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The bartender
Part 1

October 13, 2004

Okay, picture this: you walk into a party full of elite Iranian expatriates. The guest list is made of Jews, Bahais, Moslems, and some Christians. The party is tame yet chic. Brandy in one hand, Cuban cigar in the other, the talk is all about real state. Some say buy and some say sell. Guests are well-bred, sophisticated, and a bit snobby. The assembly is made up of thriving individuals who wear their money and drive their money, and occupy $5-million mansions.

The host is bashful, in control, and at times just plain overwhelming. The junior guests discuss their latest graduate school alumni bash and how well the good old fraternity brothers are doing in the real world, and the older crowd reminisce good old days when an Iranian passport brought you respect no matter where you chose to travel.

You might ask, dude how in the world did you end up in a party like that? Well, I was the bartender. That's right, I was the guy who mixes drinks. The guy who makes six dollars and fifty cents an hour -- plus tip. Owner of the 1991 issue pickup truck parked in the back -- out of sight. The guy who says, "What can I get you, sir? ... Thank you for the tip."

I have worked Iranian parties in LA for quite some time but this particular party was a bit of a drag since the crowd was too stuck-up. Upon my arrival, the host lady pulled me aside and gave me the instructions: "I don't want anybody to leave here drunk; do you understand? Most of these guys have the best lawyers in LA and if they get in a wreck, they will sue me. So, very little alcohol in the drinks, okay?"


"And don't fill the glass up to the rim. Don't want anybody spilling drinks on my rugs."

"Got it."

"Oh, one more thing: anybody gets drunk and spills the beans on the other guests, I want to be the first to know. There will be an extra hundred for juicy stuff."

"No problem."

One thing the host lady didn't know was that I'm a lousy bartender. I never wash the glasses unless of course there's lipstick marks on them. And there is one more thing I don' wash my hands. It's my way of getting back at The Man.

So, my station was setup and I was ready to serve. A handsome Iranian plastic surgeon and his Persian Barbee, a tall blond, were my first customers. The guy was wearing an expensive suit and the blond had NLB (nose job, lipo, breast implants). We are talking the works.

"Vodka cranberry," the guy said.

"And for the lady?"

"The lady will have a glass of wine," the guy responded.

I mixed and handed the drinks.

"Are you Persian?" the guy asked.

"Yes, sir."

"How did you end up with this job? Who did you piss off?"


"Man, this is a job for Black guys not a Persian."

"Nobody told me that!" I replied.

"That's a shame."

"I'm sorry you feel that way," I said.

"We Persians got to set good examples, if you know what I mean."

"Not really, what do you mean?"

The guy walked away from my station, disgusted.

"Are you gonna leave him a tip?" the blond asked the guy.

"A tip? Sure. Here's a tip. Get a job," the guy said.

Well, obviously the man watched too many Tarantino movies. Besides, I wouldn't need a job if I had a dollar for every time I heard that line.

My next customers were two older gentlemen.

"Do you have a drink that keeps the fuckin' Jews away?" the first guy said.

"Excuse me?"

"These Jews are killing me. I almost wanna go back to Iran to get away from them, bastards."

"No, sir. I don't know any drink that keeps Jews away."

"Okay then, make me a Margarita."

"And you," I asked the other man.

"Give me the same."

"You know what's the problem with them Iranian Jews?" the first man said.

"No, sir. I have no clue," I replied.

"They have no loyalty to Iran. It's all about Israel with them. No loyalty."

"Take it easy," the second man said. "You are going to give yourself a heart attack."

"I can't take it easy. They piss me off. The Shah, God bless his soul, should have shipped them all to Israel."

"Amen," the second man said.

"The poor Shah made them all rich and what did they do in return? They pissed on him," the first man said.

"Tell me about it," the second man replied.

"You're not a Jew, are you?" the first man asked.

"Who? me?"

"Yes; you."

"I don't think so," I said.

"Good, make sure it stays that way," the first man said.

"Okay, I'll see what I can do."

Both men left and cleared the way for four frat boys in their late twenties.

"Amigo, give me four shots of tequila. None of that cheap shit, okay?" one of the boys said.

"No problem, sir. I'm gonna need to get some shot glasses. Be right back."

"What kind of Mickey Mouse operation are you running here?" the guy said.

"Sorry, gents. I'm out of shot glasses. It'll be a second."

"Get your shit together and hurry up, man."

"You got it," I said.

I ran back to my truck, pulled out a cardboard box and selected four of my dirtiest shot glasses. Just to provide the boys with additional customer service, I spat in the glasses before returning to my station.

"Sorry gents," I said, setting the shot glasses in front of the boys.

"This better not be some cheap crap," one of the boys said.

"No, sir. The best there is. Noosh-e joon."

"Are you Irooni?" one of the boys asked.

"Yes, sir."

"I bet you do this on the side to get girls."

"No, this is my profession."

"So, what do you do on the side?"

"Other than eating and sleeping, this is it," I replied.

"Come on, dude. You gotta have something else going on."

"Not the last time I checked."

"Does any decent-looking girl go out with you? Like, where do you get the money to go on a date? I mean, all these bitches think about is money."

"Well, that's why I got myself a porn channel."

The three boys looked at me like I was from Mars.

"Hang in there, dude. Something's gonna turn up."

"I will, and fuck you very much," I said.

"Did you just say 'fuck you very much?'" one of the boys said.

"No, sir. I said, thank you very much. Sorry, it's the damn accent."

The three boys walked away.

Finally a nice looking Iranian babe approached. God, I love this job.

"Hey, do you have some coke?" she said.

"Sure. Regular or Diet?"

"You're a funny guy. I want the real thing."

"Coke classic?"

"No, you bonehead. The one I want doesn't come in a can."

"Pardon me!"

"I want the shit. You know? The powder."

"Oh, I see. Sorry, I'm fresh out."

"Don't be a jerk. I don't care how much it costs."

"Missy, the only coke you get here is dark, sugary and liquid."

"Screw you."

"I'm working. Maybe later."

"Yeah, you wish," she said.

"I do."

"Go get yourself a bar of soap," she said, walking away.

A middle-age gentleman walked over.

"Martini, please."

"Sure thing."

"Are you Iranian?" the man asked.

"Yes, sir."

"This is great. It's good to see Iranians doing different professions."


"Like, the other day, I was taking the Rolls to the dealership and I saw a homeless Iranian guy standing at an intersection. Imagine that! I mean the guy had the sign and the whole package. The sign said, 'will work for chelokabob'."

"What's so great about that?" I asked.

"What's so great about that? This shows that we Iranians have completely penetrated this society. This means that we have integrated into this community. Guys like you and the homeless guy are the best examples of our ability to adapt."

"Thank you. I feel real special now," I said.

"You should. Keep up the good work."

A few seconds later I found two older ladies standing in front of me.

"So, I hear you make the best White Russian in Malabo," the first lady said.

"I sure do; would you like some?"

"Actually, I prefer hairy Persian. Get it? Hairy... Persian?"

The two ladies laughed while staring at me.

"Well, plenty of us here," I said.

"But only one can make the best White Russian in Malabo."

Part of a bartender's job is giving older women a little love and attention, to make them feel attractive by offering mindless compliments. It comes with the territory.

"Well, ladies. You have come to the right place. Because I'm one bad, hairy Persian, and I make the baddest White Russian in West LA."

"Ouch! Give me some of that."

"It would be my pleasure."

"Oh, no. The pleasure is all mine," the old lady said, giggling.

"If you insist."

"I do."

Suddenly the four young frat boys were back: "Hey, granny, move. It's refueling time."

The ladies were pushed away.

"Jose, get us that badass tequila you got behind the bar. We are gonna get F.U. tonight," one of the boys said.

"No problem guys; let me get some clean shot glasses."

"Hurry up, man. I'm losing my buzz."

"It'll be a minute."

I ran back to my truck and pulled four more shot glasses out of the box. I put them down on the ground, looked around, pulled down my pants and pissed in the glasses with vengeance. Pissing never felt so good.

I returned with the shot glasses and filled them up with tequila.

"Here we go gents, the best tequila north of the border; enjoy!"

"Cool, Jose. You're the man. Listen, if you can get us some weed, it would be greatly appreciated and nicely rewarded."

"I'll see what I can do."

"We love you, man."

"Yeah, I love you too."

As the boys strayed off, a lad approached the station and stared at me.

"What can I do for you?" I asked.

"Vodka and tonic. And be generous with the vodka."

"Excuse me?"

"You heard me."

"How old are you?"


"Yeah, right. And I'm eighty," I said.

"Am I supposed to be impressed?" the kid said.

"Show me ID if you want booze."

"Come on, man. I don't carry ID in a party."

"No ID, no booze."

"Man, my dad is a jackass, my mom has left us with the pool guy, my girlfriend just told me that she's pregnant with my kid, and my Beamer is in the shop. If there's one guy in this place that deserves a drink, it's me."

"You need to come up with a better story than that, you little shit."

"Oh, please. Be a dude."

"Get outta here before I kick your little ass."

"I'll give you a fifty."


"A hundred?"

"Beat it."

"Man, you suck."

The kid walked away with his tail between his legs. >>> Part 2

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Napoleon and Persia
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