“Say what???”

One of the joys your friendly bartender relishes while working behind the stick, is sharing his shift each night with a guy named Tony.  The man’s priceless. Tony had served as a waiter in our place for well over forty years, and he’s now the official greeter, seater and storyteller.  He’s eighty four years old, a lifelong bachelor, speaks with an Italian accent, goes to the track every day (loses at the track every day), and is a character right out of the pages of Damon Runyon. But what makes our Tony truly unique, as if that weren’t enough, is the convoluted language he freely dispenses.  He’s a walking malaprop.

For on any given moment Tony is Leo Gorcey from The Bowery Boys … that same Leo Gorcey who said (as he and the boys were planning their next caper), “Now we gotta get there at the exact same time so let’s sympathize our watches.” Or maybe it’s Archie Bunker I hear when Tony is making a point… that same Archie Bunker who said, “Aw Geez, they not only put Gloria in the hospital, they got her in the expensive care unit!” Yes, Tony is cut from that very same same cloth and what a colorful swatch of life it is.

That said, I give you some of Tony’s greatest hits…

(1) In describing why business was so horrible one night Tony said, “You’re not gonna make any money tonight, it’s a Jewish holiday.” “What holiday is it?” I asked, to which he promptly replied, “I don’t know the name of the holiday but I know it’s something big because all day long they’re wearin’ those Yokohama’s!”

(2) When I commented one day on him walking with a limp he said, “I think it’s a pinched nerve… but thank God it doesn’t affect my reflection.”

(3) When Charlie Ward, the football Heisman Trophy winner, was drafted by the New York Knicks to play basketball, I asked Tony if he thought Ward could make it in that sport. Without missing a beat he said, “Are you kidding? He’ll make a hell of a pro… he has what they call tremendous perennial vision.

(4) When I asked him way back when if he thought Tonya Harding was involved in that Nancy Kerrigan knee clubbing incident he said, “Involved? Involved? Absolutely. That whole fucking thing was completely pre-medicated!”

(5) Even though Tony’s father was a hotel pastry chef he never made sweets at home because, “He didn’t have all the accoutrements at his disposition.”

(6) When I asked if he thought they’d convict William Kennedy Smith on those rape charges back in the early 90’s he responded, “No way they’ll ever convict a Kennedy… Christ, they couldn’t get his Uncle Teddy on that Chippa-Wocky thing!”

(7) Being knowledgeable on all things gambling he pronounced the other day, “Forget about Las Vegas, forget about Atlantic City… all the gambling now is going to those Indian reservoirs.”

(8) When the Mets once lost five games in a row he said sympathetically, “Jeez, their morality has to be so low right now.”

(9) The single malt scotch, Knockando, he of course calls “Cock-a-doodle-do”.

(10) Of a friend recently hospitalized he said, “His heart trouble must be serious… they gave him a triple overpass.”

(11) After his eighty six year-old sister gave him some sisterly shit the other day he said, “When my sister yells at me now I don’t even care… I just let it go in one ear and through the other.”

(12) And finally, my favorite, “The way the world is now, I’m glad my nieces and nephews are already grown… except for the younger ones.”

That’s our Tony!!!

Over and out from Bar-land… see ya’ next week-end!

PS: I have no idea how that smiling face appeared in front of quote number eight, and worse… I have no idea how the hell to get rid of it.

19 Responses to ““Say what???””

  1. 1 Isis the Scientist December 21, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    My most darling Scribbler,

    I realize I lack the charm and good looks of PhysioProf, but I hope you will accept my advice on how to get rid of the smiley. You need to create a numbered list. Here’s how you do it:

    Type “” to begin the list. Before each item type “” and after each item type “,” without the spaces. At the end of the list type , again without the spaces.

    I hope this helps.

    All my best,

  2. 2 Isis the Scientist December 21, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    CRAP! I knew it would do that. Let me try again, using words to describe the symbols. If I try to type the actual characters it thinks it is HTML and fucks it all up. Let me retry my instructions, but replace each “[” with the left facing carrot thing (the greater than sign) and each “[” with a right facing carrot thing (the less than sign):

    Type [ol] to begin the list. Before each item type [li]and after each item type [/li]. At the end of the list type [/ol].

    Gosh, I hope this posts because it’s pretty cool.


  3. 3 scribbler50 December 21, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    My most darling Isis:
    You’re going to think I’m an idiot but create a list where? Because when I go to “edit” I still see the 8) and not the smiley. But when I go to “publish” it’s the smiley. So are you saying to type [ol] before “8) in “edit” then [li] etc.? I’m truly grateful for your jumping into the fray but I’m confused!

  4. 4 scribbler50 December 21, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    Look what just happened. I typed in the number 8 in the above message, followed by the half parentheses, and I got the damn smiley again. WTF?

  5. 5 scribbler50 December 21, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    I solved it! Not the scientific way but a way that worked nonetheless. I simply typed a complete (instead of half) parenthesis around each number and the smiling little bastard went away. Thank you again for trying to educate a technical idiot.
    Merry Christmas,
    PS: WE have to stop meeting like this!

  6. 6 Anonymoustache December 21, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    Classic man, classic!
    Sound like you guys got a regular ol’ Yogi Berra/Coach Pantusso-type gentleman there!
    Wish you and yours a merry Christmas and wonderful 2009.

  7. 7 Isis the Scientist December 21, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    My most delicious Scribbler,

    I am impressed by your creative solution. However, for future reference, the [ol] goes before the very first item in your list (ie, item # 1) and then you put an [li] before and an [/li] after each individual item. Then at the very end of all the items, an [/ol]. But you’ve solved this little condundrum and at this point I really am just spanking a dead horse.

    So, perhaps I should let this go until I find myself in NYC. Then you, me, and my laptop can have a hot date and I’ll teach you all of my dirty, dirty tricks.

    All my best,

  8. 8 scribbler50 December 22, 2008 at 1:02 am

    If you do come to New York, you must stop by the bar and say hello… our “dirty” little secret… we’ve not had a goddess in our joint since Sophia Loren stopped by to use the Ladies room.


  9. 9 White Trash Academic December 22, 2008 at 8:40 am

    Haha..the funny thing is that I know a couple of people who do the same thing (all from my home state of course). My favorite..”Indian reservoirs” HAHAHAHA!

    Totally unrelated to the above post, I wish I had your skills. Then, while stuck in Rochester NY (trying to fly into Buffalo but flight cancelled due to the frozen ice tundra that is this place) I would know what delicious drinks could be made with the couple of liquors I’m also stuck with..

  10. 10 Alex December 24, 2008 at 8:04 am

    Tony is indeed a true character, a creature of non rehearsed levity. I know his un-related twin. I used to call him “Joey the Mook”.
    My suggestion to Joey was to travel to a comedy club, sit on a stage stool and comment on the news from any daily paper.
    I think Tony is another Norm Crosby, and if spry enough he should try the same.

  11. 11 Abel Pharmboy December 26, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    Man, oh man – if we could get Isis in New York for a pow-wow, all hell would break loose!

    I have known a great many men like Tony, and those malaprops just enhance the flavor of life. The Yogi Berra-isms are overdone – Tony is the real people, representing all of us.

  12. 12 Isis the Scientist December 27, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Man, oh man – if we could get Isis in New York for a pow-wow, all hell would break loose!

    Abel says this like it would be a challenge.

  13. 13 scribbler50 December 27, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    So meet the challenge!

  14. 14 Isis the Scientist December 27, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Hmmmmmmm….I am tempted, but I fear I might break you.

  15. 16 Abel Pharmboy December 28, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    ScienceBlogs Summer ’09 meetup – just sayin’

  16. 17 Isis the Scientist December 29, 2008 at 2:43 am

    Abel, if you get me good and liquored up before we meet Scribbler, I might be able to control myself.

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