Write or Die Challenge (thanks #tropers!):

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Self-Esteem Team!
After chatting with a couple folks in IRC, I said I would do a 1,000 word piece using Write or Die. I ended up with a piece that stretched 1,144 words. The challenge was to create a random character and one dominant character trait, and the challenger put forth:

Professor Gyro - A Hardworking Bartender

So I took that bet and came up with this piece thanks to Write or Die and your pal (or worst enemy) caffeine. Feel free to give it a general critique or tell me how much you hate it.

George Kostapolos took the martini shaker in his hands and shook it heavily as he smiled at the lovely lady in front of him. Blonde girl, probably still an undergrad, not present in any of his classes but he could tell that much.

"Hey Professor Gyro," A young man sitting next to the girl on a separate stool said, "you think you could make me a White Russian?"

"Sure." George replied. "Do you want me to use vanilla vodka?"

"That sounds like it would taste better..go for it!"

"And would you like a fuzzy navel afterwards?" Both the young man and woman laughed at the joke, either too drunk to understand that the professor was jokingly challenging the man's manliness or they didn't care.

"Man, Professor Gyro, how can you find the time to mix these drinks?"

"Well, now that the testing day is over, I figure we all deserve a break before I get around to the grading!" Having finished mixing the lady's martini, he took a martini glass from below the bar, and gently poured the drink into it before topping it off with a cherry. "Here you go, a lovely martini for a lovely girl."

The girl chuckled. "Oh Eric," she said to the boy next to him, "Your professor is amazing! Why do you call him Professor Gyro?"

"Because this guy used to work at a gyro cart all throughout grad school, right? Selling this stuff to drunk people outside of Kilroy's?"

George nodded. "Indeed, Eric. That's the short version of the story."

"Heeee-roooohhh?" the girl slurred after sipping her martini. "What's a 'heee-rooh' Eric?"

Eric scratched his chin for a moment while George started mixing the White Russian by pouring the ingredients into a glass, including the vanilla vodka. "It's like a pita bread with meat and lettuce and some..."

"OH!" The girl suddenly shouted, knocking the professor off slightly as he felt shocked. "So it's like a greek taco?"

"Kind of..."

"That's amazing!" the girl shouted. "That's so amazing! I didn't know you were from Greece!"

George shook his head as he finished pouring the ingredients into the cup and took out a tiny plastic stirrer to mix the liquid together into a full-fledged White Russian.

"So is it true that the Lesbians are actually like a country in Greece?"

"Yes, there is an Isle of Lesbos in Greece but..."

"So that means you're a Lesbian?" The two undergrads burst out laughing as the professor handed Eric his White Russian and started wiping down the bar counter with a damp and slightly dirty rag. He didn't think they would care if he told them that he was not born in Greece, but his parents were. He looked around the room to see other young people drinking and dancing to some music that had gotten quiet in the face of everyone talking and laughing and dancing with each other. Ah, to be a kid again, George thought as he finished wiping down the counter. Some of the alcohol had already spilled onto his shoes and his pants. He made a mental note to acquire some kind of bar apron next time.

"Holy shit!" Another boy came rushing downstairs, trying to raise his voice above the cacaphony. "Everyone get out, we're being raided. The cops are here!"

At the word cop, the people closest to the stairs leading from the kitchen to the basement became quiet.

"The cops are here!" The boy shouted again.

More people grew silent until eventually the whole basement was filled with panicked shouting, the feeling of fear and anger replacing the happiness that the majority of people felt down in that basement with good ol' Professor Gyro manning the minibar.

The undergrads ditched their plastic cups and beer cans and ran out of the house, jamming in one great pile to get up the stairs and out the back door before the cops came in and arrested everyone. The Professor stayed behind, collecting all the liquor he could find showing on top of the bar and putting it behind the counter so no one stole it in the confusion.

The people squeezed out the back door one by one as the crowd grew smaller and smaller. Finally, the cops came stomping downstairs. There were only two of them that had come in the house, but then again they weren't really supposed to seal off the house unless something violent was happening. They only had a couple of tasks: scaring off all the undergrads who were drinking illegally, and ticketing the owners of the house along with those who were too slow or stupid to escape.

"Y'know, Professor Gyro, you are really setting a bad example for these kids." The first cop spoke as he came down into the basement that was now empty of people save for George himself. The cop was decked out in his standard outfit. 9mm pistol in a holster on his hip, handcuffs on his belt, and a patch that had the college town's name on his shoulder next to the word "Police." "I don't want to have to waste my time coming in here and arresting a bunch of college kids for drinking, but you are really pushing it when we have evidence of you enabling them like this, serving as a bartender in a house party."

George shrugged his shoulders. "You want a drink? Something to take the edge off, Hanneman?"

"Maybe later, you know I can't drink on duty. And how did you know my name?"

"Because you happen to be a grad student in Gormandy's class, reviewing the papers in that cramped little office the AIs for S-302 are granted by the department." George opened a bottle of Moosehead and took a sip right in front of the cop. "So what are you going to do, arrest me for drinking? I can show you my ID if you prefer."

"What I am going to do, Professor, is hand you a ticket for distributing alochol to minors." The man took a pad from his pocket and started writing the ticket. "One would almost think you were trying to get yourself taking to court with this act, considering that you are bartending for a bunch of underage drinkers."

"Indeed. If I were to contest this, I wonder if it could spurn a movement to lower the drinking age to 18 like it is in most places around the world."

"You really think you can win this one? Good luck with that." Hanneman ripped the ticket off of the pad and slammed it down on the counter, though the paper just soaked up some of the liquor and water still lingering on top of it. "Ugh, I forgot you hadn't cleaned this thing yet."

"Indeed, it would be difficult for a judge to determine if the ticket was legitimate."

"That's a damn shame, isn't it?" The policeman nodded in agreement, then walked back upstairs, having left his own copy of the ticket he wrote on the same wet counter.

Professor Gyro smiled at that.

2 Madrugada9th Oct 2010 08:59:34 PM , Relationship Status: In season
Nice. Good characterizations, really good feel for the dialogue.

One blooper: "More people grew silent until eventually the whole basement was filled with panicked shouting,..." Ooops.
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