The Soused Shall Rise Again
It is no surprise to me that the only section of New Orleans to retain a degree of dignity and order during the calamity in New Orleans was the French Quarter. While the rest of the city sank into despair and disorganization, the remaining citizens of the drinking district banded together and weathered the disaster with the pluck and resilience common to drunkards the world over.
At least one establishment, Johnny White’s Sports Bar on Bourbon St. (soon to become a mecca for drunkard’s, I should think) kept its doors wide open the entire time, pouring drinks and comforting patrons without the benefit of electricity or ice.
And now it appears the Quarter will be the first district to reopen for business. If you wish to give something to the city, I suggest you take a drinking vacation in the Quarter in the coming months and give your contributions in the form of large tips directly to the bartenders. Charity starts at home, after all, and when are we more at home than in a bar?
Treachery in the Streets
I was strolling down Curtis St. on my way to the Carioca Cafe for my morning constitutional when a rather down-at-the-heels fellow inquired if I had some spare change so he may partake in “a cup of hot herbal tea.”
Winking at his wily sarcasm, I delivered into his filthy clutches enough cutter for a jug of the strong stuff and went on my way content in the knowledge that I would not be the only chap hobnobbing with Bacchus before noon.
So one may imagine my dismay and alarm when I exited Carioca’s half an hour later to find the same gentleman lurking outside a nearby diner drinking . . . a cup of herbal tea.
It was enough to put a weaker man off drink for the remainder of the morning. I wrestled mightily with the idea of administering a ferocious caning, then settled for mercilessly raking the charlatan with a disdainful glance. What more proof do we need that the Anti-Christ is moving amongst us than winos spare-changing for herbal tea? I enjoy a spot of Earl Gray as much as the next civilized gent, but winos must be made to understand that they are held to a higher standard and can’t be seen hunkered down in alleyways passing around steaming mugs of Sleepytime. So the next time some rummy hits you up for some copper, make certain it’s Mad Dog on his breath and not Darjeeling.
Let Nothing Stand Between Bartender and Boozer
Speaking of setting bad examples, what in the blazes is up with certain downtown bars that have taken to employing those infernal measuring contraptions they affix to bottles so they may pour the absolute legal minimum of a liquor into your glass? I implore the gentlemen in charge to recognize that the bond between bartender and tippler is sacred and no mechanical contrivance should be allowed to intrude. Throughout history pubs have served as safe havens from demon technology, and it’s the duty of every true gentleman to keep them as such.
At Long Bloody Last
After much lamenting and whining, especially from the likes of myself, Denver has a Tiki bar. Tiki Boyd’s, in the Ramada on Colfax (Update: Due to unspeakable treachery, Tiki Boyd’s has moved, click here for details), will hopefully usher in a new era of civilization for this rather provincial ville. Why, the next thing you know a chap might wear a homburg and stroll down Colfax without actual cretins resorting to crude hooting and whistling.
Tikidom didn’t resurface without a hitch, naturally. A certain Mr. Flomberg, who pens for something I believe is called The Denver Buzzard, strolled in and declared the joint the sort of place Charlie Manson wouldn’t mind lounging around in.
Now, it’s known Charlie wrote songs for, and chummed around with, The Beach Boys, but I never knew him to be a devotee of things Polynesian. Can you picture the psycho-chap sipping from a hollowed-out pineapple with a lei around his neck? With those crazy, crazy eyes peering at you from across the bar? And perhaps he’s sort of snapping his fingers. Great God!
Rise of the Irish
After suffering successive waves of sports, martini and techno bars, it appears we are in the midst of an Irish pub renaissance. I for one, am all for it, especially when two of the more promising arrivals provide the discerning gent with unique musical delights: namely Scruffy Murphy’s bagpipe sessions on Sundays, and the Irish Rover’s Country Gone Wrongon Thursdays nights.
What has happened to common civility in nightclubs? I was paying a roving visit to a certain bar on 15th St. when a wild mongoloid slashed my cocktail to the floor with a savage motion he would, in court, under oath, probably swear was “dancing.” Assuming a stern yet forgiving stance, I braced myself for the profuse volley of apologies that would probably embarrass me up to the point he bought my fourth round, as is customary in civilized circles.
Instead, and much to my horror, all this hooligan did was pass me a rather snide smile and that infuriatingly cynical catch-all, “Sh*t happens.”
Indeed it does. Rest assured, gentle reader, I was a breath and a prayer away from thrashing the imbecile within a bare inch of his miserable life when one of the thuggish bouncers (moving with a menacing grace I thought fabricated) came forth and stood next me with the looming air of one of Hell’s own henchmen. With an almost subhuman growl, I was enjoined to find my pleasures elsewhere.
Safe to say I have not been so gravely insulted since the Prince of Wales (who would also claim to have been “dancing”) trounced on my hand during a charity function at Windsor. Instead of apologizing, the future king of England had his security thugs pick me up from my rather restful position on the ballroom floor and toss me out of the castle. But at least they had the kindness of nature to stuff me in my automobile before threatening me with future violence.
It’s enough to make a chap want to drink herbal tea.
–Giles Chatham Humbert III