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The Daytime Drunk

The daytime bartender is constantly confronted with a brand of customer that is equally disheartening and painfully annoying.
This is a broken, disenchanted customer who comes calling always at a time unwanted, yet undaunted.
The daytime drunk.
These are sad and unfortunate souls, men with dreams and visions of a life far greater than their present reality.
The daytime drunk gives a clear and present dose of reality for the lifetime bartender and a glimpse into the possible future of their own existence.
For these men were born unto this world like the rest of us, with hope and promise, a path rendered unfettered and clear of grief and misfortune.
However, somewhere along the way, these sweet souls lost their way. Addiction to alcohol combined with some type of misfortunate life event brought them to this place. Men just like you, once filled with promise and vigour. But now left half-dead and empty, living for the sole purpose of consuming alcohol in public places.
These are the daytime drunks.
They stroll into the bar at some point in the afternoon, shuffling their feet and clearly despondent. Stumbling and bumbling, yet focused on a stool that they will soon call home.
Chances are good they’ll ask you if you have video lottery terminals (vlt’s). After hearing that you do not, they’ll ask for a draught.
They’ll ask for whatever local, generic brand you have at arm’s length. Midway through pouring their selected poison, they will enquire the price. After hearing the outrageous sum, they will protest loudly as they shuffle through their pocket for change.
Once paid for, they lean on their tall cool beverage like a crutch. Albeit pricey, a gift of life that provides sweet relief from the misery that they call existence.
Almost immediately they start up a conversation. The key for a bartender is to not get involved with the drunk at this point. Nod your head and smile to the original comment and then get the hell out of there. Go out to the kitchen. Go to the bathroom. Go use the phone in the office. Just do something that will get you the hell out of there.
A conversation with the daytime drunk is an adventure in futility. The conversation does not make any sense. The drunk isn’t going to remember anyway. They’ll tell you a bunch of stories from when they were proud men, men of substance and self worth. They’ll tell you the places they’ve been and the people they’ve met. But they never tell you where and when it all started to go so horribly wrong.
Daytime drunks are depressing. From the second they enter the bar, they completely drag the atmosphere and everybody there into some type of downward spiralling vortex. They are shells of human beings. Soulless, expressionless, the years of excessive drinking, smoking, and who knows what else, weighs heavily on their faces.
Then, just as you start to wonder how long they’ll stay, they are gone, and you’re left to face the day bar shift alone once again.
But don’t worry, they’ll be back.

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