arson 101 for business owners.

3 Jul

Lately there have been mutterings from bar customers that there’s some sort of odd scent emanating from the area, and after inspecting each of our bartenders, I decided that the problem is deeper than body odor. The biggest problem is that I must have grown so accustomed to the stench, that I accused anyone telling me about it of being a huge huge huge liar for like weeks. It didn’t make sense. We clean so well! We have no rodents or roaches or fruit flies that might get stuck in a pipe somewhere and decompose into a stink bomb! Then finally, like a bath salt addict who just ate someone’s hand or one of those people who’s too fat to fit in a booth, I got a whiff of the musty/wet dog/dirty rag smell and accepted that I may have a problem that I have to face.

So I asked my bartenders to come in 1 hour early for their shift to do an extremely thorough cleaning job and see if we can figure out the root of the problem. I figured that seeing as the odor was probably deterring some otherwise drinky bar guests and therefore literally keeping cash out of their pockets, that this wasn’t an unreasonable request.

My chick bartendress was down. The Jewish Guy Bartender, not so much. The exchange went more or less like this:

Me: Can you come in Monday at 3 to scrub behind the bar so we can get rid of the smell?

JGB: I might have to go to the beach. I have to check.

Me: Well maybe since it’s only early summer and you’re already tanner than Snooki and the bar smells like ass, you can put that on hold for a day.

JGB: I think that instead of cleaning you should call a carpenter.

Me: Why would I call a carpenter to get rid of the smell?

JGB: Because the smell is probably in the wood.

Me: Well if the smell isn’t in the wood, wouldn’t it be much easier to find that out by cleaning than by demolishing the bar?

JGB: I guess so.

Me: If the bar is demolished you will have no bar left. So it won’t matter if it smells.

JGB: Yeah, so I guess the better idea is to try cleaning, and if it doesn’t work then we’ll call a carpenter.

Me: So I’ll see you on Monday then, ok?

JGB: I’ll let you know what happens with the beach.

I complained about the laziness and the unfortunate stink to one of my liquor reps (Vocab of the day: LIQUOR REP – Similar to a pharmaceutical rep, but instead of dispensing Xanax pens and Viagra flavored condoms, they have the overwhelmingly difficult job of selling Grey Goose and Bacardi to bars, as well as providing us with a new fruit tray if ours breaks. In the particular case of the one today, they also dispense inappropriate tales of their promiscuous misadventures and I constantly have to remind them that I am a girl, and I do not care what chick you could have banged the other day, or how hot her sister is). His advice was that if I couldn’t find the root of the smell, that I should leave the gas on one of the burners and double check our insurance policy and close up a little early one night and get out of town for a few days. He said that sometimes if you’ve got a problem, the best thing to do is blow up your restaurant. I disagreed wholeheartedly, but at least he was contributing to solving the problem. More than I can say for the Beach Bum Super Jew.

Monday afternoon rolled around. I went to Home Depot and purchased 3 different sizes of scrub brush, grout cleaner, 7 different types of spray, a new cover for my keychain with a skull and crossbones on it that was just really cool and a Michael Jackson mask to protect me from the vicious odors.

The JGB showed, because it was too humid to go to the beach. We (they) scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed and wiped and rinsed and dried and we stood over the tile. “Now we wait.” I said. Because we were so high on fumes and numb from the smell of bleach that we had no idea if the bar smelled better, worse or totally the same and we’re just fucked and maybe I should have listened to the damn liquor guy or, heaven forbid, we need a carpenter.

Tonight my JGB came skipping through my office door.

“We’ve done it! We’ve done it!”

I stared at him blankly because I thought he was talking about selling the last .3 ounces of Stoli Cranberry that we’re trying to get rid of.

“Three ladies just told me that the bar smells like flowers! They said it’s the best smelling bar they’ve ever been to! I asked if they it was me they were referring to and they smelled me and they said NO! It’s the BAR THAT SMELLS GREAT!”

I can’t begin to tell you how pleased I was that someone was as excited as me that we’re no longer poisoning people through their nostrils. I felt like a proud mommy at the kindergarten school play after her kid got all the words right to his solo. My little toddler, all grown up into a big boy that cares about the job he’s doing!

Before closing he shoved his blisters in my face. “I did this all for you.”

“Maybe before you make me feel bad for that, I should tell you that I’m halfway done with a blog post about your need to hire a carpenter.”

“Make sure you mention how handsome I am.”

There you go, JGB. From your lips to my blog.

And now a really shitty poem because the Yogurt place is closing and I’m totally going to be pissed if I miss it.


Don’t tell Charlie,

But the sophomore class is growing on me

It’s not that I like them a ton

But they’re getting the job kind of done

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a mess

Cause having some friends was the best

But now I don’t have to be nice

So it gives my long days some new spice

Most of the losers got fired

Being the boss makes me tired.


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