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Recollections of Oar House Antics
I used to
bus dog for Jack and Scanlon on Monday nights for about a
year. By 10:00 p.m., behind the bar, they would have
something that they were sipping on---Jack would make a
round, then Scanlon, then Jack, etc. I started coming around
to service their stations, and while I was at it I started
finishing their drinks. I think I would get Scanlon’s first,
and then Jack’s. It was so busy that it might be an hour
before I would return…So, say 3 shots would not slow me
down, really. My metabolism was so high washing and stacking
glassware, giving bartenders breaks, and carrying cases and
moving kegs…the booze didn’t faze me too much.
credit, they took it as good fun and never tried to freak me
out in any devious way---no Tabasco sauce, no straight
booze, no crazy concoctions. After all, I was only a lowly
bus dog, and they wouldn’t think of abusing their dumb
some other great memories
One night, some drunk smacked our manager out front of
the bar. Johnny Who and I chased him through several
backyards, and we flushed him out and he ran down the
street. He climbed up the front of one of the
condominiums on Second Street. The occupant came to the
sliding glass door with a rifle. The guy stood on the
balcony and waited for the cops to arrest him.
One night, there was a riot outside of the Oar House.
All of the doormen and a few regulars went at it with
some like soccer team or something. One of the cooks
went out and got himself knocked out by the Banana
Republic. I was managing at the time and was pretty much
ordering everyone back inside. The fight was all out in
the street and about a block long. When we heard that
our cook, Josey, was knocked out, Johnny said that he
was going bring him back, and I sent two doormen to go
with him. Johnny, was a life-guard, and it is said that
he performed CPR on Josey because he wasn’t breathing at
the time. They carried Josey back and he started to
This one joker was a manager. He robbed the safe of
$3000 dollars and high-tailed it to Canada. What a
I remember, one doorman went into the kitchen and ate a
hard-boiled egg without permission. He was fired. At the
end of a busy night, another doorman, said he couldn’t
pick up any more glassware. He was fired on the spot.
Oh, this is classic. I was managing one slow night. We
had a huge, off-duty doorman (nicknamed Baby Hughy) up
in the DJ booth (beer wagon) spinning records. There was
one particularly skuzzy patron there that night, that
had been recently 86-ed. I saw him, and I politely
reminded him that he was 86-ed and he apologized. He was
only looking for a friend or someone. So, OK, I led the
way and he is walking behind me. No problem. We walk by
the DJ booth, and I head out the door. OK, so then I am
outside and I’m waiting there…and the guy is not
behind me. I’m like, “Where did he go?”. Then there he
is!!! The DJ is carrying the guy by his neck. The guy’s
feet are a foot off the ground!! Then the DJ threw him
head long to
One particularly busy Burger Madness, the kitchen crew
was really flying. The grill was blasting. The grease
caught fire and the flames just started up, ten feet
into the flue. We tried slowing it down to buy us some
time by covering the flame with a large piece of wet
cardboard. (I know…wet cardboard? That was the best we
could do.) Well, one of the cooks had his hand on the
fire retardant/fire alarm, and he asked if he should
pull the ring? He patiently waited until he got the
go-ahead from me. Everyone casually walked out. People
walked away from their food without a fuss. The fire
department was right there, but the CO2 system had
smothered the fire.
After hours, the doormen, bus dogs, etc. would bet
dollars throwing peanuts into a pitcher for kicks.
Before that, for several Monday’s in a row, we were
throwing bottles into a trash barrel from about 15 feet.
It cost a dollar to play. The last guy to miss won the
pot. The sight and sound of the flying glass was great,
but the resulting mess was unfair to the morning
One night, a small brawl broke out in front of station
4. There was a skirmish and the dance floor quickly
emptied---it seemed the bad guys were all hauled away.
Then I see one of the doormen getting up off the floor.
He had a couple of footprints on his back. Jack
nicknamed him, “The Rugman”.
Sad story: I was still working at the bar. I already had
my BA from a great university, but I was stuck in the
beachside, bartender mode. Well, along came a new
manager, and he wrote me up, wham-bam on a few ticky-tack
things and then fired me. The final incident was when I
was at the day bar and a guy ordered a draft. He was old
enough so I poured him a beer, but he did not have an
ID, so I set the beer on the mat and called for the
manager over and over. The manager did not come
and the guy kinda grabbed the beer and sat down, saying
he would be over at a table. When the manager showed up,
he fired me for it. Six months later, I went on to start
working for Ted Turner Network.
Then there was the story about the alcoholic that lived
in the potato shed in the back parking lot for about a
Once we went down to the beach for a Buffalo Chips group
photograph. A bunch of guys grabbed Johnny Who and tried
to toss him into the Pacific. But his body became like
lead. I don’t know how he did it, but the whole gang
could not lift him up. They did manage to get him into
What's your story then?