In case I run out of money


Years ago I took a one-week bartending course at the sketchiest bar in the sketchiest part of Huntington on Long Island. Unlike most of my hair brained schemes, this one paid off. My back up plan, should I run out of money on my road trip, is to become a transient worker for whatever needs to be done. Hopefully I’m always entering a bar that has a help wanted sign. I just reread On The Road and I don’t think I would make a very good cotton picker, which seems to be the only other option.
When I graduated school in 1992 the economy was kind of like it is now. No jobs for recent grads. So I moved to Athens Georgia and took a room in my friends house. They were all going to UGA. To pay rent I took a couple of jobs. One was being the food prep guy at a Schlotzsky’s deli. The other was being a tuxedo’d bartender at the honkey tonk bar in the Ramada Inn, the Frog Pond Lounge. The Mixology degree wasn’t that necessary. For most orders I simply had to ask the person do you want a bottle or a can. The hardest part of the job was keeping the country music DJ from passing out drunk. I had to water down The Crown Royal Canadian whiskey that he demanded every 10 minutes. The only reason he worked there was to pay off his many thousands of dollars bar tab. Closeted rednecks used to leave me their phone numbers on the underside of cocktail napkins saying, New York bartender, give me a call. I pray I find another job like that.

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