TORONTO – With the current pandemic requiring businesses to restrict the number of people inside, the management of downtown bar McTavish’s Pub have determined the most natural way to do this is to host an open mic night.
“In my experience, nothing clears out a place faster than amateur spoken word performance,” said bar owner Kaitlyn Bronston. “Whenever we notice there being too many people sitting in the bar, we just put out the mic stand and immediately, people start clearing out. It’s a lot cheaper than hiring a bouncer.”
Regulars at McTavish’s can attest to the effectiveness of the new “get out or become an involuntary audience member” policy.
“As much as I hate having to leave, I can’t say it’s not effective,” said anti-masker patron Aaron Wilby. “I’ll risk getting in trouble with the law by not wearing a mask, but bad poetry is where I draw the line”.
In addition to the occupancy limit, McTavish’s is prepared to use the show to enforce other COVID-19 related restrictions. “If they start mandating a curfew in the city, we have an improv troupe on stand-by to go on at closing time.” Bronston explained. “And if we have to shut the bar down for a while, we might just forgo a closed sign and put up posters promoting a XXX-rated magician.”
The open mic has also helped prevent further COVID cases by prompting a large number of the waitstaff to quit. An influx of people entering the bar in hopes of performing is not expected to be a problem, as the show has a sign-up cost of $5.