STOP BEING POLITE AND JUST ORDER YOUR DRINK ALREADY. HERE'S WHY.

Friends, when you're waiting at the bar for a drink and the bartender points at you, NEVER DEFER TO SOMEONE WHO MAY HAVE BEEN WAITING BEFORE YOU. Here's why: 

1) You are paying attention and they are not. The bartender knows this, but you do not.

 

2) They are still deciding on a drink order and you are clearly prepared. The bartender knows this, but you do not.

 

3) They have established themselves as poor tippers, and are intentionally being skipped. Again, the bartender knows this, you do not. 

 

4) They have been cut off and are no longer being served. The bartender knows this, but you do not.

 

5) They are distracted with their phone and are being skipped for poor bar behavior. The bartender knows this, you do not. 

 

6) The other guy is being a complete asshole and we're putting off dealing with him as long as possible. And he's gonna order a very complicated drink that will take way too long, and you just want a simple draft. The bartender knows this, you do not. 

You're getting the idea, yes? 

Thanks for being a courteous and aware bar patron, your generosity does not go unnoticed. However, leave the traffic direction to the bartender and for chrissakes just say what you want when pointed to. You'll make things so much easier for all of us! Happy drinking!

TOP TEN THINGS OVERHEARD AT THE SOUTHERN CULTURE ON THE SKIDS SHOW

10. I got a grandbaby who don't sleep.  You gots to pick her up and rub her, just rub her.  I been rubbin' her nearly fourteen hours today.  Hell, I even been to Tennessee and back two times today... I take some loads, gotta get paid, you know?  Then I come back home and rub rub rub.

 

9.  Last time I flew to Jamaica I took my pit bull with me.  I had to buy a ticket for her.  Because you can't drive to Jamaica... you wouldn't drive anyways.  You're comin' out cheaper flyin' than driving, including the price of your dog's ticket.

 

8.  Get your dirty fingers outta my asscrack pronto jack!

 

7.  Well, I was gonna get it down lower on my titties, then I decided they was too perty to do that, so I got it all up around my neck instead.  (Said in response to the question, 'Do you think that tattoo was a good idea?')

 

6.  I got a family but they don't care.  They don't love me, they don't love Easter.  They don't give a shit and I don't give a rat's ass about them anyhow.  But a Merry Easter to you, Mr. Bartender.

 

5.  I'm on the road twenty-four to thirty-six hours every day.

 

4.  All I hear is goddamn train whistles...I hear 'em when I'm sleeping...I hear 'em when I'm walking... I hear 'em when I'm sleepwalking...And lemme tell ya, there's nothing like chasin' after a train when you're in the middle of a good shit.

 

3.  I got a little tipsy last night and took to kissin' on my cousin.... naw, I tried to but she wouldn't let me...

 

2.  (In response to the question, 'Is your maw picking you up tonight?') Shit, son, you know my maw don't want me comin' to no music concert.  I told her I was at Damian's house playin' videos.

 

1.  I'm gonna catch me a piece of that flying fried chicken.  

TOP TEN THINGS OVERHEARD AT THE BAR 3.26.17

 

10. Drunk friend #1: Thermometers don't really work.  They're all fake.  That mercury shit is just like adult play-doh in a little tube that you can't touch.  

 Drunk friend #2: Listen, you can't argue with science, bitch.  I'll punch you in the face if you argue  with science.  If I had a thermometer right now I'd ram it straight up your ass.

 

9. Fuckin' cats, man.  What are you gonna do with a cat?  I mean, dogs can go into the mall.  Dogs can go to Lowes and restaurants.  Take a fucking cat to the park and see how that goes.  You can take a dog to the library; cats would be all hiddin' up on the shelves because they don't read, but guess what - dogs do.  Dogs like to read. My dog reads all the time, non fiction is what he likes.  So fuck your cat.

 

8. You guys look like you're gonna hook up.  I'll come along and film it for for fifty bucks.

 

7. I thought I trained my brain not to do that but my brain don't listen to itself so it done it anyways.

 

6.  You ever accidentally piss when your cumming?  Nothin' like a post-fuck piss.  R Kelly won a grammy for that.  

 

5.  Dude your mom is on the stage again.

 

4.  In the end I looked like a cum tree, I was totally covered in cum.

 

3.  Drunk Girl: I'll have a Jack and Coke.

Bartender:  We don't carry Jack Daniels.

Drunk Girl:  How can you not have Jack Daniels?  Fine then, I'll have a Jack and Coke.

Bartender:  I just told you that we don't carry Jack Daniels.  

Drunk Girl: OK.  Yeah, that's what I want, Jack Daniels and Coke.

Bartender:  You realize that Jack Daniels is the 'Jack' in 'Jack and Coke,' right?  And we don't carry Jack Daniels.  So I can't make you a Jack and Coke.  I'll make you something else, but not a Jack and Coke.

Drunk Girl:  Wait, what are you saying?  Can't you just make me a Jack and Coke?

 

2.  You smell really good, like you didn't bathe.

 

1.  You outta run that bitch over with your new dump truck.

TOP TEN THINGS OVERHEARD WHILE BARTENDING THE JOSEPH SHOW

10. DNA fixes itself. It lives in a tube, or more like a tribe. It's like being born without those things and gaining them through the tribe that you're living in, and when the tribe say oh no no then you're gonna get crossed out, dropped from the tribe and then you'll be finito my home bro.

 

9. No dude, it's definitely broken. Not sure what bone it is but yep, definitely broke it.

 

8. I ain't need it. Lemme be!

 

7.  All we do is drugs and bang and play with snakes down here.

 

6. I'm callin' to tell you that Jenny done kicked Benji outta the house. That's right, he ain't comin' home.

 

5. That guy's face is totally smashed in, he's covered in blood, somebody better call the cops.

 

4. I'm a weirdo, man, a total weirdo.

 

3. The fire truck is back again.

 

2. The ambulance is back again.

 

1. The cops are back again.

TOP TEN THINGS OVERHEARD AT THE PARQUET COURTS SHOW LAST NIGHT

10.  I work as a barista so I take my beer pretty seriously... Actually, I'll just have a PBR, actually.

 

9.   I'm pretty big on hiking in the woods in the dark.  I can't see shit, but I do it anyways, you know.  Yeah, there's roots and rocks and shit, but again, I do it anyways. 

 

8. We're cool guys, right?  I mean, we like rap, we like hip hop, we're down with it all.  (Said in a completely serious manner by two extremely white guys, roughly 21 years old.  Then they ordered two miller lites.)

 

7. This beer actually has weed in it.  Taste it, you can taste the buds.  (Again, said in a completely serious manner.  And no, the beer does not have weed in it you knucklehead.  It's the hops you're tasting.)

 

6. I wasn't certain because it wasn't spoken but then I slept with his best friend and like everyone in Durham found out and it was like, kinda messy.  So yeah there's that.

 

5.  Dude, my group of friends are like, so gay.  You're gonna fit right in, man.

 

4.  You wouldn't know it but I'm a hard cider aficionado, actually.

 

3. What happened to Josh?  He fell off a bridge or some shit like that.  Yeah, I've known people to fall off escalators all the time and shit like that.

 

2.  He said he would pull out and hope for the best so I was like ok let's go do it then.

 

1.  Goddamnit I need a doughnut so bad I would sell my left testicle to a squirrel if it would bring me a doughnut.

TEN REASONS WHY CHRISTMAS IS NUTS

Well, well. If it isn't crazy time again. Just when I felt like I was done with it forever,  'round comes Christmas - a month-long circus in which all sorts of highly unstable imaginary characters predominate our lives, providing an excuse for a masquerade or gargantuan proportions involving pretty much all of mankind, who decorate everything in sight like patients in a mental ward preparing for family day. 

10. Christmas Music     Christmas music encompasses a broad variety of musical stylings, from orchestral arrangements to rap to singing chipmunks, yet it is some of the worst shit you'll ever hear.  But strangely, none of us can get enough Christmas music into our lives.  Every famous one-name recording artists such as Elvis, Sting, Madonna, Enya, Liberace, Eminem, Cher, Bjork, and Beyoncé has at some point dabbled in Christmas.  There was even that weird moment between David Bowie and Bing Crosby when they converged for a duet of Little Drummer Boy.  I struggle to imagine how this arrangement even came about:  "Hey, Bing, wanna sing 'Swinging On a Star?"  "Nah, that's too earthy, man, how about Space Oddity?"  "You know, I'm not really feeling that one tonight.  What say we do Little Drummer Boy?" "Why yes, David, that sounds joyous; you sing Peace On Earth and I'll take the 'Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum refrain."   "OK, Bing, Let's do this!" "Not so fast, David, we'll need a film crew, some fake snow, a piano, and an English sitting room..."   

9. Santa Clause  What can be said about Santa Clause that doesn't make him sound like a perverted former convict?  Santa Clause is an overweight, unshaven recluse who has not changed his clothes in several decades.  He cohabitates with a clan of colorful elves in some place called the North Pole.  He brings gifts to young children via your chimney in the middle of the night; he even finds a method to enter the homes of those living in apartments and condos who don't have chimneys presumably by employing some sort of master key, and he always arrives unannounced. Santa sustains himself on an unhealthy diet of cookies and milk.  He travels by way of an outdated vehicle- a sleigh, which, as far as I can tell, is something like a convertible Miata that flies -but not on it's own, of course, because everyone knows that Miatas can't fly - that would be ridiculous.  Santa's sleigh is powered by a flock of flying reindeer, the leader being an outcast named Rudolph whose nose glows like a beacon in the night.  Santa does not fly his craft on warm summer afternoons but in sub zero conditions during the middle of the night in December and can somehow circumnavigate the globe, making several million stops, in under twenty four hours.  If you ask me, Santa, his elves, and his deer are consuming massive amounts of blow to maintain this lifestyle. 

8. Christmas Trees   Christmas is not a classification of tree- it's a fir tree, for chrissakes -but because everyone is all bat shit crazy on holiday cheer no one knows the difference.  However, you're officially a humbug if you don't kill a tree in the name of Christmas or have one killed for you and display it in your home during the month of December.  So it's arranged:  A tree - a real tree from, like, somewhere outside, is chopped down, strapped on top of your car and delivered to your living room where it is awarded valuable real estate for the next few weeks.  But it doesn't end there - we can't just have a plain ol' tree in our house - because how weird would that be - so we decorate it with all kinds of shit: lights, stars, balls, ribbons, food items, glitter, fake snow, and pieces of trash as if it were a cosmic spaceship or brain-dead relative.  Then, as soon as Christmas Day passes, we toss it to the curb.

7. Candy Canes  Who were the holiday geniuses that came up with the idea of molding sugar into the shape of a miniature walking device?  "Hey, we need an official Christmas candy."  "OK, let's make it peppermint flavor with red and white stripes."   "Sounds good to me, but it's lacking definition.  Let's shape it into something - like a walking apparatus, only one-sixteenth the size so we can hang it from the branches of the tree in our living room."  "Yes sir, now you're talking..."  But have you ever seen anyone eating a candy cane?  No, you haven't - they get broken into little chards inside their wrapper and thrown away.  Fuck you, candy cane! Why can't you be more like cookies? 

6. Christmas Presents  Each Christmas we buy presents for our friends and families, which can be very time consuming, not to mention costly.  And after all that time, effort, and money spent sourcing a bunch of shit for other people you're still not done - each gift must be decorated with colorful paper, bows, ribbons, and labels in order to be deemed acceptable by other Christmas enthusiasts. Then you present the gift to the person and they're all, 'Oh, I can't imagine what this could possibly be?', as if dressing up the package like a flamboyant peacock threw them for a loop.  And in return you receive yet another collared sweater from J.C. Penny.  I encourage you to bypass this charade entirely by presenting each of your loved ones with a Name-A-Star Certificate that you create and personalize yourself.  Because why not?  People love having stars named after them, and if you think that any of the official star-naming agencies received permission from the universe before allowing Marge from Ohio the naming rights to a celestial body ten million miles away then you've clearly had too much Eggnog.

5. Christmas Spirit.  People whose cup runneth over with Christmas spirit do things like don gay apparel and head out into the night with other Christmas weirdos to go caroling, which is really just another term for trespassing loudly.  Unfortunately, I don't know that I've ever felt the Christmas sprit, with one possible exception - during a recent performance of 'All I Want For Christmas is You,' when Mariah Carey's big ol' left titty almost burst out of her dress.  I don't know if it was Christmas Spirit or what, but I definitely felt something then. 

 4. Christmas Decorations  People love to decorate shit, and that is never more apparent then during Christmas season.  What compels a normal person to climb on the roof to outline his home in colored lights so everyone else can see it while he's inside?  People construct nativity scenes in their yards.  People blow up giant inflatable objects in their yards.  People dress up their cars to resemble reindeers. People dress up their dogs to resemble reindeers.  People dress up their children to resemble reindeers.  Even entire cities and towns dress up their lamp posts with ribbons and bows.  People even dress up themselves- they wear elf ears over their real ears, they wear Santa hats to work, and they even wear Christmas sweaters in a non-ironic way.   If all these decorations are so wonderful, why not just have them all year round? 

3. Yuletide Cheer.  I don't know what this is - but I'm pretty sure I don't have any.  Fuck it.  You're gonna have to figure this one out for yourself. 

2. Tis The Season Everybody's Pissed Off.   It's not even Christmas day and I'm about to lose it.  I've assembled a miniature bicycle, a vacuum cleaner, an overcomplicated shelf, and an overcomplicated wine rack, all in the name of Christmas.  I've been to the post office four times, made multiple visits to Santa in various locations, including once on a moving train car in the middle of nowhere, and each time that Santa appeared my kid freaked the fuck out.  Some Christmas enthusiast with a wreath on his hood about ran me over in the Chic-fil-A parking lot, and I observed a fight in the grocery store between two Christmas Enthusiasts over a turkey baster.   I've even had to wrap several presents with wrapping paper, and that shit is hard.  None of this has not contributed towards my cheerful state of Christmas bliss.  

1. Christmas Time    In the future, Christmas will last year-round.  As for now, no-one is really certain when Christmas begins or ends.  Initially Christmas Day was supposed to be Jesus' birthday,  but then we all heard that Jesus was really born in late January or something and said 'Let's just roll with this December 25 thing.' So there's that.  Then there's the twelve days of Christmas:  What wild-dog came up with that plan- "Fuck it- I'm gonna celebrate Christmas alright - but not for one, two, or three days - I'm gonna party for twelve days straight!"  Other people like Michael, of the Michaels' Arts and Crafts chain, as well as employees of Lowes Home Improvement stores celebrate Christmas starting in late August, which is pretty enthusiastic.  And on the back end there's new year's, which is really just Extended Christmas, allowing for decorations and general nonsense to continue into the new year.  But for now there is no end in sight, so like they say - if you can't beat em, join em. I hope all you fellow Christmas Enthusiasts have a Merry Christmas.

-DB

TOP TEN THINGS OVERHEARD WHILE BARTENDING A TREVOR HALL SHOW

10)  Do you make pickle backs?      

Bartenders' Comments:  If you've asked this question to me at any point in the past, especially last night, you should know that, in that very moment, I wanted to slap you upside your head with a smelly dead fish.  Repeatedly.  Because you should know better than to put anything - much less stupid shit like pickle juice - into your whiskey, which is supposedly intended to neutralize the taste and burn.  Huh, neutralizing the taste and burn of whiskey?  If not for the taste and burn then what other joys are to be derived from consuming whiskey besides the obvious bliss of intoxication?   Wouldn't you prefer the fruity flavor of a wine cooler or a Zima?  I'd make less fun of you for that.  Now go away, little girl.

 

9)  Your dad looks like he's getting kinda drunk.

Bartender's Comments:  Cut your friend's dad some slack, Suzie.  After all, he's at a white-boy reggae show with a bunch of high school girls.  He needs to take the edge off.  Just don't let him touch your no-no square.  That's when things get weird.

 

8) Guy that thinks he's a Player:  Pour that shit fat yo, and I'll give you a fat tip, player.      

    Me:  Your credit card is declined, player.

    Guy that thinks he's a Player:  Oh shit yo, I aint' got no money then. Will you give me that beer for free?

Bartenders Comments:   This guy is more than likely humping some small farm animal right now.  I'd like to think it's the other way around, but that just seems impossible.

 

7)  Danica Patrick is trapped in the greenroom.   

Bartender's Comments:  This is only partially true -  She wasn't trapped, per say, she was just stuck back there for a while. When Rod-dog explained to me who she was I exclaimed "What! They let women drive race cars now? How can that be!"  

Disclaimer: before you run me out of town like you all did to those horny baristas last year (and DJ Rob a while back), the above is not a sexist statement - I'm totally open to women in the racing industry - simply, I'm shocked that the chauvinistic rednecks in Tennesee and South Carolina (and wherever else people race) allowed it to happen.  In fact, I think that anyone who wants to drive race cars should be permitted to do so, because there's obviously something wrong with a person who chooses to go around aimlessly in circles for several hours each weekend, and a racetrack keeps them contained and removed from the rest of us normal folks, kinda like a voluntary prison for not-so-bright people.

 

6)My dog ate the shoes that the homeless Jamaican guy gave you.

Bartender's Comments:  Obviously you need to feed your dog more often, if he's eating the shoes of a homeless Jamaican man.

 

5) Do you have Pringles-infused vodka?

Bartender's Comments:  I don't have time for this, m'am.  

 

4) What kinda nigga got my lemon curds?

Bartender's Comments:  ???????????

 

3) Dude, man, don't take three bags to India, you're gonna need to connect with the people and the cows and shit and you can't do that with three bags hanging off of you. Only take one bag, man. I mean, when I was in India it was all... just ride some buses, dude.  And smoke a helluvalotta hash, man.  When I was in India I woke up every day and drank chai and just sat there with these old dudes who just sit there all day and smoke hash.  I'd try to do it...  just sit there like this (displays sitting posture down on the bar floor) like... just sit there... but dude I couldn't do it... but those old dudes did it all day long.  And get pepper spray for the dogs, they need something.  Like I'm telling you, dude.  The people are like, whatever, but the dogs are just like... you gotta protect yourself there, dude... monkeys will throw shit at you on your motorbike and all, dude. Rent a scooter and just push it dude, push it, push it.  That's how I did it when I was in India, man.      

Bartender's comments:   Yes, I really did stop and type this down as he was saying it.  It was golden. And yes, he was being serious.  At least, as serious as someone like that can be.  

 

2) Strange woman:  Are you're folks cranky?

 Me:  What?

Strange Woman:  I wanna know if you got cranky folks.  Because you didn't laugh at my vagina joke. Hell, you didn't even smile once. You definitely gotta come from cranky folks.

Me:  I didn't smile because your joke sucked.

Bartender's Comments:  Earth to Janice, come in please. This is reality speaking, and you are not seven years old anymore.  The word vagina is not a joke.   As a bartender going on fifteen years now, I have jokes out the wazoo  (jokes are like, part of the job, I think)  and the word vagina is not included in a single one of them, much less is it a joke on it's own.  The word pussy, however, is included in more than one of them, but even pussy is not funny on it's own.  

 

1) Are you a skilled golfer, Donnie?

Bartender's Comments:  You had to be there.

TOP TEN THINGS OVERHEARD WHILE BARTENDING A SHOOTER JENNINGS SHOW

It's been a long week of shows and I've overheard so many strange and share-worthy statements that my head is about to split open.   Yet as expected, it was the country music fans at the Shooter Jennings show who took the cake:  Being the start of the weekend and everyone having just been paid, it did not take long before the gems were flying.  

10.   I just come right up to the road block and throw my hands in the air and says to the cop you got me, I done it, take me away.

9.  I slept with Kenny Rogers once; his balls were huge.

8.  You know what happens when you hit a guard rail?  You rip your goddamn leg off, that's what.

7.  That bitch tied a string to his dick and pulled him out the side door.

6.  Y'all wanna get so fucked up we go home in ambulances tonight?  Gimme a Bud Lite!

5.  Beer ain't supposed to be black.  You gotta see through it if you's gonna drink something.  I'll just take a Bud Lite...

4. Can you put a little ass in my beer? (Also heard: Can you put some ass in my wine?)

3.  Goddamn that's one big woman.  I bet she's got a hairy ass, too.

2.  Try that again and I will break my pussy over your balls. (said by a man, btw)

1.  What? Ya'll aint got Bud Lite? Far as I'm concerned it ain't a bar if it ain't got Bud Lite. If you ain't got Bud Lite then I don't know where I'm at, cause I ain't in a bar.  What the fuck am I gonna drink now? Gimme a Coors Lite. What! You ain't got no Coors Lite Neither? This is the worst night of my life.

TOP TEN THINGS OVERHEARD WHILE BARTENDING AN OF MONTREAL SHOW

Of Montreal played a stellar show last night to a packed house.  Though I prefer the band's bygone days when things were more experimental and involved copious amounts of drugs, the current lineup sounded great and their stage show was spot on.  Just as impressive as Kevin Lawrence Barne's endless wig wardrobe were the amount of weirdos in attendance - looking weird,acting weird, and saying weird shit.  Here's a small sampling of their creative minds at work:

10) Girl #1: Are you on the glitter train?  Girl # 2: Yes bitch I'm on the glitter train. I'm the mother-fucking queen of the glitter train.

9) Take my punch card again and I'll punch you in the face.

8) Dude, you look pretty sweet in that dress, man.

7) There's golden nuggets of doo doo all over the place, you just gotta look for them.

6) If someone puts glitter on you and you don't want it on you, this should be considered assault. 

5) Could I get a monkey fuck? Does it look like I give a monkey fuck? Monkey-fucking-whatever.

4) Look out! He's got a live scorpion in there!

3) I'm not gonna be able to function without my barbie doll.

2) My life has been twenty years of awesomeness and danger.

1) This place smells like one big fart.

 

 

ASHEVILLE TRENDS: FALL 2016

When it comes to being hip in Asheville, I'm as stale as it gets:  My favorite beer (the local beverage of choice) is whiskey, I enjoy the musical stylings of Scandanavian bands as much as I like swimming in a sea of broken glass, and my only tattoo is slightly smaller than a quarter.   And as if that weren't enough to send the cool kids running, I own a home and have a kid. I'm about as unhip as it gets.  

Nonetheless, my job as a bartender at a music venue allows me the opportunity to observe trending styles, and helps keep me in the know.   So here's what's trending right now in Asheville.

5) STYLE.  Last week at the Angel Olsen show, where all the cool kids were,  the hot new looks were in effect:  The female forerunners of style were heavily riffing on the little alien girl character from Stranger Things - shaved head, oversized limp clothing, and a glazed, befuddled look on their faces which showed their proud devotion to the feel-good binger of the summer.   Honestly, I should have seen this coming, it seems so obvious.  Props to you, trendy ladies.  Runner-up look for the gals is still longtime favorite the Rusty Push Mower, in which your hair is styled as if your head were recently run over by a rusty push mower: A little clip here, a little chop there, a whole lot there -oops! Looks great, now let's go out!

Less obvious, and quite frankly down right confusing, were the guys trends.  Surprisingly, what's hot with the guys right now is a look that previously only existed in Robert Zemeckis' 1989 blockbuster Back to The Future Part 2:  When Michael J. Fox's character Marty McFly travels into the future he dresses like a dope.  Now, dudes are drawing inspiration from that dopey look, and also dressing like dopes.  The irony hurts my brain to think about.  Runner up for the guys:  The Gutter, based on John Favreau's character of the same name from the 1994 flop PCU. 

4) BEER. For the beer enthusiast, tracking the release of seasonal brews from all of Asheville's 10,076 breweries can be a daunting task.  But fear ye not -here's the inside word on this season's most coveted brews.  This October, instead of the predictable and played-out Octoberfest, seek out the South Slope Cilantro Sour (be sure to ask for extra cilantro), a beer that makes you think you're eating a taco when in fact you're really drinking beer.  Spicy and delicious!  What's that you say, you had tacos for lunch at one of our 14,564 taco establishments?  I should have guessed.  Well then, I suggest the P.I.G. I.P.A., a heady brew infused with bacon that goes down smooth and greasy and has a burnt, deep fried porky finish. What's more, it's an IPA -the proprietary eponymous heir set to replace Budweiser in the beer world- so rest assured that you'll fit right in.  Now go get wasted!

3) OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES.  This time of year the Blue Ridge Parkway and our inspiring waterfalls are flooded with tourists, making it difficult to find any peace and quiet in the great outdoors.  For those looking for the hot new 'off the beaten path' nature experience, I would recommend the outdoor paths and water features in the stunning Asheville Outlet Mall area - the leaves on the evenly-manicured trees are reaching peak color, and you might even win a car!  As an added bonus there are many opportunities for shelter, should you encounter a freak thunderstorm or even the outer bands of a hurricane.   And as if it couldn't get any better, these trails are also well lit at night, when the air is brisk and lurkers abound.  If you see me out there in the darkness be sure to say hello!

2) SHOPPING.  Asheville is a great place to shop for people of all ages, but here's an insider's tip for the old folks. The discernible and slightly-nutty older shopper will want to visit the Tobacco Barn, where he can purchase flimsy wooden crates built sixty years ago for only ninety-five dollars or discover pieces of broken carnival rides for three hundred and change.  That's a steal, folks.  Insider's tip: Don't forget to look out back where they keep the good stuff: cracked toilets, banged-up high school lockers from 1964, damaged street signs and the like.  Afterwards, should you have plans for a big night on the town and forgot to pack your formal wear, no worries! Drop into one of our Goodwill Stores for an 80's cocktail dress, slightly stained.  You'll look great at the table with Marty McFly.

1) HOP A TRAIN.  Why wait for a trend when you can be a certified trendsetter yourself? If you're bored with the above options - been there, done that, took a picture and posted it on Facebook to the tune of seventeen likes, and now you're really looking for something different and exciting - an authentic old school experience that will make you the envy of all your friends, allow me to hook you up:  My man B-Dog from B-Dog Train Tours will, for a small fee, put your ass on a boxcar and ship you out, just like a real hobo!  Wave goodbye to Asheville through the picturesque window of an open boxcar door (just don't let the lawman see you) and suddenly you're Minnesota bound!  Or you might end up in Tulsa! Who knows! Who cares? The possibilities are endless! Included in this deal is an assortment pack of Toast Chee Crackers and a blue Gatorade, ride at your own risk.  

That's it, folks.  Go out and enjoy the 2016 fall season, and until next time, happy drinking!

AN INCOMPLETE GUIDE TO ASHEVILLE'S TRAFFIC SIGNALS

I've lived in Asheville for nearly fifteen years and I'm still learning what the traffic signals mean, so I know it must be trying for all of you newbs who have recently moved here (last I heard it was something like four-thousand people a day move to Asheville), so here's a brief explanation of a few confusing signals you'll see around town.

 

GREEN LIGHT

This is a green light.  You probably have them in your home town and they probably mean Go.  But here in Asheville a green light can mean a variety of things, including Stop as well as Go.  Also: Slow down, Stop completely, Stop Completely to Check Your Phone For Texts, or Take a Moment to Ponder The Wonders of Life While Other People Wait On You

 

RED LIGHT

Nemesis of the green light, it's the despised Red Light.  In your home town this signal probably means Stop, as in 'Stop your vehicle from rolling into the fast-paced cross traffic of the intersection.'  But here in Asheville only some of us stop for the red light, as this signal means Throw Your Cares To The Wind!  In fact, most Asheville residents have mixed feelings about the red light - they see it as  a sign of conformity -giving into the man, so to speak.  You know, mainstream America. Again, beware when approaching one of these.

 

 

STOP SIGN

I know what you're thinking - that's a yield sign.  But I assure you, it's a stop sign.  You'll find these signs at riveting junctures such as traffic circles, freeway ramps, sketchy gravel roadways, and the like.  This sign is basically just like a green light: decrease speed, approach with caution and bring your vehicle to a complete stop, count to seven Mississippi, then look around for any signs of activity, because if something's moving- anything, anywhere, you better fucking stop - and, no matter what, ignore the line of cars building up behind your vehicle.  Do you see a car moving in the distance?  Stop! Is that a cargo van parallel parking down the street? Stop! Think you saw a squirrel jumping between two trees? Stop, man, stop!   Then wait a bit more.  OK, it's probably safe to go.  

 

 

RIGHT TURN

Picture it:  As you approach an intersection the vehicle in front of you displays it's right turn signal, indicating it will turn right. The vehicle enters the intersection then suddenly halts in mid- turn, causing it's rear portion to stick out into your lane and leaves you wondering 'What's the deal, man?   You're clearly turning right so just go on and do it'- but wait. What's this?  The driver turns the wheel violently and you hear the sound of tires screeching as the vehicle unexpectedly plows through the intersection, oblivious to oncoming traffic, and exits your view wildly to the left where, more often than not, it enters the parking lot of a fast food chain.  Again, use caution.

 

? ? ? ? ? ?

We're still working on this one. It's pretty and red. When you see this sign, do what you think Jesus would do and you'll probably be alright. 

TEN DO'S AND DON'TS OF BAR BEHAVIOR or HOW TO KEEP YOUR BARTENDER HAPPY

I recently heard a dirty rumor claiming bartenders to be unfriendly and disgruntled souls, void of patience and understanding for anything or anyone else, or put more bluntly, assholes.  Naturally I was appalled and in disbelief, having worked as a bartender for over fifteen years.  Nonetheless, a quick search on TripAdvisor and Yelp confirms there to be more than a few unhappy customers who share this opinion of me and my fellow bartenders down at the ol' Dirty Bird.  On TripAdvisor, reviewer Gabe writes that we are 'All hat and no cattle.'  Gabe, I hereby acknowledge your disappointment: You came to rural Appalachia expecting there to be cows, and though generally that is the case around here - come nightfall most every bar in Asheville looks like a fucking John Wayne set - our bar is one of the few that does not allow livestock any longer due to the infamous pony fiasco of '08, so please accept our deepest apologies.  

Over on Yelp the reviews were more forthcoming.  Christine writes  'It's amazing what assholes work at this place.  From the door to the bar. Jerks.'  Clark L.  gave us one star and wrote:  'The worst bartender in Asheville.  Maybe the worst bartender in America. Poor, poor attitude... he makes it too painful to get a refill. Waaaay too cool.'  Now  slow down Clark, you've been to not only every bar in Asheville but every bar in America and upon review have placed either myself or my fellow bartender - we still don't know which - at the very top of your shit list?  Or are you frustrated because we didn't instantly recognize you as Clark The Famous Yelp Reviewer and see to your 'refill' (on the house, of course) in exchange for  a gushing review?  This almost certainly has to be the case, because the only place I know that offers refills on beer is the frat house.  Thanks for the honor, Clark.  If you send us a trophy we'll gladly display it at the bar.  

For hours on end the bartender is doing his best to please hundreds of patrons at every imaginable stage of inebriation, all acting like a herd of spoiled four-year olds on a post-Halloween sugar high, and it is not easy.  Things typically start out smooth then veer wildly off course, because suddenly with one or two ounces of alcohol down the hatch otherwise reasonable middle-aged Americans become fascinatingly unsound, often reverting to the ways of helpless infants:  Drinks are spilled and crying ensues, there is hitting and crying ensues, personal items such as purses and cell phones are lost and even more crying ensues, which causes vomiting, after which even more crying ensues.  A few even fall asleep in their chairs until their sweet slumber is interrupted by the bartender, at whom they groggily hurl projectiles such as empty beer bottles and dull steak knives, and upon being scolded for their disorderly actions - you guessed it, crying ensues.  

Once I had to reprimand a group of customers for setting ablaze everything on their table, and guess who was made out to be the bad guy?  Certainly not the buffoon waving the flaming paper towel roll above his head, attempting a restaging of the Great White Debacle of 2003 for all his friends to behold.  No, it was I - the buzzkill bartender - who put his fire out.  And so what does he do?  He gets on the internet and announces to the world what an asshole I am, before passing out in a pile of chicken wings on his couch, failing to mention that while all loaded up on vodka-sodas with a 'teeny weeny splash of cranberry,' he tried to kill everybody in the bar.    

 

The next time you're putting a few back at the local pub, here's a few things to remember:

 

10.  Do not communicate with your bartender in Spanish.  (Exception: you are of hispanic origin, you are in a spanish-speaking country, or you are placing an order for tacos)  

This means no 'gracias,' 'amigo,' dos cervezas por favor,' 'excelente,' 'mi Loco Hermano,' etc.  As a bartender, this is our first indication that you are an amateur with little to no experience.   Not only have you just put your self on the watch list, you're self-amusement is slowing things down- You think you're funny, we do not.

9. The more you wave at us, the less we see you. 

Of course I see you.  How could I not?  What with the wild bug-eyed expression and arms flailing like an orangutang, you stand out extraordinarily well amongst the other five hundred patrons waiting their turn.  But remember this:  while you are getting buzzed and acting like an endangered primate I am sober and doing my job, which involves taking orders on a first-come-first-serve basis from hundreds of people.  Do you perform your little monkey dance in line at the AutoZone, thinking Greasy Dave will skip the other customers to find a Windshield Wiper for your Mini Cooper?  Try to be patient like the others, you poor little monkey, man, you.  

8. Don't tell the bartender to smile.

Yes, you're smiling, but that smile is directly related your rapidly deteriorating state of being:  Two shots of schnapps into this lady and you can see the audio reels of Alicia Bridge's 1978 near chart-topper 'I Love The Nightlife' spinning in her eyes.  Suddenly 'Aunt Nell from Parkridge Elementary' thinks she's the Queen of The Rodeo.  She's rocking and swaying, hooting and hollering, and it looks as if she's getting up onto the wood.  Clearly she's confused the center of my bar for the center of the stage in her imagination upon which she plays the lead role.  Everything is a riot now that the gang's all here!  "But goddamnit the bartender just won't smile!  Come on, Sam - or whatever your name is -ain't this fun?  Give us a smile!   Cindy!" she calls, summoning a woman who's big-ass orange bouffant marks her territory like a bloated traffic cone,  "Come over here and make this bar boy smile!"  Please, Patty Poole, come over here and make me smile:  Take Inebriated Miss Muffet back to her country lodge -or at least to the other side of the room-so that I can tend bar in peace, thank you.  

7. Have your money ready and organized.

There are few things more annoying than serving a drink to someone at a crowded bar and instead of handing over some form of legal tender they stare back in wild wonder as if fireflies were mating in my suddenly vacant eye holes.  Please have your money ready in an effort to keep it moving.  Be a team player and we all win, que rico!   Seems simple, right?  But no.  Did you know that 95% of all bar patrons who are unprepared are coincidentally unorganized as well?  Out from the pockets come crumpled balls of singles, one...by...one, until there are five crumpled singles on the bar, equating the exact price of a beer, gathered into a collective pile and pushed towards the bartender.  But no worries there friend - I love to un-crumple someone else's dirty strip club stash while other patrons watch and wait.  And here's the real kicker-not only did you waste my time, you also stiffed me.  I'll remember this on your next trip to the bar...

6. Do not tell the bartender who is next in line.

The bartender knows much better than you who is on deck for service.  Although you might be standing next to the orangutang from # 9 and you want to help release him back into the wild, or another man's impatient trophy wife who you think you'll impress with your 'suave' ability to command the bartender's attention, there's probably a reason why we're not serving that person, including a) it's not their turn, b) they're acting disorderly and we are purposefully ignoring them  c) they're the guy from # 7, d)  they have already been cut off.  So please don't tell me who's next.  Enjoy your beer and let us steer the ship.

5. Don't tell the bartender that you're a bartender, too.

 Sweet Jesus help us all, little blondie at the end of the bar is a bartender, too!  And no doubt, she most likely is.  After all, who would lie about being a bartender?  Yet over the past 15 years I've served many a fellow bartender, and the only ones who feel compelled to commiserate with my livelihood are a) newbs, and b) people who talk too much.  "It sucks to run out of limes- I'm a bartender, too!"  "That guy needs to be cut off... I'm a bartender, too!"  "There's no soap in the bathroom...I'm a bartender, too!" Frankly, it doesn't take a seasoned bar professional to realize that the soap is out or the drunk guys needs to be shut down, and even my two year-old will tell you that it sucks to run out of limes, no matter who you are.  Don't get me wrong- if in conversation the topic arises, by all means tell me that you're a bartender, too; I'm sure we'll have plenty to discuss.  

4. Use the word try accordingly.

According to the Merriam Webster-Learner's dictionary, the verb try means to investigate judiciously, to or sample something to find out if you like it.  Therefore, "Could I try the IPA?"  means you are asking for a sample of the IPA so that you may investigate it judiciously. But when you say "I'll try the PBR," then stare at me with your bratty scowl when I present a sample, as if I should have known all along that you actually wanted a full pour - like I'm the fucktard in this transaction?  Well here's a hint:  perhaps you're the fucktard.  

3. Don't shout your order at the bartender, especially when he's not even looking at you.

This one really gets under my skin. The guy who shouts his order- 'Three Miller Lites and a Redbull Vodka, Buddy!' -while I'm engaged in other activities such as working the register, pouring drinks, or for even talking to another customer.  What kind of arrogant bastard are you?  Do I look like an automated teller machine or a soldier from the 1987 British-American war film Full Metal Jacket?  What is your major malfunction, man?  Do you really think that I'm going to stop what I'm doing and get your Miller Lite and Redbull vodka, just because you shouted it into the air?   Suppose everyone else took your lead and starting shouting their orders, too; where would that get us?  Absolutely nowhere.  And that is exactly where you'll get using this amazingly ignorant tactic: Nowhere.  I will look at you when I'm ready for you; otherwise have your money ready and keep your mouth shut.

2. Don't come behind the bar.

For the love of all things sacred and holy, what are you doing behind the bar?  What with the neon lights and the empty beer cans strewn about did you mistake this place for your living room and me for your wife?  Besides the fact that it's completely illegal for you to be back here for any reason, I've been knifed behind this very bar and I'm instinctively on the defense.  In fact my man Scoop here had the mace trained on your forehead the instant you crossed the threshold, and even though you're an innocent sixty-nine year old lady you are dangerously close to getting dropped.  So you want me to know that the dirty old man is performing his 'tricks' on the patio again, the stinky hippie fell and hit his head for the third time, or you just want another beer?  Come to the front of the bar like everyone else, and we will be glad to help you from there. 

1.Act nice and we will act nice, too.

As bartenders we are doing all that we can to provide you with prompt, friendly service.  Approach the bartender with the same respect that you'd give anyone else during the daylight hours, and you'll be surprised to find that the bartender will do the same for you - we are full of good information regarding local attractions, insider info like late night food and locals-only bars, best cab drivers, local bands, probably even a witty joke or two.  But when you approach the bar like an undomesticated ass,  we shut down real quick.  Remember: we work for tips, and those of us seasoned bartenders can spot a time-consuming non-tipper right away, for whom we have little patience or regard.   If your bartender has done a good job keeping you happy, be sure to reward him for his efforts- a little tip goes a long way.  It is much appreciated and you'll be taken care of on your next visit.  And if you've had an exceptionally good experience, give us a good review - as you may have realized, we could use it.  Until next time, happy drinking!