I was a barman once. I worked in a village pub and learnt to pour the perfect pint of bitter. I met and chatted with a variety of punters and had the odd drink myself, often paid for by the customers themselves. But if I was a customer who wandered into a cocktail bar and was confronted by this:
Here is your archetypal smug, cocky, show-offy arsehole. I had just been to see a show at the O2 Arena with my girlfriend, and we ended the night by heading to TGI Friday’s for a bite to eat and a cocktail. Having waiting some time to be served the barman looked at me and rather than asking politely what I wanted to drink or how he could help me, made a gun shape with his thumb and forefinger, pointed at me, and made a popping noise with his mouth. This was his way of taking an order. I was not worthy of actual speech, I was afforded only a point and a pop.
At this point I had an obvious hatred for this man. But my other half and I were both thirsty and so I retained my anger and ordered two drinks. And what followed was the stereotypical cocktail barman performance. This penis of a person would throw bottles into the air, juggle them and pour a variety of shots and spirits into a glass. He’d have this stance, this posture and this attitude that screamed ‘look at me, I’m the man’, and he’d think nothing of sweet booze dribbling onto the floor, so long as the show went on.
But in truth, what kind of show is it? What kind of show sees a man in a stripy shirt and braces dick around with some rum and mint leaves for longer than is necessary when his customers are gasping for service and liquid relief? It’s not really the sort of show that would end up at the Lyric is it? Moreover, it’s the sort of show that made me wish I had a gun between my thumb and forefinger, and that I had the balls to pull the trigger.