Ay up. Malcolm 'ere.
Your man on the inside. Ready to dish the dirt on my place o' work.
I was starting to feel guilty about writing insults about these people behind their backs on the internet, but they all recently started saying that I bare a resemblance to a well-known serial rapist and murderer, even referring to me by his first name, so I don't feel bad at all now. I feel good about it, in fact.
So sit back, relax, and read some more horrific tales from Groovy Spoons.
There is a very tall and handsome gentleman, named Bryan, who used to come into Groovy Spoons often. He would buy drinks for everyone, go through 4 or 5 bottles of Champagne a night, and would pull out wads of £50 notes when paying for it. He seemed to me like a very nice man.
One afternoon, during a quiet day shift, he came over to me and started asking me lots of questions; about where I was from, what I do at uni, etc. I told him that I study Film, and he asked if I was any good at editing, (I'm not, but I didn't want to come across as a square who was no good at editing, so I said yes). Bryan then leaned in closer, and slid his sunglasses down his nose, so I could see his eyes. "My line of work could be considered illegal, but I won't tell you exactly what it is." He confessed to me. "But I need an editor, someone good with media stuff..." It was at that point that his mate entered the bar and shouted to him, Bryan got distracted by this and went over to speak to him, never finishing his statement.
I haven't seen him in months, so I can only suspect that he's been sent to prison, or been killed for not having a good enough editor. I suppose I'll never know what his illegal line of work is, or whether his requirements of an editor were linked to it or not.
I can't help thinking that I dodged a bullet with us being interrupted, but I also can't help thinking that I dodged a massive wad of £50 notes, so it's pretty bittersweet.
Groovy Spoons is no stranger to drunken altercations. Colleges have told me of past brawls, flying glass bottles, and police intervention. I even heard of a particularly nasty time when the glass collector had to pour buckets and buckets of water on the pavement outside, in order to clear the pools of blood leftover from a fight.
Because I'm behind the bar for most of the time, I always miss the start of the fight, so I can't tell you what stupid thing set off the fight, but I always see the guilty fighters being dragged outside.
On one occasion, two women were dragged out kicking and screaming. One had a clump of the other's hair in her hand. The other was wielding a stiletto and swinging it round aggressively. They were both still trying to attack the other, practically ignoring the bouncer's efforts to separate them. One of them had a very interesting tactic to stop herself from being kicked out, she just went limp. Being a big girl, this meant she fell straight to the floor, and Max, the bouncer dealing with it, couldn't shift her. She was too big to pick up, so Max opted for a dragging solution, which worked to a degree, although it did pull her pants down as well. So when she was finally hoisted up with the help of another bouncer, I saw her entire enormous arse.
On one very busy night, a drunk and rude man was shouting at us bar staff because he was sick of waiting. One of the mangers, Baz, was sitting near him, and told him to shut up. This rude man had no idea that Baz was a manager, he just thought he was another customer, so he started hurling abuse at him. "I will bite your nose off your fucking face!" Baz just sat there and smiled, possibly because he didn't feel threatened, but probably because he was coked up out of his mind. The drunk man lunged for him, and the bouncers stepped in and dragged him away. That was the most "managing" Baz has ever done.
Sometimes the fights take place just after the music stops and the lights come up. There was once two men staring at each other, and one man just said "Prick," and the other just punched him square in the nose.
Another time, there were two men confronting each other, and one was shouting "Just say what you were going to say!" and the other was shouting back "What was I going to say?" They repeated this for so long that the bouncers had come over and stood on either side of them, so that as soon as one threw a punch, they were both restrained and kicked out.
One night, long after the music had stopped, and the last few punters were on their way out. I was wiping down the horrible sticky tables like normal, when suddenly this young woman came flying around the corner and crashed into a stack of chairs. Followed very quickly by Scary Kate. Kate grabbed this woman in a headlock and dragged her towards the door, before quickly marching back to the women's toilets where the original woman had been thrown from. Kate grabbed another woman, this one a bit older, and walked her out by the neck, and just shouted "Disgusting!" before throwing her out the door as well. I did finally work up the courage to ask Scary Kate what they had been doing in there, but all she would say was "something fucking disgusting," which could be any number of things, I dare not think about it.
This is a collection of small, but bizarre, encounters.
- I went down to the cellar to fetch some more Red Bull, when a tub of butter sitting atop the wine shelves caught my eye. Thinking it odd, I went over and had a look. I opened the tub and there was the worst sight I'd ever seen; a swirling sludge of green and black matter was sitting in there, like someone had sneezed out frogspawn into a tub and left it on a wine shelf. I gagged, put the lid back on and returned it to its position, scarred for life.
- A very large New Zealander came to the bar and told me he had just smoked 4 joints. Unsure of how to respond, I said "well done." He gestured me to lean in closer so I did, and he put his hand on the back of my neck and grabbed it, so I pulled away. I looked at one of the bouncers and pointed at the New Zealand man, and then I watched him get thrown out, like some crazy tyrant sending someone for execution, what a power trip.
- One night, a woman came to the bar and said "Ohh, you're Kelly's cousin aren't you?!" I most certainly am not Kelly's cousin, but the music was so loud that I didn't hear her at first, so I just nodded (like I usually do when the music is too loud), then she started asking me lots of questions about Kelly. So I just had to give very vague answers about Kelly, saying that she is doing good, and enjoying living in her new house. Now I live in constant fear that she is going to come back in with Kelly, and then my whole fake cousin-ing will be exposed, and I will look like a complete plonker.
- A man came in dressed fully as Santa Claus, on December 2nd. Red trousers, red coat, big boots, red and white bobble hat, and a big fake Santa beard, which he kept on the whole night. Although, one interesting detail of his obviously very fake beard is that the moustache was coloured in black, in what looked black pen. He came in at about 9pm, plonked himself by the bar, ordered Stella after Stella after Stella, until 2am, when he got up and left quietly. Never talking to anyone and never explaining his festive get-up.
Bring Your Parents to Work Day
We had a new guy start at work, a young lad called Leon. He seemed like a nice enough bloke, a bit quiet, but not rude or lazy like most other employees. He spent a lot of time talking to this one middle aged couple standing by the bar, this struck me as odd because he had just started. But after a while, they introduced themselves to me, as Leon's parents.
It's one thing to have your parent's support, but for your parents to come along to your workplace, on your first shift, and stand by the bar and talk to you all night, that's just weird.
It was still pretty early on, so it was fairly quiet. There were a few people dotted around the bar, but the dance-floor had only one person on it. A young female, mid 20s I would say, dressed in an ill-fitting top, and too intoxicated for that time of night. She was doing some of the most cringe-worthy dancing I had ever seen, with the occasional slut drop thrown in for good measure.
We were all having a good laugh about it behind the bar, and the girl was too drunk to even notice. Leon's parents joined in the laughter, and we all had a good chuckle. Then, Leon's mum goes up and starts dancing as well, copying the drunken girl's every move. Even the slut drop.
The girl did a very melodramatic slut drop, and without hesitation, Leon's mother followed suit. Leon was gobsmacked. Everyone else found it hilarious. When his mum came back over, she was teasing him about it, saying they're going to take the drunk girl home with them.
Poor Leon. Imagine having to watch the woman that birthed and raised you, stand on the empty dance floor of Groovy Spoons and do a slut drop, whilst your father and new colleges all watched. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.
That's it for today, thanks again for reading this and easing my pain.
If you have any funny/bizarre/scary work stories then send them to me on Twitter. You can find me here.
I hope to see you again soon for another 1 on 1 with Groovy Spoons.
Disclaimer: These stories and characters are 100% real, however all names and locations have been altered so I don't lose my job.