Good Morning Joe Hill Wherever You Are,
There was a ‘Rules Committee’ meeting last night at University. I found it distinctly odd this time. The typical banter and verbal jousting was noticeably missing. Instead ‘Cush’ our Teamster representative had the floor and as usual there was no sign his filibustering would end in my somewhat limited lifetime. According to Cush University is guilty of hiring non-union kitchen help with questionable status as to citizenship. Evidently he approached Dave the proprietor with this and threatened to impose sanctions if his hiring policies didn’t change. To further inflame the situation Cush said he’d get his ‘brothers’ from the union hall to throw a picket line in front of our new home unless he was allowed to organize the bartenders, wait staff, and kitchen crew. As one might imagine Dave took umbrage at this and told Cush to have coitus with himself and threw him out. Needless to say, Cush left in a huff! However before leaving he managed to plant a seed.
I think I can speak for ‘curmudgeon corner’ in that on one hand we were relieved to finally end the filibuster, but on the other, we were concerned about our favorite bartender ‘Kat.’ Our newest best friend and pourer of ambrosia now seemed distant and inattentive. Kat is a single mom I’m guessing to be 40-ish and so far has kept herself in good shape but suspect it’s ephemeral at best. She can be seen stuffing herself with pasta, bread, and cannolis washing them down with Kuala ice cream sliders. While attractive it’s clear the cocaine diet is having an adverse effect. The continual sniffing, smoking, incessant disjointed speech, combined with cute giggling is a dead giveaway. Instead of dishing out insults she stared out the window with her arms folded like a petulant child.
She finally came back to earth and got behind the bar. “What’s the matter Kat?” I asked knowing something was wrong. “Nothing” she replied automatically. Then before I could say anything else she said, “I think Cush’s remarks are spot on” slamming her shot glass on the bar then throwing her head back to accommodate a Jagermeister. “We should organize” she continued. Then as if she was running for office she worked her way down the bar asking for support from the patrons. Dave was in the kitchen and obviously not privy to Kat’s enthusiasm. Before long she had the whole place in an uproar leading the chant “We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore” demanding fair and civil treatment for all that worked there.
Unbeknownst to the chanting crowd Dave had been listening and finally heard enough. Dave being a bit short in stature climbed atop a bar stool and quieted the spirited patrons down. Then in a calm quiet voice he explained the facts of life. “Let’s say everyone votes to unionize and I agree to a collective bargaining arrangement. Are you as patrons willing to pay double if not triple for your drinks?” Before anyone could answer he looked over to ‘curmudgeon corner’ and bemoaned “Trivia would be the first thing to go! Are you still going to patronize University?” As if rehearsed we all shook our heads no. “Then let’s stop the nonsense out here and get back to work” then proceeded to order a round of drinks for the crowd.
Kat who claims a degree in accounting was stupefied. She no longer had the support of the patrons as one by one they left feeling ashamed for their actions; most without leaving a tip. Her lower lip quivering and trying to be brave, the tears began flowing down her cheeks signaling the end of her uprising.
I hadn’t seen Kat in several days and worry she’s found a cause to support outside of pouring drinks. I bumped into her at Marvin’s Decent Dinner off Evans and she was in a corner booth reading of all things Marx’s Communist Manifesto. As if whispering a mantra she kept repeating the phrase…”Freeman and slave, patrician and plebian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed.” I rolled my eyes back and looked up cursing Cush for destroying a perfectly good bartender and created one more embittered bitch with a cause.