Luckily I had worked at so many different restaurants that it came almost naturally to me. Plus I had an ace in the hole that I never could have succeeded as a bartender without-the head bartender of the city’s oldest and most prestigious country club gave me a lot of hands-on training. She was an icon and almost a local legend in her own right and having her assistance was an invaluable help. But they didn’t know that. They just assumed that I could do anything.
Being the main guy at the bar was cool and provided distraction . . . for about five minutes. It soon got stale for the same reasons waiting tables there got stale and for some new ones. In addition to the indignities thrust upon the average corporate restaurant worker by the customers and managers, bartenders at the OG are burdened with an ungodly amount of sidework. And in addition to all that extra work, tipouts from the servers–normally a decent part of your income as a bartender for making all the drinks for the whole restaurant–were completely voluntary at this store. Voluntary meaning a large contingent volunteered not to tip out at all a lot of the time.
So after I had acclimated to life behind the bar my mind began to wander. I started playing with some multi-track recording software, at first toying with an old idea first conceived while I was at Outback-Harcore 4 Tha Lord by The Brethren, the world’s only truly hardcore Hardcore Contemporary Christian Deathmetal Rap group.
Then I moved on to playing with Buona Festa.
My version of it, called B.F.F., short for Buona F’king Festa, was the thoughts of a not-so-average Garden Ho having a bad day voiced over poorly written and recorded music and using the actual words to Buona Festa as the chorus. It wasn’t the greatest piece of art ever written but it was the first thing I had made in a long, LONG time that I was proud enough to share with others. And that’s what I did. I made a lot of demo CDs and passed them out to friends and coworkers and former coworkers. It had a good bit of Olive Garden-centric material in it but anybody that had ever worked FOH in any restaurant got most of it. It made light of scrubby customers that don’t tip, the all-too-common sexual harassment of hostesses by managers, gluttony, and milfs. As a result of my extensive work history there were copies of B.F.F. being played in most of the kitchens of most of the restaurants in town as well as at the after parties. One friend of mine even told me she listened to it every morning when she was getting ready for work. In fact a couple of months after I was fired, while being interviewed for my current job (the one I love), I told the manager interviewing me the reason for my termination and she said ‘Oh yeah? We were listening to that here the other day during the break. Pretty funny stuff.’
The only compliment a true comedian cares about hearing is that they’re funny. Either that or that they have a big dick. Either or. Even if it’s a chick comedienne. So I knew that somehow I had landed in a place that would (and has so far) encourage me to be creative in my own way instead of piss all over my hopes and dreams. Heaven.
So I was passing out copies of this disc to friends and associates, always with the caveat ‘Just don’t give this to any Olive Garden manager or let them hear it because those people most assuredly have NO sense of humor.’ The only people I gave them to were people I had broken the law with in some way or another so I felt relatively safe.
A friend of mine on the other side of the country was on the run from something so I could never mail him a copy. So I uploaded a copy of it on an obscure website so he could hear it.
And THAT’S why Darden employees have an internet content policy to abide by.
I’m almost done with this story . . .