July 15, 2019
A bartender tells wild stories (murder!), how to get free stuff (drinks and rides home). Also, the found family & new home she’s established with the regulars. Plus, Caleb Gethard makes his podcast debut.
172 — Babysitting (Drunk People)
[00:00:00] [AD BREAK] Sword of Trust stars Mark Maron as a cynical pawn shop owner in possession of a sword that, to a network of deranged conspiracy theorists, proves the South really won the civil war. Maron gives his best performance to date as he and his ragtag cohorts try to take this seedy subculture for all it’s worth Listen, Mark’s a great guy. Any fan of podcasting knows that Mark helped build this entire world of comedy podcasting. Go out support it. Sword of Trust is now in theaters and on demand with Mark and director Lynn Shelton appearing at select screenings. Visit SwordofTrust.com for details.
[00:00:42] CHRIS: Hello to everybody nursing that one last drink at the end of the bar. It’s Beautiful Anonymous. One hour, one phone call, no names, no holds barred.
[00:00:54] THEME MUSIC: I’d rather go one-on-one. I think it’ll be more fun and I’ll get to know you and you’ll get to know me.
[00:01:05] CHRIS: [music transition…] Hi, everybody, it’s Chris Gethard. Welcome to another episode of Beautiful Anonymous. Before we start anything else, I want to offer up a retraction on an opinion I recently put out there on the show. Cloth diapers are great. Cloth diapers are great, and I talked about cloth diapers at one point and in the course of the episode you’re about to hear, I may complain about them again, but I just want to say they’re awesome and my baby has adapted well to them. My wife heard me kind of making some jokes and venting some frustration with cloth diapers and she said, “you know, they are great for the environment and that’s why we’re doing it, and they’ve gotten better and our baby has gotten used to them more and more over time. Why are you going on your podcast 100,000 people listen to and telling them not to use cloth diapers?” And that is wrong of me. They are very simple to use. My baby now sleeps for hours at a time in them and cloth diapers are awesome and the environment is awesome and we have to take care of it. And climate change is very real. And sorry that I slammed cloth diapers. You should go use them. They’re awesome. OK. It’s very interesting that timing worked out where I offered that retraction this week. Let me get into it. This week’s caller is amazing. This week’s caller is a bartender and it starts out with some stories that are sort of the surface level. You know, the sort of, like, when I hear her, hear that and I start getting a little manic and going “Oh, tell me about this aspect of bartending and that aspect. Then as things get further along, it gets more and more real. And we realize that this caller, probably as much as any caller we ever had, is a fighter. This caller had a lot to deal with growing up, continues to have a lot to deal with along the way, and yet just keeps persevering, finding a way, taking care of the people that she loves in her life and rolling with punches and surviving. It’s a brilliant call. I will say I feel awfully guilty about it, and you’ll hear why. My son Caleb, he makes his podcasting debut in this episode. I posted about this on Instagram, and many of the Beautiful Anonymous fans who follow me were going “Oh, this is gonna be so amazing. It’s gonna be so cute. You should have him in every time.” Nope. I want to apologize to the caller because it disrupted the flow of the call. A number of times. Basically, here’s what happened is: my wife, you know, when you got a newborn, you gotta… it’s hard to find the time to do things, and my wife wants to get a haircut. So I said, “Why don’t we bring Caleb to the studio? You’ll feed him. He’ll go down for a nap and and he’ll sleep right through the call.” He went down for the nap. We did another taping before this one. He slept through that one. And then he started waking up throughout this one. And you’ll hear it’s cute at times, but also at times it does stop the flow of the call. I apologize to the caller and the listener, but I want to encourage you. Keep listening, because you may find it cute. You may find it adorable, and also, this caller’s story is well worth enduring some of the pauses. So check it out. This caller was so cool. I’ve been thinking about her a lot. How much she’s had to deal with and how well she’s done taking care of those around her. Enjoy.
[00:04:13] PHONE ROBOT: Thank you for calling Beautiful Anonymous. A beeping noise will indicate when you are on the show with the host. [Beep]
[00:04:21] CHRIS: Hello?
[00:04:22] CALLER: Hello?
[00:04:24] CHRIS: Hi.
[00:04:25] CALLER: Hi! Holy cow.
[00:04:27] CHRIS: How are you?
[00:04:29] CALLER: I’m doing pretty good. I am tired. I bartended night and I should be sleeping. How are you?
[00:04:35] CHRIS: Nice. I’m tired, too. I want to warn you. I want to talk about everything you want to talk about. This is a little bit of a strange circumstance and I’m not trying to use him as a pr-
[00:04:47] CALLER: I live in strange circumstance.
[00:04:49] CHRIS: Good. Good. Then you’ll like this. So, I’m not trying to use my son as a prop in any way, but he is in the control room sleeping right now. And his…
[00:04:57] CALLER: Cool!
[00:04:58] CHRIS: My wife needed to get a haircut and there was no other time we could figure out. So she came and strategically fed him and he’s now napping. But I would say high percentage chance that this call is interrupted with me having to go change a diaper. So we’ll just kind of cross that bridge when we come to it.
[00:05:16] CALLER: That’s great. I’ve got a Red Bull and a dog. So I’m as prepared as you are.
[00:05:19] CHRIS: Nice. OK. OK. So you’re up late bartending?
[00:05:23] CALLER: Yes. Yeah. Very, very late. There’s a festival in town, so things just get weird when stuff like that happens.
[00:05:32] CHRIS: How so?
[00:05:34] CALLER: Well, the premise of bartending is just that things are already gonna get weird. But when a festival like this is in town, you have a lot of people coming in already drunk. So. So that’s fun. It’s just like corralling a bunch of adult babies, you know? Yeah.
[00:05:54] CHRIS: So when people come in from a festival, so they’re traveling from out of town.
[00:06:02] CALLER: Mhmm.
[00:06:03] CHRIS: They’re messed up already. I would also imagine, I feel like when people are traveling, and especially what I’ve seen from festivals ’cause I’ve performed at a bunch of ’em at this point… People kind of let themselves… It’s almost like a Vegas vibe, right? Like what happens during festivals. So people are coming in, and there’s not many consequences to their actions in their mind because they’re living this fantasy festival thing. So I would imagine people get a little they get a little out of control.
[00:06:30] CALLER: Oh, heck yeah. Oh, heck yeah. And so, it makes it a little bit precarious for us because, like, in the state that I live in, if someone comes in and they’re drunk, even if I don’t serve them, just walking into my bar, they’re my responsibility. So, it’s a little weird, cause like adults don’t like to be babysat either, especially when they’re drunk. So it’s this weird like balancing act of trying to not insult people while still cutting them off and letting them maintain their dignity because it’s you know, it’s an embarrassing thing. So it’s just, it’s a balance. But like, I love bartending, so it’s a lot of fun for me. And bartending is a lot like you’re just acting with every person you see sometimes, so it keeps me on my toes for sure.
[00:07:19] CHRIS: So let me know. Give me some. Let’s have some examples of some behavior that you ran into just last night. You say these festival people get weird. What’s some of the stuff you’ve been seeing? Even just last night. Let’s. Tell me. I want to know what it’s like to be a bartender, and I want to start with this shift you just had.
[00:07:38] CALLER: Well, let’s see. I had one woman. She’s a regular and I love her to bits. But her boyfriend had left. And she smoked cigarettes, she’s not supposed to be smoking. He came back unexpectedly, and so this chick from the festival was like, “hey, you probably should have an excuse to smell like cigarette smoke,” and just started making out with her right there at the bar, which was totally fine. But like, there’s a lot of other ways that we could have dealt with the smell that would have been maybe a little bit more believable than making out with a complete stranger. So I’ve got that going on on one side. On the other side, I have a woman begging me to use my cell phone so that she can contact her friend in Russia. Which I’m already like… There’s some serious red flags coming up here. We’re not going to contact people in Russia on my phone. Can I get you anything? So I. Yeah. So I talk to her and I’m like, “you know, I probably shouldn’t be serving you, I’m going to get you a water,” and she gets like full on offended. She asked me if I want to go outside and fight her. And I’m like, no, I don’t think that’s the appropriate way to deal with this either. And then in the back, I’ve got a bunch of guys like trying to take off their shirts and dance on the pool table. So I’m like, this is just, it’s just getting a little crazy for me. I’m going to need to call security. So that was like a 10 minute period.
[00:08:56] CHRIS: So you do have security, though. You got bouncers there? You got people ready to come help you out?
[00:09:01] CALLER: Oh, heck yeah. Yeah. No, it’s a great bar. Of all the places I’ve worked, and I’ve worked in some places, this is the best. I love it. It’s it’s really great.
[00:09:10] CHRIS: So we’ve got people taking their shirts off and dancing on the pool table, which let’s be honest, it’s going to mess up the surface of the pool table. You can’t have that.
[00:09:18] CALLER: Yeah, exactly. It’s like, let’s have some respect here for the people that are coming after you.
[00:09:20] CHRIS: Yeah!
[00:09:21] CALLER: Come on.
[00:09:22] CHRIS: You got, you’ve got someone who’s trying to use your phone to contact Russia, which in… you know, I love all people and-
[00:09:28] CALLER: Just a little sketchy.
[00:09:29] CHRIS: Yeah. Just in modern times, you maybe have to be a little bit careful about your technology linking up with Russia. And then you’ve got a situation where someone’s trying to mask the smell of cigarette smoke from her boyfriend, and the way… I’m shocked, because it seems like making out with someone else would be just as or more dangerous to a relationship than smoking a cigarette.
[00:09:55] CALLER: Than smoking a cigarette? Yeah. Those were my thoughts too. But I guess… I don’t think that outside logic works inside of a bar in these trying times. Yeah. Yeah. So that’s a pretty… When you say it like that, you make it sound a little crazier.
[00:10:12] CHRIS: Now on a scale of a scale of one to ten, one being that’s not crazy at all versus ten: that’s the craziest night I’ve ever had in a bar. Where does a night like that rank?
[00:10:26] CALLER: Oh gosh. It falls probably on like a six. A six or a seven. It’s not too crazy. I mean, it is. It’s more of the, it’s all of the insanity of working in a bar at once. But, it’s not. No, maybe. Maybe like seven or eight, actually, now that I’m like, kind of thinking of the craziness.
[00:10:51] CHRIS: Ok. Ok. So, up there.
[00:10:51] CALLER: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:10:52] CHRIS: A lot to handle. A lot of balls to keep in the air.
[00:10:55] CALLER: Yeah, it’s a lot of balls to keep in the air, especially since I was the only bartender there at that time.
[00:10:59] CHRIS: Now, how would you describe this bar? Is it a dive bar? College bar? Is it a dance club type? How would you describe it?
[00:11:09] It’s a dive bar, and the way that it’s described is an Irish surf pub.
[00:11:17] CHRIS: Irish surf club?
[00:11:18] CALLER: Irish surf pub.
[00:11:20] CHRIS: Pub. Ok.
[00:11:21] CALLER: Yep. So we always have one TV with surfing on. I live on the central coast of California and, a lot of surfing here. So we’ve always got a surfing movie on. Our dance floor is a big shamrock. So it’s a really interesting vibe. We have a bunch of beers on tap over forty. And then we also have, do you know what AMF’s are?
[00:11:46] CHRIS: No. Talk to me about this.
[00:11:48] CALLER: All right. Sorry Sally. An AMF is an Adios Motherfucker. So it’s got vodka, gin, tequila, blue curacao sour. So we have that on tap. We’ve also got Purple Hooters on tap and Margarita and kamikazes.
[00:12:02] CHRIS: Purple… Purple hooters?
[00:12:04] CALLER: Yeah. It’s a sour grape drink that’s real popular with the young kids. So it’s a pretty high volume bar for mixed drinks to the point where we’ve got them on tap.
[00:12:14] CHRIS: So this is. Listen, I’m not a drinker. I haven’t been in, geez, 18 years now. An adult, a human life from birth to adulthood is the last time I had a drink. So I don’t know much of what you’re saying, but this sounds like a bar where people are going there to get rocked. That’s that’s what you’re.
[00:12:33] CALLER: Oh, for sure.
[00:12:34] CHRIS: And I will say, too. I would have to imagine there’s not many Irish surf bars in the world. So there may be a bunch of California residents who now know the exact bar that you work at.
[00:12:43] CALLER: Oh, hell yeah. Yeah, probably.
[00:12:46] CHRIS: Now, is this just a blending of California surf culture and an Irish bar, or is there an Irish surf scene? I don’t know because it is an island, and there are a lot of coasts. Are you… Is this this particular Irish type of surfing that I don’t quite know about? Or is it more like we like surfing, and also Irish bars are the best bar, so let’s mash those things up.
[00:13:08] CALLER: No, no, it’s the second one for sure. I mean, it’s a dive bar and it’s really not that well thought out. The owner is just like, I’m Irish and I like surfing, so let’s watch surfing movies and drink Guinness all day. And I think that’s where the end of the discussion was. But, it’s more that and then it’s also been around for a long time. And so it has a really established culture of surfers that come in and stuff like that.
[00:13:33] CHRIS: Uh huh.
[00:13:34] CALLER: It’s a really great bar. It’s like a home to me in a weird way. Like last night, I just hung out after work. Sometimes you just want to hang out at somewhere that feels comfortable.
[00:13:42] CHRIS: Now, there’s a lot of surfers that come in. Talk to me about this because surfing: very cool culture. But I’ve always heard, and maybe this is just a relic from from the 80s, but surfers can also be a territorial group of people and there can be some fisticuffs if you mess with a surfer.
[00:14:04] CALLER: Not really in my experience.
[00:14:06] CHRIS: OK.
[00:14:07] CALLER: And I’ve been surfing since I was a little girl. Part of my family is Hawaiian, and so it’s a pretty big part of how our family would connect. I have five brothers, so I always surf with them. I think in my experience, what surfers get mostly upset about is respecting the ocean and respecting the areas that you’re going to surf on. It’s just, to leave everything better than you went. But I could be really fortunate and just be dealing with super chill surfers. I mean, I’m you know, I’m dealing with a lot of drunk surfers which are happy. And then I live in a great part of California. So maybe we’re just a little happier than most.
[00:14:47] CHRIS: Yeah. Well, I’ve always heard about that whole like ‘locals only’ vibe where it’s like if we have a surf spot and we don’t know you, you better stay outta here. But maybe that’s a relic of the past.
[00:14:56] CALLER: I think it might be, because I’m new to this area. I’ve been moving around a lot and I just kind of stopped here for the last few years, and in my experience it’s been really easy. Granted, I’m a bartender and before this I managed a head shop. So.
[00:15:13] CHRIS: OK. OK.
[00:15:14] CALLER: Again, I’m dealing a lot with people’s vises, so maybe people are more inclined to like me. But even before then, I’ve always noticed that as long as you come somewhere respectfully and respect the area, respect the people already there, you should be OK. And if not, then you don’t want to surf there anyway.
[00:15:29] CHRIS: Fair. Fair. OK. So bartending. You said last night: somewhere between six, seven and eight. I have to ask. What’s the one where it got cranked up to 11? What’s the night that you can’t believe you saw?
[00:15:47] CALLER: That one… So. So this one. It was totally out of my bar’s control, for one. In the town that I’m in we’re… in a lot of towns in California right now and other places that I’ve lived, we’re experiencing a lot of crime. Especially violent crime. And I was bartending alone on a Sunday. Sundays are always weird without fail. And I have this group-
[00:16:10] CHRIS: Security there?
[00:16:14] CALLER: No, it’s just little old me.
[00:16:17] CHRIS: Oh, so totally alone.
[00:16:18] CALLER: For reference, I’m 5′ 5″. Not very big. So I’m totally alone. I’ve got a group of about 20 guys and then a group of about 15 more walk in the back door. I’m on the other side of the bar. Which, when you’re behind the bar, you’ve got a lot more control of the situation. When you’re not behind the bar, you’re out in the open. So I’m out from behind the bar. I’m wiping down tables, and I I hear kind of something breaking out with the guys that walked in the back door. So I turn, and in the time that it took me to turn, there’s two guys that are like six foot tall that are starting to fight. And then before I know it, I’m hit with a bottle on my arm. And then I see a knife on the table.
[00:17:03] CHRIS: Ooo, no. No.
[00:17:04] CALLER: I grabbed the knife and I ran behind the bar. And in the span of like a minute, my bar is torn apart. They’re breaking poll sticks. People are pulling out knives. It’s a full-on gang fight with a bunch of dudes. So luckily, I had a friend there that was having a drink with me. She’s great. She’s been a great friend to me here. She goes to the front. I go to the back door. And we just basically start screaming that the police are on the way. We get people outside. We lock the doors. We lock like my three customers that weren’t involved in the fight in. And we wait for the police. I called my manager. He got there before the police. He’s a great guy. And then we waited. But the aftermath, there was just blood everywhere. There was glass everywhere. And they broke a bench. They took our doorstop and were hitting each other with it. It was. That was my. It’s up to 11 story.
[00:17:58] CHRIS: And who were these dudes? Who was this crew? Were they like, you know, not trying to…
[00:18:04] CALLER: They were…
[00:18:05] CHRIS: Were they like bikers? Like, not trying to paint all bikers with a bad rap, but the one percenter types. Like who? Who is this gang?
[00:18:12] CALLER: They were… Honestly, I don’t know enough about gang culture to say, but they were just two rival gang members. And I guess that recently a couple of higher up guys have been released and so they were having turf wars. And so the guys that were there all day had been posting online a lot about their whereabouts and the other gang thought that and came in and decided that they were going to mess them up.
[00:18:38] CHRIS: And so
[00:18:39] CALLER: So it totally happened.
[00:18:41] CHRIS: I don’t mean to laugh. So these guys are gang members and you don’t know that they’re on Instagram and they’re puttin’ like hashtag we’re at this bar, we dare you to come mess with us.
[00:18:52] CALLER: Yeah, exactly. Like, how ridiculous does that sound? But yes, it’s like I get that you guys are very violent gang members. But is Instagram really the way that you want to get a hold of your rival?
[00:19:02] CHRIS: And they’re tagging the location.
[00:19:05] CALLER: Exactly.
[00:19:06] CHRIS: You’re back here just trying to sing purple people eaters, whatever you call them.
[00:19:11] CALLER: The purple hooters, yep.
[00:19:12] CHRIS: The purple hooters, my apologies. No disrespect. And now you got blood and knives. Wow, that’s terrifying.
[00:19:21] CALLER: Yeah it was terrifying.
[00:19:23] CHRIS: And do you shut down? You said that was a day shift, right?
[00:19:27] CALLER: Well, so that. So that was a day shift. But my day shifts are usually like 2:00 p.m. to 8 p.m.
[00:19:33] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:19:34] CALLER: So my days aren’t the same as other people’s. But yeah, it was. Yeah. Gosh, that probably happened, I want to say 8:30 p.m. Or no, maybe 7:00. It did happen at 7. I mean, it happened pretty early. And we had to shut the bar down.
[00:19:47] CHRIS: So still dinner time for a lot of people. You shut down. So that night you’re closed.
[00:19:53] CALLER: Oh, yeah, because there was just… we had… there was a lot of blood, so we had to clean up. And that’s totally out of normal, out of the norm for this bar. It’s just, it’s kind of where our little town is at right now. So it wasn’t my bar’s fault, but yeah, that was one of the crazy things.
[00:20:13] CHRIS: So you do see that often? Where the town, the direction the town’s headed, be it culturally, economically… Kind of the way the winds are blowing in the town overall. Being a bartender, you kind of feel out on the front lines, because there’s regular people coming in and letting their guard down, having some drinks, venting. You kind of get a sense of the culture of the place and the direction it’s going.
[00:20:40] CALLER: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Yeah, I feel that especially bartending. But at the same time, I know it sounds crazy after that last story I just told you, but it is a really good town that I’ve lived in. That I’m living in it now. I’ve lived in a lot of places and this one, it’s not too bad. But bartending definitely makes you a little more aware of what’s going on in your town. But oh, well, I still feel safe here and I really like it. I’ve definitely lived in worse places.
[00:21:06] CHRIS: Yeah. And how long have you been a bartender?
[00:21:11] CALLER: About two years. About two years.
[00:21:12] CHRIS: Ah, only two years.
[00:21:13] CALLER: Yeah. I love it.
[00:21:16] CHRIS: And you’ve already had a knife fight. Two years in, and you’ve had your first knife fight.
[00:21:20] CALLER: I actually carry a knife on my belt at all times now, because I am the most unlucky person in the world and I’ve had some incidents. And so people say that I look like a mix of Moana and, what’s that Angelina Jolie movie? I can’t think of it.
[00:21:37] CHRIS: Tomb Raider?
[00:21:38] CALLER: But I’ve always got my- Yeah! Yeah, her! I get that a lot, yeah.
[00:21:42] CHRIS: Moana and Tomb Raider.
[00:21:45] CALLER: Moana and Tomb Raider. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. It’s a funny mix, but I’m gonna take it.
[00:21:49] CHRIS: And you walk around town with a knife. How large is the knife that you always have on you?
[00:21:54] CALLER: It’s a good size, Chris. It’s a good size.
[00:21:58] CHRIS: A good size knife and… And have you… OK.
[00:22:03] CALLER: I have not used it, if that’s what you’re going to ask. Technically, it’s a fruit peeler.
[00:22:06] CHRIS: A fruit peeler. So you carry a fruit peeler.
[00:22:10] CALLER: Yeah, I can’t carry weapons.
[00:22:12] CHRIS: And are you trained in it? Have you gone and trained, taken classes on how to brandish this knife?
[00:22:18] CALLER: No siree Bob, but I’ve still got it.
[00:22:21] CHRIS: No. I have to say, this is a topic that I think is more serious than a “No siree Bob” would indicate. When we’re talking about your need to carry a knife at all times and that we may need a little more seriousness than “No siree Bob.” Now I’m going to tell you something.
[00:22:40] CALLER: Usually my anxiety would tell me that sooner, but not in this case.
[00:22:43] CHRIS: Wow. Well, listen, we’re going to pause real quick because my baby is starting to fuss. So I’m going to bring him into this room with me, I’m going to figure it out. I do apologize. We’re going to pause the clock while we deal with this and we’re gonna see what happens because this our f-.
[00:22:59] CALLER: That’s OK, I’ll put my knife while you get your baby.
[00:23:01] CHRIS: Yes, please put your knives down. I think this is gonna be the perfect place for our first commercial break. I’m going to go deal with the baby. There is a large percentage chance that I’m about to change him and he’s gonna be awake and I’m going to have to be sitting here cradling a baby for the rest of our call. Pardon me. One moment. We’re gonna pause the clock. [music transition…]
[00:23:18] CALLER: [music transition… ] Perfect. [music transition…]
[00:26:30] CHRIS: [music transition…] This is going to be perhaps my greatest challenge as the host of this show, ever. The kid is still sleeping, but he’s fussing. Oh, no. Okay. We’re gonna change this boy. I am so sorry.
[00:26:43] CALLER: Don’t worry about it.
[00:26:45] CHRIS: OK, so as I change my beautiful son, tell me more about knife fights.
[00:26:54] CALLER: Well, that’s really all I have for knife fight.
[00:26:58] CHRIS: Uh huh. Uh huh. Ok. That’s good.
[00:27:03] CALLER: Yep. Yeah. I sort of raised a kid, so I understand the struggle.
[00:27:06] CHRIS: Really? In what world did you almost raise a kid?
[00:27:10] CALLER: Well, I did raise a kid, but not my own kid. I raised my brother.
[00:27:16] CHRIS: You did? How much older are you than your brother?
[00:27:18] CALLER: Four years older.
[00:27:21] CHRIS: 4 years older and you raised him. That sounds like a lot of responsibility.
[00:27:27] CALLER: Yeah. Yeah. That’s why it’s a sort of. It definitely came later. But there. Yeah. There was a lot, so yeah. He’s a good kid.
[00:27:35] CHRIS: Yeah. I have another question about bartending if that’s okay.
[00:27:39] CALLER: I would love that.
[00:27:41] CHRIS: OK. What is the most… like, we talked about the violence. That’s a very sensational story. But that doesn’t happen every day. Day to day level. What’s the thing you got to look out for the most? Is it… like what’s the big concern? Because a bartender… Here’s the thing that I’m really fascinated by is a bartender is the person who’s giving you your drinks, but you’re also kind of a community hub and like you said, you’re responsible for everyone. So where’s that responsibility show up most? Is it watching out for people who aren’t going to drive home drunk? Is it making sure there aren’t guys slipping roofies into people’s drinks? Like what is the frontline thing where you’re like, this is my number one responsibility as sort of this community frontline member?
[00:28:30] CALLER: I would say it’s a mix between making sure that people don’t drive home when they’re intoxicated. That’s obviously something that we’re always on the lookout for. We have a policy at my bar where if you leave your car behind, will pay for your cab there and then we’ll pay for your cab back to the bar in the morning to come get your car.
[00:28:49] CHRIS: Oh, you’ll do both.
[00:28:50] So it’s a hard policy to argue with. Yeah exactly, we do both because we’re just, you know, it’s a dangerous thing. The second one would be absolutely looking out for any sign of sex trafficking or predatory behavior. We have the angel shot program, which is if a woman orders a certain kind of shot then I automatically know.
[00:29:13] CHRIS: That’s the code word.
[00:29:15] CALLER: Exactly. I automatically know that she’s in danger. So that’s always something I’m looking out for, and especially-
[00:29:20] CHRIS: And is that- Oh, sorry to interrupt. Especially what?
[00:29:23] CALLER: No, no. Go ahead. Well especially since-
[00:29:25] CHRIS: Thank you. I was just gonna say… You go. You go.
[00:29:29] CALLER: Just since I’ve seen it happen before and it’s happened to me before. And so it’s just something that we try to be very, very vigilant about. And then in our town our bar is known for not putting up with that. So we honestly don’t get a lot of that in there.
[00:29:42] CHRIS: And do you post that info in the women’s room? Isn’t that kind of the traditional methodology to spread word on how women can access this info if they need it?
[00:29:52] CALLER: Yep, it’s the women’s room. So it’s something that just the women in the bar know. And so they know that that’s there to fall back on. And then we, I mean our bouncers, everyone knows our bouncers pretty well. They know us pretty well. So if there’s ever an issue, someone can just, you know, come back and grab one of us and we’ll handle whatever they need help with. So it’s a pretty open policy.
[00:30:16] CHRIS: Now, when someone… OK. I don’t want to dwell on the dark side of stuff, but it’s just so interesting. When someone comes up and orders that shot, I would imagine sometimes and probably with these guys. So do you have to kind of become an actor and keep a keep a game face on? Because I would imagine on the inside immediately there’s some… I mean, there must be a sense of like… turmoil and panic and all these emotions where you’re like… this could mean anything. This could mean this girl is getting hit on in an uncomfortable way. This could mean this person’s scared they’re gonna get physically or otherwise assaulted like you have. What’s the steps there? You got to keep that poker face on and just get to work somehow?
[00:31:01] CALLER: Yes. I’ve only had it happen once, but there’s a few different kinds. So if someone orders the one kind- level one, two and three. The first kind is just someone there with a date or a person they just met and it’s going bad. And they want that person to be politely asked to leave and come back another time. So that’s one option. Either the girl can be walked to her car or the guy can be walked to his car. It’s really up to her. We try to leave it up to the women. The second one is she’s in a violent situation and she needs immediate help and the police to be called. And those are basically the two that we work with. I’ve only gotten the first one, where someone’s uncomfortable by like a tinder date or something and we just told him, hey man you gotta go. Come back tomorrow, we’ll buy you a drink or something.
[00:31:48] CHRIS: [baby fussing…] Wow. I’m so sorry that you’re hearing the cries of my child as you explain this tense situation. We got a little…
[00:31:52] CALLER: No. No, don’t worry about it.
[00:31:55] CHRIS: Hey, Harry, can I ask you for a very awkward favor, though? A breast milk in the fridge out in the lobby. anyway. You’ll see it’s in one of those thermal bags up near the almonds milk. If you wouldn’t mind. So that must be something that you thank God for, that you’ve only had to deal with the first one. Because I would imagine that you dread that second one where it’s like… I would have to imagine for bartending, because you don’t think of this when you’re in a bar, you walk in as a patron, you’re festive, you’re having fun. And as a bartender, you’re praying that that’s how every night goes, that you’re the facilitator of that fun. But you might one day run into a situation where someone sends you a secret code that’s like, hey if this guy manages to get me to leave, I might get beaten up. And then there’s a ticking clock where you’re strategizing. How do I make sure that doesn’t happen?
[00:32:41] CALLER: Yeah, absolutely.
[00:32:43] CHRIS: That’s got to be pretty scary. That’s a scary level of responsibility.
[00:32:45] CALLER: Oh, I mean, yeah, yeah, it is. But again, I’ve been kind of on both sides of the bar and so it’s something that… It just feels like… I don’t know. It… It’s not as scary, it’s just once that happens and you see that there’s a woman or any person in danger. It’s just: play it cool, keep calm and help her however you can. Less fear and just more of, I don’t know, feeling that connection of I know how you’re feeling, but we’re going to get through this. You know, yeah. It’s a lot for bartending.
[00:33:27] CHRIS: And now you said something very interesting to me. You said that the number one concern is drunk driving. I was not expecting you to say number two is actually sex trafficking, which means to me, like people being forced into prostitution situations or pimps working out of your bar. Is that like an under… do people of that world post up in bars very often?
[00:33:51] CALLER: They do, but I’ve never seen it in our bar. So it doesn’t happen in our bar, but when you first walk into our bar and then in the women’s room, we have a hotline for sex trafficking because it is a common thing for bars to be a sex trafficking hub even though we personally don’t experience it. And we’re pretty vigilant about if someone’s new trying to, if the guy’s in the bathroom just trying to strike up a conversation that if it’s a woman that we’ve never seen before. But we’ve never had that issue. But since it is so common in bars, it’s something that we’re told to always be vigilant about and look out for because we never want that to fall through the cracks.
[00:34:29] CALLER: Yeah, that is intense. I had no idea. It would never occurred to me that people… and I mean, I guess it does make sense as I think about it now, because, you know, it’s not uncommon. I know that it’s not uncommon for like drug dealers to post up in bars. So I guess if it’s like sort of once once a bar becomes a place that the black market knows that it might lend itself to their people, turning a blind eye, that they might try to post up there. I never thought of that.
[00:34:57] CALLER: Yes. And that’s why we have a very strict no policy about drugs in our bar. We don’t allow any sort of drugs, any sketchy things going on the bathroom because like you said, once you kind of open yourself up to that underside, then people flock there. So we just try to be very vigilant and that really prevents all that from happening. But yeah, after drunk driving, it’s mostly just looking out for women and trying to make sure that women are having a safe and fun time and that they know that they’re supported while they’re at our bar.
[00:35:27] CALLER: And now with the drunk driver, you’ve got this. Here’s something that I imagine is the nightmare. You’ve got a policy that is a very incredible one. We’ll get you a lift home. We’ll get you a lift back. You know, there is no world in which you can justify drunk driving and I bet you still get people that are like “nah, f you, I’m gettin’ outta here.” I would imagine you still have people who are trying to get in the car and it must be infuriating.
[00:35:50] CHRIS: It is so frustrating because like you said, we have this insane policy. Usually if you take your car back the next day for opening we’ll buy you a drink, just to be like, good job. Here’s a drink if you want one. Bring it back the next time you’re here. Here’s your drink ticket. We’ll see you next time, you know.
[00:36:06] CHRIS: So now people listening, if people know what this bar is, they’re actually incentivized to go get a free ride back.
[00:36:15] CALLER: That’s what I’m saying!
[00:36:16] CHRIS: They now know that they will get a free drink if you show up. They don’t even. They just have to claim to be too drunk to drive. They can actually get a free drink.
[00:36:23] CALLER: Oh, heck, yeah. Yeah. Anyone, like it’s a no questions asked policy. It could be abused, but it’s not. But, it just it works. But there. Believe it or not, it’s not used as often as we’d like. People are still very stubborn. They take people take being cut off and being told, “hey, man, you want to call a cab?” very, very personally. You know, especially like the macho type dudes. They’re like, I’m not drunk. You don’t know me. So whatever. But it’s a very happy policy and it’s not used enough. But if someone, if we recognize that someone is drunk and they’re refusing that, then we immediately just call the police. Because there’s a lot of responsibility on the bar if they drive out of our bar and we don’t report it.
[00:37:15] CHRIS: Yeah. I bet. OK. We’ve got the dark side. And I’m sure we’ll have more of that. I want something that could be instructional for our listeners. A gift I’m gonna give to our listeners. I don’t even drink, and I’m about to help every listener out. There is a culture in bars that if you are a good customer, that a bartender might give you what’s called a buyback, which is that you get a free drink. Part of your, you know what I mean. What can people do to make sure they’re getting these buybacks and increase their chances of getting them?
[00:37:46] CALLER: Come in regularly.
[00:37:47] CHRIS: So that’s for the regulars, first and foremost.
[00:37:50] CALLER: It’s for the regulars, first and foremost. It’s that and then usually like last night when I had that situation with a girl that wanted to call Russia, she was being kind of a tool. And I had a gentleman step up and help me get her outside to her friend. And if someone sees something happening and helps de-escalate the situation, I’ll usually buy them a beer. You know, just to say thank you for having my back or helping out. Stuff like that. But first and foremost, be a regular. I really love my regulars. They’re the only family I have. So be a regular.
[00:38:26] CHRIS: Now, that’s interesting. You said they’re the only family you have. But you’ve also said you come from a large family.
[00:38:32] CALLER: Yeah. Yeah. Well, yeah. I have three big brothers. I had three big brothers. My oldest brother passed. My second oldest brother…
[00:38:44] CHRIS: Aw, I’m sorry.
[00:38:45] CALLER: Thank you so much. It was a difficult thing. My second oldest brother, he’s not in contact and my third oldest we’re in contact, but we grew up apart. My brother that I raised, we’re very close, but he’s in the Marines right now so I haven’t seen him in a bit. My youngest brother, he was born right before my mom passed away. So there’s a lot of family politics there. So I have… Then, my dad I’m not in contact with. So I have my brother and I have my husband. But it’s, you know.
[00:39:21] CHRIS: So you’ve had a little bit of a rough go of it.
[00:39:25] CALLER: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s been it’s been hard. Yeah. I lost my mom when I was 14. She was killed when I was 14. So me and my brother are really close, it was just us for a while.
[00:39:36] CHRIS: Oh no. That’s… I’m really… I’m so sorry. And you said she was killed, like I don’t want to dwell on anything you’re not comfortable with, but she was murdered?
[00:39:46] CALLER: She was murdered. I’m totally comfortable talking with it. It happened about 10 years ago. She was murdered by my stepfather, actually.
[00:39:54] CHRIS: Oh, my God.
[00:39:56] CALLER: Yeah. Yeah, he was… He wasn’t a great person.
[00:39:59] CHRIS: I think that everyone listening will agree that that is the understatement of the century.
[00:40:06] CALLER: Yes. Yes, I agree. He was an awful person, we’ll say. Yeah, it was just, it was a lot. But he was just an abusive person and I’m trying my best to break those cycles in my family.
[00:40:21] CHRIS: Yeah, that’s… As far as having family relationships fray, I would imagine that something really traumatic and brutal like that would accelerate that. I’m so sorry.
[00:40:36] CALLER: Thank you so much. Yeah, it was it was just, he had abused her for a long time. He had abused us for a long time. And it was… When I found out that she had passed away, I knew before I was told but it was still shocking because I expected for it to be an overdose. But so it was just, it was a lot. So on the one hand, I always miss my mom and on the other hand, I’m really thankful for the relationship that I have with my brother because of the circumstances that we were raised under. So I try to just look at it that way.
[00:41:18] CHRIS: Yeah, that’s… I did not… When we were telling our funny stories about bartending, I did not anticipate for it to take this turn.
[00:41:29] CALLER: I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.
[00:41:31] CHRIS: No! No, no aplogies. No, no. 0 apology, 0 apologies. I mean, as long as you’re comfortable talking. I’m very comfortable listening. I feel like that’s my main job is to listen. But. Wow. Wow.
[00:41:45] CALLER: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It’s… a lifetime.
[00:41:47] CHRIS: And how old are you?
[00:41:48] CALLER: I just turned 25 in May. So my mom passed away when I was 14. So she passed away in December right before Christmas. So it’s been a while. My brother is, like I said, four years younger than me. So he was nine or had just turned ten when it happened. So, you know. And then my youngest brother was six months old when she passed.
[00:42:13] CHRIS: Oh, my God. That’s horrible. That’s horrible.
[00:42:17] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:42:18] CHRIS: That is really, really bad. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.
[00:42:23] CALLER: Thank you so much. Thank you. Yeah, it’s. It just. Yeah. Losing someone like that is difficult. But she was… she was a great person, and I feel her echoes all around me.
[00:42:39] CHRIS: And that means you’re, what, a freshman, maybe sophomore in high school? Do you?
[00:42:45] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:42:46] CHRIS: Do you get to keep going to the same school or you put into foster care of some sort? Do you have to move in with family? Do you wind up going to college? Like how? I mean, obviously, this throws your whole life upside down. But in terms of like, comparing your path to the traditional path that a 14 year old might have walked from that point, how did it affect things?
[00:43:04] CALLER: Well, so my mom passed and I had already been out of school and working a lot. My mom, she was an opiate addict, so there was a lot going on. So I had already cut back on going to school to work and try to provide to my brother. And then once she passed my dad, he became more involved in our lives and then we had a house fire and I lost all my belongings and my dad took that as a cue to leave. So my dad, he took when when you’re a minor and your parent passes away, you get Social Security checks. So my dad took those Social Security checks and went off with them and left me and my brother. So then I dropped out of a school and started cleaning houses and working nights and days and trying to put them through school and keep a roof over our head. And then that’s that’s pretty much what happened. When I was 18, my dad came back into our lives. So I was able to get my GED. But at the time, I was in a bad relationship. So things stayed chaotic for a little while after that.
[00:44:22] CHRIS: [baby fussing…] I feel like my baby is feeling very heartbroken at the story he’s hearing. I feel like he’s like, man, this is a lot Dad.
[00:44:32] CALLER: [laughing] Sorry!
[00:44:33] CHRIS: No, no, no. You do not have to apologize. I mean, this is, you’re telling the tale of an epic childhood. Did you? You’re surrounded by drugs, abuse, eventual murder and abandonment. I mean, that could not that cannot be a worse combo of things. And yet we’re talking right now and I have to say, you sound… I mean, you’re talking about your job, you’ve got a good sense of humor, you’re sitting here telling me that you’re comfortable talking about all of it. Would you say that you’ve landed as like a stable, well-adjusted person, because you sound like one, or are you are you really good at it kind of rolling with the punches and and putting that out there?
[00:45:20] CALLER: You know, I’m going to be completely honest when… So up until my brother enrolled in the Marine Corps, my life had been very much surrounded by caring for him. And so I… it was just that. It was that. And it was survival. Trying to find out how I was going to feed him, how I was going to clothe him. You know, it was just like him, him, him, him, him. And it was super normal for me because it’s all I had known. I feel like now that my life has slowed down and I’m in a stable place, I’m not wondering where my next meal is going to come from, I’m financially stable for the most part, but now I’m being forced to deal with the trauma that happened to me. And so it’s a work in progress, I think. And so for the first time in my life, I feel for sure depressed and my anxiety is getting pretty bad. And it’s just kind of I’m in a place where I have no idea what to do next, you know? So. Yeah.
[00:46:33] CHRIS: Well. That’s brutal. And. I will just say, on my end it sounds like, and I bet I’m not the only one thinking this… If there’s anybody, if there’s anybody who deserves happiness, it’s you after all that. And I’m really rooting for you and I hope that you manage to find that help. Are there like, when you wound up on Social Security as a kid due to these circumstances, are there resources that you can still tap into? Like is anything along those lines provided?
[00:47:10] CALLER: No. No. Unfortunately, my dad is very crafty and tapped those resources very, very well. He did everything from use those Social Security benefits and the money that my mom put away – my mom put apparently a large amount of money away for us. He used all that as well as took out credit cards in me and my brother’s name when we were minors. So he ensured that there would be nothing left. So now there is nothing like that to help.
[00:47:50] CHRIS: Wow. So he.
[00:47:53] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:47:54] CHRIS: He wrecked your credit. He. This is. This is…
[00:47:55] CALLER: Yeah. I know it sounds pretty. It is pretty… yeah. I know it is pretty. Yeah.
[00:47:59] CHRIS: Yeah. I mean, it’s epic. I’m not going to lie. I’m not going to lie. It’s epic. That’s… I mean, I will say though, hearing about how you stepped up for your brother, it’s really beautiful. That’s no joke.
[00:50:24] CHRIS: [music transistion…] Hearing about how you stepped up for your brother, it’s really beautiful. That’s no joke. That’s no joke.
[00:50:29] CALLER: Thanks. Thanks man. We have a great relationship. He’s my best friend. He, yeah he’s the best. He’s awesome. So that’s like that’s the silver lining that I have, is that he’s my best friend. You know, when he was a crazy teenager and I was also a teenager, it got a little tough raising him, but…
[00:50:55] CHRIS: Yeah, I can imagine, cause… Yeah.
[00:50:59] CALLER: Yeah, you know, a teenager raising a teenager, it was like the blind leading the blind leading the blind. And then I also had a boyfriend at the time that was abusive, so it was all these things going on. But now, looking back on it, we’re so much closer. And I just, he’s my best buddy, you know. So, of course, I wouldn’t want all those things to happen, but the one thing that I can take from it is that I have such a strong bond with him and he’ll always be my baby.
[00:51:27] CHRIS: [baby fussing…] And did you feel like when he entered the Marines that you were able to rest easy because he had some sense of structure and you knew he was in a place where he’d be cared for and OK? Was that the weight off the shoulders or was it just that he grew up and was clearly able to handle things on his own now?
[00:51:44] CALLER: Oh, gosh. You know, those three months of him being in boot camp were, believe it or not, one of the roughest three months of my life. It was…
[00:51:55] CHRIS: [baby fussing…] I’m so sorry to distract you with the cries of a child.
[00:52:00] CALLER: No! No, not at all.
[00:52:02] CHRIS: This is a particularly tough call to have this happening, I have to say. If this had just stayed funny bartender stories, man, we could keep doing bits about the kid. But in light of everything you’re talking about, there’s no way I can make any references except to say I am very, very sorry that baby Cal is here right now and disruptive.
[00:52:22] CALLER: No, no, no. Don’t be. At least he doesn’t have a poopy diaper anymore. That’s all we can ask for in life.
[00:52:26] CHRIS: Yeah. That is true. And he’s looking at his caterpillar toy, which usually chills him out greatly. Now you’re telling me-
[00:52:32] CALLER: Oh good, my caterpillar toy does not chill me out. Cause I don’t have one.
[00:52:37] CHRIS: Now you’re telling me boot camp, very hard. You’re worried about your little brother. I would have to imagine this is an incredibly intense bond that you have with your brother.
[00:52:45] CALLER: Yeah. It was the first time that we were apart for longer than a week. So it was three months of only letters and it was awful. But, I’m proud of him and he has his own life, and I would have never been able to provide the benefits that the military can provide him. So it balances out in that way. And I’m proud to see what he’s doing now, but I would never relive that experience of him going through boot camp.
[00:53:15] CHRIS: Now, let’s talk about do bartenders get benefits? Like, are there any bars that’ll give you health insurance?
[00:53:21] CALLER: No. So… well, I mean, there are some. My bar personally doesn’t, but we get a lot of other benefits. And then I’m married, so my husband has benefits through his job, so that balances out for us.
[00:53:36] CHRIS: Oh good. That’s great. So you do… if you, just thinking about how you said your anxiety and depression is catching up finally, you do have some resources if you want to look into your husband’s insurance.
[00:53:51] CALLER: Yes. Yeah. Yeah. We have insurance. I recently started seeing a therapist, but it’s…
[00:53:57] CHRIS: Oh good. Good, good. How is it going?
[00:53:59] CALLER: It was going really well until she decided to leave and start her own business.
[00:54:03] CHRIS: Come on! What do I got to do to have you catch a break?
[00:54:07] CALLER: [laughing] I know! I can’t catch a break!
[00:54:08] CHRIS: I want you to tell a story that ends with you being like, “yeah, then the good luck ball bounced my way.” I want you to win the goddamn lottery.
[00:54:16] CALLER: I haven’t had it happen yet. I have a really great dog. She’s awesome.
[00:54:21] CHRIS: Well… that’s good. That’s good. That’s, I guess. How do you meet your husband?
[00:54:28] CALLER: Yeah, yeah. I dunno.
[00:54:29] CHRIS: How do you meet your husband? And hopefully… I would have to… I’m really hoping your husband is a guy who breaks the cycle of some of the stuff you’ve seen in your past.
[00:54:38] CALLER: He is wonderful. So I met my husband when… Like I said, when I was younger, I was with a man who was very physically abusive. And so when that relationship ended, it ended with me afraid that he was going to kill me. So there was that cycle of abuse. And I got out of there and I realized I cannot… I can’t, I can’t do this again. So I give myself time and eventually my best friend and my brother said look: It’s getting a little sad staying in your room a lot. You’re only working. You’re not going out. Maybe you should think about dating. So what I did was I went on OK Cupid and I found kind of the first guy that would would pick me up. That seemed OK. And then he came to my house and they said, oh, what a nice man this is. And I said, yeah, I met him online, I’ll be back in a couple of hours. And I thought that would be the end of it. I’d go on a crappy date. They’d leave me alone. The date went awful. We went to Chipotle. He spilled burrito all over his shirt. I said: never seeing this guy again. And I tried my hardest. I tried my hardest to ghost him, but he would not take the hint. So I invited him back to my house. And that went well. The second time he came over my best friend was like, you went on a date? Really? I feel like you’re still lying to me. So I said, Hey, man, I’m actually not ghosting you, come over really quick, my best friend wants to meet you. He came over. He was wonderful. And that was that. But it was not supposed to end in marriage. He was living in another state. We both agreed it would just be something like a fling. And it just kept evolving.
[00:56:14] CHRIS: The Chipotle guy is the guy you married. I thought that was the precursor to you meeting the guy you eventually married.
[00:56:21] CALLER: You know, you’d think. But I, I like my standards low and my Chipotle with extra avocado.
[00:56:29] CHRIS: You do? You ordered the guac. You saw if you could get him to pony up for the guac as the first test of this guy’s integrity.
[00:56:35] CALLER: Yeah. I’m like, am I going to see you again? Let’s get extra guac.
[00:56:38] CHRIS: You did, you went extra guac and then he spills his burrito all over his shirt like a jerk. And now you’re married to him.
[00:56:44] CALLER: Oh, it was so bad. And now I’m married to him and I have to watch him spill food all over himself all the time.
[00:56:51] CHRIS: Is he a good dude? Does he treat you right?
[00:56:53] CALLER: He is the most gentle, loving human being I have ever known. When we met, I was 19 and still in that period where I was like… Maybe I was 20. I don’t remember how old I was. But I was still going, I don’t know how I’m going to take care of my brother. And he stepped in and had taken in my brother as his own as well.
[00:57:11] CHRIS: Really? He stepped up and helped out with your brother, too.
[0057:17] CALLER: Oh yeah. Oh yeah.
[00:57:18] CHRIS: And you’re when your brother saw you. So your brother has to see you fall into an abusive relationship. He must be going, what are you doing? We’ve seen this before. Come on. It must be scaring the shit out of him.
[00:57:28] CALLER: Oh yeah, absolutely. Yeah, yeah. He was terrified.
[00:57:33] CHRIS: So this guy sounds really… That’s amazing. I really like your husband. I hope your husband hears this someday and knows that to hear that he’s a good dude and to hear that he stepped in and helped you out. I really like him. That sounds like a good dude.
[00:57:44] CALLER: Oh, yeah. Yeah, he’s great. He is. He’s gentle and caring and he’s awesome. Yeah. When we were first dating, my brother was freaked out. And so we would just take my brother on dates with us. It was like a family affair, like. All right. We’re going to sniff this guy out and see. And it helped in the end. We’re here now. And him and my brother get along great.
[00:58:08] CHRIS: [baby fussing…] That’s really great. That’s really great. I’m happy to hear that. I’m happy to hear that.
[00:58:15] CALLER: Oh, how’s the baby doing?
[00:58:17] CHRIS: The baby has milk all over his neck. The baby… I’ve been playing with him. I’ve been showing him his caterpillar toy. He was laughing for a while. Now he’s here, he’s crying. Starting to scream a little bit. I can’t get the milk totally warmed up. I was, for some of this call, holding a bottle of milk under my shirt to try to use my body heat. And I feel I have to say I feel relentlessly guilty because you are an amazing caller with an amazing story. And I got this little guy over here screamin’ and I’m trying to do my best to be both a responsible podcast host and a responsible dad. Now, you’ve got these ghosts of your past. You got all these things. How are you feeling about it? Honestly, you feel like you’re headed in the right direction? You feel like with your husband and your job that you’ve finally got some stability? Or is it… Are you still… Looking for that foundation? Or do you feel like you finally have it?
[00:59:14] CALLER: [baby fussing…] You know, I felt like I had it until about six months ago and… ain’t got it no more.
[00:59:25] CHRIS: [baby fussing…] You got it no more. Give me just one moment, because that’s one of the most fascinating answers. That’s one of the most fascinating answers you could have possibly given. I’m gonna see if a pacifier doesn’t help us get to the bottom.
[00:59:35] CALLER: Yeah go ahead. We should get that baby milk drunk.
[00:59:37] CHRIS: I’m trying. I’m trying so…
[00:59:41] CALLER: I’ll get him a cab home. [laughing] That was so lame.
[00:59:42] CHRIS: [laughing] No. You kinda nailed that, you kinda nailed that. Hold on one second. Hold on one second. We’re going to pause the clock. [talking to baby:] You’re okay, buddy. I’m right here.
[00:59:54] CALLER: I’m in no rush.
[00:59:57] CHRIS: [to baby…] You come to work with me… [baby fussing…] Oh no! Oh no, buddy I’m talking to this nice lady who has such a good life story and it kinda… you won’t let me talk… You don’t wanna let me talk. You don’t want to have a little milk? No? Is your diaper wet again?
[sound effect transition…]
[01:00:22] CHRIS: Well, I just want to say, just in case it isn’t clear to anybody listening that there’s been edits. My baby was being adorable. First he was sleeping and then he got adorable, and then he started melting down. But now we’ve got the situation under control. I want to apologize to the listeners for the choppiness. I want to apologize to the caller who’s been telling us some truly vulnerable and emotionally open stuff and… We got sidetracked a little bit, so I do apologize.
[01:00:42] CALLER: No need to apologize at all.
[01:00:44] CHRIS: Now, you were telling me. I had been asking you if you felt like you had found a foundation after a very chaotic life, and you had just said to me something very intriguing, which was you said, you know, I felt like I had it and then the last six months, I feel like I don’t. So that’s very concerning. And I remember exactly that that’s where we left off. So I’d love to hear what that means.
[01:01:06] CALLER: Well, so I I started therapy, got all the things out, and then my therapist left. And so now I see them-
[01:01:11] CHRIS: That’s bullshit! That’s bullshit, man.
[01:01:16] CALLER: Yes. Yeah… Because I’ve never wanted to go to therapy. And then I decided to try it and it was going well. And then she gave me like a month’s notice and then she left. So kind of like unpacked every little trauma in my life.
[01:01:31] CHRIS: So you churned it… You churned it all to the surface and then the therapist was like, peace. Ghosted you like you once wanted to ghost your husband.
[01:01:39] CALLER: Yes. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. She was like, we’re gonna get all this out and we’re gonna teach you great coping mechanisms, and it’s going to take a while. By the way, this is my last month here. Good luck. And passed me off to a new person. And it just didn’t work out. And so all that generational trauma is now freshly at the surface. And I’m trying to find a way to work through it and build a new foundation. And it’s just… Yeah, it’s it’s challenging. And I think it’ll work out in the long run. I’m just… Never had it all at the surface before, but I think I’ll get there.
[01:02:21] CHRIS: Are you in touch with this other person that that therapist promised on her way out the door?
[01:02:26] CALLER: I saw her once and it was just… I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do it. It was… We were just going to pick up where the other therapist left off, I think. And that was just something that I wasn’t comfortable with. Yeah, I don’t know this person, I had never met her before. You know, it was just it wasn’t something I wanted to deal with. And then I had also seen a psychiatrist and the psychiatrist… Also, their office, I guess, was very busy. And I had canceled an appointment because I have endometriosis and sickle cell and I had some health issues and I hadn’t been able to reschedule. And so I also had to do a crash course in getting off of my-
[01:03:04] CHRIS: Wait a second. You also have sickle cell and endomet- Come on.
[01:03:08] CALLER: I know dude, I can’t catch a break. I know. So deal with that, and then I can’t get a hold of my psychiatrist, so I had to very quickly push myself off depression medication. And it’s all just kind of blown apart in my face.
[01:03:23] CHRIS: Now, I just listened to a podcast about sickle cell. The rapper from Mob Deep, Prodigy, had sickle cell. And it was a really well done podcast that kind of looked at it through the lens of his friends and what they saw. I had no idea.
[01:03:35] CALLER: Wow.
[01:03:36] CHRIS: It’s like, yeah, it’s a really intriguing listen. But I also had no idea that it is… you basically get these severe attacks where you feel like your cells are on fire. That’s that’s what this podcast told me about sickle cell.
[01:03:50] CALLER: Oh, yeah. Yeah. It feels like your bones are cracking. It’s very, very painful. And the issue that I have is that I’m not African-American and so a lot of doctors will refuse to treat me because they they don’t think that people that aren’t African-American can get it. I have a lot of Island. I’m Sicilian and Hawaiian and Japanese. And so that’s where I get sickle cell from. So, but it’s really, really hard to get treated for that. And then it’s even harder because sickle cell… there’s not much known about it. And honestly, the health care system is pretty, pretty racist. And so with a disease like sickle cell or even endometriosis, which largely, which only affects women, there is a huge barrier of care. So it’s really hard to get treatment for those diseases. And there’s really no cure. So that’s something that, of course, I’ve been struggling with my whole life. But yeah, it’s a little tricky.
[01:04:48] CHRIS: Now, I will tell you, I was kind of marveling before that you described that knife fight and you sounded pretty chill about it, and I was trying to figure out how is this person so chill about witnessing a bloody knife fight? And now I’m realizing this is not in the top 50 concerns of your life that you witnessed a brutal knife fight. This is not even. This doesn’t even crack the top 50.
[01:05:16] CALLER: Oh no. That was a Sunday afternoon dear Chris.
[01:05:18] CHRIS: You’ve also got. Two brutal conditions. You’ve had a family life wrecked, wracked with addiction and abuse. You’ve had a past relationship with your own abuse and you’ve had one of your closest family members murdered by another family member. How? How are you? Is it day by day? Do you wake up every day and say, fuck it, let’s get out of bed and go make it happen? How do you do it?
[01:05:44] CALLER: That’s pretty much it. I say, fuck it, I’m going to get out of bed. We’re gonna do this. I try not to drink too much. I’ve been drinking a little bit more lately. I garden. I garden a lot. I volunteer with dogs. We just recently lost our boxer, but he was in a wheelchair. He had degenerative myopathy and helping dogs in something that really, really helps me. Especially, I help a lot of special needs dogs in wheelchairs. So that’s kind of my secret. Just staying out in my garden, staying busy. And then on days when I can’t get out of bed, now I give myself that that option whereas before I never did. It’s the first time in my life where I’m… There’s a quote by Samantha from Sex and the City, and it’s “I love you, but I love me more.” And that’s what I’m trying to, like, live my life by now.
[01:06:35] CHRIS: [chuckling…] I don’t mean to laugh, but…
[01:06:38] CALLER: Oh, no, no.
[01:06:40] CHRIS: We were in such a… we were in such a profound moment, genuinely. We still are. And then we…
[01:06:46] CALLER: And then I turned to Samantha.
[01:06:48] CHRIS: Well, yeah. I mean, not even not even Carrie or Charlotte. Samantha?
[01:06:52] CALLER: No. Samantha. Every time, Chris. Every time. It’s Samantha.
[01:06:56] CHRIS: It’s. I’m. I’m laughing. But it also shows you. It also shows you that, you go out and you find your inspiration where you can find it and you find your comfort where you can find it. And you don’t apologize for that. I think that that quote hit you. And I think that’s cool.
[01:07:16] CALLER: And your podcast brings alot of that for me. Recently, the Sky Full of Ghosts podcast, the song that was the outro… I downloaded that, and I listen to that a lot. And it’s brought me a lot of comfort listening to those two podcasts with her and that song.
[01:07:33] CHRIS: I’m happy to help. Happy to help.
[01:07:37] CALLER: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. It is, it’s really helpful just hearing everyone.
[01:07:42] CHRIS: So you had said, you know, we kinda opened the door to all this, because I legitimately thought that, oh, we’re going to have funny bar stories. That’ll be a fun, fun day. And then…
[01:07:55] CALLER: You think.
[01:07:56] CHRIS: Well, the way we kind of, you know, got into your family history and the snowball kind of ran down the hill was you had said that your regulars are the family you’ve got right now. You’ve got your husband. You got your regulars.
[01:08:12] CALLER: Yep.
[01:08:13] CHRIS: Here’s a question… Because I think of it… I’ve not, because, I think because I stopped drinking so young, I’ve never been a part of that bar culture. Here’s a question I have. Do they know that? Do they know how much comfort and stability they’re giving you? Is this a shared thing that you all know about each other or is it a quiet thing for you?
[01:08:35] CALLER: I think it’s both. I have one guy. I had an incident recently at the bar where someone followed me into the bathroom. And that was obviously really traumatic having that man follow me. But one of my customers, I won’t give out his name, but him and his girlfriend, they’re like family to me. And they immediately stepped up and were supportive. On my birthday, they did a surprise party. I mean, I think for a lot of them, they know and I think for the others… I think the others that don’t know, I think that I’m serving that purpose for them. So I think it’s kind of a tradeoff. And in some ways it is silent, but in some ways they are definitely family and I think they know it.
[01:09:25] CHRIS: That’s good to hear.
[01:09:27] CALLER: Yeah, it is. It is. And like, I mean anyone that comes into a bar every day is a little bit broken, probably. They’ve all got their own things going on. So it’s just kind of like the freaks and geeks. You know, we’re all here and a little bit broken, but we’re together.
[01:09:46] CHRIS: Well. I’ve always considered myself one of the broken people, and I think you’re right on the money with that sentiment. I think if you are out there and you are one of the broken people, one of the best things you can do to feel less broken, in my experience, is figure out how to help the next broken person get through the day. And I think if we all start doing that to each other, that’s when it becomes the island of misfit toys where we got our own place to go, where you can let your guard down a little bit. I would have to imagine for you, that’s gonna be one of the hardest things is to let your guard down.
[01:10:24] CALLER: Exactly. Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. And that’s also why being in a bar is a little bit easier, because it is. I mean, even though these people mean so much to me, I can choose to show a little or as much as I want. And with some of them… some of my regulars know everything that I told you on this call. Some don’t. And they only know like my bar persona. But it’s all, it’s also really meaningful. It’s just, when I’m behind the bar, it’s the most powerful feelings I’ve had in my life. Just because I control the atmosphere and I control how people see me. And so it is really helpful. But I mean, it’s great. And then it’s just fun. Like one of my customers. He has these huge calves. And he was in the army and he was a little bit drunk and smoking. And he turned to me and he said, you know, I’ve never ran a day in my life. And it was just such a weird comment. And it’s stuff like that that just makes it so much fun. Because you never know, like, how have you never ran a day in your life and you were in the army? So it keeps me on my toes?
[01:11:31] CHRIS: It’s funny. It’s kind of full circle because it’s like I hear you’re a bartender and I go, tell me the craziest shit you’ve seen. One to ten. How crazy is that? But what’s far more important is to go, tell me about this sense of found family. Tell me about the way that you find human connections that feel safe. Because for thousands of years, humans have built these little hubs specifically to come and connect with each other in an environment that provides some sense of comfort. That’s very surface level, and annoying of me to go down the road I went at the beginning the call because I like hearing so much more that you can have a quiet moment with an Army man who’s never run a day in his life and allows you to just kind of have a giggle and feel a human connection.
[01:12:21] CALLER: Yeah. Yeah. No, it’s not annoying of you at all. It’s what you expect from a bar. And then it’s what you don’t see, you know, it’s just, it’s like a whole big weird gang fight. Fruit peeler.
[01:12:34] CHRIS: I was gonna say, I’m glad that the bar… I’m glad that that provides all that comfort. And then if all else fails, at least you got a big ass fucking knife that provides a sense of comfort, too, I’m sure.
[01:12:44] CALLER: [laughing] Oh, yeah it does.
[01:12:45] CHRIS: Where do you… does this? This thing’s just hanging off your hip?
[01:12:49] CALLER: No. I have a belt and I wear it directly above my rear end. So I get a lot of comments of, hey, I wasn’t checking out your ass. But is that a knife over your ass? And that’s where I say it’s a fruit peeler and usually that shuts people right up.
[01:13:06] CHRIS: We have only a minute left. So I’m going to ask a weird question and maybe we can even add another minute or two. But here’s a weird question.
[01:13:16] CALLER: Sure. OK.
[01:13:20] CHRIS: You got this background that… You know, you have this background that is not something that anyone would wish upon, you know, anybody. And I say that not to judge. Just I’m sure you would agree.
[01:13:40] CALLER: I do. Sure.
[01:13:41] CHRIS: Like. Maybe we could remove even two or three things off the list of stuff you had to deal with, and it would still be way too much to ask of a 14 year old to handle. Still way too much. Let alone all of the stuff you had to handle before 14. Now you’ve got a husband. Now you’re starting to build a network of people that give you some sense of comfort. And maybe I’m also asking because I’ve had my own screaming boy in the background for a portion of this call, do you think about… Do you think about starting a family of your own?
[01:14:07] CALLER: No, not really. My brother, I think, is where I got all that from. And then on the other end, I have endometriosis, so it’s not a complete option. So I’m taking it day by day. And maybe one day. But I don’t think so. I think I’m pretty content where I am right now. But maybe one day.
[01:14:33] CHRIS: Yeah, I’m glad the door’s still open a little bit. Also, if there’s anything that tells you everything you need about to know about this call it’s that we’ve talked for over an hour and I didn’t even really get a chance to ask about endometriosis. Like we’re out of time. I’ve been adding time to make up for how much distraction there was.There’s so much stuff going on that I mean, I’m not I’m not trying to let. I’m not trying to laugh at all. But oh my god. Like we… A murder. A murder was like a bullet point and a very serious condition we didn’t even have time to get to because there was too much other stuff. And I have to tell you, I am incredibly impressed. I’m just incredibly impressed that your ability to speak to all this stuff. And hold your head up. Because…
[01:15:27] CALLER: You know who Miss Pat is?
[01:15:29] CHRIS: Miss Pat… I’m not certain I do.
[01:15:32] CALLER: If you listen to Joe Rogan, you might. But she has a quote and it says if you can’t laugh at it, it has control over you. And I think that’s the most important thing that I’ve taken recently moving forward. You got to laugh at it so it doesn’t control you.
[01:15:44] CHRIS: I think that’s a beautiful sentiment. And can I tell you. Out of… OK, here’s what we’re going to end on a very genuine sentiment for me. One thing that you and I have both exclaimed a number of times, as I’ve said a number of times, like, how come you can’t just catch a goddamn break? Why can’t the good luck just head in your direction one time? And of course, you are the caller on the one day that my son has to be here and has a meltdown, meaning that in a situation where I’m going to go ahead and check. I’m going to go ahead and check, right now, over 10,000 people have tried to call and this happens all the time. And then they get through and they feel so happy. And then you get the bad luck, you get the bad luck. In the history of Beautiful Anonymous, you get the most bad luck version of this as well. I couldn’t even give you-
[01:16:36] CALLER: Hey, I did the podcast debut with your son!
[01:16:39] CHRIS: You did, but how the hell do you keep looking on the bright side? Tell me the secret. Because if anybody doesn’t need to be looking at the bright side, it’s you. If anybody has earned the right to say fuck the bright side, it’s you. And yet you manage to, and you’re making me feel now guilty that I managed to even ruin this experience for you. How do you do it?
[01:16:57] CALLER: I garden a lot. I take a lot of CBD, Chris.
[01:17:06] CHRIS: A lot of CBD, grow plants, hang out with dogs in wheelchairs, and most importantly… Your husband, your brother, and the regulars who serve as your surrogate family. This was an incredible call. Sorry again about all the disruptions, but I’m so happy that you called in and I’m rooting for you really hard.
[01:17:23] CALLER: I feel so lucky that I got through. I was one in 10000.
[01:17:27] CHRIS: Oh, God, I feel so bad. Okay. Have a great day. Have a great day.
[01:17:31] CALLER: You too, Chris. Have a good one. Bye.
[01:17:38] CHRIS: [music transition…] Caller, Thank you so much again. I’m glad that we got that last 15 minutes or so in that were peaceful and where we’re able to focus because I have to reiterate that I am so sorry about the disruptions and distractions, but I am so, so thankful that I got to talk to you because you really gave me a lot of perspective and you gave me a lot of thoughts on how to handle my own struggles and how to take a deep breath and look for the people in my life who can give me those small moments that help.
And that is a hugely valuable lesson. I’m sending the best to you and your husband and your brother and your plants and everybody. Thank you to Jared O’Connell and Harry Nelson, who today were not just producing this show, not just engineering the show, but also babysitting a human life. Thank you for all that. Thank you to Justin Linville for all your help in all things I do. Thank you to Shellshag for the music. Got some dates coming out on the road. I’ll be traveling. ChrisGet.com is where you can find out about those. Wanna help the show? Go to Apple Podcasts, rate, review, subscribe, it really helps when you do. Thanks so much for listening. See you next time.
[NEXT EPISODE PREVIEW]
[01:18:49] CHRIS: Next time on Beautiful Anonymous. When you wind up with a condition that won’t go away, how does that affect your life?
[01:18:58] CALLER: It took me a long time to accept the fact that I was going to be dealing with this. There’s a lot of denial that I was going through. I honestly didn’t want to confront my situation for a long time. I would say it was probably about a year and a half or so that I just didn’t tell anyone. I didn’t date anyone. I just stayed in my lane and just tried to move on in denial. But then I I realized that that wasn’t making me happy. And I needed to just start to accept the fact that this is life now. But, it was tough because there’s so much stigma with like college age guys. They have like pics that read like “sorry for the STI.” And it’s just it’s become this just joke.
[01:19:50] CHRIS: That’s next time on Beautiful Anonymous.