The Anakin Rule: How I Know You're Drunk

Monday, January 21, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

Today begins a two day series of vignettes from bartending.  Specifically i plan on regaling you with the two best tails related to drunk people at the bar this week.  I hope you enjoy.  Happy MLK day;  The dreamer of dreamers.

My full first name has 11 letters.  that said, it has no silent letters or alternate vowel pronunciations (well, the "i's" are pronounced like long "e's", but whatev).  Because of this, Japanese children can even pronounce my name (mostly) correctly.  Ma-ti-ti-ya-hu.  This simplicity also comes in handy when teaching my name to a new, interested, party.  I find great comic value in the sounds created when people first try to say my name, and i have become increasingly attuned to what the drama of pronouncing my name sounds like.

While bartending earlier this week, i hear the tell-tale signs of a "Ma-tti-ti-yahu" pronunciation already in progress.  I look over to see my bar-back, on break, eating a sandwich and being . .  . um . . . persistently engaged in discussion by a middle aged woman downing greyhounds (the drink) at the bar.  She is asking him what my name is.  He is trying to oblige her.

This women is a drinker.  She has that easy affability that says "maybe I'm already drunk" but combined with coherence which says "maybe i'm just starting my drinking."  Either way, both messages require her + alcohol.   I should mention that this particular bar-back is chiseled from granite and this is far from the first time a woman has interrupted his meal to grab his attention.

Then the woman's husband comes in.  He is pacing and uncomfortable and reserved in a way that says "we shouldn't be here" and "i want out of here".  The wife proclaims that he is a mormon and doesn't even drink.  She hardly goes out herself (i'm skeptical).  But she's a big tipper and, as of yet, isn't making a scene.  She is, however, also pointing out to her uncomfortable husband that she's just here for a drink or two (or three), a little t.v. (she tells me repeatedly that they don't have one), and to talk to this nice handsome young man (the bar back).  She is leveraging the bar-back into a position of "jealousy creator." Us bartenders exchange glances.  It's an absurd situation already for a few reasons:  The husband is literally standing directly behind his wife, and is paying her a great deal of attention (of the lets get the f out of here variety).  But he certainly isn't ignoring her.  Equaly stupefying is that my bar-back is now visibly back-petalling, which is particularly impressive considering he is simultaneously sitting down and eating.   Somehow, brilliantly i might add, he seems to get further and further away from the conflict that's being sparked.

I'm getting ahead of myself.  Let's go back.  The woman, let's call her Irene, is asking the bar-back, we'll call him Tom, what my name is.  "Ma-ti-ti-ya-hu," Tom says. (this is what i hear and turn my head towards).  "Ma-ti-ti-ya-hu," i hear Irene repeat.  Having a name that can be easily broken down into syllables also makes it fairly easy for drunks to replicate.   Irene then goes into "remembering" mode, which consists of repeating my name over and over to really scratch it into her hard drive.

A minute later i go to check on Irene, she's had 3 drinks and I'm worried she's going to want more, which i am planning on not giving her.  I'm hoping i don't have to reveal said intention.

"MATTITITATU!," I hear softly screamed at me.   Guess who?

I have a pretty solid rule regarding my name and a person's level of intoxication, and while you may find it amusing (you will), i swear that it is both a rule, and one that has been used repeatedly.  I call it "The Anakin Rule," and it goes like this.

The Anakin Rule:  If you know my name, and when you end up pronouncing it, it sounds more like a Star Wars planet than my name (specifically the planet Anakin and Luke Skywalker came from), you're done drinking.  Period.

While such a crazy approximation of name such as Matititatu (Pronounced similar to Tatooine), seems unreproducible, in actuality it is the official drunken pronunciation of me (sponsorship welcome).

With Irene now firmly Anakin ruled, the process of her and her husband getting home safely and without incident became the new focus.

They were walking home.  check.  They were getting pizza first.  check.  But before they were to start on this responsible journey homeward (i did watch to make sure they headed to Pizzatown), i first had to contend with Irene's spirited need to converse with the others in the bar.  Specifically, she was kinda muscling out / invading the space of, the woman next to her.   I would usually intervene post-haste in such situations, but it turned out that the woman being space-chased was busy typing away on her iPad at the bar.   i figured that until someone said something, the faux pas were offsetting, resulting in no foul.

Thankfully, we didn't have to use (the) Force.      8^D

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