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The Bar Skill Set
Portland Joe wants to Know How Cracked Pottery Interacts with the Denizens of Drinking Establishments—and Why: 12/5/21
Joe brings me a glass of Joe each morning, says, “Put it there,” as he extends his hand. Then after our greeting we drive off tot he training location. He is not thrilled about what has become of his city, ten times as dangerous and thrice as deadly as two years ago. However, I like it. For instance, in Baltimore, or anywhere in Maryland, we would have already been harassed by police for training out doors in public spaces.
After training, he usually has a question for my damaged mind. This one involved my sue of bars to do my online work when not living with a host with wyfy. He admitted that he would feel like a fish out of water in a bar.
I began using bars, even when I did not drink. I did not drink alcohol for most of my 20s and only imbibed occasionally—like twice a year—in my 40s. Taking a bus to work jobs that started at midnight in Baltimore City made using bars as potential refuges and for food a must.
Back when I was healthy enough to actually burn calories and worked night crews, I did not dare eat at night, for running on less than two hours sleep a day that would put me to sleep. The Dead Zone is 2:00 AM to 5:00 AM. After 5:00 AM, even if I’ve been up for three or four days straight [I used no stimulants, not even coffee, until age 40, just a crooked will] I would start to revive. Then, it would be nice to get food, which meant a bar, where I could sit and eat rather than go to a convenience stop and eat on the street corner, inviting police harassment and hoodrat attack. That same bar, could serve as a place to duck into when being tracked, chased or attacked—if they knew you better than they knew the attackers.
In bars that do not flip shifts, the owner or wife typically works opening and that is a good person to know. In shift bars the barmaids will often work the late shift and then open the next day so that they get long days off. At night I would stop into a bar for a soda before work, and then for breakfast in the morning. Once a month I would drink some beers after picking up my paycheck, trying to be around for shift-change. I wanted to know as many bar keeps and bar maids as possible.
These days, in case I get locked out of my host’s place, need to wait a few hours for a pick up or meetup after training, or in the east, get dropped off by one man to be picked up for another, I do not want to be stuck waiting at a bust stop or on a corner in a strange city with an out-of-state I.D. This will make me a mark for cops and biker gangs that run drugs, as I will appear to be setting up a drug network for a rival criminal organization.
If possible, hit a place without a backpack on first, seeming to be a new resident in the area.
Do not just buy sodas or order water. That will make you hated by staff and suspected by patrons right off—unless you can let them know that you work across the street, for instance. Coffee or beer are the two best bets for beverages that will ally suspicion. Comming in at noon, have a couple coffees, then having tw beers and going, that is a good pattern for a respectable person who won’t cause trouble. Once a week, wven if I don’t feel like it, I go to the local dive bar and drink a beer every half hour for a few hours—a six pack.
I never get drunk at a dive bar in a strange town. When I want to get drunk to kill brain cells and reset for anew book after finishing one, I go to a hipster bar and quietly drink in the corner. If I am going to be compromised, I want to at least start out as the most dangerous man in the building.
Never discuss news or politics.
Learn enough about the sports the patrons are following to ask an intelligent question and don’t cheer for a team.
Tip well.
Hold the door for the old folks and ladies.
Do not try and score pussy.
Make cordial acquaintance with the senior men, the old guys that the bar keeps know by their first name.
Do not talk.
Listen.
Order food.
Places that have coffee usually have free refills, so tip for every cup.
After two weeks of this, I will show up during the day and use the wyfy.
Do not go very day. 2 to 3 times a week is optimal for gathering news of the area and earning the personalities more than they learn you.
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