Monday, April 27, 2009


My good friend Sharon took umbrage at my use of the expression “drunk out of our minds” when referring to our work habits at the Oyster Bar. She was quite right of course. We were incredibly professional in the face of overwhelming crowds.

I have yet to see any bartender (working sports events or otherwise) make it through the total chaos we endured.

The drunk out of our minds part usually was at dawn on the East Side.

That being said, our eternal father figure and boss Dennis, allowed us a shift drink. For my part that evolved into a shot every hour. This was an Old Fashioned glass filled with Bourbon, effectively a triple. Between these were countless beers. I have no idea how I survived this period. Youth I guess.

Maybe it wasn’t really that bad but that’s what I remember.

One night, after a bachelor party for our pal Benet, I staggered into work “drunk out of my mind”. I had stopped my car on the snow covered shoulder of a highway twice to vomit. Sharon took one look at me and said, “You hang out in the back room tonight, I’ll deal with the bar.”

Sharon has always taken care of me.


...Sharon said...

Your recollections do differ slightly from mine at times. Mine tend to be the half full glass…

“On-the-job-drinking" was a tradition. No drinking until the “Shift Shot” beginning at 9pm when the bands started. It was our rally marking the end of the 3-hour dinner rush and our being ready for the next surge of business. We all enjoyed our individual shots of choice, a double by today's standards, but certainly not a glass full.

I don’t recall it as chaos either – not from our side of the bar. We all worked so incredibly well together and it was usually a very busy bar. Any lull was used to light up another cigarette long before sipping a melted down cocktail or warm beer. Occasionally customers would buy us shots or vice versa and we always celebrated surviving another big rush with of, course, another shot. So yeah, we could handle our booze. (Remember “Ray-Gun” - he was slick and didn’t last long.)

But I feel you painted a dayglow picture of the volume you consumed. There was just no way or no time to get that soggy. Even if it were a slow night when you worked solo - you had to keep charge over the entire bar/restaurant. Perhaps you’re referring to a phase where you had a “bad week”. You also went through bouts of healthy abstinence.

Bottom line, we were as much professional drinkers as we were professional bartenders. Our style was passionate good-times all the way around. Don’tcha think?

...Sharon said...

… but then there’s that theory that we are simply SOA’s.

"Sons of Alcoholics", and with that comes a genetic tolerance for the obvious effects of alcohol. Top it off with a generous splash of “functional tolerance”. Shaken well until chilled. And our glasses are full with who we are… “Functioning SOA’s.”

Doggie said...

If I have more than 3 beers today I wake up with a hangover. I'll never be able to really drink whiskey the way I used to. I really used to enjoy it. Kim said I was a mean drunk on it but I remember it made me happy.

Anonymous said...

i used to love coming up to Sharon after my shift in the kitchen there and getting that first bud and a shot of 100 proof Leroux's peppermint schnapps! many a night i stayed till closing and somehow managed to drive home(barely remembered the next day)to pass out and get up the next day to do it all over again. in 1991 i got a dui( finally!)coming back from a show i watched in one of those washington avenue clubs. all i remember was talking to this drummer from Gravity Kills then waking up in Ladue jail with Mary going "im never bailing you out of jail ever again", i went home, poured out the 3 beck's dark i had in my fridge and didnt drink a dropfor 10 years. now i occasionally drink a six pack of something foreign at home usually sitting on the comp playing scrabble; but no more 'roaring drunk' nights for me... Geo

Anonymous said...

What about the case of whipped ceam! John Gorski

...Sharon said...

Yeah...! Who was doin' all the whipped cream? I remember nights when every can was dead. Sad, sad, sad.

...Sharon said...

HEY GEO!..!!! I hope you're doing well these days! Sorry to hear about your sleepover in jail. I never saw you as trouble.

But what I wrote earlier about the tolerance thing is true. Real, fact based study stuff; so it's great you quit for so long and can just enjoy a drink when you want. Apparently the type of drinkers who can't hold their booze know when to go sober; therefore being healthier on your body.

So you play a good game of scrabble?

Anonymous said...

Drunken people really upset me! Too much unhappiness in our immediate family caused by booze.

HOWEVER, David, you were NEVER a mean drunk before you married Kim! When you had too much to drink you became very smiley and amiable and when you conversed with me in that condition, you gazed earnestly into my eyes. You won't like this, but your goodness was so obvious that, I guess becaue your hair waslong, you always made me think of Jeaus.

Your obviously biased Mom