Honky tonk hero

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

You know, I’m not just the family man, gardener, centrist guy whom I present here in the editor’s note. I think it’s funny that people are always shocked when they meet the real me—the not-as-smart, not-as-sober, not-as-urbane guy who developed on the not-as-suburban streets.

I guess that’s why I was a little surprised when I was boldly ripped off in a downtown bar on Friday night. A bartender gave me change on a $10 bill after I gave him a $20.

I admit my slight state of inebriation probably didn’t inspire confidence in the bartender or manager, who was eventually called. But here’s the thing, this guy I know brought back 10 Cuban cigars from Uruguay, and he had a party during which the bunch of us smoked Cohibas and drank $60-a-bottle cognac.

The dynamic duo neither counted down the drawer nor looked in the $10 slot to see if there might be a $20 in there—those were the minimums we’d do back during the 13 years I was a bartender. And despite the fact that I did not get unruly or even more than mildly irked, nobody offered to take my name and call me if the cash register turned out to be $10 over. But then, places where common courtesy is so elusive don’t often have registers come out over.

“I’ve got to go with my bartender,” the manager said, as though blind faith in the infallibility of bartenders were incontrovertible. I personally would have gone with the guy who said he only had four singles and four 20s in his pocket—change from a $100—particularly if he had a receipt from the grocery store to back up the claim.

The bartender did, however, tell me he would give me $10 to leave the bar. I realize he only did it to insult me, but I should have taken the money. Instead, I caught a cab over to Abby’s Highway 40.

Have you had a similar experience downtown? I’ve been hearing stuff lately that makes me wonder about the regularity of this type of occurrence.