home I got to thinking. The drive was fairly short. My place is only five minutes away from work. All I said was ‘whatever.’ One word is all it took for the biggest tight wad to hand it over. That was the answer. That was the way I’d get these other tight asses to fork over the cash.

Could this word actually work? Whatever? It’s sarcastic and guilt ridden at the same time. I only had a couple of hours before I had a staple in my ass. We must avoid the staple. Before I go upstairs I’ll make a pit stop into the office to drop off the rent.

Here you go you goddamned slum lord. This is my rent money. I hope you choke on it. Now you may throw those papers away. And get that fucking stapler away from me!

Good thing the locks didn’t get changed because I had to practice saying ‘whatever’. I practiced all night. I learned how to deliver the perfect ‘whatever’ for any situation. Although I got little sleep that night I was ready and sharp the next day. Time to go to the bar and test out my new word.

Let me tell you what. It DID work. It worked viciously. I was throwing ‘whatever’s’ around like nobody’s business. It was like shooting fish in a barrel. They were THROWING money at me. Even the skin heads. A little guilt goes a long way. I gave the emo dandy’s their girls back. No need to complain boys, just give me what’s mine and you can keep your girlfriends. I didn’t ruin them. Just a little smudged make-up and loose bindings. Everything’s going to work out.

I think I’ll live in this loft forever, just to fuck with the land lord.



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