The Eleventh Myth

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I can’t believe I forgot this one. It should be right up there in the top ten bar myths, ever. Read on.

11. You have the right to a free drink on your birthday.

I wish I knew how this one got started. It seems really bizarre to me, and it’s something that some people are very passionate about. I’ve had people curse at me, throw things, and storm out of my bar in a rage when I told them I wasn’t going to buy them a ten-dollar drink for their birthday.

It’s especially shocking when it’s someone I’ve never seen before. Sure, if a hardcore regular confesses that it’s their birthday I’ll probably buy them a little something. Hell, I even have a small expense account provided to me by my bosses for just that purpose. But when a complete stranger walks in to my bar and demands a free shot, they’re probably going to go thirsty.

Much like trying to stay and drink for free after the bar closes, I wonder why people aren’t doing this in other businesses. Can you imagine walking into the grocery store, filling up a cart and taking it to the checkout aisle?

“It’s my birthday! Do I get these groceries for free?”

Someone call security.

7 Replies to “The Eleventh Myth”

  • cocktails and dreams says:

    for me it’s not the giving of the free drink, but the asking for the free drink. it’s just bad bad bad etiquite. i don’t mind giving you one if i choose to, but if you ask for it the answer is always no.

  • Marleigh says:

    Who goes to a bar on their birthday without a group of friends (and, often enough, strangers), who are more than willing to buy you a drink?

    The only upside to having a bartender do the buying is that they would be less likely to force you to shoot 151 or some other wretchedness, unlike a drunken friend.

  • suspicions such as what? Its a mom n pop operation run by uneducated rednecks. great food, nice atmosphere (usually) and a very bizarr management style, one I’ve never encountered in all my years in the service industry.

  • Jeffrey says:

    I would be terribly surprised if you didn’t get a drink on such an occasion, my dear delightful hostess. However, I have always had my suspicions about the establishment you call home…

    Amendment to the rule: see above.

  • what if you WORK at said bar as a hostess, have your only birthday party in 20 years there (a 13 top on a slow sunday afternoon), clean the bar once a week AND your kid works there? Doesnt that kind of trump the “no freebies” birthday drink/desert rule? Just wondering, because this happend to me yesterday. My family was appalled, I was, however, not suprised at all.
    just want to know what the world at large thinks.

  • nomikkh says:

    I can’t even begin to describe how annoying that is. Last night I had a customer pouting the whole damn night because I didn’t give him a free Electric Iced Tea. Electric Iced Tea, for gods sakes.

  • Waitress says:

    Oh my GAWD, Jeff. Yes. Very much yes. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’m either making a drink or dropping it off at the table only to be told “it’s my birthday.” I always defer to the tried and true “state law doesn’t allow us to give alcohol away for free,” but even then it’s a rather annoying experince.

    Love your writing. love it.

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