Caution: slippery when wet
"Most of the time, bartenders just witness people fighting, drinking too much, barfing, falling asleep, and then trying to convince you that they weren't asleep, or not knowing how to use toilets. However, I'm always stunned at the amount of people that try and have sex in a nasty bathroom. Like, there's a good chance moments ago someone was boning on the very toilet that you're using.
One time, I had this couple come and they were getting pretty loose. The woman was married, the guy was not. And he was trying so hard with her. He was feeding her booze all night, getting all close on her, lots of contact, real slimeball stuff. So eventually I realized that both of them were gone and it had been a little too long. Of course, I told the server to check in the bathroom and she came back saying that they were in there.
So I went into the ladies' room and they were in the handicap stall, going at it. Pretty much same ol' song and dance, except I saw that all their clothes were on the floor. As in, both these people were bare-ass naked in the toilet of this bar. I started yelling at them, 'You can't fuck in my bathroom! Get your clothes on and get the fuck out!' I went behind the bar, and when they came out of the bathroom, the woman looked mortified. But the guy, he didn't care, and they sat back down at their booth and tried to order another round.
I had to leave the bar again to inform this dude that they couldn't drink anymore and that they had to leave. The guy got defensive and asked why they had to leave. So, in a hushed voice, I asked him if he wanted the whole bar to know what was going on in the bathroom. At this point, the woman was pretty much about ready to tear his arm off. The guy gave me the death glare, but they paid and stumbled off into the night.
I saw them both about three weeks later. They were nice as pie. No funny business. So weird, but it's all the clothes on the bathroom floor that really gets me."
-Benny K., University Village
Is that cranberry juice?
"One time I was bartending and I witnessed a fight where two Tommy Bahama dudes were arguing at the bar. You know, the type with khaki shorts and loose Hawaiian-print shirts. Maybe they had a rough day at the golf course or something. Anyways, they were arguing and suddenly one guy grabbed a pretty expensive glass of wine and just smashed it into the other guy’s face. Just, blammo! It was like something out of The Departed.
Of course, glass went everywhere, but a piece broke off and got stuck in the guy's forehead above his eyebrow. Before I could tell him not to remove it, he pulled it out. Bad idea, since it basically was acting as a plug to stop the bleeding. Blood started going everywhere. At first, it actually squirted, and someone started screaming. I grabbed a bunch of napkins and pressed them hard on the cut while someone else called for an ambulance. He probably had to get a few stitches for that one. As for the other guy? He ran off in all the commotion. I quit a few weeks later."
- Graham D., Bucktown
"I've seen some crazy stuff working in bars: fights, domestic violence, nudity, drugs, unnecessary crying. I will say that fratty bros love to grab pool sticks and play air guitar with them, and they also love to compare bartenders to athletes. I once heard a fellow bartender get lambasted for looking like [former NBA player] Kevin McHale, and that was awesome. Another guy repeatedly said 'right on' for an hour. A woman once said she left a mess in the 'candy box,' which is code for the tampon disposal box, located in the women's restroom. One guy hit on women all night by saying his dad invented the concept of billboards. A few actually seemed receptive.
My favorite story is really weird. It involved a lady who broke into an area behind the bar, got naked, and eventually snuck into the owner's living area. She passed out in the hall, crawled into the bathroom, cops came, and she roared out of the bathroom (naked) like the ghost from The Ring coming out of a well. Then some dude, claiming to be her husband, came in and said he thought she might be there. The cops verified they're together, escorted them out, and they vanished into the night. She left wrapped in one of our towels."
- Frank B., South Loop