Pro Tips From a Himmarshee Street Bartender

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Ah, Himmarshee. It’s like the Bourbon Street of Fort Lauderdale, except instead of beads, all anyone throws is up. In high school, it’s where you go to drink underage, and during college, it’s the place your inner ratchet wild child finds solace. Postcollege, it’s where I would earn extra cash to fund all the vacations I needed because of my quarter-life crisis.

While there are a few ways a girl can earn some cash on HImmarshee, I did it by moonlighting as a bartender at my favorite watering holes from high school. As a favor to both you and my new friends who work behind the bar, here are some secrets you should know about your bartender when getting turnt this weekend:

1. We are probably more drunk than you are.
No, we aren’t falling asleep on the bar, because we’ve trained our bodies to run on pure adrenaline from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., but we’re likely tanked, so don’t take it personally when we don’t get excited about that fourth fireball shot you offer to buy us. We got to the bar several hours before you did, but with no DJ and nobody good to flirt with on Tinder, so you are the one playing catch-up, my friend, not us. Dealing with the kind of people who ask you for their credit card back 11 times after they paid cash and didn’t tip takes a mix of both patience and liquor, so don’t judge.

Also, if you find yourself really hitting it off with that sexy, out-of-your-league bartender and wonder whether it might be too good to be true, it is. Those long nights of making vodka soda after vodka soda can get boring, and a game of “who can get the most phone numbers in a shift” will get played from time to time. I’ve been known to throw ice cubes into the crowd when bored too, so don’t sucker-punch the poor girl next to you dancing like she’s auditioning for a stage slot at Tootsie’s when you get pelted in the temple. Although she’s flailing her cup around like a woozie Betty Spaghetti, there’s a 60 percent chance it wasn’t her who made it rain on you. It gets hot out on that dance floor — I know — so enjoy the cooldown and don’t be a brat.

2. Ordering water? Try smiling!
We know you didn’t just cross the Sahara to get to our bar, so quit grabbing your neck and mouthing the words “water, please” with the facial expression of a starving orphan. Try making a smiling expression and grabbing a dollar instead of your neck and maybe you’ll get your water faster. Because whether you’d like to think you’re a "good tipper" or not, people who order water never tip, and that’s a proven fact.

3. Speaking of tips...
At the end of the night, when you’ve finally finished downing all those vodka crans that “tasted like they had, like, no alcohol” in them, please, don’t try to get creative with what you write on the tip line. This is a place where numbers go, not mediocre penis doodles (you know who you are!). Don’t write “you suck” either, because your name is at the bottom of the credit card receipt, and if I’m extra grumpy when we finally close at 4 a.m., you better bet I will Facebook-stalk you and remember that face for next weekend.

I understand you may not want to tip me after you finally realized I served you five half-cups of Guinness instead of Red Bull for those Jäger bombs you ordered. But in all fairness, if you drank them anyway because you were too drunk to notice, you should shoulder at least some of the blame and cut me some slack. Now, if I make you a Long Island Iced Tea and forget to add the sour, that's totally my bad, and I don’t expect a dollar. I know it’s not cool to get served four shots with a splash of Coke when that's clearly not what you asked for, but maybe you shouldn’t have tried to order such a dumb drink. This is Friday night at the club, not Sunday brunch. 

4. Let security do their job.
Here's a quick PSA for my ladies out there: If you’re already in the club, you do not need to make out with the security guard. There are two reasons you should not do this. First, you're drawing more attention to yourself after he happened to not notice the first time around that your I.D. was fake. And second, because love yourself!

5. Finally, here are some general phrases to avoid when ordering at the bar:
If you want your bartender to appreciate you, don't say these things:

  • Surprise me! (100 percent of the time, you will be surprised with a Bud Light.)
  • Can I have a beer? (WHAT KIND? Again, you’re getting a Bud Light.)
  • Make it strong.
  • This tastes like it has no alcohol in it.
  • Can you just top me off with a little more rum?
  • Is this Las Olas?
  • Can you give my friend directions to here?
  • Can you charge my phone?
  • Have you seen my phone?
  • Can I have just one [insert complicated shot]?

We Himmarshee Street bartenders may seem like an elusive set — a special breed with the patience of saints and the alcohol tolerance of the entire adult kickball league — but heed our advice next time you're tearing it up downtown and we're sure you'll find things go much more smoothly. Drink responsibly, friends!

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