A few years ago, I set up a funky little Surry Hills-type bar (at least we thought it was) with one of my oldest mates from school. It was located in Lindfield and was called “The Blackout.” We ran it for two years and ticked it off the bucket-list however too many late nights and too much fun nearly made our wives leave us, so we sold it.
One night we had four couples come in, settle at their table and proceed to eat and drink heartily. A little too heartily in fact and one of the guys over the next few hours got really pissed and started to become loud and aggressive. The other six in the party had to sit there awkwardly while this tosser proceeded to have a big fight with his wife and was terribly rude to my young staff.
Tosser was one of those guys who turned into Donald Trump once the grog kicked in. His was so bellicose after his fight with his wife, that eventually one of my young waitresses asked me to be the one to tell him that we had run out of the particular wine he wanted.
The Blackout was crowded and chaotic that night (as it often was when we had it) but I made my way through the throng and explained the situation nice-as-pie to Tosser.
He yell-slurred – “YOU’RE FU*KIN’ KIDDIN’ ME? I’M USED TO EATIN’ IN BEST RESTAURANTS IN THE CITY MATE, YOU CAN AT LEAST HAVE ALL THE FUCKIN’ WINES ON YOUR MENU MENU.”
He was loving getting up me in front of his mates and knew as the proprietor all I could do was stand there and take it. I wondered if Tosser knew he’d just bellowed MENU twice. Keeping it friendly I apologised and asked him to select another.
Tosser then stood, wobbled, got right in my face, put two fingers against my chest and poked me. Hard.
I was shocked and a bit embarrassed, but didn’t do anything. However then he yelled at me – “GO AN’ GET THE FU*KIN’ BOTTLE I ORDERED. AN’ DO IT NOW.” Tosser shoved me. Shoved me! Spittle was coming from his mouth.
I HAD BEEN TOSSER-SHOVED.
Now I’m a big guy (112.9kg which I obviously round down to 112) and I wouldn’t normally stand for this sort of disrespect, but I’m in my own bar! I couldn’t get into a scuffle with a patron and for all I knew Tosser could be the North Shore Karate champion (but he looked more like potentially a Lindfield Palates champion). But this guy was pissed, yelling, swearing and shoving. I needed to do something. He was scaring people.
I slowly put down the two Asahis I was carrying. I’m no fighter but I know I look like I may be one. So I came right up to Tosser and whispered in his ear in my calmest, Clint Eastwood voice.
“You’re making a fu*king goose of yourself mate. Sit the fu*k down, or I’ll sit you down.”
Tosser had a moment of instant sobering clarity which snapped him out of his red wine-induced I’m-Donald-Trump delusion. You could see a look came over his face that said – What the fu*k and I doing? I’m pissed and about to get into a fight with the proprietor of my local, who’s much bigger than me, just because he doesn’t have the Claire Valley Shiraz.
One of his mates told him to sit down and Tosser used the excuse to do exactly that, without looking like he did it because I had told him to. In the two years despite having to tell MANY people that it was closing time and they had to leave, even when they were having a great night and didn’t want to, it was the only time I had to diffuse a potentially physical situation.
Anyway, Tosser became a lot quieter and did not give any crap to the waitresses after that. About 11:30 his party was preparing to leave. I was walking past with a jug of Pina Coladas, some bloke moved his bar stool back and I clipped my foot. Having never worked in a bar even when I was young, I do not have any waiter-type reflexes. I tripped.
Then it was like a cheap action movie and everything seemed to happen in ultra-slow motion. My thoughts in those short moments were pure and simply about avoiding falling to the ground and I had zero concern for what was in my hands. Flailing like an infant, I saw people’s faces contort knowing what was coming, my arms swam in the air desperate for purchase on something and I released the Pina-jug.
It landed on Tosser’s chest and splashed into his lap.
He looked like he’d been dipped in milk and his friends all laughed hysterically.
It was terrible. It was a complete accident and I apologised, possibly less sincerely that I should have, however it looked like I’d Pina-Coladad him on purpose. Tosser stormed out, swearing, abusing, shoving and slopping all over our beautiful black and white tiled floor.
Walking my 500 metres home after closing that night, I kept an eye out assuming Tosser may try to run me down in his Lexus. The Google review he left us at 1:33 that morning, was… scathing.
Google Review – Tonight I was assaulted in The Blackout. The proprietor hurled a jug of alcohol right on top of my very expensive suit on purpose because I questioned how one wine on the menu was non-existent! Nothing like this has ever happened before to me. I am considering legal action. NEVER go to this establishment or the same thing may happen to you. It was assault.
Google Reply – I completely apologise for tripping over and spilling a drink on you. It was an absolute accident and in no way deliberate. My apologies again.
Google Comment (from his mate) – Phil, you were an absolute dickhead, a bully and even though we all know it was accidental, you deserved it. Shit like that happens to you all the time because you’re just flat out rude. And by the way, your suit wasn’t that expensive.
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