Coronavirus and the Corner Bar
He scrubbed the bar with cleanser and moved apart the chairs
with six feet in between them and just a few in pairs.
He sterilized the counter with that gelatinous goo
that had become ubiquitous, as he was told to do.
He laid off all his servers and bartended well-masked,
ready to do with diligence whatever he was asked.
Yet his barstools sat neglected, for no one came to play
and his profit margin was shrinking every day.
His savings were depleted by rent and overhead
as all his favorite regulars stayed at home in bed.
When he looked at the percentages, he knew he had to act.
In one month he’d be ruined—bankrupted, in fact.
He took a bottle of the gin he’d used to such acclaim,
forgot vermouth and olives, taking careful aim,
to spill it down the counter where it ran down to the rug,
then upset a candle and departed with a shrug.
Carefully he locked the door, got in his car and left.
Basically broken-hearted, feeling gutted and bereft.
He saw flames in his rear-view mirror, his problems rectified
as he took the only out, committing barmecide.
P.S. If you wondered, as I did, what “barmecide” really means, as an adjective it means illusory or imaginary and therefore disappointing. As a noun, it means a person who offers benefits that are illusory or disappointing. Nope, I just couldn’t inflict that upon you.