You Ask, We Answer: Serving Stars and Singed Skin

Posted: April 20, 2011 by divebardiva in Daily Ramblings, Q&A: Ask Your Bartender

Okay people, my apologies for yesterday. Anguish has reared its ugly head, and a late afternoon in the fetal position on the kitchen floor and and 9:00 bedtime seemed to be in order.

Today hasn’t shaped up any better, truth be told, but as they say in Hollywood, the muthafuckin show must go on. So, we start today with some questions from our fantastic readers…and a little game to go along with them for your time-wasting pleasure.

Q:  When you were working in the ATL and NYC, did you wait on any famous people? What were they like?

A: In my years of bartending in Atlanta and NYC, I have actually been fortunate enough to wait on a lot of cool people, famous and not. Since we here in America love the famous…that is what I will stick to for this little game of…wait for it…”Celebrity Match!”

In this game, I put a small little story of my interaction with a celebrity, and you try to guess who it is. For anyone who actually gives a shit, I will post the answer key tomorrow. Feel free to share your guesses by replying to this post.

  1. Gave me a flannel when I was cold and bought us all Patron all night.
  2. Was incredibly sweet, drank Jag and tipped like a rock-star.
  3. Fellow bartender, polite orderer and fantastic tipper.
  4. Cutest sweetest guy EVER!
  5. Bought me beef jerky.
  6. Asked if he could smack me on the ass and called me ma’am.
  7. Laughed at us till orange juice came out the nose.
  8. Invited me to a party.
  9. Had ham sandwiches with us before the show and told awesome stories.
  10. Ate dinner with me at South City Kitchen.
  11. Hung out with the staff after a show and made us all laugh and laugh.
  12. First time he was sweet and ordered o.j. Second time he couldn’t see me.
  13. When I was making fun of a khaki wearin Brent he informed me that HE was a khaki wearin Brent.

A. Kevin Dillion

B. Ellen Degeneres

C. Val Kilmer

D. Jane Fonda

E. James Gandolfini

F. Dan Marino

G. Matthew McConaughey

H. Henry Rollins

I. William Forsythe

J. Dean Winters (aka Mayhem)

K. Brett Favre

L. Chris Maloney

M. Joe Frasier

So there you go people. Try as you might to figure things out by my purposely vague clues. It’s a difficult game, really. As I look at all the answers, I realize that if I wasn’t there for it I would never know which one was which.

Q: Who taught you to blow fire, and have you ever REALLY burned the hell out of yourself?

A: When I started working at a certain NYC bar, one of the “fun” things we got to do was blow fire. On my first day, I showed up ready to learn all of the dog-and-pony tricks required of the position.

Now I had been bartending for about 15 years at this point, but this place was busier and crazier than any place I had ever been. I expected some seasoned bartender to be training me with all of her wise yoda-like ways. When I walked in, there she was, all 5’2″ of her. Cowboy hat, leather top, shorts, boots and a cast on her broken wing.

She was — and still is — of the cutest things I have ever seen. She will be known for this tale as Punkin Head, and she taught me all I know about blowing fire and dancing on the bartops.

Punkin Head was maybe 22 when I met her. She was an amazing bartender, fucking fantastic dancer and an incredible girl all around. However, as we were becoming friends and working together, there was always a lot of silliness and merriment going on. We occasionally forgot to focus on the little things.

Here are the little things:

1. When you are blowing fire across the bar and the ceiling fans are on high, it WILL blow back into your face.

2. When blowing fire at another fire blower, you will get burned if you’re standing too close together.

3. Nail polish will continue to burn even after you shake your hand to put out the flames.

4. Drag queen makeup and glitter will burn like a sonofabitch.

5. Anything with a polyester scarf is bad to wear while blowing fire.

I know all of these things now because of more than one close call. Watching someone burn their eyebrows off. Two instances of 2nd degree burns on my palms…and the night my scarf had to be placed in the sink once a lovely customer alerted me to the flame that was inching its way up the scarf toward my face.

Q: What’s the biggest tip you’ve ever received?

A: I’ve received my share of good tips over the years. A couple of $100 tips from some really great people when I really needed it, which all took place in the great state of Minnesota. A guy that offered me $500 for my cowboy hat in NYC who clearly had no idea how much I loved that hat. And one huge tip during fleet week from the officers and their wives when I was asked to bartend on a ship for their farewell party…about $400 and my body weight in margaritas if memory serves.

So that’s it for today folks. I will post the celebrity answer key tomorrow.

Also, if any of my peeps out there have been waiting to “Submit Your Shit,” please do so at anytime this week as I am thinking a nervous breakdown is looming in my future. This blog is a lot of work, and I want to continue to give our loyal readers amusing anecdotes to help them get through the day.

With love and all the liquor I can ingest,


You heard the diva! Submit Your Shit at the top of the page!

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