Back before around 2015, I liked St. Patrick's Day as much as the next guy.  It's nothing I ever got really jacked about, but it's not like I hated it or anything.

Then I became a bartender.

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The St. Patrick's Day of 2015 will live forever in my memory.  Let me tell you the story.

I was the night-time bartender on this, my first St. Patty's tending at the Branding Iron.  I get to work at 5 and we're doing the green beer thing and lots of my regulars are there for happy hour.  One regular, we'll call him Bud, (Around 30 years old, nice guy, employed, kind of scrappy at times.) was quick to tell me he'd been there since the bar opened and was going to stay all night for the fun.  That should have sounded my first alarm, but Bud was someone who would sometimes raise hell, but always did what I asked, so I thought things would go down that way. My daughter was my barback that night, and she's a tough little cookie, so I thought we could handle most anything Conrad threw at us.

It's about 45 minutes into my shift when Bud tried to "kick the ass" of another regular that was in his 70's.  I simply couldn't believe it.


Then I told Taylor we had to team up and keep an eye on Bud, including making sure he sat at the bar, not a table, so he was close to me.

In a small town, a lot of times you can call a family member or friend to come and get someone that's acting that way and they'll come get them.  Not that day.  They were all at the bar and they didn't want to deal with Bud because he can be a bit of a handful at times.  I knew if I kicked him out, he would drive.  That's why I let him stay.

Throughout the night, he just got scrappier and scrappier.  Bud tried to pick fights with EVERYONE.  By closing time, I had enlisted the help of a couple of my larger friends that were in the bar to keep Bud busy so he'd stop trying to pick fights.  It worked for a couple of hours but not all night.  By around 12:30-1 am, he had decided he wanted to fight these 2 guys in their 20's that had just come in to play pool, drink beer and hang with their girlfriends.  Bud was relentless in trying to fight them, and they were really good about ignoring him.

After I had gotten everyone out of the bar right about 2am, Taylor comes running in saying, "Mom, some S##T is going down in the parking lot!  You need to get out here!"  I run outside, and Bud was standing there grinning like the guy in American Psycho covered in blood from his hairline down to his chest.  All you could see was red, his huge eyeballs and that crazy damn smile.  Across the parking lot were the two younger guys and their girls talking to Taylor.

Turns out, Bud followed them out of the bar at closing time, hit one of the guys and when they didn't fight back, he called the girls the C word.  Then he hit one of the guys again.  So, they finally fought back, hit Bud in the face, it caught his eyebrow ring and ripped it out, that's why he was so covered in blood.  There was a HUGE puddle of blood in the parking lot.  So I turned on my scariest voice and got everyone in their cars and out of there, including Bud.  His friends FINALLY helped and took him away.

Taylor and I went back in the bar and we were both just covered in blood and filled with rage.  We got the bar closed and I went home because I had to open the next day.  I know, clopen.  It happened to me a lot.

I'm opening the next morning and the owner, Terry, comes in and said something close to "What the hell happened last night, it looks like someone gutted a deer in the parking lot".



And that, friends, is why I hate St. Patrick's Day and why I'd rather bartend New Year's Eve a thousand times in a loop than do just one more St. Patrick's Day behind the bar.

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