RICHMOND, Va. — Following a failed attempt to kickstart a career in sandwich artistry, local man Mike Barkley officially enrolled in bartending school earlier today, hoping to further his education with a degree in mixology, according to friends and family.
The announcement came as a welcome surprise to those close to Barkley, with many in his circle of loved ones applauding his effort, including his mother.
“Mikey is a sweet boy. Ever since he was a kid, he would always watch in awe as the employees of Subway carefully crafted his sandwiches,” said Mary Anne Barkley, who gave birth to the future bartender just over 28 years ago. “He especially liked when they would do the condiments — ketchup in one hand, mustard in the other… like a delicious Jackson Pollock for just $5. And he’s always had a passion for combining alcohol and juice, so mixology really makes sense.”
Barkley applied to be a resident sandwich artist fresh out of high school at a Subway located downtown, but was immediately overwhelmed by the job.
“What people don’t realize is how complex the Subway University curriculum is. It was hours of on-the-job training, plus online classes,” said Barkley. “So, basically, I’m working a full five hours a day, and then I’m expected to go home and study for 30 minutes? I couldn’t handle it.”
Barkley added, “Even though I never became a full-time sandwich artist, I still freelance in my spare time. I whipped up a delicious roast beef on rye bread earlier today that was just to die for. We all need an outlet for creativity, and meats on bread is my favorite canvas.”
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Following just under a decade of odd jobs ranging from selling calendars at the Regency Square Mall, to selling cell phone cases in a different part of the mall, Barkley said he is finally ready to head back to school.
“There’s a place here in Richmond that offers a two-week course with job placement,” said Barkley of the bartending academy above an auto body shop across town. “For just $900, I could finally start being in control of my future,” he added, cutting old T-shirts into rags to use during class.
As of press time, a laminated note was found on the door of Reggie’s Bartending Academy, announcing its permanent closure and that no refunds will be issued.