Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Dos and don'ts of being a regular
If I had to guess, I'd say I'm a regular at a couple South Baltimore bars, just because I live in the neighborhood. I'm not a fixture -- I'm a firefly, as Owl Meat would put it.
Here, Owl Meat reveals the ways to be the best bar regular:
I am guilty of extreme bar monogamy.
I tend to stay in relationships long after it's time to pay the tab and move on.
There is a slippery slope where the bar regular slides from rock star to family, lickety-split. "Family" sounds great. Wrong. It means short tempers, grudges, and drunken shouting matches, well, at least in my experience.
As one who has committed the bar sin of being too regular, I offer some humble advice on being an awesome bar regular ...
It's good to have a home base, just don't be a fixture. Get out of the neighborhood, change it up.
If you want to maximize your bar awesomeness, move around. Flit about the scene like a firefly. Now here, now there. Be an enigma; don't be too well known. You're not that interesting.
If you pop into a place every two or three weeks and don't stay too long, they will be happy to see you every time. Less is more. Come up with a signature cocktail. Bartenders remember people by what they drink. Don't be Bud Light Guy. You're him at your home base. Be Bushmill's neat with an olive on the side guy.
For some reason, I get different things when I go to different places. I might not visit a bar for months, but the bartender will remember that I had a Jack and Coke the last time and then I'm Jack and Coke Guy. Better than at my home base, where I'm annoying guy with laptop who tells the same stories over and over. Nope, I'm Jack and Coke Guy tonight.
Whatever you do, don't be these guys (or girls):
1) The hit-on-the-bartender regular – flirting is okay, but don't be the guy who doesn't get the message day after day. You are amusing in a pathetic way, but it is the bartender's workplace, not a brothel.
2) The entitled regular – Gimme gimme, me me me. You're still a guest. If you want to play your music, watch your TV shows, and monopolize the atmosphere, buy your own bar.
3) The special needs regular – The bartender doesn't mind getting some jalapeño juice from the kitchen for your Mexitini when it's slow, but don't be a pest when he's slammed.
If you want to be a well-loved casual regular, avoid these topics in addition to religion and politics:
1) Your job. No one cares. Replaying all your stress as Whine Theater just makes everyone else stressed. Your boss is a jerk. Let it go.
2) Your house, your mortgage, blah blah. Shut up.
3) Fantasy football. We get it; you don't have a girlfriend.
4) Medical stuff. No one wants to hear the details of your splenectomy or root canal. Zip it.
If you do become bar-family, don't be the man-child who lives in the basement. Be the well-traveled cousin who plays "Santa Lucia" on the concertina, cage fights monkeys, and drops in just now and then. Be the Dos Equis guy, not Norm from "Cheers."
Yo DJ, drop a beat for my exit. How about "Here Comes a Regular" by the Replacements? I like this version by John Doe.
(Photo by Getty Images)