Random acts of bar kindess worth considering

Courtesy possible in realm of thoughtless hook-ups

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

I had been in the bar for an hour by the time I realized my cell phone was gone.

Maybe the folded money in my pocket had felt like my phone, or maybe that last rum and Coke dulled my senses. Either way, by the time I checked my coat pockets and did a walk around the bar to find it, the possibility of recovering my Chocolate Flip seemed remote.

And then the Cover Girl happened. Not the makeup brand, but the ubiquitous front door worker who makes you fork over cash before you start your evening.

As she saw me frantically checking my coat, she asked what I had lost.

And then, “What’s your cell phone number?”

Before I knew it, she had located my cell phone.

The Cover Girl " without being asked to help " convinced the reluctant taxi driver (whose backseat my phone had fallen into) to drive my cell phone back to the bar and hand it over to the bouncers. After the cell phone was returned, one of the bouncers actually made the trek upstairs into the bar and personally brought me my cell phone. It was more than a combination of nice gestures by all parties involved; it was a random act of bar kindness.

That’s right: kindness is indeed possible at bars. Although the venues are best known for lame pick-up lines, rude clubgoers, and thoughtless hookups, with a little help from you " and a little inspiration from the Cover Girl " that could all change.

Think how random acts of bar kindness could impact your nights out. Instead of shoving your way through Jack’s packed dance floor without a “Sorry!” or “Excuse me!” to those unfortunate dancers who meet with your elbows, try being polite. Instead of glares, you’ll likely receive sympathetic smiles and perhaps even a “Sorry!” yelled right back at you.

Instead of cutting in front of others in line for drinks, try telling the bartender about the guy beside you who was waiting first. Sure, you’ll have to wait a few more minutes for your next pitcher, but what were you planning on doing in those few minutes, anyway? Dancing to Soulja Boy?

One final suggestion, and like those ’90s hair dye commercials, this one’s just for men: instead of sneaking up behind unsuspecting women and grinding against them on the dance floor, try asking politely for a dance. The karmic payback should yield immediate rewards: treating women like equals, and not property, is a random act of bar kindness that should be common sense. But since it isn’t, it’s bound to make both you and your new dance partner happy.

The concept sounds crazy, and maybe just a little too much like that Kevin Spacey movie Pay It Forward, but the next time you’re at the bar, try doing a random act of bar kindness of your own. It’s unlikely anyone’s going to write a column about you " but other good things are bound to happen.

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