It was Margarita Monday, our busiest night of the week. I guess Smurf, our badass barback, had requested off because they had me taking his place that evening. I'd wash glasses, run bustubs back to dish, change out beer kegs, shit like that. They also had me helping the cocktail servers in the bar area. The bar was where it was at nighttimes but we had a fairly busy, separated, dining room. Like most nights, the buser in there was a young man named JimBop.
CRASH! Colleen, the usually sure-footed cocktail waitress, had dropped a trayful of drinks and appetizers. "Joe? Can ya help me take care of this? Thanks, sweetie!" she told me, not really meaning the "help me" part of her request. I cleaned as best I could with a dustpan, a broom and my hands. Then I got the mop and finished the chore.
A couple hours later, most of the bar clients began noisily fixating on Table 113. You would have thought it was a sudden-death cage match between musical entertainer Colin Meloy and a reanimated L. Ron Hubbard but no; just a couple of fat guys arm-wrestling. BAM! One of the combatants suddenly emerged victorious but in so doing managed to knock over a shitload of brewski. I went and got the mop.
On my way out the kitchen, I saw JimBop. "How's it goin', dude?" I asked him.
"Pretty good," he replied, "I'm not as busy down here as y'all are. You doin' OK up there?"
"Yea, not bad. But dude. This is, like, the third time tonight I've had to mop some shit up," I exaggerated, "next time's your turn." JimBop agreed to wield the O-Cedar® product if it was needed again and we went back to work.
At last it was getting near closing time and had slowed down considerably. A middle-aged redhead in a white coat was sitting at the bar. She had a margarita and some chips and salsa. I noticed that she wasn't using the chips very much but was mostly scooping up and eating her picante with a fork. Maybe it's a crucial tenet of Scientology or just some weird diet ordeal. Who knows? Oh well, not my business or my problem.
And then she threw up. She managed to step away from the bar and hurl onto the floor. Poor lady, she wasn't drunk—she'd only had part of one 'rita—and she didn't puke on purpose. She was pretty embarrassed, hurriedly paid and left. I knew what was expected and who it was expected of. "I'll go get the mop," I lied.
Of course I didn't go looking for the absorbent strings. I went looking for JimBop. I found him in the employee smoke hole, standing there with Colleen, about to spark up a Newport 100. "Dude," I told him, there's some kind of spill up there in the bar and it is your turn..."
"I got it, no prob," said JimBop, postponing his nicotine fix, "where's the mop?" I told him where it was and took my own trip to Marlboro Country. I told Colleen about the contents of the bar spill JimBop was attending to. We laughed and smoked our cigarettes until JimBop returned.
"What was up with that?" I asked him innocently.
"Aw, it wasn't nothin'," JimBop told us, "Barney (the bartender) said there was some throw-up but really somebody'd just spilled some sour mix and some salsa."