I believe engaging in practical jokes…or simply just fucking with fellow employees…is an essential aspect of bartending. Pranks…no matter how silly and immature…act as fleeting oases of comic relief while we attempt to emotionally survive another evening in the service industry. The last couple of nights have been abundant with watering holes. I flipped up the windshield wipers on several of my co-workers cars on my way in. I successfully emptied a salt shaker in an unsuspecting busboys beverage during a pre-shift meeting. I secretly filled the side pockets of a cocktail waitresses purse with various garnishes, stir sticks, and slightly ripped sugar packets. So tonight…as I was carefully navigating through another eight-hour human safari…a joyous opportunity crossed my path. I walked back into the kitchen to find one of the chefs with his back turned to me…and for some reason…one of his shoes was off…with his foot hovering just above it. I stole it, and quietly retreated with the stinky prisoner in hand. His screams were just audible from the bar, “Where is my shoe? Who fucking took my shoe? This isn’t fucking funny! God-fucking-dammit! I need my shoe! Someone is going to die!” Since he couldn’t exactly hobble out and create a scene in front of the guests…I kept it hostage for several minutes…and then tossed it back into the kitchen when he wasn’t looking. With my inner grin growing…I grabbed some rubber gloves and a habanero out of the walk-in …cut the habanero in half…and covertely rubbed it generously over the receiver end of the culinary phone. I told another chef he had an important call…set the phone down…and smirked my way back to the bar. His ear swelled up like a cantaloupe and the pepper oil cooked the receiving half of his face to a bright red. http://talesfromabar.com/2012/06/the-habanero-cocktail/ Paybacks a bitch.
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