Saturday, December 27, 2008

Colin the Bartender

Colin is the best conversationalist I have ever met. He could speak intelligently on any topic without ever saying anything that could offend anyone's sensibilities or politics. He keeps up to date on current events, business, and sports by going through three newspapers in different languages every morning. And on days he is not working, he reads novels and books on topics that interest his clients. On this night, Colin was able to participate in a brainstorming session on how to give Steve dysentery the next time I saw him.
Colin's incredible skills as a bartender boil down to selflessness taken to the point of mysteriousness. One leaves the Ritz Paris having had a fantastic time, having bonded with one's friends and fellow patrons, but without any knowledge of Colin Field as a person.
"Are you married, Colin?" I asked.
"Yes. But not always on duty," he charmingly replied.
Everyone laughed. None of us actually thought Colin did or would cheat on his wife. He was just telling a joke, one he might have told before to a different crowd of mostly foreign businessmen. Colin deflected the question about himself by giving everyone at the bar a laugh. Then he was off to greet a couple who had just entered the bar.
Colin never gave us any information that would allow us to size up his character. his focus on service prevented us from having to know him and might explain why everyone loves him.
-Vali: Meeting the Best Bartender in the World; "The Ridiculous Race"