In this strange new time in United States history, I’ve noticed something very exciting happening: Bars are once again returning to the hubs and centers of culture they once were. As a bartender, I have been noticing that people are having more fascinating conversations on society, humanity, and culture than I have witnessed from behind the bar in a long time. As the great Daily Show host Jon Stewart once said (and I’m paraphrasing), “If I didn’t have this job, I’d be the guy in the corner of the bar yelling at the TV.” Of course, bars are bars and there’s always going to be a statement or two that are entirely inspired by alcohol. Here are some of the best conversations I’ve overheard during my shifts over the last couple weeks. All names are aliases.
Context: Day/evening of the NFC Championship games
Subjects: Al and Jim are two middle-aged men discussing their stats in their friend group’s fantasy football league.
Al: You’re doing well, but your brother is getting first, and you’re getting second.
Jim: I know, can you believe it? This is the closest I’ve been to him in years.
Context: Two female friends, hanging out.
Subjects: Angela is discussing how she is now renting out a room in her apartment to Airbnb guests and Jennie is very concerned.
Angela: A lot of people I know are doing it, I think it’ll be good.
Jennie: Aren’t you worried about bed bugs, and all the semen?
Angela: What do you mean ALL the semen?
Jennie: All the semen in the mattress.
Angela: I mean, no, it’s not like men come directly into the mattress.
Jennie: Haven’t you ever seen an episode of Hotel Nightmares?
Angela: Yeah but, again, I don’t think it’s going to be that bad. I’m obviously going to wash the sheets.
Jennie: It seeps through the sheets and gets into the mattress.
Angela: Semen doesn’t really work like that.
Jennie: It totally does…
(At this point, Angela and Jennie have a scintillating discussion of exactly how semen works. It is clear, neither of them knows.)
Context: Trump’s EPA picks
Subjects: Ann is a Republican and Don is her Democrat friend.
Ann: “He should shut down the EPA. It’s not like they do a good job.”
Don: “What do you mean by ‘not doing a good job’?”
Ann: “They waste money and never get anything done. Like protecting animals that don’t even need protection. The spotted owl, remember when they were going nuts about that?
Don: “Well, that’s a weird example. I haven’t heard about the spotted owl in over 30 years.”
Context: The day of the Women’s March
Subjects: Jill and her husband Tim decided to forego the march in favor of attending some art museums. After watching the march on TV for an hour, the wife had a change of heart.
Jill: “That’s it. We’re going.”
Tim: “Ugh, do we have to?”
Jill: “Do you wanna get laid tonight.”
Tim: “Okay, let’s go…”