You couldn’t get a cocktail for less than fourteen dollars at the rooftop bar where I was packed in like a sardine. A domestic light beer was going for something like eight or nine bucks and I was pretty damn close to sober as I looked down at the first drink I had bought for myself which was quickly diminishing.
“This is the trashiest thing I’ve done in a while,” I thought to myself.
The bar was close to capacity. I could hardly raise my drink from my hip where it naturally rested towards my mouth without accidentally hitting a bystander.
I was probably twenty or thirty feet from the closest bartender and I knew that it would take me no less than ten minutes to grab his attention, get a drink, and then scream over other thirsty patrons that yes, I did indeed have a tab open, and that yes, my last name was Duda. “D” as in “dog.” U-D-A.
He’d say something like “Your last name is really Duda?”
I’d say “Yes. Like the song.”
In total, I estimated that all of this hypothetical would be fifteen to twenty minutes of my time.
My vodka-water, accompanied by a lemon wedge was close to finished. All that remained was three semi-melted ice cubes and the lemon. Again, I said it to myself, “This is the trashiest thing I’ve done in a while.”
I took the flask from my friends hand and poured myself two fingers of ice cold Ketel One. He had a shit eating grin on his face as handed me the flask because he knew he turned a once proud bar patron into a cheapskate.
The bar was so packed that no one even blinked an eye as I poured from hip level. Keeping it there, I refilled my roommates’ glass as well and then tucked the flask safely away in my back pocket.
Unsophisticated? Surely. Savvy and ingenious (especially when we’re considering the circumstances)? Hundo p.
Look, I never intended on becoming this guy. When my buddy and I did this for the first time this past summer I was appalled… but also intrigued. We had been invited to a rooftop bar that was usually quite difficult to get into.
We knew that the drinks were going to be watered down and overpriced, and while we both have disposable incomes the thought of paying fourteen dollars for a drink still made both of our stomachs turn. Bringing a flask to a bar is neither an original idea nor something that I’m super proud of. I’m sympathetic towards bartenders who are just trying to make a living like everyone else.
This is not something that I do all of the time. It’s reserved for times where a place is super crowded and/or the drink prices are out of this world.
It’s not something that one can do every single weekend out and about at the bar. Much like just about everything else in this hellscape we call Planet Earth, it has its time and its place. But in a pinch, being the flask at the bar guy is useful.
Think about all of the times in the past couple of months where you were at a bar that you really didn’t want to be at. You had begrudgingly agreed to meet some friends at a spot that was probably not unlike one of the bars that the Touching Base crew hit up on the Douchebag Bar Crawl here in Chicago. With overcrowding comes frustration.
Everyone who bumps into you accidentally gets a side-eye because you’re pissed off. And deservedly so. Now you’re in a situation much like the one I was in last summer. A fifteen to twenty-minute wait for a cocktail and a bar tab at the end of the night that is going to make you cringe a little bit. A flask in the back pocket solves all of your problems.
For the people who say that I shouldn’t be going out if I can’t afford to buy drinks, I say shame on you. This isn’t and never was about being able to afford drinks. It’s about time management. By refilling my vodka-water with vodka from a flask, I don’t have to miss important conversations with friends about whether or not the girl twenty feet away from us has fake tits.
I won’t miss a single tidbit of information from the story one of my buddies is telling me about he once got butt naked in a hotel hallway and started barking like a guard dog outside of his door. The flask affords you the opportunity to yes, save money. But it’s also a way to stick it to all of those douchey, overpriced establishments that charge thirteen dollars for a whiskey-ginger.
If you find yourself in a situation where you’re hitting a nightclub or a very expensive cocktail bar, order one drink and then settle in at your seat with a flask you’ve had chilling in the freezer of your apartment for a few hours. You’ll save a shitload of money and you’ll still be getting drunk. It’s a win-win. .