Some regulars come to the bar every week, order a few drinks and dance the night away. That's pretty common. But there are some who aren't very "regular" at all; they show up just once or twice a year, get drunk and get WILD. One of my regulars fits into the latter category. He comes into my bar once in a while, and it's always a scene. He's become my favorite annual customer.
The first time we met, he didn't order a single beer. Instead he asked me for a six-pack. I assumed he was sharing it, especially after he asked for a second, then a third and even a fourth. He gave away a few, but he probably drank 18 beers that night; I guess he didn't feel like waiting in line at the bar for his drinks.
The next time we crossed paths at the bar, he was kicked out for swinging off the rafters.
Then there was the night he came in and invented shirtless shots. He charged into the bar, collecting all of his buddies. He removed his shirt and started chanting, "SHIRTLESS SHOTS. SHIRTLESS SHOTS." Before I could ask what shot he wanted, he'd assembled an entire group of customers who stood before me, bare-chested and banging on the bar.
Things really got weird when they removed their jeans and chanted, "PANTLESS PINTS. PANTLESS PINTS."
Standing there in nothing but baby-blue briefs, my regular collected his clothes and threw them over my bar. "Hang on to these!" he yelled as he ran to the dance floor with his pantsless buddies. I started a mental timer. Within 27 seconds, they were all kicked out onto Washington Street in nothing but their skivvies. It took some convincing before the bouncer would let them back in for their clothes. I couldn't help but laugh when I was called outside to vouch for them. "See! She does know me!" my regular told our door guy.
Somehow, I knew this wouldn't be the last time I'd see this guy in his underwear, and I was right. He has taken half-naked photobooth pics nearly every time he's been in the bar since.
However, none of those incidents compared to his most recent escapade, when he showed up at my bar again this past weekend.
He came in with a few friends and we said our regular hi-how-are-yous. They ordered a round of drinks and a couple shots of Rumple Minze (a high-proof peppermint schnapps). "We're taking body shots!" he exclaimed.
Every few months, a group of girls wants to do body shots. They lie down on the bar, fill a friend's belly button with something fruity and slurp out every last drop. It's unusual to see two guys doing it – especially straight guys.
But he knew just what to do: He took off his shirt, lay down on the bar and relaxed while his buddy filled his belly button with booze. I got a camera ready. The first shot was a success – the second, not so much.
His buddy refilled his belly button. As I turned to grab a rag, I saw a flicker out of the corner of my eye. They set the second shot on fire, and in a millisecond, this guy's stomach was flaming, too. "Take the shot! Take the shot!" he screamed at his friend, who stood there in shock.
He sat up and tried patting down his stomach, but the fire spread to his back, engulfing his lower right side in flames. As I rushed over to help, a full glass of water hit his back and put out the fire.
It was then that I understood why they'd asked for water with their Rumple Minze. They were preparing ... for this.
My annual regular cleaned himself up and put his shirt back on.
"Thanks for the shots," he yelled as security dragged him out of the bar. "I have to jump in a pool and cool myself down now. See ya next time!"
I can't wait.
Lindsay Gigler is a local bartender and blogger. You can check out her blog at cocktailsfromthedarkside.com