In this particular bar, I stuck out like a sore thumb because I didn't have a mustache, because I was under seventy, and because I didn't drive a truck into the bar.
The guy I sat down next to was drinking a can of Olympia. Now, Olympia is the cheapest, wateriest beer in the whole world. Even more so than Natural Light, but they make it out of tasty Washington water, so you don't mind the watery taste so much.
I asked the bartender, "What beers do you have?"
She said, "Um, Bud, Bud Light, Corona, Natural Light, Keystone Light, Keystone Red, um, um, um. How about you tell me what you're looking for, and I'll tell you if we have it."
That question severely perplexes me, because I can't say, "Well, I'm looking for Bohemia, New Belgium Skinny Dip, New Belgium Mothership Wit, Chang, Lion Stout, or any non-wheat beer imported from Germany."
We're in Idaho, remember? And she just rattled off the five cheapest beers I could get at the gas station a block down the street. It would have been rude in that bar to request a high-falutin' beer.
I say "Keystone Red," because I've never heard of Keystone Red, even though I was almost sure she meant Keystone Ice when she said Keystone Red.
To my surprise, she returned with a red Keystone. Hmm.
"$1.50" she said.
I fished three bucks out of my wallet, in accordance with my tipping philosophy, and put it down deliberately on the counter, and loudly said, "Thank you," kind of indicating she should keep the whole three bucks. Because a buck fifty tip is a whole haul in Idaho, and I was trying to be kind of a big shot.
Now I should probably go back and describe the personality of this super ditsy bartender, but I'm sure she had a good heart, so I'll get on with the story.
The next thing I see is that she drops one of my dollars on the floor, and then she reaches down to pick it up. She brings me back my change, but it's only fifty cents.
Then I look up at one handwritten sign, and it's in Spanish, warning Mexicans to not come in if they're under 21 años.
Then I look over at another handwritten sign, and it says Keystone, $1.25.
This whole instance left me with a ton of questions.
- Was the real price of the Keystone $1.25, and she overcharged me a quarter?
- Did she think that I mistakenly gave her an extra dollar, and she stealthily pocketed the extra buck?
- Does she think I'm a cheap ass because she thinks I only tipped her fifty cents?
- Is my extra dollar still on the floor somewhere?
- Did every single one of the above happen?
Photo purchased from Marina_Ph on istockphoto.