FALMOUTH – One of the most well-known bartenders from Falmouth’s heyday in the 1980s, and a friend of Cape Cod Wave, has gone to serve drinks to the angels.
Steve “Otis” O’Kernick, longtime friend of Cape Cod Wave and one of the few people who knew of our harebrained plan for this online magazine before we went live, died on Wednesday, May 17. He will be missed by many.
As we mentioned in a story on the Towne Tavern closing in 2014, if you had fun in Falmouth in the 1980s, there’s a good chance you were served by a big smiling man named Otis. He was also a bartender at the Casino-By-The-Sea, and at Amigos Mexican Restaurant.
I (Brian) didn’t know Otis back then, although I am sure I bought a beer from him at more than one of those places. I didn’t meet him until years later, playing softball in Woods Hole with an amazing group of hippies and sailors and schoolteachers and scientists and doctors and laborers, and even a Navy Seal.
Back then, Otis was one of the guys you didn’t want to play third base against. Lots of people who played softball against him knew this. If he hit the ball at you, it might kill you.
And yet with all of that power, it turned out once you got to know him, no one was a bigger Teddy Bear. He was one of those special people that Falmouth seems to have, the guy who will do anything for you.
And after a long career in bartending, Otis had a second career working for Edwards Interior Decorating, where he helped make many of Famouth’s finer homes look even more beautiful.
He was also a fun-loving bass player in a couple of popular bands, playing originals and covers.
This is being posted not because Otis was a friend of Cape Cod Wave, but because we’re pretty sure he was friends with about half the town.
We are extremely sad to have lost a great friend, but feel lucky to have known such an original. Our thoughts go out to his children, Kellie & Steve and to all of his many friends, as well as his bandmates from Plan B and Paradise Rock.
Finally, Otis was one of the funniest people I have ever met, and perhaps the quickest witted.
I found on my computer one last bit of Otis that will, I’m sure, resonate with a few folks in town who knew of that humor. Otis always talked about his fictitious idea of the world’s worst boss, a guy named Lee Kabooby, who wrote a book called “Compliments Are Cheaper Than Cash.”
Well, in a different life before Cape Cod Wave, I used to ghostwrite books for people. One day, Otis and I sat down and hashed out a short outline of Lee Kabooby’s book. Afterwards, Otis became involved in other things and I forgot about it too.
But here it is, a rough draft of pretend book proposal outline by Otis and myself from several years back.
Rest in Peace, my friend.
COMPLIMENTS ARE CHEAPER THAN CASH
My name is Lee Kabooby and I am a bad boss. I am the greatest bad boss ever and now I am a bad boss consultant. I did not become Lee Kabooby by sitting around waiting for awesome things to happen to me. I stole from a charity.
Then I bought a company, cut everyone’s wages and eliminated all but one of the toilets. Employees at my company are required to pitch into the “Toilet Paper Fund,” which I pilfer and use as drinking money. It’s not much – shit money really. I just piss it away.
Yes, I am Lee Kabooby and I am a go-getter and if you don’t like it, get going and start your own company. But first buy my book because the world needs more bad bosses…
COMPLIMENTS ARE CHEAPER THAN CASH
A Guide For Bad Bosses
by Lee Kabooby
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PART ONE: YOUR PRIORITY IS YOU
- Your third house is more important than their third child
- You need more vacation than all of them together
- Refuse to sexually harass ugly people
- Catch them with drugs and you get their drugs!
- Laugh at their ideas, and then steal them
- Talking temper tantrums
PART ONE: SMILE WHEN YOU LIE
- Keep them confused; chaos is your friend
- Empty promises are better than an empty checkbook, and keeping promises sets bad precedent
- The best ways to say, “The check is in the mail”
PART THREE: THE NOTHING/NOTHING PRINCIPALS
- You do Nothing and the employees get Nothing
- Say Nothing bad to strangers and Nothing good to employees
- Invest in Nothing and complain that Nothing works
PART FOUR: COMPLIMENTS ARE CHEAPER THAN CASH
- Be mean to leverage the value of compliments
- Befriend and then betray
- Turn hypocrisy into bureaucracy
- Get rich by saying, “Great job!”
APPENDIX – Giving Compliments As Holiday Bonuses
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