8 More Rules at the Bar

Bartender missing

Pick one TV, buddy.

Back in 2013, I wrote a post called 8 Simple Rules at a Bar. As soon as I wrote it, I added a new entry to my Evernote notebook called 8 More Rules at the Bar. It has taken three years to gather those next eight rules, but this past weekend, rule number eight emerged as a woman interrupted the conversation I was having with the bartender. I’ll get to that later, you know, “full story at 11:00” and like that.

Don’t come here to have that conversation – It’s not like I make a habit of listening in on other peoples’ conversations, but when you’re in a small bar, it’s hard not to hear stuff. It’s how some great conversations start and how I’ve made some friends. Person A says: “Did you see that throw?” to person B, and it’s fair game to add: “I never would have thought he’d get the ball there in time.” On the other hand – when person A says: “I asked you to meet me here because I think we have to talk…” Yeah, I got nothin’.

Do not try to dominate all the TVs – The bar I am usually sitting at has eight stools and a few tables. There are four TVs, two of which can be seen from the bar. I stepped up to my favorite stool and asked the bartender if she could put ESPNU on the TV closest to me. The guy at the other end of the bar said: “I’m watching that.” I said: “OK, I actually prefer looking at that TV” (the one closest to him). To which he replied: “I’m watching this too.” And, then I introduced him to this rule.

We don’t care that you’re an expert – Bars are full of decisions that have already been made. From the beers on tap, to the snacks on the counter, the types of wings available and the myriad coach/player/driver/etc. decisions being made in the NFL, MLB, NASCAR NHL and NCAA Women’s Softball (the thing I wanted to watch in the rule above) stuff on the TV. You may be smarter than all of the people making all those decisions, but other than a passing expletive/groan/sigh/rhetorical question, we don’t want to hear it.

It’s a playlist – You may not like the music, but nobody wants to hear a rolling commentary of how bad each song is. It’s not like there’s a DJ in the back room. Give it a rest

Don’t pick on the bartender – She works here, she doesn’t own the bar. She doesn’t set the prices, or pick the beers and she didn’t prepare your food, she only delivered it. In addition, some of us like her, and some of us are bigger than you. Just sayin.

Don’t hit on the bartender if you’re a jerk – Lot’s of guys aren’t self-aware enough to understand that they’re a jerk, but once the bartender points that out, it’s time to pack it up. I’ve witnessed some dumb, creepy and crude attempts over time. The most recent was a married guy who actually said to the bartender: “don’t you realize that I’m hitting on you?” She replied: “I do, but you don’t seem to realize that I’m ignoring you.”

Don’t make those comments – You know: “why did you wear that shirt?” “Why didn’t you leave your backpack in car?” “Stop photographing your food.” Unless, of course, you’re at the bar with a six-year-old. Otherwise, you’re heading for Rule #1. Consider this a warning rule. Overbearing comments are like a gateway drug to the “we have to talk” talk.

If you didn’t read the menu, don’t complain about your food – Saturday. A woman interrupted my conversation to ask why her meal was served with a side of garlic mashed potatoes instead of being served over linguini. The bartender explained that that’s how it’s described on the menu. The woman said –  seriously – she said this: “I make this at home and I always serve it with linguini.”

Now I guess it’s time to start working on rules 17 – 24.  By the way, the photos in the gallery were collected over a few years Smile

About Dan Antion

Husband, father, woodworker, cyclist, photographer, geek - oh wait, I’m writing this like I only have 140 characters. I am all those things, and more, and all of these passions present me with opportunities to observe, and think about things that I can’t write about in other places. I have started this blog to catch the stuff that falls out, overflows and just plain doesn’t fit the other containers in my life.
This entry was posted in Humor, Opinion, Perspective, Rant and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

60 Responses to 8 More Rules at the Bar

  1. reocochran says:

    Definitely very entertaining list and I would sign this like the Constitution, Dan. And keep coming with the addendums until you covered the vast need for more, and placate those who need civility at all cost (like me)! :)

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Wow, so many rules. It’s good that we can meet on here, because I ain’t going to a bar like that. Prefer to take the food to go and eat on the grass like a regular hippie. :D

    Liked by 1 person

  3. joannesisco says:

    These rules sounds more like good manners. How sad.

    … and the Know-It-All Expert drives me insane! There seems to be one in every crowd.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. GP Cox says:

    I tended bar for a quite a while – I LOVE THESE RULES!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. loisajay says:

    I love these rules. Oh yes–the pros who know all there is to know about everything and have an opinion on everything, also. That’ll drive you to drink! You are doing good with the foodie-artistic shots, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ruth says:

    Ha ha ha – great post! I work in a bar, and some of the snippets of conversations I hear in passing are definitely a bit private for being held in such a public place. And then there are all the smart and thoroughly inappropriate comments directed my way because I’m a curvy blonde with big boobs and some people seem to think that alcohol makes them witty and highly attractive to anyone with a pulse – nope, it makes them look dumb and desperate. Oh, and spot on about complaints about the menu/ food – I often don’t take the initial order, or make the food, but I get all the grief anyway. Yesterday the weather was hot, so the outside beer garden was busy and my top two complaints of the day were (1) too many flies and wasps buzzing about when customers were trying to eat their food which spoiled their enjoyment of their meal, so could they have a refund – er, no, YOU chose to sit outside in nature, so deal with it, and (2) far too much dust and noise coming from the construction site next door, spoiling the ambience – hello, there’s clearly been major building works IN ANOTHER PROPERTY going on for months, so if you don’t like it, sit inside! :-)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Ruth. Another view from the inside. The bar I usually go to is in a restaurant. I usually have a beer, yack a bit with friends and then take some food home. They have an outdoor patio too. It was in the 90s and very humid. Someone complained that “it’s very hot outside…” As if the bartender could fix that! – The inside bar was mostly empty – I think that’s now the first of the next 8 rules :)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Val Boyko says:

    Love these “Thou shalt not” rules of the house Dan!
    Thanks for the foodie and artistic shots 💛

    Liked by 1 person

  8. quiall says:

    I love your rules! A friend and I once noticed an elderly lady deeply engrossed in our conversation so we decided to have a little fun. We quietly talked about how to bury the body. hee hee hee

    Liked by 1 person

  9. bikerchick57 says:

    Nice rules, Dan. I love the quick come-back of the bartender in Rule #14, but I suppose she’s had to deal with that before. Many times.
    I would prefer to be at the bar in the first photo than at work any sunny summer afternoon. Where is this place?
    The last photo of the sandwich and slaw is making me hungry…I need to go eat breakfast.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      The sandwich and the first photo in the gallery are at the Pool Bar of the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort. I know, how snooty sounding. It’s where our company has often held its Annual Meeting. Other than that lunch at the bar, and a brief walk up the beach afterwards, most of my time is spend inside a windowless meeting room. I will say that the opportunity to eat a burger and a cold beer outside in February is a nice feeling. No doubt.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. We were at Red Hook Brewery on Saturday. Great beer, great lunch and good conversation at my table. But, I’d say the rest of the place was ‘mostly’ obsessed with their cell phone feed. You look around these days and everyone is just staring and swiping at their phone. I often wonder if they realize that their life clock is ticking while they are obsessed with what everyone else is doing online. :-) I’ll look forward to the next set of rules, Dan. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Judy. In the first set of rules, I included “be prepared to talk if you sit at the bar” – I always try to eat at the bar when I travel and I like having a casual conversation with the nearby person. When they stay glued to their phone, it feels like a waste.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. joey says:

    Haha! I’ll stop shooting my food when I stop eating ;)
    these rules are great, and could apply to many places. I tend to prefer bars with the tall booths. They make me feel like nothing exists outside of my booth :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Private Joey space. I do like those when I’m with someone. You could apply these at s coffee shop, too, but there are a host of other coffee shop rules. Like don’t expect the waitress at Joe’s Diner to speak fluent Starbucks.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Norm 2.0 says:

    Wonderful list Dan. I don’t go to bars too often these days but I could live with these rules. Love your bartender too, anyone who’s that quick on their feet is my kinda people!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. ” The most recent was a married guy who actually said to the bartender: “don’t you realize that I’m hitting on you?” She replied: “I do, but you don’t seem to realize that I’m ignoring you.”” HAHAHAHAAAAA. good one.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Val says:

    Be glad that people still go to bars rather than stay at home surfing the net. Otherwise there’s be no bars for people to go to! That said, the only time I go to bars (pubs) these days, is usually to use the loo (bathroom).
    But that woman… good grief! What an idiot…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Great post. I loved the bartender’s ‘ignoring’ reply. Over here bars usually have men waiters and bartenders so this scenario is not possible. This reminds me I haven’t been to a bar after 2012.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Great set of rules, Dan. I like your ‘artistic’ shot. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  17. jolynnpowers says:

    great job standing up for the bar tender…. I was one years ago!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Nice one, Dan. I don’t go into bars much, but when I do I want to be quiet and enjoy what I’m drinking. Your photos were terrific. SFO Hyatt brought back great memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Glynis Jolly says:

    I know there are idiots who act like you’ve described. Fortunately, I’ve never been in a bar or pub when they’ve been anywhere near that obnoxious. I like the neighborhood bar/pub scene. Now that I’m transportation-challenged, I haven’t been and miss it. Do people really think they can have an important intimate discussion in a bar? Robin Williams’s character in Good Will Hunting had the right idea. Go sit in a park if you don’t was to talk at home or in the office.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      The worst of these were collected while traveling. The “we have to talk” was in the quiet local bar, which was awkward. The linguini comment was also there but it provided much laughter after the people left. It’s probably a running joke by now.


  20. Argh, not a picture of food! I like your artistic flair.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. AmyRose🌹 says:

    Thank you for the laughs, Dan. You gave me quite the gift today. Loved this post and your pictures I was ahhing and oohing over. I got a kick out of the artistic touches. Keep it up. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  22. AmyRose🌹 says:

    I may be in your spam, Dan. Another comment, that is. Just wanted you to know I am resting with my feet up. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Dan Hen says:

    Okay. Now I read this : am I to memorize these rules ? Have a cheat sheet ? Oh , just kidding ! Bar rules to live by .

    Liked by 1 person

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