Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hard Times-- Book IV: The Whole Point

The whole point of the series of posts about Charles Dickens' "Hard Times" was to compare Hard Times Cafe & Summers to prove how much Hard Times rules & Summers sucks. I think that point was lost in the most convoluted drawn-out and boring series of blog posts ever posted on Slumlog.

The original moral of the story was that during the power outages in Northern Virginia a couple of weeks ago, the customer service that patrons received at Hard Times, which had no electricity, was better than the service that patrons receive on a regular basis at Summers, which usually has electricity.

As soon as the power went out in Alexandria, the wait staff and the manager on duty checked with each patron to see if they were okay and had no safety concerns. At Summers, one can't even get a server to check on patrons on a regular basis with the lights on and the clock ticking towards the end of happy hour. And since the power was out in Old Town, the point of sale systems didn't work, but allowances were made. At Summers, customers can't catch a break. I remember one time, at band camp, when a customer asked about their ticket with an off-hand comment about how they thought they had ordered the last beer before happy hour ended and the server said yeah, but I didn't ring it in until later, after happy hour ended.

!#@#$*&^%$? Don't understand? Play a game of Q*bert.

And it was hot as sh!t sitting next to the grill at Hard Times with no air conditioning, but the staff handled it with aplomb and made the best of a a bad situation. When it gets to be hot as sh!t at Summers, Joe turns down the lights and turns up whatever crappy radio station he has playing on the sound system.

Hard Times-- Book III: Garnering

The discomfited customers leave Summerstown, on an admonition from Sissy Joe and ass backwards non-smoking ans, never to return. He submits to a life of declining profits and dwindling customers. Every bartender has been absent from Summers, trying to find work under a pseudonym.

Sissy Joe makes a plan for rescue and escape, however, and he reveals that he suspected Tom early on during the proceedings. He sends Shawn off to the circus that he used to be a part of, namely Mr. Sleazy's. Shawn and Sissy Joe travel to the circus; Maya is there, disguised in blackface. The two have feelings of acrimony towards each other.

Then everyone dies. Shawn dies of a fit in a street one day. John dies in the Americas, having begged for penitence in a half-written letter to his sister, Lika. Lika herself grows old and never remarries. Mr. Bish abandons his Utilitarian stance, which brings contempt from his fellow bar patrons, who give him a hard time. Sammii continues to labour while still consistently not having a work ethic nor having honesty. Sissy Joe is the moral victor of the story, as he has children who can't escape the desiccative education of his dungeon school.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hard Times-- Book II: Reaping

This is the second in a series of posts about why Hard Times rules and Summers doesn't.

Hard Times--Book II

Book Two opens with the attention focused on Joe's new back bar, the Red Room, of which Sonny alongside the austere Mrs. Saammii keep watch at night for intruders or burglars. They do not however keep watch for customers wanting a drink which is why the customers have such Hard Times. A dashing gentleman enters, asking for directions to the Red Room. It is John Sturm, a languid fellow, who became an bartender out of boredom.

John is introduced to Joe, who regales him with improbable stories of his javelin-throwing youth. John is utterly bored by the blusterous bar owner, and is astounded by his inability to draw customers.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hard Times-- Book I: Sowing

This is the first in a series of posts about why Hard Times rules and Summers doesn't.

Hard Times--Book I

Mr. Joe, whose voice is "dictatorial", opens the pantomime by stating "Now, what I want is customers" at his bar in Arlington. He is a man of "unproven facts and miscalculations." He interrogates one of his servers, Saammii, whose father is involved with the circus, the members of which are "Fancy" in comparison to Joe's espousal of "Fact." Since her father rides and doesn't tend to customers, Joe offers Saammii the definition of customer. She is rebuffed for not being able to define a customer factually; and she is rebuffed a second time for not being able to serve a customer after she learns what the definition of a customer is. Her coworker Lika does, however, provide a more zoological profile description and factual definition of a customer. Saammii does not learn easily, and does not learn at all as the rest of the pantomime proves, and she is censured for suggesting that she would carpet the Red Room floor with pictures of flowers. Saammii is taught to disregard customers altogether. It is customers v. Joe's unrealistic and incorrect version of Fact.