Monday, September 14, 2009

Drinks With a Monkey

So last Wednesday I got a text from NylonThread informing me that DCist was having its 5th birthday party at the H St Country Club and invited me to come on down. I ended up being able to make it down there and, trying to make the best of a short night out, I immediately pounded a Jim Beam & Coke. For whatever reason, I wasn't finding the mixed drink satisfying so on my next round I asked for a shot of Beam and a beer. As I'm picking up my drink, I see something floating in it and it turns out there about a half dozen fruit flies in my shot. I inform the bartender, she immediately cracks open a fresh bottle and replaces the shot.

Not too long after that, Guns & Roses starts playing on the juke box and I take that as my cue to take Monkeyrotica, NylonThread, and IMGoph down to Little Miss Whiskey's Golden Dollar (Sorry Mark). I get my check and I'm flabbergasted to find that I was charged for the shot with the flies in it. I ask the bartender about it and she says, "Well I gave you a new shot" as if somehow that excuses her from serving me a drink with bugs in it.

Now I worked in a few bars and restaurants back in the day and the solemn promise I made to myself when I left that behind was that I was never going to be one of those assholes that talked a bunch of smack about working in the industry and proceeded to tip %15 or be an obnoxious douche who felt the need to correct every waiter and bartender on the finer points of service. So when this dipshit bartender acted like she was doing me a favor by replacing an insect-laden drink I let the shit ride, gave her a %20 tip and headed downstairs.

Problem was I couldn't let the shit go, so while I'm waiting for everyone else to get ready to break out, I quickly outlined the story to the guy working the door and asked him his opinion. He seemed to agree with me, but he called a manager over. So I tell her the story too. At this point I'm paid up, I don't want another drink and I don't even want my money back; I just want to get the fuck out there and go to a place that appreciates my patronage a little bit more. Well this fuckstick manager gives me a bunch of nut roll about how "in the industry" if a mistake is made and they make it right it's perfectly OK to charge the customer and she was actually correct about that. It is OK to charge a customer for a corrected mistake, but doing so doesn't usually win you any loyal customers.

I actually wasn't going to write about this incident. It's a little too close to a "I'm a blogger, fear my poison pen" tantrum for my liking, but the shit didn't sit well with me. The bartender and manager's reactions tell me that the folks staffing the place don't have a good grasp on what their job is or how to do it. I received only the most perfunctory apology and neither the bartender nor the manager made any mention of appreciating my business or hoping that I would come back so they could knock my socks off next time.

I dunno if it's just that the places I bartended I had more autonomy or what, but I would have NEVER charged someone for a mistake like that and depending on the surrounding situation may have just comped the whole check. While discussing this with Monkey and the crew down the street, he made the point that margins are thin on H St. and HSCC is generally populated by douches trucking in from 'burbs in a futile attempt to be edgy and cool. In that context it actually makes sense to hold the line on giving out free drinks. The last thing you want is for the word on the street to be that you're an easy mark for a couple of free drinks for some Tucker Max wannabes from Arlington.


Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Are You Ready for Some Football?

I'm not quite sure how this happened, but for the first time in several years I feel like I have some kind of idea what's going on in the NFL. I didn't realize this until last weekend when I found myself making a convincing argument that the Raiders are going to the playoffs this season. Am I a deluded lifelong fan of the Silver & Black? Yes, but that doesn't mean that I'm wrong. Keep reading to find out why the Raiders are going to finish above .500, make the playoffs, and could take the AFC West.

The Raider's O-Line is a big question mark going into this season, but they signed a couple of guys this off season to create some competition for the tackle spots. Barnes is a devastating run blocker who cleared huge holes for the Jaguars rushing attack last season. Henderson showed a little something late in the season in 2008 and can provide Raider's QB JaMarcus Russell the time he needs to get the ball downfield. Robert Gallery didn't become the anchor of the line at left tackle that he was predicted to be, but is well on his way to becoming a Pro Bowl caliber guard.

The Raider's troika of running backs Justin Fargas, Darren McFadden, and Michael Bush will provide the necessary depth in the backfield to weather the punishment of a 16 game season. I'm predicting that McFadden lives up to the flashes of brilliance he showed last year and will rush for 1400 yards this season. Remember, you heard it here first.

Rather than regurgitate what has been written elsewhere about the Raider wide outs, I'll just give you a link to the bleacherreport breakdown. Teams are going to have pick their poison this season, stack the box to slow down the Raiders' running game and let JaMarcus go deep on that ass or commit to stopping the passing game and let the three headed monster of McFadden, Fargas, and Bush run buck-motherfucking-wild.

The Raiders' defense has some players, but has yet to come together as a cohesive unit. The big story right now is the addition of Richard Seymour to the defensive front. That is, assuming he plays for the Raiders this season.

The real deal though is that the AFC West is weak and whack. The Chargers won the division last season with an 8-8 record, LT has peaked as a premier NFL running back, he's getting long in the tooth and brittle and the Chargers weren't even sure they wanted him back this season. Merriman can't seem to stay out of the headlines; popped for steroid use in 2006 and now he's caught a charge for choking a 90 pound woman. Add in Rivers' bloated contract, the ham-fisted GM-ing of AJ Smith, and Norv Turner as head coach and that doesn't sound like a winning team.

As for the rest of the West the Chiefs are terrible and the Broncos are starting Kyle Orton at quarterback. This is a division that is ripe for the picking.


Saturday, September 05, 2009

Real Pizza on the Hill Finally?

Earlier this week I heard one of the patrons at Peregrine asking some dude when the pizza joint (in the spot formerly occupied by Ben & Jerry's on 7th St SE) is opening up. The reply was that they were going to be opening some time next week. I was rolling by the place today and saw this sign up in the window.

7th Hill Pizza also had their sign up

But perhaps more important than all of that, they seem to have all of their administrative ducks in a row too.

I am waiting for this opening with bated breath, in the hopes that my days of trucking out to Valentino's for a decent pie are over.