Provocation of my Ire

Dear Biscuiteers,

I must address a recent occurrence that has underscored some notions previously held quietly between my ears. I can’t stand snarky, know-it-all hipster types. Recently I traveled with a small group of three to a local watering hole known for its “hip” atmosphere, and fancy high-end cocktails and liquors. It’s the kind of place you take out of town guests for one drink before moving on with your evening (which is exactly what we were doing). I have visited it about half a dozen times, and had mixed experiences, but nothing like what has just transpired. I will not name this establishment, but instead describe the experience on this particular evening.

Upon entering and perusing their list, our party ordered at the bar. What other’s ordered on this tab is of no consequence, what is of consequence is that I ordered a single pour of Hudson Manhattan Rye on the rocks. The pour was lean, but it always is at this place when ordering anything other than a cocktail, so I took my tiny drink and sipped it for probably half an hour until we decided to be on our way. Prior to leaving, I excused myself to the gentlemen’s room. Upon emerging, I found that the Mrs had graciously picked up the bill, and we were on our way.

Once we had left the establishment and were well on our way home, I was asked if I knew I had been ordering such an expensive drink. I replied with “huh?” What occurred next highlighted the ineptitude of the staff member that was working solo that evening in an otherwise empty bar. He charged $26 for a lean pour of a very good, but not exceptionally rare whiskey.

This was some serious elitist hipster nonsense. You would think that for $26 I would be receiving his most cherished sacrament: the artisinally distilled tears of Lena Dunham, filtered through a finely waxed beard, poured over ice imported from Mt. Kilimanjaro (which cost the lives of dozens of indigenous peoples btw), and presented in a genuine prohibition era crystal high-ball glass.

I flew into a rage, demanding we go back, I was denied. Instead we tried to call, there was no answer of the telephone at this empty bar. A polite message outlining the current MSRP on a single pour of the product in question was sent discretely to the establishment’s management. There were no accusations, merely an inquiry as to whether the charge in question was in fact their list price. If so, ok cool – fool me once, but if not…wtf man. Management responded and confirmed that we had in fact been charged more than double what it should have been. It was further explained that the bottle was old, from an original distillation of the label, and that it was slightly higher than MSRP for the current bottlings of the brand. Ok, cool, expensive rare drink, but not double their asking price, vindication! An arrangement was had, and recompense made. This is why I will not name the establishment, however, this is where it takes a turn.

I was to pick up the object of restitution the following evening (a gift certificate, avoiding any weird credit card cancellations). After work I dropped in, approached the bar, and explained I was to be picking up an envelope. The jackass bartender rolls his eyes and says “oh you must be the rye people, you know that it’s a special bottle…” and I replied “yeah, I get that, but we were still overcharged” to which he said “well…yes and no.” This is where I almost lost it. Instead, I upped my volume, shifted in tone and replied “NO. The email we got confirmed that it was not priced correctly. Look it up. $26 is an ABSURD price for a single pour of that liquor. I’m not going to argue, please give me refund that is waiting for me in the office.”

This is where the sniveling, know-it-all, douchebag, looking like an extra from the set of Portlandia, put his hands up in the air like I was going to assault him, and his with voice escalating in pitch whimpered “ok ok ok”. Seriously, that guy can go to hell, now I feel like I’ve been insulted twice. I’m sure that he’ll describe me as the biggest prick in the world to his boss, but the truth is, his boss knows that what went down wasn’t right, and that they have a serious problem with a few of their bartenders being jerks (its actually a problem in their online reviews).

Anyone who starts a sentence with “aaaaactually” or “well…yes and no” deserves to get hit by a train. Say what you mean, be able to back it up, and if you do happen to disagree with someone and have facts on your side, assert yourself. Don’t be a snively ass-hat. Especially if you look like a clown. If you CAN’T back it up…then don’t say anything!

Next post won’t be as angry, and will extol the virtues of finding a balance. You don’t owe it to anyone to like everything and everyone, but chances are, if you take a minute to understand your fellow man, you’ll find some common ground. The same goes for biscuits, whiskey, and beer…dig a little, and you’ll find something you like.

Your host,

Charlie Mewshaw