Edwin Decker

Edwin Decker

Pressing questions about flirting bartenders and Facebook blood feuds

Dear Ed: I frequently notice bartenders flirting with me. Do bartenders ever date customers, or is this a ploy to increase tips? Thanks!

-Popular Penny in Pomona

Thanks for the question, Pomona Penny. To answer the first part, of course bartenders date customers! Especially males. From my utterly unscientific, purely anecdotal and arguably sexist observations, female bartenders seem less likely to date their patrons, but the males? I know I did. In fact, in all the years I tended bar almost all my come-ons came from behind the plank. For reasons that will be explained shortly, it’s just wildly more fruitful than cruising in the wild.

As for determining whether a flirtatious bartender is greasing you for shake, there is no simple answer. There are all kinds of bartenders with all kinds of agendas. The likelihood is that some do it for tips, some out of genuine interest and some for varying combinations of both. That said, we can use probability to help identify the motivations of a given amorous bartender. For this we will employ the “Ratio Calidum Variabilis,” which is Latin for “Variable Hotness Ratio.”

The Variable Hotness Ratio is the relationship between the Base Attractiveness Ranking (BAR) of two parties and how it informs their decision to hook up. It was coined in 1958 by renowned psychologist Dr. I.R. Abeeg Kwack, who noticed that a person’s BAR can be adjusted by certain variables such as, say, having a tan (which adds two points); or the type of car one drives (Jaguar is plus two, Pinto is minus three); or bartending, which, according to Kwack, adds two, but only while working, which is exactly why they do their best macking on the job.

By using Dr. Kwack’s formula we can discern within a reasonable probability the intentions of a given bartender. Simply put, if your BAR is nine and his is three, chances are his romantic overtures are genuine. This is because adding two to his BAR provides the best chance at some of that elusive plus-six action. However, if the reverse were true—if, say, he is a nine and you are a three—then it’s more likely to be a ploy for tips given that a minus eight (adjusted) is too far to plummet socially. It’s not an exact science, as you must control for charisma and subjective beauty, but in general, the higher your BAR the more likely his designs are genuine. Also, and this is important, I totally made all of that up just now.

Hi Ed: What should I do when, after posting something political [on social media], two of my friends [who don’t know each other] get in a heated discussion and start name calling and acting childish? Currently my policy is to let them fight it out and hopefully realize they’re being dumb, but do you think it’s better if I were to contact them privately and just ask them to stop?

-Your snowflake friend, Shelly

I’m glad you asked, Shelly. I have been grappling with the same problem and have also been unsure how to handle. Like you, I value civility in discourse. However, I am also reticent to monitor how people engage on my pages. I hold the ideal of free expression in high regard, and the thought of intervening makes me gag reflexively. By asking this question, you have forced me to finally think this problem through. And after careful deliberation I believe I have found the best—though far from perfect—way to tone down incivility with minimal stomping on anyone’s free expression. 

First dive headlong into the middle of their debate. Make sound, insult-free arguments that both agree and disagree with varying points of each of the combatants. Do this in equal doses so as not to show bias and to exemplify what a thoughtful, productive, nonvitriolic discussion looks like.

Give that a go for a few rounds, and if it doesn’t work contact them privately. Explain that they are both friends of yours and that if they met they would get along famously. Tread lightly, though. Tell them, “You may certainly continue insulting each other without fear of deletion or admonishment, but you should know this blood feud is stressing me out and it would mean a lot if you took it down a notch.”

Don’t forget to factor their Variable Intelligence Ratio. Coined by Dr. Mae King Ituppaz Igoe, Variable Intelligence Ratio is the difference between the Base Intelligence Ranking (BIR) of two arguing parties. Simply put, if one of the arguers has a BIR of nine and the other has a three, tell the nine to knock it off because it’s unbecoming to debate down. Also, and this is important, Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself. 

Edwin Decker is not a licensed therapist and shows no regard for the field. The theories he proposes are undoubtedly pulled from his arse and we do not recommend following his advice. You have been warned.