We don’t sell cancer sticks at my bar. I have never understood the owners position on this. Years ago during a worthless work meeting I suggested we do thirty seconds of research…find out what the two top-selling cigarette brands in the state are…purchase them in bulk at Costco…and sell them for a tidy profit to our drunk customers. I remember thinking to myself at the time…look you fucking morons…if you don’t do it…I will. The idea entered the ear, missed the brain entirely, was rerouted to the company colon, and lost in a world of corporate crap. As it turns out, Marlboro are by far the most popular cigarettes in the United States and have been since the early seventies. Even though I don’t smoke, I always keep a pack of Marlboro Lights behind the bar now. I give them out freely to any customers in need of nicotine and more often than not they return the favor by bumping my tip up five or ten dollars. A few cigarettes pay for the pack and the rest is mine for the keeping. So tonight…towards the end of the evening…one of the patrons approached me asking if we sold cigarettes. I told him we didn’t and he immediately asked if I had any to spare. He had that look of desperation in his eyes…like a crack whore waiting for hit…I will suck your dick for a cigarette…so I knew I had some room to fuck with this guy. I informed him that I had only three, but that out of the goodness of my heart I would give him two, which would leave me with only one to theoretically smoke after my shift. I threw out the net of guilt and he fell right into it. He slipped me twenty dollars. There really is a sucker born every minute.
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