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Bartender Has No Idea Regulars Consider Him a Close Friend

EUGENE, Ore. — Leo Radler, a bartender at local pub The Swampland, is completely unaware that many of the regular patrons of his place of employment consider him a close, trusted friend and confidante despite him rarely making eye contact, sources indicate.

“I’m at The Swamp[Land] five or six nights a week,” said Ethan Benz, a part-time contractor. “And about that many days, too. At first, Leo was just some guy who poured my 7 and 7s, but over the years, we’ve really bonded. When I got fired from my job roofing job, he was here for me. When my girlfriend dumped me for going to the bar too much, Leo was my guy. When the manager kicked me out for pissing on the floor, Leo let me back in a few days later. Really, he’s the only person that understands me.”

“I mean that literally,” Benz added. “When I get a few 7 and 7s in me, I slur pretty bad.”

Radler was shocked to find that many of his regulars, whom he keeps track of by their stool number in the POS, are that emotionally attached.

“Bartending at Swampland is just a gig for me,” said Radler while polishing a glass with a cloth. “I play keyboards in an acid jazz band, and we’re going to move up to Portland any day now. As far as I’m concerned, I come here, clock in, pour drinks, wipe up vomit on Fridays, and then I’m outta here. The fact that anyone here considers me a friend is deeply troubling. I’m just glad they stick to this dump instead of the bar where I get fucked up at.”

Sam Lopez, a communications consultant, says that it is extremely common for intoxicated barflies to imprint on the people who provide them with alcohol.

“People in the service industry often face this situation,” said Lopez. “Bartenders don’t know that they’re the emergency contact for the winos they serve, waiters don’t know they’re de-facto emotional support animals for picky eaters, and most therapists don’t realize that their clients have fallen in love with them, like my gorgeous and brilliant Dr. Pritchard-Smoot. The important thing to do is to set clear boundaries with these people to let them know that they’re just a client and not a close friend, confidante, advisor, mentor, protege, or someone who cares if they live or die.”

As of press time, Radler had made another lifelong friend by saying “have a good one” to a departing customer.