Old Joke: Termite sat on the bar stool
and asked in a loud voice
"Is the bar TENDER here?"
Many years ago (45), when I moved to Naples, FL, there was no symphony orchestra in which to play my violin. Naples was--and is--a tourist area, a winter-home type city/county.
The primary businesses were churches and liquor store-bar-combinations. Since my main occupation was, well...ummmm--DRINKING, I got a job as bartender. (What else?)
Nine years later, forced by ill health, the law, and Peeps, I capitulated to a Higher Power--God--to help me stop drinking. I stopped and stayed stopped until this day...
I was so enthusiastic about a fellowship--Alcoholic Anonymous--and its program of action, which did for me what I had tried to do on literally hundreds of occasions during the previous 20 plus years. That is stop drinking.
I had been working in a place named WITCH'S BREW in Naples, for three years. Three years (to the very DAY!) I was fired, for the first time in my life. I was given an adequate severance, unheard of in "bartender" circles, and told to get out and never come back.
Also the owner told me I was the best bartender he ever had working for him. Go figure.
Well, about 30 years later--still not drinking--I "figured it out". I was SO wanting to let the whole world know that I had stopped drinking (who CARED OR CARES???) ...and specifically my bar-fly friends. I found myself, while stirring a dry martini for one customer, explaining to these folks, many inebriated, all about how to save their lives. Also I explained in detail night after night, how their families were suffering, and how they could also have a better future, by not getting drunk every night.
All the guy (or gal) had to do was switch to coca cola, and everything would work out. Well, everything worked out. I went home, it was 3 AM Thanksgiving morning 1974, and I got to tell my family we had to tighten our belts, that I was unemployed.
How STEWPID I felt! And fearful, because the word would get out not to hire this non-drinking evangelist (me) anywhere in this county. Well, I did walk into one place a few weeks later, a new restaurant in town, brand new everything--kitchen, lounge, tables, and my boss rode a big Motor Scooter! These are "my Peeps", Peeps! It was then that I took the risk to tell the assistant manager and the GM, that I was a recovering alcoholic.
Don't you know, they both laughed, and told me they too, were recovering alcoholics in the AA Program, and had just arrived in Naples from Akron Ohio, the birthplace of AA. Well, we got along famously, and had an AA meeting every night right there on the job! I got to continue working the bar, making drinks, playing the violin, and all lived.....I was going to write "happily ever after" but that is not the way it happened. The rest of the story deserves a posting of its own. The bottom line--for me here--was that (again) God did for me what I could NOT do for myself. Got me a job in an occupation I knew, and WOW! the money was Goood!
You know, I often ask God to change me, and He does! But he keeps wanting to change things which I DO NOT WANT changed! Oh, well....
Lots of yard work to do. Now that it is summer it is ongoing in this tropical paradise.
Blessings for all of you, Peeps. Please SMILE today at someone who is probably not expecting it, OK?
Lagniappe: Two weeks ago, i met a man named Bob (real name) who remembered those days of which I just wrote, all these 36 years later...and he was sitting in the meeting room--for the first time!!! Believe THAT! (OK, God! What next?)
DEVIANT ART: Zelda__Link___The_Last_Guest_by_Dayu