The Dugout was a popular spot for hotel employees. It was decorated in a rustic design with dark barn board siding and wooden plank floors. Pinball machines lined the walls. A jukebox in one corner played country music.
In another corner, four people enjoyed a rowdy game of pool. It was noisy and crowded. John ordered a couple beers and we sat, silent.
"Boy, what a night!"
"What happened back there?" I asked.
"Come on. Couldn't you tell everybody was pissed?"
"Yeah, of course, but I couldn't figure out why."
"Why? That new bartender doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground about bartending. He fucked everything up at his private party. Kevin had to stand behind the bar with him the whole time!"
I recalled my first night. How nervous I was. Kevin had to help me then.
"Well, it was his first night. He'll learn, I suppose."
"That excuse might fly about finding supplies, but Dan said Kevin told him the guy didn't know a Gin and Tonic from a Bloody Mary!"
I wondered what Kevin's analysis of me had been.
"Who hired him?" I asked.
"I heard nobody. Out of the blue Barbara recommends him to Ted and practically begs him to hire the guy. Wait till Ted hears about this. He's gonna hit the roof! That new creep made everybody look bad. All I can say is he better learn fast. The convention's coming up and we're gonna be busy as hell. The governor's supposed to be here with some Colombian big shots."
"How do you know all this?"
"Christ, don't you read the papers? They've been talking about it for a while now. And get this," he turned his chin to my shoulder. "Rumor has it they're here to negotiate some big deal between Colombia, Florida, and the feds. Something to do with drug traffic coming into Miami."
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