Sunday, July 20, 2014


So last evening the Captain found himself at a bar. 

Okay, no surprise. It’s not like I suddenly sobered woke up and said, “WTF! I’m in a bar!”

I took myself out to dinner. The First Mate was visiting another port, so I was on my own. And I had a hankering for one of my favorite dishes called “Fisherman Pasta”.

The First Mate refers to it as “bait”.

But I digress…

In preparation for my second career, I like to sit at the bar when eating out so I can watch the bartender at work. Unfortunately, business was slow for a Saturday night. The bartender says that happens whenever the city puts on a street fair, which they do several times throughout the summer.   

Note to the City: Maybe your street fairs are really not good for the local businesses after all.

Anyway, with only a few exceptions, the bartender mostly just poured beer.

Note to self: Okay, you’ve got the wine thing down, and your list of mixed drinks is growing. But if you’re going to run a bar, you really do need to know more about beer.

Although I already know that the “champagne of beers” is not really champagne... and hardly even beer. And I know what PBR is. My grandpa used to drink that cheap piss. And you have to pour Stella in a special glass.

And I thought wine drinkers were pretentious! 

So as I am sitting there enjoying my meal, a gentleman walks in and sits down.

I knew he was a gentleman because he kept the obligatory distance of one seat between us.

For what it's worth, the same rule applies at the urinals in the men's restroom wherever possible.
He called for the bartender. He wanted a Scotch. Actually ordered the 15-year-old Glenfiddich.


The bartender poured a generous two fingers, and the customer immediately asked for the bill. And in the blink of an eye, he downed the drink, threw some cash on the bar, and left.

I thought this curious. Aren’t you supposed to sip Scotch? I commented the same to the bartender. He laughed and said this was not uncommon. Not just for this man, but for others who patronize the restaurant.

Here’s the thing: The bar sits at the back of the restaurant. So do the bathrooms. Often times, according to the bartender, a diner will want to order another drink, but his wife (in this case) will say, “Don’t you think you’ve had enough to drink?” So instead of ordering the third/fourth Scotch at the table, he excuses himself to go to the restroom. But once out of sight, he turns left into the bar instead of right toward the restrooms. He must order and finish his drink in the amount of time it would take a normal, healthy prostate to do its thing – the Captain is allowed extra time – and then return to his dinner companion who is blissfully unaware.

He will most likely have to visit the bathroom for real in just a short while, but that’s not his immediate concern.

And when the ambulance arrives at the crash scene later that night, his wife will tell the paramedics, “I don’t understand… He only had two drinks all night.”

Friends, if you drink, drink responsibly.

And here’s a good Rule of Thumb from your Captain: If you have to sneak it when you drink it, then you’re not drinking responsibly!