IMAGE BY SCOTT MURRY @HOTDOGTACO
The holidays are a difficult time to be a bartender.
A lot of college kids leave for break, leaving me nothing but scraps to live off of for the coldest months of the year. Even with money getting a little tight, I can’t help but feel grateful. I have a great job where I work with my best friends and get all the cheeseburgers I can eat, and on top of it all we have the most wonderful regulars who take care of us even in the slower winter months.
One of those wonderful regulars is Joe. Joe is a friendly face to many, and one of the few people whom I look forward to talking to on a daily basis. The other night Joe confided in me that he was just about a year out from a heart condition that almost claimed his life. He told me that he wanted to pay for everyone’s drinks at the bar… for the rest of the evening. He wanted to celebrate making it the one year point, but he also wanted to do something that should he not make it, he would make sure he was remembered fondly at his favorite bar. What better way to do both than provide free alcohol to your bar-side companions? People were thrilled, and I took joy in explaining the drinks were taken care of by a mysterious benefactor.
Who knows, maybe it was the booze, maybe it was the out-of-character increase in temperature outside… but this bartender’s cold heart was certainly warmed that evening.