Banned for Attitude

I just had one of the most surreal experiences of my life. Yeah, I know that whenever a blogger starts a post this way it means you’re in for a self-indulgent account of some action that has no bearing on your life whatsoever. But I just had to share it, it’s too great.
So I’m in Cleveland, playing a concert with Citymusic, and so far it has been great. Coming out of the last exhausting week, I was hoping for a good experience and it’s proving to be really positive: I feel good about my playing, I’m staying with a nice family in a mansion, and the people in the orchestra are shockingly nice and down-to-earth. Of course, as I’ve come to realize with life, a dose of good vibes tends to leave you wide-open for some bad ones thrown your way.
So after a gourmet dinner at the house of the people who run Citymusic, I went with some friends down to one of the few bars in this part of town. I get there and it’s a cute little place called Wine Bar: great beer selection, one bearded hipster dude working. About 3 of us sit at a table and approach the beer fridge. So at this place, for bottled beer you grab one and wait for the guy to open it for you. I asked Bill to use his bottle opener and he was like, “no man, they’ll kick you out if they see you opening your own beer”. Yeah, that was my first hint that something was off about this place.
So Bearded Hipster (which is its own brand of hipster, really, it is so commonplace), comes and opens our beards with many a sassy, ironic comment. I remember being surprised by how snippy he was, it was kind of weird. Eventually many more people gradually joined our table and, having no money and only a card, I realized how annoying it would be to try and figure out the tab. Bill had some cash so I offered to buy him another beer at the bar if he would take care of mine at the table. This seemingly sensible solution would prove to be harbinger of doom for the future of Mafoo’s relationship with the Cleveland Heights Wine Bar.
Bill and I approached the counter and asked to buy two beers. Bearded Hipster explained that he couldn’t let me buy two beers at the bar since I had already bought one at the table. Essentially I was bound from the moment I sat at the table to only being on the mass bill at the table, by now up to about 13 people. So in a calm manner, if a might assertive, I tried to reason a way to make my plan work. Really the worst I got was suggesting that if I were to abandon my friends at the table and promise not to speak to them for the rest of the night, then would it be OK to pay separately.
Finally he said “Fine.” in a curt manner and rang me up, muttering to some fellow hipsters at the bar about how, if I didn’t come to the bar with this certain girl he was friends with that he would kick me out. I kind of thought he was kidding.
I got back to my table and about 5 minutes later he came to pick up some glasses or something and started talking to people around me about what a “douchebag” I was, and how everyone at the bar thought I was a total asshole. I attempted to talk calmly to him, but he was intent on expressing to everyone at the table how much of a complete bastard I am. He was actually pretty furious and was literally scowling at me in this middle-school fashion. He then informed the people at the table that I was no longer welcome at the bar and that I was not to be allowed back. I was just kind of confused, so I got up and left. I kept racking my brain about what I could have done to piss him off so much. I mean, I guess I was essentially telling him that his policy was bullshit but I was really just expressing my opinion. Is that enough to be banned for life from a bar? And all he really had to do was say, look dude this is our policy, take it or leave it. But I think the fact that he gave me what I wanted was what really sent him over the edge. Very odd. Bill later informed me that several people he knows have been banned from this bar for other similarly petty offenses. How the fuck do you stay in business by banning your customers for being disagreeable?
It’s kind of a drag because this wack-ass bar seems to be the main hang for the people in this orchestra. So I guess after each of the 6 concerts this week I’ll just hang out in Starbucks and revel in the glorious corporately-enforced manners of the dead-eyed baristas.


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2 responses to “Banned for Attitude

  1. gurf

    Step 1: grow a goatee
    Step 2: re-enter bar
    Step 3: when asked to leave, act surprised, claiming to never have been to this bar before and perhaps they’ve confused you with your cousin, who looks just like you.
    Step 4: lather, rinse, repeat.

  2. suzannemarques

    kiss his bearded behind all week & on the last night taunt him.
    taunt him like he’s never been insulted before.

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