#93: Unacceptable Behavior at O’Lanagan’s

November 30th, 2012

Carol put on the Scissor Sisters and danced.

She danced right behind the bar, shimmying and shaking and explaining that a lot of people confuse Scissor Sisters songs with KC and the Sunshine Band because they sing alike, can you hear it?

“Yeah, I can hear that,” I said.

She moved to another drinker at the bar before we could continue our musical discussion. I sipped my drink and readied myself to ask about the yellowing paper behind the bar explaining unacceptable behavior.

The unacceptable behavior flier, she later laughed as she told me, had been behind the cash register as long as the bar has been open and as long as she has been there. Both tallies come to 23 years in May.

The sheet of paper as yellow and crisp as a maple leaf in November had some simple rules for coming in at the start of the shift. It talked about registers and it talked about deposits and it had these nine rules for what was not to do.

1. Coming to work late.
2. Doing poor work.
3. Stealing time or product.
4. Disruptive behavior.
5. Poor service.
6. Drug or liquor problems.
7. Failure to plan and produce.
8. Poor grooming.
9. Gossiping.

Carol apologized for not remembering my name the second time we ever spoke.

“Is it Paul or David?” she asked.

“Paul,” I said.

I liked her because she asked if I wanted a water back with my J&B and rocks. I liked her because she took milky looking shots with an old timer who asked whether he should text a woman he had met. I liked her because she danced to the Scissor Sisters and did the zipper-lip lock-and-key motion to the old timer’s secrets.

There was a page two, as equally crisp and old, hanging next to the unacceptable behaviors. It listed the ingredients for weird mixed drinks, a “Blood Clot” and a “Brave Bull” and a “Raspberry Daqurie” (sic).

The bar was full of old timers, me and a gorgeous couple in their 30s. He wore a V-neck sweater like a model. She wore a short dress that looked elegant even slumming with her BF in an old timer bar. Tanqueray and tonic for him. Bacardi and Coke for her.

“Can I get a straw?” she asked at the end of her round.

Carol obliged.

Carol and I talked about fitness and how hard it is to stay on a routine. She used to walk from the Montrose bar west past Western, all the way to California and back. She would do that about a week, then give up, she said.

She should walk around Welles Park just to the north of the bar, she said. She should do that, she said.

The old timer with the texting dilemma signaled for a refill on the milky shots.

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You are currently reading #93: Unacceptable Behavior at O’Lanagan’s by Paul Dailing at 1,001 Chicago Afternoons.

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