I’m running shy of stories at this point. I’m sure I’ll think of more as I have time, but I thought maybe I’d list off some of the more interesting guests we had while I was in the business. It was a riot seeing people at their best and their worst. People usually do one of two things on vacation, go nuts trying to keep everything together, or just drop any inhibition whatsoever.
At one point while tending bar at the pool I had an ex-cop spend the entire day at the bar. He regaled me with stories of working decades on the force in a city that I don’t recall right now. In fact the stories couldn’t have been all that interesting, because I don’t remember any of them. What I do remember, is that this guy sat and drank an entire case of beer over the course of my 8 hour shift. 24 MGDs, one after another. At no point during the day would I have been able to tell by his speech or behavior that he was drunk in any way. The only way I noticed was when I rang up his bill before I closed. I spoke to the bartender that had covered the bar for the two days before me, and sure enough this guy had done the same thing all weekend. For three days he sat at the pool bar, in the shade, and drank a case of beer.
The upside of working the pool bar was of course watching the girls in the pool. Now, more often than not it was mostly middle aged women and men, and the occasional younger couple. The pool was technically “European style” sunbathing and because this was in the US there was another pool for families. But every once in a while, you’d get a younger, attractive woman out sunbathing topless. The interesting thing about this of course was the reaction it would get from the other bathers. Without fail you would get complaints. I remember one particular time when a late teen, early twenties blonde girl was out bathing in just her bikini bottom. Within five minutes an irate woman stormed up to my bar. “Do you see what that girl is doing over there?” I’d seen this before so I went with “She’s sunbathing ma’am.” “Well she is not wearing a top, and I want to know what you are going to do about it?” Fun stuff. “I’m not going to do anything about it, topless bathing is allowed here.” She was red in the face at this point. “What if my children were to come in here?!” Now, I want to note here that she didn’t even have children staying with her, and I honestly doubt she had children younger than their twenties. But I was a lackey, so I just went with “Well ma’am, this is the adult pool. Your children aren’t allowed in here.” So here she decides to change tactics. “I find that disgusting, and I want a stop put to it. I am leaving this hotel if that is allowed to go on. Don’t you find that disgusting?” So at this point she’s threatening to leave. And I know damn well what the manager’s response is going to be. She can leave if she wants, but we’re not going to change the rules for her. Plus I know that no matter what I say, I’m going to be listed as part of the problem when she complains. So I go with the truth. “Ma’am, I think you and I have very different definitions of that word. Here’s the phone. Dial zero for the front desk and tell them you want to talk to the GM or the manager on duty.” I won’t drag on here, but she went through the same routine with them, and never backed down. I don’t know for sure that she left the hotel, but then I didn’t follow up. I was too busy watching the topless girl at the pool. But honestly, this happened every time we had a good looking girl get topless. Oddly it never happened when a sixty year old woman was out there topless, which was a lot more often.
Now one of the worst things about tending bar in a vacation resort is the non-drinkers. Anyone that spends a lot of time in a bar knows that most regular drinkers hold their alcohol pretty well. Every once in a while they’ll take it too far and end up telling everyone they love them, or they hate them, or both. But they’re easy to deal with. The non-drinkers however, when on vacation decide that they’re going to get good and drunk for once in their lives. This always goes badly. I have had people falling out of their bar stools, getting up and ordering another. They’re not drunk enough to go down for good, and they don’t have the sense to stop on their own. Bob, who I mentioned in another story, used to call us killer bartenders. Because “We’d serve you booze till you died.” It was that or cut somebody off and get a complaint made against you, which could screw you over even if it was for a stupid reason. I’ve watched sixty year old women make out with men half their age sitting at the bar. I’ve seen more people than I care to think about lose their lunch all over the damned bar, sometimes on the bar. I had one guy wave a fireman’s badge at me pretending to be a cop and threaten to arrest me for serving his “girlfriend” too much when I hadn’t put booze in her drink in an hour. She’d been sitting in the bar for hours hiding from him because she came on the trip on kind of a set up double date with her friend, and the guy turned out to be a total ass. She’d slurred most of this out to me while trying to drink all my vodka. I think he thought she was going to run off with me, and frankly she might have been trying. It was hard to tell at that point.
I remember one time getting a table assigned to me right as I walked in the door. The hostess couldn’t get the grin off her face, so I knew something was up. I approach the table and it’s a thirty something Asian woman sitting with a blonde friend in a bright yellow dress. I noticed right off that the blonde seemed rather large. I don’t mean fat, we saw plenty of that, but just big. I get to the table, and I see why. The blonde woman is a 230 pound, six foot tall, middle aged man in a dress and a wig. Now this doesn’t freak me out. I’ve been around. What was really interesting was the conversation I could hear whenever I was away from the table, but close enough to overhear. The woman was coaching this guy on how to do everything. How to hold the silverware, how to drink. I finally decided after the entire course of the meal that this guy was getting coached on how to behave as a woman. I thought at first they might have been a couple, but they didn’t seem that close. I left with the impression that these two had arranged to go on vacation together so he could explore this new side of himself. More power to him. Weird experience for me though.
I’ll have more later. I have to take care of some things.