There are a handful of sounds that exist in the universe that only bartenders understand. Our ears are trained to pick these things up from just a few feet off to entire rooms away: the tap-slap of a credit card being placed down after a meal, the clunk-splash of a 16oz glass being knocked over and spilling its liquid contents, and of course, the unmistakable sploosh-splat of vomit.
The other week a group of 20-something guys barrel through the door 10 minutes before the arrival of our bouncer. The waitress and I peek at them from around the corner suspiciously. She drops menus as I watch on, and as she returns we share a nod that means one thing: Get them out of here. Over time in this business, you aquire a few core skills. Spotting those sure to honk all over the bar is one of those skills. And it’s necessary
The guys sway and slur in agreement when they’re asked to leave, and I’m temporarily grateful they don’t put up a fight before I have proper backup. I turn for just a second, and then like a demented sonic gong signaling the bad times to come, I hear it… the retching, follwed by the splash of vomit hitting the tables and then the floor, and the scamper of feet as the guys hurry out of the door and escape into the evening in order to wreak havoc on some other establishment. Sometimes, there really isn’t enough bleach on the planet.
Ah, Sundays …