Tuesday, May 4, 2010

At The Bar

What’s on the bar next to your drink? I was sitting at an upscale Strip District bar when a man came in and placed his hat on the bar. The bartender politely asked to remove it from the bar. The bartender had experience with men’s hats and the creatures found living it them. Since then I always noticed if somebody puts a hat on a bar. I keep quiet about that but I see what the bar staff does: typically nothing, sad to say. One thing we do leave on the bar is cash. In the states one can leave money out on the bar, take two weeks vacation and return to fine it untouched. It is assumed that if you touch somebody’s money on a bar you risk broken bones. On an early trip to London I bought a round of drinks and left my money out on the bar for the world to see. My friend quickly updated me on English pub edict which one is to remove his money when change is returned. I never forgot that one. On a recent visit to a well-run London pub I saw a lad place a bag on the bar. When the bartender spotted the contents of the bag he asked the owner to remove the bag. It contained a pair of new, off the shelf shoes. I was ok with that but it was not proper. Nobody, including the bartender knew why, but it just wasn’t done. Speculation had it that shoes on a bar in a pub were bad luck.

So here is my question. What have you seen on a bar that you thought should be best left off? Remember, we not only drink on the bar but eat as well. Woman’s purses should be ok but what about shopping bags? Some men’s only bars have women (I though it was men’s only?) who dance to pay for the cloths they don’t have. I wouldn’t want to eat a meal in a place like that but I doubt that they have a kitchen anyway. The most bazaar happened decades ago. Friends of mine were drinking in a South Side tavern when a local gent approached them. He needed to use the gent’s room and asked them to keep an eye on something he had. When they agreed he promptly removed his false teeth, placed them on the bar and walked off. I would have put a hat over it.

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