In the first of a series about the crazy shenanigans that bartenders experience and observe at Seattle watering holes, veteran booze-slinger Sarah Mokate recounts a bizarre, scatological saga that happened at the old Comet Tavern many years ago. We join her account at a staff meeting held at the ungodly hour of noon, during which the bar's phone rang. Mokate answered it. Take it away, Sarah.
I heard a sloppy mess of a woman’s voice. I immediately recognized it from the previous night; it sent shivers down my spine. To her mysterious babbling, all I could say was, "Yes, ma'am. You did lose something last night. Your dignity. But I’m not sure you can save that. It’s better you just accept it lives here now." Then I hung up the phone.
Returning to the meeting, I explained the call to the employees. "It was a sold-out metal show last night. As always, it was me and a door guy left to secure everyone's safety while shoveling booze down their mouth holes. Keeping our thriving business alive. Like a good bartender must, as it's our civic duty. This lady, and I use this term loosely, decided it was a better life choice to shit in the men’s urinal."
As I was chasing her around the pool table, with her pants around her ankles, she managed to grab a hostage. She then barricaded herself and her victim in what we called “the mop closet of despair,” as it was well known to be the most vile location in the bar. Conveniently, she chose her victim at random, without knowing his identity. But I knew he was a trooper and would survive for some time in a crazed, tipsy-woman’s-hostage situation. At least until I could make it through the last band. Then I made a game plan.
I returned to the bar flipping shots and crushing open cans. About the time the last band started, there were some fireworks. The place was full of bottle rockets and smoke. I found it beautiful. The music didn’t skip a beat, trash was flying through the smoke, and screaming laughter filled the air. It was our Seattle perfection.
[At one point], a desperate youth managed to wrangle his studded body magically through a top window and slam at least 20 feet to the ground. Little Buddy had guts. I jumped around the bar, hugged him, and threw his ass out. All the while he was yelling, "I AM THE PIKE STREET BANDIT!" He sure was. (I often think about what has become of him. This was not my first encounter with this bandit.)
The show ended. The bands loaded out. It was a success, and no one was hurt. That’s when we remembered the whole shit-lady-hostage deal.
I approached the closet cautiously. I immediately noticed there was now a huge hole in the wall next to the door—which had no lock. Peering through the hole, I yelled, "NOOO." I’m no expert in Stockholm Syndrome, but this could only be explained as such. The shitter and her victim were rolling around half naked, face-raping each other. It reeked of sloppy passion that only nightmares are made of. My virgin eyes bled, releasing the floodgates of a million kittens being bludgeoned by a creature more evil than Lucifer himself. (Who would also never hurt kittens. Sorry, I just got a little dark.)
I forced them to both climb out of the hole like the disgusting animals they were. Attempting to simply conclude my night, I macgyvered the hole by covering it with a piece of wood. Problem solved. Basically, the woman was calling the next day because she had left her shoes. I was simply informing her, more importantly, she had also left her dignity.
Postscript: The protagonist of this tale became a regular at the Comet, and she still checks in with Mokate on Facebook. She eventually married and had a child. However, she never got her shoes back—which is kind of tragic, as they were leopard-print wedges.