Holiday Tip: Do Not Threaten to Kill Your Local Bartender

A blog about murder, theft, and other wickedness.
Nov. 26 2013 4:07 PM

Holiday Tip: Do Not Threaten to Kill Your Local Bartender

Tip your bartender. Don't threaten her.

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

How do you know when you’ve had too much to drink? Fuzzy vision and lowered inhibitions are two possible signs of inebriation. Threatening to kill the bartender because she has run out of your favorite tipple might be another. The Racine (Wis.) Journal Times reports that a local man allegedly did just that on Saturday, in a story that illustrates the dangers of excessive drink:

A woman told police that [Kofi T.] Reaves asked for a particular shot and told the woman: “You’re pretty, but I’m going to shoot you in your face” when the woman told him they were out of that type of liquor, according to his criminal complaint. Reaves repeated the comment three or four times and threw his chicken wings on the floor before leaving, the complaint stated.

Reaves was arrested and taken to the county jail, where staffers refused to admit him because his blood alcohol levels were too high, according to the Journal Times. He ended up at a local hospital.

It goes without saying that threatening a bartender with murder is not the best way to ensure good service. And it’s also obvious that someone who gets that upset when he drinks probably shouldn’t be drinking at all.

That brings me to today’s helpful public service announcement. We’re coming up on the holiday season, where tempers run high, stress is abundant, and many of us take solace in drink. While I would never blame anyone for choosing to flee to a local gin joint rather than spend time with his family, it’s important to know your limits, and to maintain decorum even during those times when it feels like the entire world is conspiring against you. Don’t drink to excess to forget your holiday troubles. Don’t take your stresses out on other people. And if your bar is out of your favorite drink, don’t toss wings on the ground and threaten gunplay. Choose another drink. Or play Ms. Pac-Man.

And if the Ms. Pac-Man machine is broken? That’s a subject for another post.

Justin Peters is a writer for Slate. He is working on a book about Aaron Swartz, copyright, and the rise of “free culture.” Email him at



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