Mr. Bartender has two jobs, one of which is with the company I work for and the other one is as a Bartender just outside of Boston. He’s got a pretty thick southern accent (hard to understand at times), a docile demeanor, and an incredible work ethic. I wasn’t really able to get out of him what exactly he does at my company but we did talk about how tired he was. He works 10-20 hrs/day depending on the week and he gets Sundays and Mondays completely off. He takes the MBTA trains into Boston every morning and then commutes on the commuter rail out of the city to go to work. After spending 8 hours at work he goes to his bartender job where he commutes into the city and back out again.
He’s been doing the bartender job for more than 20 years at that particular bar and he’s just not willing to give it up. He’s best friends with his usual customers and he enjoys the social aspect of it; meeting new people and hearing their life stories. However, when he found that he needed more money to pay some bills, he picked up this second gig at my company through an old friend of his. He looked exhausted and I made a comment about how he must have to drink a ton of coffee. He said that he’s not much of a coffee drinker. Surprised at how he works so hard without a pick-me-up I asked him how he does it.
He said he had a secret drink. He mixes 50:50 orange juice and apple juice (or pineapple juice depending on what he’s got around) but then puts in 3 peppermint candies in the bottom of it. He said it works like a charm. Back in the day he use to use it as a meal replacement while traveling in foreign countries when he was scared to eat the food. Many times he would be travelling through a sketchy area of some 3rd world country and when he didn’t trust the food he would find a place to get the OJ/Apple/Peppermint drink combo. He seems to have a fixation with the peppermint candies because he pulled 10 of them out of the front pocket of his jeans to show me. I’m sure he had a bunch on hand while travelling so all he needed was a place that sold OJ and Apple Juice, generally a safe choice in the 3rd world.
Today he was heading to the bar after work for an Oktoberfest celebration. He expected things to get crazy, “As dey usually do bout’ dis time of yeayh.” I asked him what was the craziest thing he’s ever seen at the bar. He just kind of laughed and said he’s seen literally everything. He almost seemed too tired to think about the antics of the past 20 years. At this point we got off the bus and went our separate ways.
I see him every day on the train so I’m hoping that he’ll be another person I can at least waive to or maybe I’ll get him to tell me some crazy stories from his life as a bartender. I’m also interested in his travels because it seems like he’s been to some interesting places. I’m looking forward to trying his drink to see if it’s really as magic as he says it is. You can’t loose with fruit juice as a pick-me-up but I’m interested in how the peppermint will help out. He seems like a nice guy so I’m sure we’ll have a chance to chat again.