Have you ever sat at a bar, sober, and watched the people?
I know, it’s a little creepy. But it is so much fun.
Obviously, the key part is your own sobriety. It won’t be as much fun if you are also drunk, because then you become one of them. So much better to do this from the “outside” looking in.
Last night, I was able to do just this.
The venue was a place called Junior’s Grill and Icehouse in Round Rock. It is a small venue, with an outside patio where the band plays. The seating on the patio is 3 rows of weathered picnic benches strung together end to end from the bar to the stage. There is a big old oak tree in the back corner. The branches provide a partial canopy over the patio and are strung with little white lights.
The first thing I noticed when I walked in was the eclectic mix of people. Notice I didn’t say weird. Although, that word had crossed my mind.
But this truly was weird: bikers, hippies, college students in sports jackets, business men and women, families, stoners. All under the same oak canopy on a Friday night.
And many of them visibly under the influence of something. I assumed alcohol. But, this is Austin….after all.
My date and I sat at the bar and watched. After a while, we came up with this list of signs – in no particular order – that it is time to leave the bar.
- It’s time to leave the bar when your bar tab passes 3 digits. One table of about 12 people was doing shots, one after another, and it appeared that one man at the table was footing the bill. Endless numbers of empty beer bottles, platters of shots, and stacks of empty shot glasses. Today they all have got to be hurting…badly!
- It’s time to leave the bar when you can’t keep your eyes open. One tattoed guy took up a spot at a picnic bench, with his back to the band, and didn’t leave. He stared straight ahead of him in a daze, then his eyes would slowly close. The scary part is when he was still smoking his cigarette, eyes closed, and the ashes were dropping on his shirt.
- It’s time to leave the bar when you have to hold your head in the palm of your hand. One older lady sat on a bench, while her date was up at the bar ordering more drinks, and held her chin in her hand, eyes closed. Time for beddy-by, my dear!
- It’s time to leave the bar when the waiter/waitress looks like something you might want to take home. Tattooed Guy opened his eyes long enough to ogle the waitress. At one point, I thought for sure he was about to reach out and touch her. His fingers twitched; his tongue appeared between his lips. I think the thought went through his mind more than once.
- It’s time to leave the bar when the line you walk from your table to the bathroom looks like the road sign for “curved road ahead.” Head in Hand Lady could barely make it to the bathroom; kind of difficult when those heating lamps get in the way.
Then, the really frightening thought hit both of us at the same time. Those people are then going to stagger out to their cars and get on the roads with the rest of us.
Maybe the title of this post should be “5 Signs That It Was Time To Leave The Bar Over An Hour Ago”.
Now, it’s time to call a cab.
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