The following account may startle you.
And it may save you from a horrifying fate.

In the 1950s a sinister new menace swept America. Spawned in the vile speakeasies of the 1930s, the Martini Menace spread like hell-fire across an unsuspecting nation, taking a frightful toll. Its first effect is sudden, uncontrollable laughter, then monstrous extravagance, then the loss of power to resist, then finally acts of ghastly violence. Pushed by money hungry and degenerate bar workers, many good clean Americans fell prey to the Stemmed Glass Satan.

This is one such story.

01-walking-in-doorJohn, a wholesome accountant, has put in an honest day’s work at the office and decides to stop by a bar he heard a couple of the more out-going fellows in the sales department talking about.

02-first-martin-bi“Why don’t you try a martini?” Linda, the cocktail waitress, suggests. “This one’s on the house! Don’t be scared, even girls drink them.” His manhood challenged, how can John refuse?

03-tipVery prudent tip, John! Remember, you must save up to buy Suzy that newfangled dishwashing contraption she’s been hinting about since you gave her that hideous polyester housecoat for Christmas.

04-first-drinkNothing whets the appetite more than a free drink, and Johnny dives right in. Heck, can anything served in a dainty stemmed glass be that rough? Looks are deceiving, John!

05-disapointmentSay, that sure bites, thinks John. Strong and salty, like a sailor, yet frigid and clean, like Suzy. Wonder why it has such a bad reputation, he naively muses as . . .

06-angry-becker. . .the sinister martini pimp, grinning wickedly, watches his victim closely. He’s seen it a thousand times: First, they are repelled, then . . .

00-happy-drinker. . . hooked! What John does not realize is the healthful gin has been mated with French vermouth, producing a diabolical potion expressly designed to enslave the mind and loosen the morals!

07-second-martini-dollar-tiWith demonic glee the vermouth vixen coos, “Won’t you have another delicious martini, sir?” Why not? thinks John, as his prudence slips away, evidenced by an outrageous one dollar tip.

07-happy-second-bIf only the wild boys down in sales could see me now, John thinks, they sure as heck would stop calling me McTightass behind my back! John decides he’ll casually mention his “martini experience” the next time he’s hanging around the water cooler.

08-spots-beatnikJohn experiences a sudden moment of clarity, realizing this is no decent American tavern he has wandered into. For seated at the bar is —

08-beatnik-peace-sign— a degenerate Beatnik! The antithesis of all things clean and American. Look at him, swilling wine like a filthy Frenchman. Probably taking a break from cashing unemployment checks and getting school children hooked on the reefer.

09-one-more-aRealizing he has walked into a den of ill repute, John teeters. “You look like you’ve had a hard day,” the sauce siren purrs. “You deserve to unwind a little. Just. One. More!

09-one-more-bOh, what the heck, John thinks. I do deserve it! Old man Peterson has been busting my hump all week about the Olson account, and another belt of gin can only help.

10-big-tipJohn now enters the first phase of Martini Madness: Impudent Extravagence. Lavishing the juice jezebel with a fat slice of his take-home pay, a new and pernicious voice in his head hisses: Fuck that dishwashing contraption! What, are Suzy’s hands broke all of a sudden?

14-shaking-bosshand-bHoly shit! Speak of Old Man Peterson and the evil motherfucker appears! He asks John how the Olson account and Suzy are getting along and the martinis allow John to lie like a carny: “They are getting along swell, sir! Very swell!”

14-boss-ordersKnowing not the hell he is about to unleash, the boss buys his ace accountant a round. Well, he’s the boss! thinks John. Sure, the Old Man frowned a little at my martini, but that’s because he’s a fucking tight ass!

13-isnt-she-lovelyHoly Christ! John thinks as the vermouth escorts wicked thoughts into his imagination. She’s giving me the ol’ fish eye! He has already forgotten he is married to Suzy, his boss’s favorite niece.

10-leering-ring-fingerFucking ring is cutting off the circulation to my drinking finger, John thinks, his libido inflamed with the basest of animal desires. And I’m gonna need that goddamn finger.

16-the-propositionJohn bounds into the second phase of martini addiction: Wanton Lavaciousness. A once upstanding and honorable man proceeds to ask a strange woman if she would like to tell him the hue of her unmentionables, or if she would prefer to let him find out for himself back at her abode.

16-the-slapThe devious dulcinea reveals her true nature as John’s sex-mad ship smashes asunder on the rocks of cruel, cruel rejection.

12-dollar-stuck-to-faceJohn absorbs a powerful lesson: In the Martini Jungle there are no friends. Only predators and prey!

11-sucking-on-martiniStung and embarrassed, John turns to the demon cocktail for succor, which is exactly what the cunning vixen wanted.

18-arguing-with-bartenderJohn quickly spirals into the dangerous third phase of Martini Madness: Arrogant Smugness! He lurches to the bar to forward his theory that the olive is plainly a devious ruse employed to displace precious liquor.

18-sizing-the-joint-upSix martinis deep into his Trip to Martini Hell, John sinks into the next phase: Brooding Euphoria. John lurks at the bar like a mad king, surveying his wretched kingdom for a victim upon which to unleash—

21-telling-boss-how-it-is—his unbridled fury! Now a stranger to common sense, John decides it’s the perfect time to demand a raise from the boss, and explain precisely why every one of Peterson’s employees secretly refers to Peterson as “Ol’ Shit Heel.”

19-youre-firedStartled by the savage beast his ace accountant has transformed into, Old Man Peterson fires John on the spot, dooming his once bright future at Amalgamated Industrial Lamp Fixtures, Inc.

20-grabbing-boss-drinkBut does our gin-addled hedonist care? No! Screw that tight ass, he thinks. Plenty more jobs for guys like — hey, that dumbass left his drink behind. Woo-hoo!

19-linda-and-beatnik-talkThe fifth stage, Misdirected Antagonism, grips John, incited by Linda conversing freely with John’s scheming barroom rival: the loathsome Beatnik!

23-attacking-beatnik“Tryin’ to move in on my sweet lady?” a woefully deluded John snarls. “Whyn’t ya get a job, fuck face? I hear they’re hirin’ down at Amalgamated Industrial Lamp Fixtures. Oh shit! I just got fired!”

22-just-one-moreOnly the screeching, ever-thirsty monkey on his back convinces John to put aside his rage and demand another demon cocktail. But even the villainous bartender, much as Dr. Frankenstein, fears the brute he has created.

25-choking-bartenderBut the obscenely screeching monkey on John’s back will not be denied! Thinking he is not explaining himself properly, John resorts to choking the bartender a little—

26-helping-himself—then lunges forward for an illicit guzzle of beer! The Laws of Society mean nothing to John now, he has mutated into the sort of depraved fiend who’d strangle a sweet old lady for a single drop of vermouth.

28-the-lunge-aEvil turns against evil as John is roughly manhandled by degenerates, though that doesn’t stop him from making one last lusty attempt to win over Linda’s affections.

29-thrown-outJohn is violently thrust into the sixth stage: Ferocious Insanity! Frothing at the mouth and bellowing like a deranged baboon, John is unceremoniously ejected from the lowly dive to collapse into the seventh and final stage–

30-pavement-bedComplete Zombification! Where once there stood a good, clean American, now lays a loathsome martini fiend. Does he dream of going home to his wife, who even now vindictively scrapes his pork chops into the trash? No! His delirious mind dances with martinis. And when he awakens, will he think of his lost job, his distressed wife, or his shattered reputation? No! He will only think of his new master: The Stemmed Glass Satan!