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.
Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong at the worst possible moment.
While writing this book, I asked Murphy if it was okay to use his real name. I explained there is no other logical name that will suit him.
“Not only will I allow it, I demand it! The truth must be known!”
Right on, brotha!
After recognizing Murphy’s number on the club’s caller ID, I picked up the receiver off the front desk and held it to my ear.
“Sebastian! Top of the mornin’ to ya!” I twisted the telephone cord around my finger and then managed to get one of my rings stuck on it. Rings were my thing these days. In the process of trying to untangle myself, I dropped the phone onto my feet.
Good thing I had on closed-toed shoes. Safety first.
“Helen! Helen! Are you there?” Murphy shouted from the other line.
“Yes, I’m here Jacques!”
“Is there a bartender there today?” He was still shouting.
“No, Mr. Magoo. I’m just here for no reason.” I paused for a moment. “Yes, I’m working.”
“Exactly. So, is there a bartender today?” He chuckled. And so the shit-talking begins.
“Shut up, Murph. Come in! I have weed,” I offered.
Conversations with Murphy are one of my favorite things in life. He is one of the most perfect humans I have ever met.
“I shall meet you at the concubine!” he yelled into the phone before promptly hanging up.
I slammed the phone on the receiver because it made me feel like I was back in the ’90s. It was such a powerful slam, I knocked the whole thing off the top of the filing cabinet and it got stuck in the crevice between the wall and cabinet.
I nonchalantly walked away.
“Did you just knock over the phone?”
I flinched and turned towards Thomas, who had been inconspicuously sitting in his chair in the corner so he could watch us all like a hawk.
I inspected his tailored three-piece suit. Ah, my favorite; the light green button-down shirt with the olive green tie. It accentuated his eyeballs on days they were more green than blue.
And he had on the tight pants! Fuck yeah.
“The tight pants,” I responded, ultimately ignoring his interrogative accusations. “Nice,” I raised my eyebrows up and down at him.
No more than thirty minutes later, in strolled Murphy. I watched him linger by the front door as he stopped to harass the door girl while I filled a tall plastic glass with water and no ice. Next, I prepared what I refer to as a “Murphy L.I.T.”
“Excuse me! What kind of place is this? Can I get some service here? Barkeep!” Murphy hollered, making his grand entrance.
“Donovan! Hello!” I greeted him. Murphy was a stout man with the face of an angel who always wore a button-down shirt tucked into his jeans. “I see you have been granted furlough today.”
Murphy was married and his wife didn’t mind him coming to the club as long as he didn’t get too drunk or come home too late. So naturally, she always minded.
“Oh look! She’s behind the bar!” His eyes lit up. “Where can I get a cocktail around here?” Murphy approached the bar as I placed the drinks I had already made right in front of his fucking face.
He silenced himself.
“Let’s take shots!” I suggested as I was already halfway through pouring them.
“Murphy, will you buy me a shot?” A dancer named Jessica piped up, momentarily interrupting her whispered conversation with Stella.
“Excuse me, Bertha. I would like to buy this lovely lady a cocktail,” Murphy said to me with a familiar look in his eye.
I placed everyone’s shots in front of them. Jessica was still talking with Stella, not paying any attention. Murphy quickly reached over and took the shot he had bought for her while she foolishly remained distracted.
“Ha!” he yelled as the two of us clinked glasses and he took the shot that had originally been assigned to him.
The classic Murphy sneak.
“Murphy’s passed out at a table in front of the stage. Will you please go take care of him?” Thomas frowned at me.
There were very few people who worked at the club that could tolerate Murphy and I’m pretty sure I was the only one who could handle him 100% of the time. I liked to view myself as his caregiver while at the same time, being his enabler. It was quite the conundrum.
I grabbed the little water gun that I kept stashed behind the bar, despite Dick’s complaints, and made my way to Murphy. He looked so angelic and peaceful in his slumber.
“MURPHY!” I shouted at him and sprayed him in the face with my H2O weapon. His eyes shot open and he returned to Earth.
“Come on.” I reached for his hand and tugged trying to help him up from the chair. I noticed his piece of shit 2006 (probably) cell phone lying in the seat and snatched it. As I struggled to put the phone in his front pocket for him, Murphy began to yell.
“Help! I’m being molested! Please! Someone!” His body began to shake as he chuckled and I couldn’t help but laugh too. A few customers began to watch.
“Dolores, you are out of control right now. Come on.” I dragged him into VIP and practically shoved him into a booth.
Cinnamon (a dancer … obviously) was sitting nearby on her phone and walked over to us.
“Would you like me to tell you a bedtime story?” I asked Murphy.
“Yes, please,” he replied with his hands folded neatly over his belly.
“Once upon a time, Murphy was granted furlough.
Don’t be fooled ’cause he didn’t behave, though.
He went to the strip club during my shift.
To sleep is where he will soon drift.
He drank many things and smoked lots of grass.
He pulled a lot of g-strings and saw a lot of ass.”
Murphy’s eyes began to grow heavy.
“And as a member of the party committee,
I shall show you Cinnamon’s titty!”
I turned to Cinnamon and quickly pulled her top down, exposing full nipple to Murphy.
His eyes shot open and a huge smile formed on his face.
Cinnamon was cracking up laughing and then kissed Murphy on the cheek, wishing him a good night.
“Shhhhh,” I whispered to him as he slowly drifted off to sleep or wherever the hell blackout Murphy’s mind wandered to.
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