Thursday, February 3, 2011

Terrier in a fox fur

I've been tending bar for the past 10 years, and can safely say that I've almost seen it all. There were the group of Tongans who tried to play "pass the ID" thinking that I wouldn't realize that the guy offering up his driving license was standing next to the guy whose card it actually was. How do you say in Tongan, "you don't all look alike, bros"? Then there were the two young men smelling of weed, in baggy pants, stiff baseball caps, and mouths full of gold-looking caps who decided to bypass the bar altogether and slip into the back room for heaven knows. My jaunt to the back room's entry was quicker than theirs, so, upon meeting them there, they proceeded to curse me out for having the gall to ask for ID. (Nothing says "I hate you" more than being called a "white bitch.") As it turned out, one was of age, and one wasn't. At the younger one's request to go ahead and "call the mother@#$kin' cops", I did just that. Given our litigious society, it was suggested by the arriving officer that I make clear the of age brat was welcomed to stay, but his friend had to leave. Of course, they both left.

Apart from ID games, there are always those who, when having drunk too much, get randy. The ubiquitous couple joined at the mouth while barely sipping their drinks at the bar is a real crowd-pleaser. "Get a room!" always pops into my head at that point. Honestly, I didn't come to work to see two (usually unappealing) jerks get it on. I have, at times, said to various offending couples, "you're in a public place." That usually just serves to make them mad. -kinda like hitting a hive with a stick. Then there was the gal who was giving a guy a hand job in one of the darkened booths as I came by to pick up their glassware. For that one, I came back to the table with a cup of ice, slammed it down in front of them, and loudly said, "cool off, hot stuff! There aren't enough condoms to go around!" Humiliation usually kills the sex vibe.

Having gone through zany bar adventures that would make most people not want to show up to work the next day, I didn't think that working in a box office would make me feel exactly that way. It may not be about under-aged drinkers trying to pull a fast one, or drunk couples coupling, but it's about the never-ending curve balls that people throw you that really make the head spin.

Two days into our last film series, Dance On Camera, I worked a not-very-busy box shift. Many dancers, students of dance, and teachers of dance came to see the films. All of them seemed to be entitled to some sort of discounted ticket or another. There are different price types, and different codes to key into the system, but it's the same pain in the ass.

At one point during my shift, a young female comes to the window and asks for a student ticket to see whatever was playing at that point. I asked to please see her ID, as some of the dance company kids are entitled to two-for-one deals, and that sort of thing is best said to those who are actually entitled, so as not to piss off those who aren't. She said this: "Um, I'm home-schooled, so I don't have a student ID." Well, knock me over with a feather, sister! I hadn't noticed just how young she was. I guess home-schooled kids can be poised beyond their years, if not always socialized necessarily all that well. She got her discount, to be sure.

The next customer who came to my window was an older woman in heavy make-up wearing a floor-length fur coat and carrying a small terrier. The terrier, a tired-looking Toto wannabe, was shaking all over. I had heard that some smaller breeds shake, so this shouldn't have been so surprising except for the fact that the pooch was also wearing a fur coat! The tailor-made piece had a lovely, wide collar and was beautifully fit. At that point, I thought two things: the coat probably cost more than any of my adult-sized, non-fur coats, and I will never be in a position that affords me to wear a tailor-made fur coat.

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