Bartender: Pants at Backstage Bistro

  • Photo by Alysia Burton
From the March 8, 2012 edition

How did you get the nickname “Pants?”

There are so many stories behind that. The quick one, the one I tell folks when I’m behind the bar, is that I got drunk at a party one time and decided to wear my pants for a hat.

But what actually happened was I got drunk at a party one time and got really obsessed with the word “pants.” Have you ever said a word so often that it loses any sort of semantic connotation? And it’s just a really good word if you say it over and over. I decided everyone was going to call me Pants. The next day I woke up and everyone continued to call me that.

How did you become the mayor of Washington Beach? Is that an official title?

As so far as Washington Beach is a neighborhood, it’s official. Six years ago we got bored and started making campaign videos on the internet. Then we had an election party, and everyone showed up assuming I won. It was one of those questionable elections, but since we don’t have a standing military in Washington Beach, nobody put up much of a fuss.

Will there be another election?

We got busy four years ago, so we decided the elections will be every six years. We’re just making more videos now for my re-reelection campaign. There aren’t any opponents yet, but we’re looking forward to it; anything to broaden the political discourse on issues seriously addressing Washington Beach.

How did you amass all of the interesting facts you know?

I’ve spent a somewhat unhealthy amount of time reading about drinks and the history of drinks. I think it’s really cool, and I think people appreciate the stories. Everyone loves a good story, and if you’re here at the bar, you probably like drinking, too.

Can you tell me one?

A rum and Coke is traditionally called a Cuba Libre. It dates back to the Spanish-American War, when we helped free Cuba from the Spanish government. There was a bar that concocted this drink to celebrate the alliance. They took rum, which is traditionally Cuban, and Coca-Cola, which is the ultimate American drink, and put them together. The name means “a free Cuba,” which is cool considering our volatile relationship with Cuba now.