Well, I finish taking the Bartending written exam and take the papers to Betty, who seems pretty proud of herself. I mean, here I have taken Graduate-level courses in college and was never this stressed. But I must look pretty nervous because she says, "So how'd you do?" with a big smug grin on her face.
"You tell me," I say, and I hear the woo-ee-oo tones from the movie "High Noon" ringing in my head.
She gets out her red pen, and I sit and watch her correct my test. Check, check, check... Hey look at that, I got one right... check, check, check...
She takes a half point off for the Manhattan recipe because I got the garnish wrong. I also misidentified American whiskey with Kentucky whiskey. Got all the glassware right, and two were for extra credit (woo-hoo!) but got confused between a Zombie and a Scorpion. I also didn't have a good answer for the question "What are the two ways to make champagne?"
She's totaling up the score. I can't really tell because her writing is so crazy. "Ready for the results?" she asks, smiling. She looks a bit too happy.
I nod, feeling a pang in my stomach, although her expression is encouraging. Maybe I did well after all. Then again, I see pen marks all over the pages. Now that would suck. I mean, I know I can take the test again next week, but still...it's knowing you failed. "So you need to get a 90% to pass," she reminded me. She hands me my test. "You got an eighty-nine."
I grab the test and look it over. It was so close that it was just frustrating. All that hard work studying, all that time... There's no way she could let me slide?
"You can take the test next week," Betty says, as if she heard me ask the question aloud.
As I drive home I think about Bartending School. I don't know if I want to take the test again. It took me so long to get to this point, all that studying all over again seems hopeless. Maybe bartending just isn't for me. My memory sucks, I'm totally clumsy and am always dropping things... Maybe I'm just supposed to stay on the other side of the bar.
Perhaps if I continue my research, I can figure out a way to use this knowledge to my advantage. The good news is I know how to make and order 89% of the drinks I'm supposed to know to be a full-fledged bartender. And in any other world, that's not a failure, but a success.