A picture of a beautiful naked lady. by Hemingway

Salad Days

a picture relevant to this story.

In the 80s, I used to work as a bartender at a banquet hall. It was my first bartending job and from that start I continued to wait tables and bartend at various other places for another dozen years until I was worried that somehow I had dug myself the hole of the 'career bartender' and was never going to make anything of myself. Well, I was eventually able to break free of restaurant work but I never did make anything of myself. But that's not the purpose of this story.

Banquet halls are interesting places to bartend. Mostly it's weddings receptions and bachelor parties. There is also the odd retirement party. People are almost always in a festive mood and out to have a good time. As anyone who has ever been to a wedding can tell you, there is also a fair amount flirting and comingling going on. I was not just a bartender back then but a young and handsome bartender and so received my fair share of attention. Oh, if only had the low standards then that I have now. I would have never wanted for a bedroom partner...

One of the coolest things I ever witnessed was a stag that I bartended in one of the more secluded outbuildings on the property, appropriately called the pump house. The guys had gotten not just a couple of strippers as was common at stags in the late 80's but a couple of stripper-slash-prostitutes. They weren't bad looking either if you know what I mean...They did a perfunctory show to start, then they retired to the change rooms downstairs and proceeded to give blowjobs out like so much Halloween candy for $20 a pop. I wanted so bad to take a break from the bar and spend a little of my tip money on a blow job, but one of the problems with working a gig at the pump room besides the fact that you had to drag all your booze and ice back and forth across hell's half acre just to get the bar set up, was that there was no way to leave the bar once you opened for business. If you had to go to the bathroom, you had to call the main building for someone to relieve you. (literally)

So I never did get my blowjob, and here we are now almost 25 years later and I still feel the sharp pang of regret...anyway, finally the ladies finished sucking off what seemed like every single other guy at the stag, and they came back upstairs for a second show. The way this show happened was like this: They tied the groom to a chair in the middle of the dance floor and they blindfolded him. Then one of the strip-titutes did a very nice lap dance, this was back in the days before everyone and everyplace did lap dances, and then she took the groom's Coors Light bottle out of his hand and inserted it into her vagina. Again, I feel that I have to remind you that this was only even possible because back in the 80's in Canada, all beer bottles were stubbies, short-necked bottles completely unsuited to acting as brown glass dildos for drunken whores. Luckily for everyone, the groom was drinking Coors in their trademark (at the time) tall bottle - and come to think of it, why do people drink light beers anyway? Who drinks beer for the taste? For any other reason than to get drunk? I positively had to choke beers down for a year when I was a kid before I could get one down without grimacing...

So anyway, the nice, pretty lady was grinding on the tall-neck bottle with gusto, and the groom had no idea - he was still blindfolded, and the crowd of guys were going absolutely nuts. Pure pandemonium. And the loudest guy seemed to be the bartender...boy, I hope not. After another minute, the bottle was placed back into the groom's hand and his close friends and life-long buddies began to chant: "Drink it! Drink it! Drink it!" until the groom drank the rest of his beer. Wow, I hope I one day have friends kind enough to expose me to the vaginal juices of a woman who just finished servicing 20 guys in a bathroom....I still can't drink a Coors Light out of a bottle. I always ask for a glass.

I also did a biker's stag once. People either say that bikers are the baddest asses ever created or that they are surprisingly gentleman-like and honorable considering that they are bad asses and you are safer at a biker event that anywhere else and blah blah blah yak yak gag gag. I find bikers to be exactly the same as the rest of humanity, that is to say - nothing special. Just uglier. But still this was definitely a biker stag and was full of bikers and very few chicks. The night proceeded slowly. They tipped like shit and half-way through one of the bikers asked me if I wanted to buy a ticket for a draw for a 60-pounder (60 ounce bottle) of Crown Royal whiskey. Now, I'm not really a gambler. I've always thought of gambling as the poor man's tax and so I respectfully declined. The biker then made it clear to me that if I wanted to continue living I'd buy a ticket, so I took probably the only two bucks I had made all night (a two-dollar bill no less, remember those?) and bought a stupid ticket for the stupid bottle of whiskey. (I had no idea how prominently delicious Crown Royal whiskey would figure in my life many years later when I resorted to drinking it to make my marital problems temporarily disappear...)

Finally the stag was over, I cleaned and bar and locked it down and was about to call it a day when they finally got around to drawing for the bottle. And, just as you anticipated, it was your humble bartender who won. As I walked up to the stage to collect the bottle, the bikers started murmuring and rumbling about the draw being fixed, and employees shouldn't be allowed to win, and it sounded distinctly ominous so I grabbed the bottle, pumped the groom's hand a couple of times and literally ran the hell out of there, half expecting a beer bottle to fly past my head on my way out. I got away and I made that bottle last. And it was as they say in San Francisco - delish.