Blunts and Birthdays

Below is an excerpt from my book — a mostly true story about my days as a strip club bartender in Austin, Texas where I mostly broke shit, drank a ton of booze, sometimes poured drinks, and always hit on my favorite manager.

I was smoking a cigarette and discussing different strains of marijuana with a dancer when the DJ walked outside with a blunt tucked behind his ear.

“Sup.” I quickly nodded to him.

I made it a point not to ask any questions like, “How ya doin?” or “What’s new?” because he has diarrhea of the mouth. I only really talked to him because he always brought weed and played Gucci Mane for me in the mornings while I set up the bar. All he ever wanted from me in return was a Shirley Temple. The first time he asked me if I would make him one, I asked him if he wanted vodka in it, and when he said no, I asked him if he was five years old. He’s fifty-two in case you were wondering.

“I’m having a great morning, Forest. Thanks for asking!” Oh boy. “You know what I was thinking on my way to work today?” Here we go.

“Nope,” I said. “Not at all.”

“Well I’ll tell ya.” He ignored me and I quickly snatched the blunt from behind his ear and lit it up. If I hadn’t done that, I would’ve been waiting for at least ten minutes before he sparked the thing. I won’t even get started on how long it takes the guy to pass a blunt.

“I gotta go do …” the dancer turned towards the door without even caring enough to make up an excuse as to why she had to go inside. She was already dressed and the club wasn’t open yet. Not to mention, she was walking away from a free blunt.

“Don’t you think it’s weird strip clubs have dressing rooms? Especially all-nude strip clubs?” the DJ asked me.

“No.” I hit the blunt. “Not at all.”

“Anyway…” he trailed off. Fuck. “I was visiting with my nephew the other day. He’s thirteen. Well, actually he’s not going to be thirteen until next Thursday. His birthday party is going to be on Saturday though.”

I passed him the blunt which would end up being a huge mistake.

He took a quick hit and then said, “That’s one thing that sucks about birthdays sometimes. It’s cool to have a party and all but wouldn’t it be so much cooler if people always celebrated their birthdays on their actual day of birth? And wouldn’t it be even cooler if your birthday could always be on a Friday or Saturday? They could be scheduled the same way we do for holidays like Mother’s and Father’s day. Thanksgiving too, now that I think about it. Your birthday should be something like the second Saturday of the month you were born in. Heck, you could even switch it up so you could choose to stay in the same zodiac sign you were born in. You know, instead of the first Saturday of the month, you could schedule your birthday to be the third or fourth Saturday. It all depends on what year it is and how the stars and everything is aligning. That way you won’t have to worry when your birthday is on a Monday one year and you can’t do anything too wild on a Monday night. Let’s be honest, Monday birthdays suck. Unless it’s a national holiday and your job gives you paid time off for those. I guess you could celebrate it at midnight on Sunday though if you’re like us since you’d still probably have to work in the morning if you had a real job. What is a ‘real job’ anyway? You ever ask yourself that, Forest?”


“So I said to my cactus, ‘Don’t you fret, Cleetus. The sun will come out tomorrow!’ and then I sang the song to him. You know how it goes, Forest.” The DJ then began to sing the song from Annie to me. “The sun will come out tomorrow! Better bet your bottom dollar that tomorr-”

“Forest!” Thomas poked his head out the door to the patio. Once inside I threw my arms around him, fully embracing and profusely thanking him.


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