Let me tell you what happened to me recently. I went to this bar. It sat at the furthest table on the verandah, with a view of a garden and a parking lot. I wanted to have one drink and leave because I don’t drink alone, it makes me lonely and needy.
Plus I’m afraid that if I start drinking alone I will turn into those miserable men in their 40s who go to bars alone and look like they are scared of going back home to their wives, or cats, or the TV.
So I only drink with company. I didn’t have company but I had a deadline. This deadline.
Anyway, I order a double whisky. Some celebrity pulls up in his car, he’s some deejay or the other. He has white sneakers on. He joins a table with these loud ladies wearing faded jeans and sharing a bottle of Johnnie Walker black.
On the next table, two gentlemen are talking about pig farming.
I feel depressed already. I can feel my shoes filling with sadness by sitting there. I summon this waitress with pillowy lips and ask her if she can increase the volume of the radio because I can’t hear a thing. She goes and the volume is never touched.
I call another waitress and ask for another double. She comes back and says, “We have run out of Glenlivet 15 year-old.” I say, “What? How?” She shrugs. She says they have Jameson. “I don’t drink Jameson!”
I snap and immediately feel so lousy because it’s not her fault the damn bar is out of Glenlivet, besides she’s just doing her job.
I feel like a jerk now. So I ask her to call the manager and a pleasant man comes and I ask him why they would run out of Glenlivet 15-year-old and he says, their supplier is yet to bring it.
“I’m very sorry, maybe you can have the 12-year-old, it’s just as good,’’ he says.
I tell him it’s not half as good but I will have it. Then we chat a bit and I tell him that it’s disappointing that a place like that would run out of whisky. He asks what I do, I tell him I’m a middle-man, I sell cowhide.
“Would you like cowhide?” He laughs and says no. (Nobody ever wants to buy my cowhide!)
Thirty minutes later, on my way out I tip the waitress and tell her I’m sorry I snapped at her.
She says, “Ni sawa.” I say, “But have you forgiven me from the bottom of your heart?” She giggles and says she has. I’m promptly freed from that bondage of guilt.
The next day the manager calls me and says, “Do you also write for Nation? I True-Callered your name.” I say, sometimes. He says, “If you ever write about us could you please not say you didn’t get your drink?”
I promise him that I won’t. But I have a deadline, so here is the story without the name of the bar because I intend to go back there today.
Plus the manager was real nice and professional.