A night out with staff, so far I've avoided most of them, the bonfires, the Karaoke nights, but tonight the girls - waitress and chef - have gone to town on their day off to party and arrived far too early at Bloom.

I get the text at work - "We've bought you tickets....bring M***". M*** is the charming one, pleasant, always smiling, a few of our alternative sexual identity waitresses have felt safe enough around him to declare that he's their unicorn. Unlike myself he's intuitively likable. 

We arrive, 10:30, still way too early. The club is empty but they're on a tear, by "they" I mean the waitress, a formerly straight but gang-raped-turned-lesbian-who-would-fucking-blame-her is well on her way. I gotta be straight and sober, I'm M***'s ride back.

The night passes, the waitress gets increasingly drunk, you can see why she'd be a mark, she can't hold her liquor, and here - well, it's the safest place in the world, everyone is looking out for her, but elsewhere...

M*** and I, we carry her back to her hotel room, drop her on her bed, then head home.

The next day, working, busy, I'm waiting her arrival. I want to take the piss. You know it. Me, I've had a few of these nights, always, the next morning, "Never again..." I'd tell myself, but she comes upstairs around 3 for a coffee...

"That was the best night out ever..."

Not the expected reaction, but I have to admire it, commit to a course of action and then follow through, damn the consequences and the torpedoes. She's hurting, bad, but, in her mind, and mercifully there are no videos, it was worth it.

A new regular, courtesy of the hotsprings who have apparently barred him. Smaller, slighter of build, tanned, maybe 70 years old, shirt optional, long beard occasionally held in an elastic, a long fringe of hair around a bald pate, anywhere but here he'd stick out like a sore thumb. Here he just sort of blends in...

The first time, a beer, some appetizer, he's telling me he was just at the hotsprings, 7 hours in the pools, he's exhausted.

"7 hours?" I ask incredulously, 7 hours, that's a lot of time to be soaking in a hotpool, I've rarely done more than an hour, 2 tops, but he takes my comment to heart and gets aggressive- "Don't tell me about the hotsprings - I go 4, 500 times a year..."

I'm mentally doing the math, this - well, it's not quite impossible but it's absurd, excessive in the extreme...

He continues in that vein, I stop hearing him.

The next time, sitting, having a Jamesons' on the rocks, a song comes on, it moves him to tears. We've got a playlist, "Oldies", the owner created it, no song written after 1975 ever plays, I stopped hearing it a long, long time ago, but something on it has touched him, he comes up and pays for his $8.00 drink with $4.00 in quarters, tells me how special that moment was, I offer to try and replay the song for him but he looks at me horrified, there's no way I could ever replay that, ever....

I shrug off the missing $4.00, cover the difference, out here, this isn't a rare thing...

The next time I see him, the same again. He sits on the patio, no shirt, no shoes, there should be no service but we're in the Kootenays after all. It's a windy day, I go out to drop him off a menu, he's put a small package on the table, I move it to hold down the menu, keep it from blowing away, he moves it off the menu and tells me tersely - "Don't touch my stuff".

He's an asshole, but it's my job after all...

He orders a Stella, the beer of choice for European trash and soccer hooligans. And pretentious hippies. And bringing it out to him, through the windows of the restaurant I see him fling the menu off the table, it hits the balcony and bounces to the floor. When I deliver the beer and pick up the menu he explains coyly "The wind must have blown it away...".

Come time to pay and he's inside in a frenzy, Did I hear the shots fired? 7 of them! Across the lake! Of course I heard nothing, do I know why? Because I was inside!! There must be a bear! And depending if it ran uphill or downhill it'll be on his property!! And he pays, and, again, he's a dollar short, but I shut up. 

I'm tired of paying to serve assholes, he's the classic bad hippy, the one acid trip too many, never came back, his moral elevation, it's failing, there's nothing for him to stand on, he's just an asshole and now he's barred from our restaurant as well, I'm only waiting to tell him in the no-uncertain terms that he's not coming back...I'm a man of infinite patience, but when it expires...

Following the Lootbox for Stormy I waited and waited...

Until, finally, he shows up looking for me on a day off, a smaller parcel, not worth an unboxing video:

Open it up to reveal:

Apparently it's a spaceship, assembled from an old matchbox, Century 21 Keychain, plastic ant, acrylic ball, nickel and wire.

Who would have guessed? Anyways, I prefer the scrolls, they can be flattened out and stored or exhibited, these sculptural pieces take up way too much room. Now, of course, I have to make him something in return...that's how it works...

It wouldn't be fair to take all of Stormy's fine artwork and gifts without arranging some sort of reciprocation...

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