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.
“Look, there’s a couple of things that came up in the meeting this week I need to talk to you about,” Thomas frowned as I settled into his Ferrari. After he had given me a ride to work once the weekend before, it became a thing. It was fucking awesome. “First one,” he pointed his index finger at me, “Richard got on my ass because he said they have you on camera pouring thirteen shots of Jack Daniels and only ringing up twelve of ‘em.”
“What? That’s shocking,” I replied in a monotone voice.
“Look, I’m just telling you what I’m being told, hon.”
“Okay well, what else is Dick bitching about?” Thomas sighed, for he had long ago given up on correcting me when I referred to Richard as “Dick.”
“Okay, number two. Somebody said they saw you on camera smoking weed with Murphy on the patio,” he confronted me.
“First off, we both know that ‘somebody’ is, yet again, Dick. Also, that is false. I haven’t smoked anything other than tobacco products on that patio since they installed the cameras,” which was a complete lie. I just knew where the blind spots were.
“Okay, that brings me to my third point. Are you smoking weed in the bathroom?” He flipped on his turn signal as we merged onto the highway.
“No?” I scoffed.
He raised an eyebrow at me.
“Okay, I’ve done it before but not recently.” I sheepishly grinned at him. “Okay, last week,” I admitted. “But!” I paused and held up one finger, “Every time I blaze in the bathroom I wait until our shift is over so they will blame one of the night time bitches.”
“I appreciate that,” he thanked me, seemingly to momentarily forget he was supposed to be lecturing me about smoking marijuana indoors at my place of employment.
“Also, on that note you need to stop calling girls whose names you don’t know ‘bitches.’”
“Oh, come on. Who complained about that?”
He ignored my interrogative questions and proceeded to tell me I may no longer decorate this one douchebag regular’s whiskey shot with every lime, lemon, olive, and/or cherry within my reach. I am also not allowed to pour his shots in martini glasses anymore because he is getting the sense I am poking fun at him. Apparently, I’m also forbidden from wearing Hawaiian shirts and/or sweatpants to work. No more having my cash drawer short the exact same price of whatever food I consumed for lunch.
“Just because you get a ten dollar leeway does not mean you can use this to pay for your food every shift,” Thomas tsked.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” I dramatically shrugged my shoulders and shook my head.
“Also, I’m not sayin’ it’s you … but they think somebody is smoking weed in the walk-in cooler…” he trailed off. “My guess is one of the cooks but I could be wrong.”
“This place is a fucking prison!” I shouted.
“And, they’re totally calling me out. I mean, I don’t hear you saying anything like, ‘Don’t offer a customer a bottle of beer that was harbored in your vagina!’ or, ‘Don’t cuss out people who don’t offer to buy you drinks!’ Oh! Or what about, ‘Hey Forest, please don’t show up to your shifts four hours late anymore cause you woke up halfway across the state!’ What about the rest of the degenerates?!”
“Forest, who’s to say those things weren’t said at the manager meeting? They obviously don’t apply to you.”
“Anything else?” I cut my eyes at him.
He groaned before asking me if I walked up to a dancer when she was on stage and took some of the money that had been thrown to her.
“Yeah, that one bitch who always wears the jewelry around her stomach. It’s like a bracelet but for her waist. A waistlet, I suppose. She refused to pay her tab and then every time I had someone give it to her, she would crumple it up and throw it away! It was the end of the shift and I had debts to collect, Thomas. I only took the money she owed me. It was $12 and I didn’t even take a tip.”
“See, I had no idea about that. You need to just let me handle things like this from now on. I ain’t mad, I’m just telling you what’s going on, alright? They are watching the cameras. If you don’t keep me in the loop, then I can’t really help you, hon.”
“Are we done yet?” I huffed and puffed.
“No,” he said bleakley. “The water gun has to go.”
“WHAT THE FUCK?!”