5: Karen yells at and kicks out a guy who blatantly takes a bottle of Jack Daniels out of his backpack and starts drinking it five feet in front of the bar. His excuse? "I bought one drink. And I even tipped! But I couldn't afford another one."
4: Kimberly Hyphen-Surname refuses to serve a clearly intoxicated guy who tries to sneak in through the back door. During the open mic, both Emily and Kimberly have to approach him as his drug-fueled enthusiasm is bothering the people sitting around him. As the last poet takes the stage for the open mic, the guy comes to the bar and asks me for a beer. I say no. So he asks for a ginger ale. As I turn to get a glass, he grabs a bottle Jack Daniels and starts to pour it into a plastic cup. I yell. Very loudly. Dude, who was hella high, jumps up, drops the cup, first tries to run into the ladies' room, then the mens' room, then the doorman leads him up the stairs and out of the venue. He hasn't returned.
3: Having driven all the way to Providence to pick up the night's feature, Zuzu expected to be able to read on the open mic. She is denied by the host, so she orders food (remember when there was food at the Cantab?) and a drink. When she pays for her bill, the server gives her incorrect change. Like, change that doesn't even make sense. Zuzu and the waitress argue quietly, and Zuzu goes next door to what is now Tavern On The Square but was then...something else, and gets deeeeeerunk. She re-engages with the waitress after the night's slam (which was a regional bout). The waitress who keeps repeating that she is from Revere and she will "fight a bitch" and all hell breaks loose. I don't think there were punches thrown, but the room cleared out entirely. Apart from the host, even the other emplyees got the fuck out of that basement. The waitress continued to shout that she'd "fight a bitch", Zuzu kept shouting "where's my nineteen dollars?", the host soft-voice shamed everyone still in the room, and the bartender did a lot of shouting. Zuzu was banned. When I interviewed the bartender for a project I was working on, she admitted that the waitress had almost definitely stolen the money, as she "had a history of taking things from people she didn't like". Independently of this, Zuzu was unbanned.
2: The first of two entries which could be subtitled "When Emily's Not At The Bar, The Crazies Take Over". In 2007ish, somebody great was featuring. This was before fire code, and I don't even want to consider how many people were crammed in that room before the doors were locked. Rudy snuck in through the back and nodded at the host. The host nodded back. Rudy's nod meant "I want to read tonight." The host's nod meant "Hello." The open went way over time (again, no Emily), and Rudy, who'd showed up forty-five minutes late and never actually used verbal communication or written communication to express his desire to read, didn't get to read. So, in a crowded room, he went up and started shouting at the host. Asterisk got involved. And thenthe bartender. The bartender was annoyed enough that she got out from behind the bar, leaving me behind it for, I think, the first time. In the midst of his tantrum, Rudy decided to leave, and threw an elbow at someone who was in his way. Someone who happened to be The Owner's Granddaughter. The bartender yelled at and banned him, which, in the long run, probably saved his life.
Rudy would also appear on a list of the Top Five People Thrown Out Out Of Tuartas By An Angry Bar Staff. I think he's even show up on that list multiple times. Perhaps, he would be all five. We're a bit stricter about the kind of people we let back in.
1: A Poet Who Shan't Be Named Because Fuck Him Getting Any More Attention came to the bar on yet another night that Emily wasn't around. Apparently, he had started a fight with me at Seattle NPS in 2001. I have no memory of this. But he was in a bout with the team I was on that year. Flash forward to 2010 and the guy buys three drinks from me, and seems amiable. He's loud, but he's not obtrusive. Then, during the feature, he starts talking during a few of the poems. Asterisk approaches him to be quiet. I don't know if he got quiet, but I didn't hear him. As the slam starts, he is loudly talking nonsense to a friend. Asterisk, again, approaches him, this time snidely. The guy starts yelling that he "read at The Nuyorican" and is "allowed to be loud" (He was not FROM the Nuyo, he was just letting us know that he'd been there once). He then tries to order a drink, and I refuse. He responds by offering to fight me, Asterisk, and Wiz. Wiz laughs. Asterisk gets enraged. The featured poet tries to subdue things. I go upstairs to get Cowboy, the bouncer. The upstairs bartender asks why I'm getting Cowboy, and when I say "I'm throwing somebody out." he joins the party. All of this is taking place WHILE the slam is happening. When the upstairs bartender, Cowboy and I get downstairs, The Attention Glutton is still yelling about himself and how he's not going to leave the bar. One look at Cowboy changed that. (Cowboy is....6'5? 400 pounds? Not to be fucked with.) As he was being led up the stairs he shouted at us that he was a former Mass Poet Fellow (Turns out he shared the title with another individual because he helped design a website for poetry. Using Angelfire. Remember Angelfire sites?) and we would never be as important as he was. He then stood outside and took video of poets, asking them why I was crazy. By the time I got home, he'd sent me four e-mails calling me pejorative terms for female genetalia, and asking me to call him so he could help ME be less crazy. He also claimed to have helped book our show (translation: he'd been on an e-mail chain wherein poets were invited to participate in a regional), and has since claimed (falsely) to run another reading that I've gone to.
He has not returned.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: All y'all pillowhumpers who won't stay off the fucken stairs, or who think you're cool enough to go into the back room. There's probably fifty of you on my FB page. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE.
Today In Enormous Balls/Tiny Brain Theater, the dude who stole my poetry books (again, probably by accident) while trying to sell stolen graphic novels came into the store with another stack of stolen graphic novels to try and sell.
EBTB: Hey, is the owner around today?
Me: No. I'm glad you stopped in, though. When you stopped by last week, you picked up a few of my books by accident.
EBTB: No, sir. I did not.
Me: You did. Three books of poetry. They were on the counter where you put your books down when you came in. They were gone when you left. I'm sure it was an accident, but I'd really like them back.
EBTB: I didn't have no poetry books.
Me: You totally did. I had just bought them, like, a half an hour before you came in.
EBTB: No, sir.
Me: So, if I go into The Harvard Bookstore basement, I'm not going to find all three of those books on the used poetry book shelves?
EBTB: Your...the...the owner guy is in again on Wednesday?
Me: Yea, and he'll be waiting for you to bring my books back to me. I can write down the names for you, if you want.
I don't think I'll be seeing him again. Unless, of course, he's even dumber and more brazen than I thought.
Well Intentioned Dude talks with me and A Friend while he's waiting for the bus:
WID: What's your name?
WID: Your name?
AF: Sorry, I'm hard of hearing.
All proud of himself, he signs: Nice To Fuck You.
AF: Yea, you too.
Me: He meant to sign Nice To Meet You, right?
AF: I think so.
Su Sapohone: a brash gossip, constantly surprised when her rumor-spreading gets her in trouble
Shelly Silverspoon: a children's poet and heiress with a heart of gold, and a brain that's equally shiny
K. Sarah Sirrah: a laid back woman who runs a flourishing arts scene with seemingly no effort
Miss Andrea Snotreal: Video Game Blogger, MRA ass-kicker
Chloe Sturbelle: a street-wise nun, and America's #1 Dr. Who fan
Miranda Mencounter: the engineer who designed the first ever creep-free Tindr alternative, he's also really good at Final Fantasy
During my break from work, I called my mom:
Mom: I was just going to e-mail you, you must have ESP. Ken wants to know what you're doing for National Poetry Month.
Ken (in background): Who is on the phone?
Mom: It's Adam.
Ken: What's he doing for National Poetry Month?
Mom: Why are you hiding?"
Me: It was a joke.
Mom: It was a joke.
Ken: It was a joke?
Mom (to Ken): It was a joke.
(to me): I was just about to e-mail you to ask you what you're doing for National Poetry Month.
Me: Well, now you don't have to.
Regular conversation ensues.
When I hang up the phone, I get a text, letting me know to check my e-mail. The e-mail says "Hey Adam, it's Mom. It was great to hear from you. You must have ESP. Ken would like to know what you're doing for National Poetry Month."
I hope to live for a long time but I never want to get old.
Events "Organizer" At Venue, March 11th:
"Hi, I'm looking to run an event at my space and your name was given to me as a possible organizer. We have a diverse community" (read: white people in their forties AND fifties) "interested in diverse entertainment. Since April is National Poetry Month, we were hoping you could put together a show for us. Thanks in advance, Name Redacted."
Me: "Hi, Name Redacted. Thanks for the e-mail. What sort of budget do you have for this show? How long were you hoping it would go for? Is there a content restriction (language, mature themes, etc.)? What day/date were you looking for? April is a very busy time for poets. Many of them may already be booked for the entire month, but if you can send me a budget and more of an idea of what type of show you'd like to put on within the next week, I can probably line up a show. But right now, I don't have enough info to commit to anything. Thanks for keeping me in mind, and I hope we can work together to put on a great show. --Adam"
Event "Organizer" At Venue, April 13th:
"Hi Adam, thank you for your e-mail. We don't have it in our budget to pay anyone at this time, but might be able to for future events. We set aside this Thursday, April 16th for your show. Please send a list of performers, and we'll put the event up on our website. Cheers, Name Redacted."
Me: "Sorry, Name Redacted, Four days is not adequate time to put a show together. I wish you luck on future events. --Adam"
EOAV: "Can you suggest someone else to run this event?"
Me: "No. Four days is not adequate time put a show together. I wish you luck on future events."
Happy National Poetry Month, everyone!
I wasn't sure if this guy in the store was weirdly flirting with me or whether he was just really high.
Then he spent a couple of minutes talking about how much easier it would be to wander around the store if we flipped it upside down and let people walk on the ceiling.
I'm not saying I know for sure if he was high, I'm just saying that I no longer cared if he was flirting with me.
Random Potential Customer walks in with a backpack with a giant broom handle sticking ot of his backpack.
RPP: "Sorry about the giant broom."
Me: "No problem. Quidditch?"
RPP: "How'd you guess?"
Me: "I've lived in Cambridge for a long time."
Coming into the store and asking me to help you find comics and graphic novels about badass female protagonists is bad ass.
Taking notes while I show you stuff so that you can order the books online is bad. And you're an ass.
Infrequently Coming Into The Store Customer gripes that I m putting away comics when he wants to come in and look at his books. He then NEEDS the bathroom. I am happy to oblige, He then locks the key in the bathroom. No problem, I use my key to liberate the other key.
Him: "Is Batman Eternal over?"
Me: "I don't...you know what, it must be. Issue 52 came out last week, and DC LOVES the number 52. I guess it's the last issue."
Him: "I'd like to add it to my subscription."
Me: "You can't."
Him: "Why not?"
Me: "It's over."
Him: "So why can't I subscribe to it?"
Me: "Because subscriptions are for books that haven't come out yet. We just discovered that all the books are already out."
Him: "So add me to the subscription list."
Me: "No. I use the list to put away comics when they come out. There aren't going to be any more issues of Batman Eternal coming out."
Him: "But I want to buy it."
Me: "You can buy it any time you want. But I'm not going to add it to your subscription list because there. aren't. any. more. issues. coming. out."
Him: "But I get my discount!"
Me: "No. Discounts are for books we ORDER for you. Not for books you get off the shelf."
Him: "Just note in the comp--"
Him: "How do I get the discount, then?"
Me: "Invest in time travel, and ask me to subscribe to the title last year."