Last week, Joe Englert provided us with 8 reasons why it rocks to own a bar, confirming what we had all along suspected: owning a bar is the coolest thing. Ever. This week, he isn’t feeling quite so buoyant.
Doesn’t Sam Malone on those Cheers reruns always seem to be having a shitload of fun? He beds the once-funny Shelley Long and the pre-Scientology Kirstie Allie. His employees are charmingly quirky and never pilfer from the register. (Woody didn’t bore us back then by talking politics, either.) Believe me, the show never reflected what owning an actual bar can really be like. Anybody trapped behind a bar will tell you the terror of having to entertain a restless, inebriated audience. Sadly, there is a thin line between regular and nuisance.
Then there’s the continual lack of money. Profit margins are tighter than a pair of Scottish twins. The second happiest day of a man’s life is when he buys a bar. But the happiest, by far, is when he finally sells his soul-robbing establishment to an unsuspecting rube. Owning a bar sucks. Here is why:
8. Good help is hard to find
No judge has ever shown you leniency. Your first wife says you have no character. And now, somehow, you find yourself in the position of having to judge who might possess the appropriate character to work for your merry band of bar bandits. Should you hire the self-important guy who couldn’t get off his cell phone during the interview? How about the applicant who hasn’t held a job in over five years? Is it a good idea to take her on because she isn’t very busy? Sadly, you are all too aware that the cadre of kitchen cocksmen are all behind in their child support payments. But there is nothing you can do about it.
7. You’re always the bad guy
Cheney looked out for Bush. Flacco had Lewis. Every NHL goal scorer counts on an enforcer. But it is left solely up to you (well, that and your camera) to clear the dead wood from your establishment. With the clearest of resolution, the hidden lens captures a line cook stuffing a thirty pound tube of ground chuck into his Levi’s. To avoid violence you find yourself reverting back to lame breakup lines, “Baby, it’s not you, it’s me.” What else would you say to a guy who owns a set of sharp knives?
6. Everybody takes a swing at you for charity
At a prayer revival one night (or maybe at a catered AA meeting) I overheard some drunk say, “charity starts in the home”. Then why does every Church Thespian Ensemble (always with the word “players” in their title), Boy Scout Troop, Little League Lacrosse Outfit, Gay Men’s Chorus and Chick Lit Group darken your door begging for donations to their little groups? Whenever some PTA type at your kid’s school finds out you sling drinks for a living, they are on you like a bad rapper on a Kardashian. “You will be donating to the auction this year won’t you?” they gush. Of course! You can’t wait to raffle off your sinking ship.
5. No rest for the wicked
Even Jesus takes the Lord’s Day off. Then why did you go ahead and pick a line of work that never lets you get away? Somebody’s bouncing baby always falls out da swing or the hostess gets herself knocked up and must take the weekend off for a shotgun wedding. Your cell phone used to be for checking sports scores and uploading porn on the down low. Now it’s simply a harbinger of horrible news. Something always goes wrong at the store. The IRS wants the contents of your safe. A SWAT team from Immigration has your head chef in a headlock atop the six burner. And the general manager has a burning question, “did you really offer to give away the entire bar at your kid’s school auction?”