I usually don’t ask customers for credit cards to start tabs. Normally I can keep an eye on people, and it makes them feel more human not to have to drop a form of payment up front. Sit, drink, and enjoy yourself. Pay later!
But every now and then a customer will get a little too intoxicated and forget what he or she had to drink. I keep track with a computer, but sometimes I make mistakes (which I am happy to correct). The thing to remember is this: You are drunk. I am not.
The tipsy ones think they can’t possibly have had six beers. Because every time they go out they like, totally can only “stomach five, at the most.” Such was the case with an older gentleman the other night. He had been slugging back whiskey like a second Prohibition was on the horizon, and when he was finally ready to pay up he shook his head at his five-shot tab. “No,” he said, jabbing his finger down on the bar. “No, I only had four.”
“You had five,” I corrected, reading off the almost perfect 20 minutes in between each drink. I expected a fight, but he didn’t put one up at all. Instead he laid down his cash with a generous tip and he smiled. “So be it,” he said. “You have a lovely evening. I am going to go snort some heroin in my car.”
A lovely evening to you as well, sir.