The Bar Code: Crazy Things Bartenders Overhear

Bars are wonderful, magical places. You can try an exciting new cocktail, make a love connection, or just unwind after a long workday. You can also overhear some amazing shit. Below are some of the more ridiculous things I’ve heard in my time working and drinking in bars. They fall into four distinct categories: debauchery, drunken nonsense, drink questions, and pure insanity.

“So do you know where I can score some meth?” Let’s get things straight. Yes, I traffic in an intoxicant, but I’m not a drug dealer. Nor do I associate with them. And even if I did, I think I’d steer clear of meth dealers. I haven’t even seen Breaking Bad and I know that’s a bad idea.

“That guy is my brother, he’s gonna pay for me.” This doesn’t sound too crazy on the surface—but when it’s slurred by someone who can barely keep his head off the bar top and the “brother” hasn’t said a word to him and is approximately 20 years younger, it’s a bit hard to believe.

“I don’t like sweet cocktails. I’ll just have a lemon drop.” You mean the cocktail that comes with a sugared rim? I know it’s become a bit déclassé to like sweet drinks, but just order what makes you happy. If that’s a lollipop in a glass, so be it.

“Have you ever been to Estonia?” Um, no, I haven’t been to a small Baltic nation.

“I can’t drink American wines because they all have sugar added to them, so they’re not on the Paleo diet.” Holy crap, is this a massive pile of nonsense. First, it’s not true; if anything, you’re more likely to find an Old World wine with added sugar. Second, it’s not as if prehistoric man was making grand cru Burgundy. Third, maybe you shouldn’t be getting your diet advice from BuzzFeed.

“How much is too much to tip an escort?” See above. I know alcohol and sex go hand in hand, but seriously, how would I know? Based on the guy who asked me, I’d say no amount is too high for having to spend time with him.

“Can I get a virgin martini?” That drink is entirely booze. I guess I can give you an empty martini glass. Hell, I’ll even throw some water in it!

“Do the cops come in here often?” I think answering that question is the first step to an armed-robbery attempt.

“Are you pregnant?” Not directed at me, obviously, but at someone else. That’s a question you should never ask any woman you don’t know, but especially not one on her third Manhattan. Also, don’t follow it with “Do you want to be?”

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