The Golden Guest.

Good evening.

My name is Jendocino. I’ll be your bartender tonight.

And I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing.

What’ll you have?

Is it a beer? Because it had better be a beer...

The Golden West Saloon has been around for 120-ish years and has seen many a bartender come and go, but I doubt that this bar has ever had a bartender as wonderful as my friend Crystal. You remember Crystal, don’t you? Stone mason? Owns Mendo Monuments and Stoneworks?

She moonlights at the Golden West, and it's because of her that I got to be a guest bartender at what might be the most awesome bar in the state of California. Maybe in the whole country. Probably in the whole world.

Incidentally, by "guest bartender" I mean that the lovely Crystal let me get behind the bar and make a mess of things for, like, five minutes. And even with Crystal standing by and doing her best to coach, I still straight up sucked.

The fact is that I can’t mix drinks any better than I can cook. Which is to say not at all.

Seriously, whatever it is that I'm concocting here, you DON'T want to drink it. Not if you value your life, anyway. Or your liver.

Hey, is that a Giant’s game on in the background? Why don’t you watch that instead of my adorable attempt to mix a cocktail?

Seriously, quit watching me.

Oh, I have the attitude down.

And I mostly remembered to hold the top on the shaker as I shook it.


But there’s a reason everyone is standing back from the bar. No matter how big of a scofflaw, outlaw, fugitive, or desperado you are, no one likes a bourbon and ice shower.

Sure, it sounds nice in theory.

In theory.

But in reality, it’s sticky and cold and stings your eyes.

Or so I've since learned.

So stand back and give a sister some space, is what I’m saying.

HEY!! Is that a dollar?!

I promise you, in 120 years, the Golden West has never had a bartender as awful as me. Not even a guest bartender. And that’s saying something, it really is.

Although I doubt the Golden West has ever had a guest bartender who was as deliriously giddy to be invited to stand behind the bar as me, either.

Seriously dude. I got to mix a drink behind the bar --


(Insert wiggly little happy dance here. Extended version.)

The perspective was amazing.

As I stood there shaking up the cocktail, I imagined all the cowboys and frontiersmen and loggers and indians and fishermen and bikers and whores and miners and soldiers who have stood in front of the very place I stood - miscreants parading across time, all drinking liquor and making plans and spending money and carousing and gambling and getting up to no good... I thought of their rowdy ghosts watching me shake up that drink and then my heart started beating fast and then faster and then faster still...


Is there some part of “stand back” that you hippies don’t understand?

At least that icy, refreshing bourbon shower will make you smell nice.

Or nicer, anyway.


  1. A round for the house,
    and start me a tab.
    I'll have what your having.

  2. I've always been inspired by Old West saloons/bars.

    Someday, if I ever get my act together, I need to research them and produce a coffee table size book (with tons of great photos)on the saloons of the old West.

    Why do I have a sneaky feeling that someone has already done this?

  3. With a floor show like this, I sure hope the folks sent you off with lots of TIPS!!

  4. Consider that bourbon & ice are the glue holding this Old Queen aloft, I am thinking you did her a favor.

    And, me too: I want what you're having.

  5. Coffee table book on Old West saloons, huh? I think I smell a joint project for a certain five bloggers that I know...