Bartender Explains What Different “Angel Shots” Mean And How Ordering One Can Save Someone From A Bad Situation Interview
Knowing what an ‘angel shot’ is could save your life. With bars and clubs reopening again because more and more people are getting vaccinated against Covid-19, nightlife is making a (slightly uncertain and worrisome) comeback in some places. Especially since it’s also summer. Something that hasn’t changed since the pandemic began, however, is just how important your safety is when it comes to strangers or dates making unwanted advances.
Luckily, some bartenders are well-versed in how to protect those who feel scared or threatened. And one bartender, in particular, has gone viral for his TikTok video about how you can use a certain code phrase to signal that you need help. Benjamin Smith, whose stage name is Benji Spears and who goes by Benjispears online, reenacted somebody ordering an angel shot and has since then been featured prominently in the media. He filmed how a situation would unfold if he notices someone whose body language indicates they’re feeling uncomfortable with the person they’re with.
Telling your bartender that you want an angel shot is a sign that you need assistance. There are actually 3 variations of the angel shot and it’s something that is becoming more and more common in bars. Check out the full video below and let us know what you think of this system.
Ben, who is originally from Cooperstown in New York and currently works and lives in Los Angeles in California, was kind enough to answer a few questions that I had. “I am shocked and blown away by the love and support and all the sharing of this video. If any of my videos were to go viral I would have wanted it to be this one. This video has such an important message that needs to be shared. The angel shot has saved and will continue to save lives,” he opened up to Bored Panda. You’ll find the full interview with him below.
LA Bartender Ben went viral after he shared how ordering an angel shot could save your life or the life your best friend
His video had over 9 million views on TikTok at the time of writing. You can watch it in full right over here
@benjispears##greenscreen The Angel Shot could save your life 🥰 ##fyp ##foryou ##foryoupage ##serverlife ##bartender ##funny ##comedy ##trend ##trending ##food ##cooking♬ House Music (Deep House) – 阿增&苏七岁&气质隆Sir
So far, Ben hasn’t had anyone order an angel shot with him. “But I have definitely had to Intervene in multiple situations where someone has felt uncomfortable. Most bars have security so they are helpful in assisting in these situations,” he told Bored Panda. Ben noted that it’s vital that bartenders are aware of their surroundings and of their customers’ body language.
“I think it’s key that bartenders are aware of their surroundings and pay attention to guest body language. I can easily tell if someone is uncomfortable or may need my help. After posting this video I learned a lot of people including bartenders had no idea of the angel shot. So I’m so glad this video has taken off so it can educate industry workers and guests.”
I was also interested to find out more about Ben as a bartender. He told me that the pandemic has been a real rollercoaster so far and had drastically changed his life. “I was in Rochester NY when the pandemic first started and the bar I was working at sadly closed down for good. So many amazing businesses around us went down. Now that I am back in LA, the city has been fully open for about a month or so meaning full capacity in restaurants,” he said.
However, things haven’t been looking good recently. “As of the last week or so with the delta variant on the rise, a mask mandate is back. Sadly, who knows what is in store for us in the next few weeks here in LA,” Ben shared some of his fears for the future.
Ben pointed out that there are 3 types of angel shots you can get and that indicates what kind of help you need
Ben noted in his video that an angel shot could save you or your best friend’s life and it’s “something we should all know about.” And there are 3 ways that you can order the angel shot. Depending on how you ask for the shot, your everyday hero bartender, server, or bar manager will know what kind of help you’re looking for.
Ordering an angel shot ‘with lime’ means that you need the police. That’s when the bartender will notify the manager to call up the guys and gals in blue. The second type of angel shot is ‘neat’ which means that you need someone to walk you to your car because you don’t feel safe going alone. Lastly, there’s an angel shot ‘on the rocks’ and that means you’d like for the bartender to call you a taxi.
At the time of writing, Ben’s TikTok had over 9 million views, 2.4 million likes, and 133.6k shares. Meanwhile, a shortened version of his video quickly racked up more than 3.1 million views.
Your safety is paramount, whether it’s at a bar or on the street. Previously, I spoke about how victims of harassment can regain their sense of safety with Emily May, the Co-Founder and Executive Director at ‘Hollaback!’ It’s an organization that seeks to put an end to all types of harassment. According to Emily, your local community helps greatly in helping you feel safe again.
“One thing that can help you build a sense of safety is community. Take the time to get to know the good folks in your neighborhood and build positive relationships with not just your neighbors, but the people who deliver the mail, the trash folks, the guy that mows your neighbor’s lawn, etc.,” she told Bored Panda in a previous interview.
Some bars have posters like this one informing customers about the angel shot and what it means
“The more people you know, the more people will have your back if something happens again. Knowing this can increase your sense of safety and belonging in your community.”
According to Emily, harassment can take place anywhere. It’s not limited to a specific place and can occur in the street, in the supermarket, on social media, etc.
“At its core is a power dynamic that constantly reminds historically subordinated groups of our vulnerability to assault in public spaces. Street harassment can happen to anyone, but disproportionately punishes women, girls, LGBTQ+ people, and other marginalized groups for being themselves in the world.”