Seriously, I’m Your Waiter

We’ll be in Minnesota next week and things heat up after that, so my new compatriots and I took advantage of our last week of relatively predictable schedule. Happy hour proposed, happy hour undertaken. We settled on a place around the corner from the office called the Post Pub and were off.

Warning: This post contains profanity without which this experience doesn’t amuse me as much. If that bothers you, don’t read past the break.

It didn’t take long to realize we’d had a really good idea. As soon as we walked in, we were met with, “SIT ANYWHERE!” The 90-decibel greeting came from a skinny guy swaying in the aisle. Hair everywhere, partial tattoo sleeves, thousand-yard stare. There was only one other table of people in our side of the restaurant, although the other half of the place was relatively busy.

The six of us took a table and the guys ordered drinks. As one of them asked for a beer, Chris (we found out the waiter’s name was Chris) yelled, “Fuck that. And fuck you!” When he realized that we were raising our eyebrows without amusement, he said to us, “No, not you. You guys are cool. But THIS GUY,” pointing at someone in the booth, “THIS GUY is a FUCK. ING. ASS. HOLE!”

The folks in the booth were laughing, so we figured they were friends. He proved it when another woman walked up to the table and Chris yelled from across the bar, “Hey, skank!” She ignored him.

It might sound like Chris was rude, friends, but he had a great excuse: he was absolutely trashed. That’s not a surmise — he told us almost as soon as we sat down, then proceeded to make believers of us (my original theory was that the wonders of pharmaceuticals were at work). In addition to getting drunk before work, his manager then had him do some liquor tasting when he arrived. I don’t know whether liquor tasting was a euphemism, but when one lady complained that he was drunk, he answered her, “Well, obviously. But it’s my manager’s fault. Talk to my goddamned manager. She got me wasted.”

At a minimum, he probably should have a uniform. One couple couldn’t understand why this barfly was so interested in them when they walked in, as he pointed out various open seats. They didn’t believe that he worked there. As he pulled on his coat with an irritated expression, he shouted over his shoulder, “Seriously! I’m your waiter. Sit anywhere, I’m going to smoke. You can have some drinks when I get back.”

Chris kept up a running commentary about people’s clothes, their drinks, cracking us up with remarks that hit a perfect, casually-earnest-yet-manic note. At one point, someone in our group remarked that he was pretty awesome, loudly enough that he heard it. “Welcome to the experience,” he responded with a weird bow-curtsey combination.

Everything was going really well until a group from the main room wanted to move their goodbye happy hour into where we were. They wanted us to move to the table where they’d been staging. There was plenty of room and we probably wouldn’t have cared, but the woman who asked just went about it all wrong. And she’d clearly rubbed Chris the wrong way up to that point, because he showed up behind her as she was making her pitch.

“This is a really attractive woman!” he yelled past her ear. “You guys should fall over yourselves and just do whatever she wants.” She couldn’t have looked much pissier. In the end, we negotiated that we’d let them have the larger area of the bar in exchange for a round on their tab. Our new vantage point gave us a great view of Chris’s interaction with the bar, where he was chugging a series of Red Bulls while he spiraled downward into sobriety/exhaustion.

Apparently, after I left, the guys negotiated another free round as part of switching places with another large party. All in all, a successful outing. I’m not generally big on hitting happy hour, but I’ve always liked Post Pub. And I think we’re all agreed: if we can get Chris’s schedule, we’ll know every evening that we’re going back.

Post Pub
1422 L St NW
(202) 628-2111

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