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My night as a bartender 

I have a newfound respect for bartenders. Don't get me wrong -- I've never had anything but love for someone who fixes me alcoholic beverages, but I never realized just how hard tending a bar actually was until I did it myself.

Recently, I was a guest bartender at Whisky River to raise money for Mike Minter's "I Am A Foot Soldier Camp" (where I will coach dance and mentor young girls). It sounds weird serving alcohol for kids, but it's much more profitable than a lemonade stand.

But the thing is, you see, that was the first time I've ever gone behind the bar -- I even had to ask what the different settings were on the fountain gun in order to pour a water. About the only thing I did have down was opening beer bottles, and I managed to figure out what's in a Red Bull and vodka.

My first customer ordered a Long Island Iced Tea, and I immediately had to turn to an experienced bartender and ask what's in it. As he rattled off many ingredients, I stood there staring, with the same dumbfounded look on my face that I used to have in math class. Speaking of which, between counting pours and ringing up tabs, bartenders have to throw math into the mixology.

"I'll just make it," he said. I am sure the busy bartenders working that night -- Turbo, Mr. January, Locke, Christina, Billy and Jordan -- were glad I was only playing bartender for three hours. I was more annoying than that drunk guy who hollers at bartenders over the bar.

I tried to make Soco and Lime shots, but as I poured it, a piece of ice fell into the shot glass. Apparently, I suck at bartending.

Some friends came in and asked me not only to make them a shot, but make one up. So, I went to the produce section of the bar and threw all 12 fruit flavors of vodka into a pourer. I called it "The Fruitcake," but they insisted on naming it after me -- same thing I suppose.

Cason-Point: Tip your bartenders.

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