Our topic for this week: People who drink other people's beverages left on the bar. Some people are sneaky about it, while others just put it right out there in the open.
For instance, there are people who will quickly grab another customer's drink as they pass by the bar or a crowded table. They do it slyly, like a pickpocket grabbing a wallet, walking by in a hurry and stealing the closest cocktail without a care as to its contents. They smile as they pass, and they're usually long gone by the time the unlucky owner of the drink notices the beverage has gone missing.
Then there are the customers who focus on the unfinished and unwanted leftovers sitting around the bar. It usually goes a little something like this: Guy walks up to bar to order a drink. He spots a lonely cup and gravitates to it. He approaches slowly, casually standing next to it. He watches and waits, pretending it's his drink. He scans the room to see who's watching him. Then, when the moment is right, he snatches the cup with the same swiftness dogs stealing food from the table have perfected, and he chugs it.
Every time I see this happen I want to scream, "THERE'S PROBABLY ROOFIES IN THAT!" But that's probably the least of his worries.
There are also customers who openly admit to wanting to finish the mystery cocktails left behind by their neighbors.
"Did he leave these?" one guy asked me recently, after spying two half-drinks and partially taken shots sitting next to him and his buddy.
"Guess so. I'll take them," I told him.
"No, no, no. What are they?" the guy asked.
"Shots of Crown and double Makers with coke."
The two guys looked at each other and at the drinks, then back at each other with a daring look. You could see the wheels turning.
"I mean … do you think they're … OK?" one of them asked.
"Oh, sure. I don't for one second think someone put drugs in those drinks. They probably just backwashed into them."
They shrugged and then, cheers – they were $40 richer.
After watching this kind of thing happen over and over again at the bar, I have to ask: Is this really any different from eating food out of a trash can or finishing a half-full beer someone threw away? I don't think so, but some people think I'm wrong. Maybe it's because they're drunk or maybe they really do believe that "Alcohol kills everything, man."
Maybe if you're drinking 100-proof liquor. But really – do you think Miller Lite has any germ-killing qualities? Do you think that there aren't plenty of germs on the outside of that grubby cup?
I'm sure you remember how sick everyone got after a weekend rager in college. Seems like it took some people weeks to recover from an epic night of flip cup. But it wasn't that your friends couldn't hang or that they drank too much beer – they were actually passing around Johnny's mono and Sara's strep each time they sunk a ball.
So, if roofies aren't your concern as you down this precious, unattended alcohol, perhaps viral infections and mouth sores should be. You're just a few leftover drinks away from catching the whole cocktail.
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