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