Barback Pro-Am on Monday; forecast is “pain”

Five years, almost six.

That’s how long I’ve been writing about drinks, and bars, and hanging out in bars to write about drinks. Throughout this time, I’ve always been keenly aware that my position in the bar equation is firmly on the barstool side of the action. Except for a short stint when I was 22, pouring pitchers of 3.2 beer in Norman, Oklahoma for college students — you could get Bud Light OR Coors Light, or if you were on a fancy date, there was Michelob in the cooler — I’ve never actually broken a sweat behind a bar. Middle-age escapist daydreams aside, I’m okay with that.

This all changes on Monday.

Against my better judgment, this Monday, February 28, I’ll be taking my turn in “Jim and Rocky’s Barback Pro-Am,” a series of events up and down the West Coast that basically entails taking drink bloggers, writers and related boozy hangers-on, and setting them up as free-labor barback piñatas for Jim Romdall, formerly and soon-again-to-be of Vessel, and Rocky Yeh, bar regular turned bartender and ambassador for, oh, everyone. My job? To try not to fall to the floor stricken with cardiac arrest, or otherwise embarrass myself like the aging keyboard monkey I am. I know, not likely, but I have a hard time saying “no” in these kinds of situations.

Anyway, if you’re in Seattle on Monday and possess the kind of high discomfort threshold you’ll need to watch a wheezing man in his 40s attempt to do a job better suited for someone half his age, then come watch this spectacle. It all goes down — and by “it all,” I mean “me and my dignity” — starting at 6pm at Needle & Thread, the upstairs bar at Tavern Law, at 1406 12th Ave. on Capitol Hill.

If you’re the Facebook type, details are here, but even if you can’t make it, you can feel some of my pain courtesy of Small Screen Network, which will turn their cameras on the event to preserve the ugliness for posterity, damn their souls. There’s also apparently a competition involved, which I’m pretty much giving up on right now, but whatever.

If you’re around, please come to Tavern Law to witness the full horror of the event. Plus, I’m anticipating I’ll need someone to buy me a beer after the whole thing’s over, so it might be a good idea to bring some extra coin. Oh, and are you finished with that?

8 Responses to Barback Pro-Am on Monday; forecast is “pain”

  1. Hey, Paul,

    I’ve been reading your blog for 3 or 4 years now, and you just now mention that you tended bar in my home town?

    I never frequent bars in Norman because they’re full of drunken children, schlockmeister bartenders and Jello shots. One white table cloth, Kobi beef serving Campus Corner establishment can’t make a Manhattan or Old-fashioned because they don’t have a bottle of bitters. The only bar that actually stocks a bottle of rye whiskey is a cigar shop that recently put in a bar (full disclosure: back in the ’80s I was the manager at their other location), and even that’s Old Overholt (there’s no excuse for this, as we can now get a couple of decent top-shelf ryes in Jokelahoma).

    — CZ

  2. It’s not so bad. Chuck survived it last night relatively unscathed.

    The doctors say he’s coming along nicely and should be able to speak again within a matter of weeks.

  3. go get ‘em Paul — you’ll do great!

    i wish i could find a similar opportunity in NYC; would likely reveal that i should stay on the proper side of the bar consuming vs. prepping.

  4. Brave man. I volunteered should Jim and Rocky venture north of the 49th parallel with this craziness. After looking at the tweets, pics and video of earlier stops I wonder if that was wise.

    Good luck. Wish I could make it…

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