Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Lack of Buybacks is Whack, Plus Ion's Take.

I’m writing today about buybacks, free drinks, comps, or whatever else you call them. A buyback is when you’ve drank a few beers (usually three to four), have tipped for these beers (I’m talking a dollar per drink, minimum,) are in a real bar (not a swanky lounge or some lame place like that,) and the bartender gives you a free beer. Sometimes they knock on the counter and place a new pint of what you ordered; sometimes they’ll just say, “On me.” A nice dive bar I’ve written about turns over a shot glass and stacks it on your tip pile to signify that the next one is “on the house.” It’s a little thank you for the tipping and for spending $5 a beer when you can just walk next door and buy a six pack for $7, okay $10. Buybacks are good business. To make a long definition short, buybacks are fucking fantastic.

So last night, at a nice local bar, my friend Ion and I meet up for drinks and encountered a stingy bartender of epic proportions. The bar is a place we go to with some frequency, as it’s the only option in the neighborhood, but it’s not like we’re close with the bartender, who’s a nice guy if not totally clueless. Tonight the bar has five people in it when we arrive. We order and drink our beer jollily and recount the excitement of our day.

Things are going swimmingly as the guy across from me gets his third whisky on the house. I order my third beer, “that will be five dollars.” My friend orders his third, “Five bucks.” No big deal, although that guy across from us got comped. I order my fourth beer, “Five dollars.” Okay, that sucks, should have been free, whatever. I order my fifth beer, “five dollars, thanks.” Shit’s getting ridiculous, and I’m starting to take it personal. Twenty dollars and not a single buyback! He gave the whisky guy a buyback after TWO whiskeys, but I guess they were friends, apparently we’re shit. I order my sixth beer when Ion orders his fifth. The bartender walks over and says looking to me, “ok I got yours,” turns to Ion, “yours will be five bucks.” Fucking balls. At least he smartened up with me, but the rocks on this fucking guy for not comping my friend at the same time. You need to buy five beers before you get a free drink! You can’t even enjoy a sixth beer. Ion never got his free beer that he earned and deserved, and we left the bar defeated.

Tonight I’ll see how many steps you have to pass before you get a free sobriety token.
    Ion wanted to respond as well. His recap is much shorter and blunter than mine and I think you’ll enjoy. Without further ado, the first installment of Ion's Take.

    Hey mister bartender, I've bought 6 beers without a buyback from you and I now think you are a douchebag. Actually, I thought you were a jerk after 4 beers, but this proves my point.

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