However, I've been thinking, maybe I should give back to the internet community. You know? Maybe I should share some of my knowledge, give advice to anyone who aspires to live their life like I live mine. It is unfair to have this much talent at so many different types of things, like finding ways to avoid cleaning, marathoning television shows, having a job without actually working, daytime drinking, and not at least let my readers in on some of my secrets.
So here is my first in what will hopefully become a series of advice blogs:
How to Achieve, and Maintain "Regular" Status At A Bar
After months of persistence, hard work and sheer determination, I have finally managed to become a regular at the local dive bar, Heart & Dagger Saloon. Now, some people might scoff at this, rolling their eyes and judging me for my ridiculous goals, but let me be frank when I say achieving this kind of status takes effort, and even moreso, maintaining it takes skill. I don't mind being the one to say it out loud, since I know secretly, we all want our own "Cheers," and it's okay for you to be just a little bit jealous that I have found mine.
1. Sit at the bar. The simplest way to be remembered, make them look at your face. Not only will you get faster service, rather than waving a $20 in the air, running the risk of not only getting jacked, but also looking awkward and kind of like an idiot, you will also get to know the bartenders, as they tend to chat in between customers. They pretend to care what your name is to increase tips, and you can get their attention faster on crowded nights by knowing theirs. Win, win.
2. Tip. Seriously. Do you want watered down, 20-80 mix Jack and Cokes, or would you like to actually drink? Becoming a regular isn't just a matter of showing up all the time, it's getting in with the staff, and the fastest way to Bartender Joe's heart, aside from not being a total jackass, would be tipping decently, and consistently. When you're completely obliterated later, they'll put up with your shit for a little longer. And trust me, you will be.
3. Show up at off hours. Drinking on Monday's is one of my favorite past times. Make this happen. Nothing gets you known at a bar or drinking establishment more than being part of the only couple people there while the sun is still fairly high in the sky. Get in before the doorman is there to check your ID. Not only do you get a chance to publicly drink in a more calm environment, but you also get to pick what goes on the TV, discuss different brands of the alcohol of your choice, and potentially get three vetoes on the house iPod mix. For those of you who are strictly weekend drinkers, if you're looking to start up during the week, pace yourself. Don't go all in right away, your boss will absolutely notice you are still drunk. Again, please just trust me.
4. Open or close the bar (or both.) It doesn't matter if they're opening the doors for you, or ushering your silly self out at 2 am, being there to the extremes of the operation hours shows commitment. There's nothing like a race to the bar at last call to really prove your dedication to their establishment, and to the art of alcohol consumption. If it's a weekday, I don't recommend closing bars for the beginners. Start out with opening them, work your way up to the close. Leave the Wednesday last calls for the pro's.
5. Don't be a slob. Being a regular at a bar comes with a certain level of responsibility. You're not a newbie at this drinking thing, and you're not a passing headache. That means, if you spill your beer, ask for a towel or grab some napkins, don't just walk away. If you are drinking away from the bar front, bring up the empty glasses every once and a while. Unless you're drinking outside the 7-11, most times they serve the liquor in actual glasses. And those glasses are not self-cleaning, so don't horde them. Other people wanna get trashed, too. Be considerate.
6. High-five the bouncers. Underpaid, under-appreciated, and yet, these are actually some of the most important people to know at a bar. Bouncers/doormen can help keep you out of inevitable trouble, favor your side in any and all scuffles with the opposing riff-raff, and give you a little leniency when your drinking makes you say really stupid things. So acknowledge them. Learn their names, and give them high fives, the symbolic olive branch of the adult beverage community.
7. Bring new people. It's one thing for you to show up on even numbered days, but what is really going to get you the occasional free drink is to increase business for the place. Bring your friends. You like this bar, obviously, so don't shy away from introducing it to people that you think are decent enough to hang out with. It's great to have a core group of friends, but don't keep your diamond-in-the-rough drinking joint go unheard of. You can't single-handedly support the company, so let the word of mouth advertising do it's job, if for no other reason than to keep drink prices low, morale high, and the doors open.
8. Follow the rules. Most bars, especially local, hole-in-the-wall types, don't have a lot of rules. So don't be an idiot and try to break every damn near one of them. Don't try to smoke inside,. If it's cash only, don't be a douche and try to argue why they should take your AMEX card. Who the hell are you, anyway? Don't be the guy that puts his Pabst Blue Ribbon tallboy on the pool table. Don't use the vintage arcade games as chairs, and don't try to get free songs on the jukebox because you think you're crafty. You are not.
9. Commit. Being a regular takes persistence. If you're going to do this, then you really have to do it. Doing the things that I've suggested will help expedite the process, but then you can't just fall off the wagon. See how it works both ways? Pick a bar with a good vibe, good music, and the least amount of people you want to fatally wound with a snapped pool cue. When you can start telling you're friends you'll be at "the bar" and they stop asking what bar you're talking about, well, it's a good feeling. I should note, when you start thinking about changing your mailing address to the bar, when you're friends start simply showing up there to find you rather than calling, or when you've passed out on a bench more than once on the back patio, then I suggest maybe taking a few nights off, or seeking some psychological help.