That’s me, all right!

Often when someone orders from the bar then takes his drink to a table, without saying anything, it makes for an unpleasant moment for your most friendly bartender. Just a moment. Especially on nights when he’s busy as hell and suddenly notices an empty stool where he’s poured. Where did Captain and Coke go? he wonders. Did the bum just hit and run without paying me? And the same applies for the reverse of this move… ordering a drink from the waiter then going to the bar… it’s just bad form. For just like anything else in life it’s simply a matter of courtesy, as it was with this person who stopped in the bar this week…

“I ordered this wine from the waiter,” she said, “but is it okay if I drink it here at the bar? I’m waiting for a friend.”

“Of course it is,” I said, then I slid a bev nap under her glass of Malbec. She was somewhere in her mid twenties, very attractive and very sweet, and obviously very polite for asking that question. It was what she asked me next that threw me for a loop.

“Are you Scribbler?” she said, rather coyly.

“Why?” I answered, just as coyly, wondering how the hell she knew about my blog name. Oh, I’ve told a few of my friends over time and maybe a handful of regulars I’ve sworn to secrecy (I believe cement shoes were mentioned at the bargaining table), but that in no way explained this new addition. This addition to “the chosen”.

“Do you remember a little over a year ago,” she said, “when you hosted that drink demonstration thing in this bar? About classic cocktails? It was on a Saturday afternoon, we were the only ones allowed in, and after we tasted your drinks our group was given a tour on the history of this place. Does that ring a bell?”

“Oh wow, that does ring a bell, a big one. I not only remember that day I remember you, Miss! I really do. And I told you about my blog because of the Wolcott thing, right?”

“Yes,” she said, “you did.”

And now as that scene comes back to me, I think I told almost everyone I was Scribbler that day. That’s because (and I don’t mean to brag) James Wolcott had just discovered my blog and gave it a plug on his web site, his “Vanity Fair” web site, which needless to say was freaking huge for yours truly. Actually it was more than huge, it was out of this world. So much so that I’ve often said, regarding him mentioning any new blogger on his web site, it’s not unlike the old Tonight Show when Johnny would invite a new comedian to come and sit on the couch after his monologue. That kind of huge! So the day this woman was recalling for me, her last visit to our bar, was fresh on the heels of my Carson moment so I myself was breaking my blogger’s Omerta. I couldn’t stop talking about it.

“And you actually remembered Scribbler after all this time?” I said.

“How could I not, I read your blog every single week. I love it!”

“You’re kidding me. Every single week since that day?” I could see the threads on my vest buttons start to tauten.

“Every week,”  she said, “every single week.”

“Well, thank you,” I said, “you’ve not only made my day you’ve made my week, Miss. I really appreciate that.” And I meant it. No bigger compliment to a writer than a regular reader, right? And given the fact she’s about to receive her doctorate in neuroscience, which I later found out, adds some extra cachet to the fact that she reads me. We’re not talkin’ chopped liver here in the brains department.

Her friend later joined her, a PR person from San Francisco who works in the publishing business…  just as sweet and friendly… whose ear I needless to say bent about writing. Especially my own. But she didn’t seem to mind at all, in fact neither of them did, and the woman turned out to be helpful regarding a project of mine.

So after just a Manhattan each, and a very long conversation between the three of us, they were off to go have dinner someplace else. Which was already planned. The only reason they’d come in the first place wasn’t so Grad Girl could reconnect with the Scribbler, far from it (I just happened to be there and she remembered me), they came because PR Girl wanted to see the place.  See her father had told her to visit our bar whenever she got to New York, he’d been a customer in the 60′s, and she wanted to see for herself what her pop had been raving about. So she contacted Grad Girl after she got here, Grad Girl said she knew the place, and the two of them came, they saw, and then they conferenced. (Sorry, Caesar!) And our bar, as her father had predicted, didn’t disappoint.

As they readied themselves to leave, we all exchanged e-mail addresses with the promise to keep in touch, which I already did the very next day after meeting them.  Having no shame (as many of you know), I sent them each a copy of one of my short stories. What can I tell ya’?

And now something from the “In Case You were Wondering Department”…

As I’m sure you’ve already noticed, I’m late this week in posting… it’s Monday for crying out loud and I post on Saturdays. Well the reason is I didn’t have anything to say this week. That’s it, plain and simple. And when I sat down Saturday morning to see if something would come about, which sometimes happens, the beginnings of a cold and its attendant malaise  told me to walk away and give it a pass. Sayo-freaking-nara! But this morning something did come about and that was Grad Girl’s words regarding my web site. The part where she said, “I read you every week.” And so… to not disappoint on the very next week after our friendly encounter, I decided to not only tell of our meeting to serve as this week’s story, but contrive a reason and purpose for the post in general. Which is this week’s lesson.

If you’re going to leave the bar or a table after you’ve ordered your drink, for whatever reason your little heart desires, have the courtesy to inform your server of the move. Okay? It not only makes life easier for all, it’s simply the right thing to do, exactly the way {trumpet blare} Grad Girl did it!

Later, gang!

PS: If you’re new around here and are interested, (here’s the post) I wrote after the James Wolcott mention. I was through the roof that week and I think it’s pretty funny.

23 Responses to “That’s me, all right!”


  1. 1 MikeQ February 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Another great post, Scribbler … and this one holds a promising twist. Best of luck with that publishing industry PR lady. It’s amazing, isn’t it, these bar connections?

  2. 2 Comrade PhysioProf February 21, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    When I am waiting at a bar for a table, and then I get my table, I always settle with the bartender before leaving for my table, even if the bartender offers to “transfer” the charge to my table bill. I figure this way the bartender is getting exactly the tip I choose to leave, rather than having to deal with the table server. Does this make any sense, or am I wasting people’s time?

  3. 3 scribbler50 February 21, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    MikeQ: Thanks, man, and yeah… you never know who’s going to walk in the bar on a night. Fascinating business.

    Comrade: Of course it makes sense, it’s the right thing to do, Bro. Good for you.

  4. 4 Brenda February 21, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Oh. How I love drinking in your words, Scrib. It doesn’t matter what you write about. You’re part of the joy of coming home. Thanks for another great post.

  5. 5 scribbler50 February 21, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Brenda: And thank you for stopping by, my friend, welcome back from Italy you lucky dog, you. Can’t wait to hear about it.

  6. 6 Pharm Sci Grad February 21, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    Point taken. Will do so in the future. Hate to be one of those pet peeves out of ignorance! :)
    Also, thanks CPP, I will do this as well… makes a lot of sense to me, now that I think about it.

  7. 7 jc February 21, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Glad I didn’t have to send out a search partay for you Scrib!

    Good luck to you Grad Girl!

  8. 8 Anonymoustache February 21, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Enjoyed the post, as usual, Scrib50.
    Glad that Grad Girl’s words reminded you that your writer’s block resulted in a holding penalty…but true to your form you managed a first down even though you were pushed back a bit!
    (BTW, Dear God I miss football already…)

  9. 9 scribbler50 February 21, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Pharm Sci Grad: You could never be a pet peeve, I have total faith in you. :)

    jc: Yes, call off the dogs… but it’s nice to know you were ready to swing into action. And yes, of course, I second good luck to “Grad Girl”.

    Anonymoustache: Holy crap, my man, and I thought I was going through football withdrawal. You “blitzed” this blog and “sacked” my excuse in its tracks. Well done, Dick Lebeau!

  10. 10 Autistic Lurker February 22, 2011 at 2:57 am

    Scribbler,

    Next time I’m in NYC (last times were in 1999 and 2003, next time should be this fall), how do I locate your bar?

    A.L.

  11. 11 scribbler50 February 22, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Autistic Lurker: Unfortunately, my friend, there’s a huge sign in our entryway that reads “NO LURKING”. :)

    But seriously, A.L., the bar like myself shall remain anonymous on this blog, but if you do come to New York next fall shoot me an e-mail first and we’ll see what we can do. Cheers!

  12. 12 chris February 22, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Some of us dumb ole hillbillies from Kentucky read your blog faithfully every week too you know :P And jeez man if your going to be late on posting let us know your at least alive some of us get concerned you know, I even left a post on last weeks blog inquiring as to where you were. Good luck to grad girl, and have a great week Scrib.

  13. 13 scribbler50 February 22, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    chris: Thanks for your concern, friend, on this post and the last. And hey, don’t read too much into my phrase about Grad Girl’s smarts, her being a scientist doesn’t make anyone else a hillbilly.
    Okay? :)
    See ya’ next week-end, hopefully on time.

  14. 14 Ken February 23, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Scrib: This reminds me of last winter when I did something that left me mortified. I was meeting a semi-long lost friend. It was a place right outside of town, unfamiliar to me. Turns out, it’s a popular place, but on a strange piece of land–parking is terrible, especially with snow and ice on the ground.

    My friend was way late. I had a couple of Jacks on the rocks at the bar waiting. I flirted a little bit with a charming Polish woman. My friend finally appeared, just as I was ready to give up. I was starving, so I picked up my drink and went to our table. We had a great dinner and got caught up on the last decade.

    As I was driving home I suddenly realized I had stiffed the bartender. I felt like a complete jerk–I don’t stiff bartenders, having been one myself. (I met my wife tending bar. True, I didn’t marry her until 16 years later. But that’s another story) I don’t like to think about what the lady who tended bar that night thought of me!

    So yes, this story brought back memories, Except this one didn’t make me feel good.

  15. 15 The Siren February 23, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Such a great story. It’s always worth mentioning that James Wolcott is by far the most generous linker of the bloggers for big-name magazine sites. He’s sent many a blog a whole new audience; I should know.

  16. 16 Autistic Lurker February 24, 2011 at 12:29 am

    I’m not a lurker, just that the name stuck on (for lack of imagination :)

    Regarding this fall, it’s just that I haven’t traveled outside Quebec since the last 5 years and also, it’s gonna be my Bday so it will be kind of a gift from myself to myself :D

    A.L.

  17. 17 scribbler50 February 24, 2011 at 1:37 am

    Ken: Great comment and I know how ya’ feel. We’ve all screwed up like that (in your case absent mindedness), but you still want to kick yourself once it pops in your head what you’ve done. Or HAVEN’T done!
    Thanks.

    The Siren: Thank you, Siren, glad you enjoyed the story and you couldn’t be more right… there is NO one as generous as James Wolcott when it comes to putting a spotlight on the little guy. (Not for nothing but I just noticed he linked me again for this post!)
    Hey, thanks for stopping by, my friend, I appreciate it.

    Lurker: Just kidding on my end too, maybe we’ll see you in the fall.

  18. 18 David in NYC February 24, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Here’s another one for you, Scribbler. I’m here because of Wolcott. And since I see Siren commenting, I should mention he sent to her blog as well. Good writer and — apparently — good guy.

    Enjoyed your post, Scribbler. I’m sure I’ll be back.

  19. 19 scribbler50 February 24, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    David NYC: Thanks and welcome aboard.

  20. 20 d-a-p February 25, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    ….sounds like a great evening…the word is spreading about “the scrib”…
    see ya next week…
    d-a-p

  21. 21 serge February 25, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Scribbler, if you’re a friend of James Wolcott, you’re a friend of mine. Keep it up.

  22. 22 scribbler50 February 25, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    d-a-p: Thanks, Bud, and congratulations to you on the family addition. Grand Pa! :)

    serge: Well I guess we’re friends then, thank you for stopping by.

  23. 23 Jennifer February 27, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Oops, I ordered a post here last week, but commented elsewhere. My bad.


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