Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Drinks Paid For
In a recession, we all need to make sacrifices, but come Hell or high water, I’m hanging onto my Friday nights out like those still hanging onto the glimmering hope of the Democrats digging us out of this mess. Until then, I choose sacrifices of a different breed. Girls, leave your hangups at the door: tonight, you’re drinking for free.
1. The Sad Bartender
It’s hard to believe, but some bartenders don’t think they’re “all that.” The best clubs may have bartenders that look like Abercrombie models, but hit up some of the divier pubs, and you might stumble upon a bartender who needs a little pick-me-up. Sit down by yourself at the end of the bar and wait for him to have a free moment—feel free to check your phone as though you’re waiting for someone as he makes his way over—then start making friendly conversation. Be sure to slip in the fact that you’re waiting for a friend who’s “always late” and you “hate drinking alone.” If the bar is otherwise empty, it shouldn’t take more than a minute or two for the bartender to ask you what you’re drinking, “on the house.”
2. The Wingman
Boys have been playing this game for years; it’s our turn now. They seek out the weakest prey in the pack—usually a girl who looks insecure—and aim to take her home. Your tactic is a little bit different: look for the guy who thinks he’s the center of the universe (identifying markers include popped Polo shirts, sunglasses in dark clubs and the mating cry of “Jagerbombs!”). Now, look to the left and/or right: the guy standing in the shadow of Mr. Big-Man-on-Campus? He’s your target. This one shouldn’t take more than a giggle and a hair flip.
3. The Party
This one takes a special circumstance, but when you stumble upon it, you’re golden. Seek out some sort of party taking place at your local watering hole. Could be a birthday, work drinks, high school reunion, etc. Stand at the edge of the group and look as though you belong there, and wait for someone to call out, “Shots!” Get your hand to the bar, grab one, and down it. It isn’t really stealing; the people doing the shots probably had no idea how many people were drinking with them to start with, and you might even make some new friends along the way. Bonus points if you stumble upon a bachelor party.
4. The Beer Pong
In most major cities, dive bars will have at least one—and sometimes many—beer pong tables set up in the back. Seek out a group, preferably ex-fratboys, who have just bought their pitcher of beer, and sidle up to them. They’ll undoubtedly ask if you want to play. Choose your teammate wisely; if you want free drinks, you want to be on the loser’s team, so pick someone who looks like their depth-perception is less than stellar.
5. The Last Call
We girls have a bit of a reputation for getting a little discombobulated by last call; use it to your advantage. Sidle up to a group of guys at the bar, and with your best slightly-bleary-doe-eyed look, smile and ask, “Anyone want to do a shot with me?” You might have to high-tail it out of there once closing time starts to avoid unwanted invites into someone’s Mom’s Camry, but your shot will most definitely be free… and isn’t that the best kind of shot?
by: Emily Monaco
Emily Monaco is a native New Yorker who hops amongst the Big Apple and the City of Lights as it strikes her fancy (and budget). She is a novelist, freelance writer and translator who passes the time seeking out good food and good drink and taking pictures of it for her blog, Tomato Kumato www.tomatokumato.com. If you want to give her a compliment or a suggestion, e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to pick a fight, bring a dueling pistol.