Drop a Flag on that Barkeep


When I went to that conference I mentioned, there was some free time on the first two evenings. So I went to the bar to get a glass of wine. Somehow neither of the bartender’s saw me initially, and I waited a bit longer than I should have, but eventually got served.

This sent me to a flashback to June 14, 1991. My Significant Other and I were in Boston to visit her mother and her brother. For reasons too complicated to describe here, we couldn’t stay at their house, but had to stay at a hotel.

Since we were in town, we decided to see if, somehow, there were tickets to that night’s Red Sox-California Angels game. We seriously doubted it; Roger Clemens, the Red Sox ace hurler was on the mound against the one-handed pitching phenom Jim Abbott. Somehow, there were not only seats available, but we got to sit right behind home plate!

The game itself, which you can read about in this box score, was great. The Red Sox fell behind twice, but came back to win 9-4. The play I remember most was in the 6th inning, when Clemens threw over to 1st base several times to keep Dave Winfield from stealing; I don’t think he’d stolen a base all season. A throw gets past the first basemen, Winfield gets to second and eventually scores an unearned run.

So afterwards, the SO and I check into a Holiday Inn not far from Fenway Park. We decide to go down to the bar to get drinks; she sat at a table, and I stood at the bar. And stood. And stood.

At least three times while I was standing there, the bartender acknowledged my presence with an index finger suggesting “Just a minute.” But people who came to the bar well after I did got served. And I became so incensed that, had I access to a baseball bat, I am afraid I might have started smashing the drinking glasses that hung over the barkeep’s head. (Probably not, but I DID envision it.)

Instead, livid, I complained to hotel management and later to my credit card company, to no great satisfaction, since he never REFUSED to serve me. It was a very sour ending to what had been a great night.

It is why I HATE ordering drinks at a crowded bar to this day. It just doesn’t follow the queue.

0 thoughts on “Drop a Flag on that Barkeep”

  1. OKAY, I’ll be rude and say it out loud. Roger, was the barkeep racist? Is that part of the subtext? Or… was he just a butthead who you thought was being racist?

    If the answer is yes, then trashing the place would have made the problem worse. For you.

    Like

    1. See, THAT’S the problem. Those things are never as clear as “I’m not going to serve you”, like in the South in the 1960s. Northern racism is really subtle. He never refused to serve me, he just didn’t serve me. Yes, I suspect racism, especially if he noticed my white girlfriend, but I wouldn’t win in any court of law.

      Like

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