Sunday, April 10, 2011

Despicable Beer Milkers

What kind of person sits and reads a book in a very busy, crowded airport bar, while milking the last 1 inch of beer in their mug?  Immediately adjacent to the waiting line area to get into the airport bar, where fellow travelers anxiously stand, roller bags at their sides, scanning the bar population for tables that are about to be vacated... Jonesing for a chance to sit and eat or drink?  This bar in the Hartsville A concourse, called Hoolihans, had a "no standing" policy -  they'd only serve you if you were seated in the 70 or so limited seats.  I scored a single seat at the bar, where the surly bar keep reluctantly served me a Bushmills, wings, and a over-cooked hamburger (whose bun I left behind) - I say "surly" in that it took me asking him twice, in 5 minutes, to cash out my tab "I heard you the first time" he barked back in a retort.   Really?  Would've been nice for you to acknowledge it.   Enjoy the 8% tip, indignant bar man. 

But as I sat down, I counted 3 beer milkers around me.  2 of them were mesmerized by the Black/Thai golfer playing at Augusta National, just 200 miles away, but shown on the wide screen HD TV above the bar.  Neither of them touched their beers or ordered any food in the 30 minutes it took me to eat and drink and pay and leave.  The third milker, sat a table that could have seated 4 people, but he was alone, with an inch of beer left in his mug, leaning back in his chair, reading a paper-back fiction novel.  I don't know if he was blissfully unaware of the 10 to 15 people immediately bedside him hoping to be able to sit down and get a bite to eat or something or drink, or if he was intrinsically aware of them and being a royal douche bag to flaunt his captured real estate before the teaming masses.  When I exited the bar (there was only one entry and exit, unless I wanted to vault a guard rail) he was still milking the same 1 inch of residual beer in his mug.

This is not jut discourteous to the other customers who are waiting.  This is stealing money from the waitresses who earn their living on tips, paid typically below minimum wage, by preventing PAYING customers to sit and have a meal.  Finish your damn beer, and order another one, or leave, and read elsewhere.  The way Americans have no shame anymore, no sense of community conscience, no empathy for anyone else outside of their tiny little sphere of influence, is quite disheartening, and very Republican in it's value system. 

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