Not that that ever happened.

2020-01-29

“Want another?” she asked.

Part of me, deep down, was surprised that she kept offering me more. Surely some kind of bartender training tells you to stop pouring drinks for someone at some point. I’d been sober when I came in, but that wouldn’t last long.

It’s crazy that you can just walk into a business and ask for an intoxicant. Numbing agents are plentiful, sold with a disinterested neutral expression at all hours on every corner. We gasp and clutch our collars at the thought that Coca Cola used to be sold with actual cocaine. That’s bad stuff, we tut. And then we order another rum and coke, and the buzz of the icy cocktail, caffeine, sugar and alcohol finally hits the nape of our neck, and for once we can really relax. They were so primitive back then, we tell ourselves. How could they ever have done that.

I guess bartenders are pretty used to it. I mean, if someone’s not visibly drunk off their ass, falling off the stool and slurring their haphazard shouts at the hockey game and the waitresses, why would you refuse them service? They’re an adult, right? If they’re driving, it’s on them. It’s up to them to make sure that they’re behaving responsibly. And if they’re not, that’s an adult decision too. Who are you to take that away from them? We have to stand up for everyone’s right to make bad decisions. Right?

Right?

She was still waiting. She cocked her eyebrow a little bit. She was starting to wonder if she still had to stand up for my right to make bad decisions.

“No thanks,” I said. I rooted in my pocket. “What do I owe you?”

I left a 25% tip.