Ivor and I made one of many trips to Downieville. That evening we went to our favorite bar. We had been there numerous times. Previously, the protocol for ordering drinks was to go up to the bar, order the drink from the bartender, get the drink, and return to our table.
This time was a little different; we got our drinks as usual, but we had barely settled down with our drinks, and started our conversation, when a supposed barmaid stopped at our table, got our names, and asked if we wanted another drink. Since we had just gotten our drinks and were uncomfortable with the change in protocol, we said no. She repeated the routine at the next table.
The next time she approached us she called us by name. Unfortunately, she called us by the wrong names.
I decided to ask the bartender when the bar had changed it’s protocol. His response was, “Is she doing that again?”
Well, this wasn’t the end of the story. It turned out that she and her boyfriend, Rock-n-Roll Steve, were living in their car on the edge of town. At the same time that she was working for tips, Rock-n-Roll Steve was eating at the steakhouse next door.
My attitude changed. Even though she wasn’t doing a real barmaid job, we gave her a big tip, and suggested that she use it for breakfast – her breakfast.